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As we enter the holiday season, our thoughts are turned to all the ways the government of our state could be better serving the people of Pennsylvania, especially those who are struggling in one way or another.

The Democrats in the General Assembly, at times with the support of some Republicans, have embraced (and passed in the House) 13 important pieces of legislation that would provide greater opportunity and a helping hand to working people in every corner of the state, as well as protect all Pennsylvanians from various kinds of abuses.

Despite this, the Republican-controlled Senate has blocked these critical legislative initiatives.

So, we’ve put the following bills on our holiday wish list!

$15 Minimum Wage: (HB 1500, sponsored by Reps. Dawkins and Kim. Senate champion: Senator Tartaglione)

Working Families Tax Cut Working Families Tax Cut includes a PA Earned Income Tax Credit and expanded Tax Forgiveness program to reduce taxes on low-income Pennsylvanians (HB 1272, sponsored by Rep. Sappey);

New K-12 School Funding and Cyber Charter Reform: Level Up funding to underfunded schools (HB 611 and HB 301, sponsored by Reps. Schlossberg and Harris. Senate champions: Senators Hughes and Miller); Cyber Charter Reform (HB 1422, sponsored by Rep. Ciresi)

Additional Funding for Whole-Home Repairs Program: Provides help for low- and moderate-income Pennsylvanians to repair their homes (HB 1300, sponsored by Rep. Harris. Senate champion: Senator Saval)

Corporate Tax Reform: Closes the Delaware and Cayman Islands loopholes, which allow large multi-national corporations to avoid paying taxes in PA (HB 1219, sponsored by Reps. Samuelson and Fiedler. Senate champions: Senators Tartaglione and Haywood)

Abortion Shield Law: Protects abortion providers and those coming from outside of the state to seek abortions in PA (HB 1786, sponsored by Rep. Daley. Senate champions: Senators Schwank and Cappelletti)

Justice for Survivors: Opens a window for survivors of sexual abuse to sue their abusers (HB 2, sponsored by Rep. Rozzi. Senate champion: Senator Muth)

Gun Safety: Background Checks (HB 714, sponsored by Rep. Warren) and a Red Flag Law (HB 2018, sponsored by Rep. O’Mara) to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them

Protections for Public Workers: Extension of Occupational Safety and Health Act to protect public sector workers from dangerous work conditions (HB 299, sponsored by Rep. Harkins. Senate champion: Senator Kane)

Protections for Striking Workers: Allows workers affected by a labor–management dispute to collect unemployment benefits after a one-week waiting period (HB 1481, sponsored by Rep. Steele. Senate champion: Senator Costa)

Retirement Security for Teachers and Public Servants: (HB 1416, sponsored by Reps. Malagari and Deasy. Senate champion: Senator Muth)

Fairness Act: Extends Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination law to LGBTQ+ people (HB 300, sponsored by Reps. Kenyatta and Frankel. Senate champion: Senator Santarsiero)