Bills – Prime Sponsor
Act 168 of 2014 – Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Molestation and Exploitation (Passing the Trash)
Intended to prevent school employees with a history of sexual misconduct from moving from one school to another, this bill would create a new employment review for certified and non-certified educators and other prospective employees in school entities who have direct contact with children. Upon application for employment with a school entity, the school must require the applicant’s current and former employers to disclose whether the applicant has been the subject of an abuse or sexual misconduct investigation by any employer or child protective services agency, has ever resigned from or left employment while such an investigation was pending, or has ever been disciplined, discharged, non-renewed or asked to resign from employment.
Would authorize the City of Philadelphia to charge a tax of 10 cents per cigarette (i.e., $2/pack), and to distribute those funds monthly to the Philadelphia School District.
Act 70 of 2014 – (Senate Bill 47) Holocaust and Genocide Education
This would provide for instruction, from grades six through twelve, on the history of the Nazi atrocities committed from 1933 through 1945 and an understanding that genocide is a consequence of prejudice and discrimination.
Act 167 of 2014 – Landlord – Tenant Belongings
What should a landlord do when a tenant leaves behind personal property and no forwarding address? Unfortunately, this question was left unanswered by Act 129 of 2012, which dealt with landlord responsibilities with respect to tenants’ abandoned property.
This would require the landlord to post notice on the premises and send notice, mailed to the formerly leased premises or by personal delivery to the tenant, giving the tenant 25 days to contact the landlord with his or her intention to remove the property from the premises and requiring the landlord to hold the property for 20 days following such contact. This would also define the landlord’s liability in the event that the landlord accepts the tenant’s personal property in violation of Act 129.
Act 199 of 1990 (House Bill 68) – Prioritizing Municipal Liens Repayment Pursuant to Property Sale
Act 199 of 1990 (House Bill 68) – Prioritizing Municipal Liens Repayment Pursuant to Property Sale. In the event that the city or county is owed taxes or fees on the property, those bills must be settled before all other lienholders (such as a mortgage company).
Acts 59 and 60 of 1993 (House Bills 1009 and 1010) – Creating licenses for Respiratory Care Practitioners. Previously, these medical professionals, who treat diseases ranging from childhood asthma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), were not recognized by the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine.
Act 79 of 1993 (House Bill 1432) – Restricting Marriage Licenses for Minors
Act 79 of 1993 (House Bill 1432) – Restricting Marriage Licenses for Minors. Persons under the age of 16 may only be married when a judge rules that the marriage would be in the underage applicant’s best interest. Persons between the ages of 16 and 18 are required to gain consent of their custodial parents or guardians to marry.
Act 63 of 2004 (Senate Bill 200) – Termination of Annuities
Act 63 of 2004 (Senate Bill 200) – Termination of Annuities. This legislation allows retired teachers to return to active service during emergency educator shortages without losing their retirement benefits. It ensures that, in times of need, our children continue to receive quality education from experienced educators.
Act 150 of 2004 (Senate Bill 921) – Restricting Delivery Sales of Cigarettes
Act 150 of 2004 (Senate Bill 921) – Restricting Delivery Sales of Cigarettes. In order to keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors, this bill requires online or mail-order tobacco retailers to obtain written proof of identity from buyers before shipment, and for deliveries to be made only to person with identical documentation.
Act 131 of 2012 (Senate Bill 1301) – Homestead Exemption for Philadelphia
Act 131 of 2012 (Senate Bill 1301) – Homestead Exemption for Philadelphia. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006 provided for reduced liability for property owners through casino gambling revenue. However, the original legislation required Philadelphia to use those funds to decrease the city wage tax. This legislation reduces the taxable assessed value used for calculation of homeowners’ Real Estate Tax bills by $30,000.
Bills & Resolutions that State Sen. Anthony H. Williams Co-Sponsored and Played a Leadership Role, Championing Their Passage
Pennsylvania Public Charter School Authorization. This landmark legislation expanded educational opportunities for parents and students throughout the Commonwealth by allowing them to choose the manner in which they are educated. Charter schools are public options to traditional neighborhood schools that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for greater freedom in methodology and curriculum development. Students attend public charter schools for free, utilizing existing per-pupil funding from the traditional public school district.
Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC). Another landmark educational opportunity, EITC allows businesses and organizations to receive tax credits for funding scholarship and other educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s students. Since its inception, more than 23,500 business applications have been approved pledging in excess of $657 million dollars to the programs – benefitting over 500,000 of Pennsylvania’s students.
Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC). Expanding on EITC’s success, this new program provides aid to students from low-performing school districts.
The 2013-14 Budget included an additional $3.56 million for the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force. (Link to gun violence task force press release here)
Holocaust Education Bill. Public schools will be required to teach students the history of the Holocaust and other genocides so that humanity may never repeat such atrocities.
Resolutions (Current Session)
Congratulating the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania on its 200th anniversary. The society continues to uphold its mission of “increasing the learning of the members and the academic prestige of the University.
Honoring the 100-year anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the largest historically black sorority in America.
Recognizing May 25, 2013, as “National Missing Children’s Day”
in Pennsylvania. Nationally, over 800,000 children are reported missing each year, the majority a result of family abductions.
Recognizing and Condemning Acts of Intolerance at Coatesville Area School District. A series of lewd, sexist and racist text messages exchanged by two top officials at the suburban Chester County school district, culminating in the firing of those employees, required a stiff rebuke from the Senate.
Directing the Pennsylvania Department of Education to study “gapping” at Pennsylvania postsecondary schools, a systemic denial of need-based financial aid to low-income students in favor of merit-based aid to middle income families.
Condemning the Academic Studies Association’s Academic Boycott against Israel. ASA’s boycott curtailed academic freedom while giving voice to Anti-Semitic elements within academia.
Condemning Legislation in Uganda and Nigeria Criminalizing Same-Sex Relationships and Organizations. Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill and similar legislation in Nigeria severely limit the rights of gays and lesbians in those countries, subjecting them to harassment, arrest and life imprisonment.
Honoring the Life of Actress and Civil-Rights Activist Ruby Dee. The trailblazing pioneer passed on June 11, 2014.
Resolutions (Previous Sessions)
Designating January 11 – 17, 2009 as “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Week”
Urging Pennsylvania’s Financial Institutions that Received Taxpayer Money from the Federal Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to prohibit issuing employee bonuses until such time that the American taxpayers have been fully reimbursed.
Respectfully requesting the removal of all Sunoco-brand labeling from the 2009 “Welcome America!” festival in Philadelphia due to the devastating financial impact of its decision to layoff 20% of its workforce.
Urging the Commonwealth and all of its departments, agencies, boards and commissions to procure and utilize, where possible, Pennsylvania remanufactured automobile parts and equipment to perform their designated functions.
Condemning the resurgence of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses and calling upon the Department of Education, the State System of Higher Education, each of the State-related universities and all of Pennsylvania’s independent colleges and universities to remain vigilant and guarded against acts of anti-Semitism against college and university students.
Designating June 7, 2010, as “African and Caribbean Children Day” in Pennsylvania. The city of Philadelphia is home to more than 200,000 African and Caribbean Immigrants.
Strongly urging all public schools in this Commonwealth to use a merit-based system for teacher layoffs instead of seniority as the sole criteria. The purpose of this resolution is to keep the best teachers in the classroom, regardless of their tenure.
Designating April 25, 2007, as “Arts in Education Day” in Pennsylvania. Arts educators provide our youths with the cultural education and intricate fundamentals to make them well-rounded individuals
Remembering Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, on the occasion of her death on October 24, 2005, at 92 years of age, as the mother of the civil rights movement.
Expressing condolences on the death of Coretta Scott King, first lady of the Civil Rights Movement, at the age of 78.
Urging the President and the Congress of the United States to bring humanitarian assistance and lasting peace to the Darfur region.
Urging the Governor to establish an Office of Public Security to develop a comprehensive Statewide strategy to secure Pennsylvania from acts of terrorism or terroristic threats in light of the 9/11 attacks on America.