I am writing with my weekly District Update.
The Pandemic Response
Beginning on June 5th, Bucks County moved to the yellow phase of re-opening. It is expected that we will move to the green phase of re-opening on June 26th, if current case trends remain the same.
As we continue to see businesses, restaurants, and activities starting up again, it’s important that we wear a mask and practice social distancing when going out. We also should continue to wash our hands often and thoroughly and regularly clean surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
I know that we are all eager to see businesses re-opening and our economy getting back on track. I hope that our case number continues to decline and we remain on track for a June 26th transition to green. I will continue to update you as I learn more.
Help Support Kayden’s Law: Request a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on SB 868
Kayden Mancuso, a seven-year-old girl from Lower Makefield Township, was killed on August 6, 2018 by her biological father during a court-ordered, unsupervised visit. The court required the visit after a year-long custody dispute and despite evidence of the killer’s past abusive behavior.
In response to this tragedy, in October 2019, I introduced Senate Bill 868 (also known as Kayden’s Law). Kayden’s Law would ensure that, in the future, the primary consideration in any child custody dispute will be the health and safety of the child. It would introduce new factors that a court would have to consider in such cases, all with the goal of protecting children’s lives.
SB 868 is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee awaiting action. The next step would be to have a hearing on the legislation. Toward that end, I have sent a letter to Senator Lisa Baker, the majority chair of the committee – and someone who has been a strong advocate on child welfare issues in her time in the legislature — requesting a hearing. Will you join me in making that request? Please sign this petition requesting a hearing on Kayden’s Law. Thank you!
I join with the African American community to acknowledge Juneteenth, the celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It took nearly two and a half years for the news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – freeing slaves in the states then in rebellion – and Union troops to reach Galveston, Texas, when the last African American slaves learned of and were granted their freedom on June 19, 1865. In the 155 years since, despite the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, the passage of landmark civil rights legislation and Supreme Court decisions striking down acts of discrimination, true equality remains an elusive goal.
I am proud to be a sponsor of the resolution designating June 19th as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day”. As we celebrate Juneteenth, I ask our community to acknowledge that there is more work to be done, and to join with African American advocates and allies to take action to end the racism that still plagues our nation, and continue the conversation about what equality truly means.
State offices will be closed on Friday, June 19th in honor of Juneteenth.
Statement on This Week’s Supreme Court Decision
This week’s Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia was a resounding victory for the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. In it the Court held that Title VII, the federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment, protected gay and transgender employees. People in the workplace across the country are now free to be who they are, and love who they love, without fear of losing their jobs.
Congratulations to the LGBTQ advocates and allies who have been working for these protections for many years. While celebration is in order, there is more work to do. I will continue to stand with our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors as the fight continues to ensure complete equality for the LGBTQ community.
Bucks Knocks Out Hunger Food Drive
Bucks Knocks Out Hunger is a community-driven hunger fighting project by the United Way of Bucks County, that unites thousands of donors, advocates, and volunteers to fight hunger in Bucks County. It is a fundraiser for Bucks County’s food pantries, a chance to advocate for those who are hungry and food insecure, and an opportunity to volunteer to provide food to people in need.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bucks Knocks Out Hunger included a mass-meal packing volunteer event, but this year, for the first time, BKO Hunger will feature a massive, county-wide food drive instead. Please consider stopping by one of the drop off locations this Saturday with a donation.
Guidelines for Public Schools for Re-Opening
This week, Bucks County released guidance for the county’s 13 public school districts to formulate their health and safety plans for in-person instruction for the fall. The guidelines are part of a state-mandated process, in which each school district must enact its own health and safety plan before reopening. The letter with the guidance that was sent to school superintendents and administrators can be found here.
Round of Applause
This week’s round of applause goes to Doylestown Borough for their community letter writing project. The project is designed to support residents of long-term care facilities by having local residents write letters to send to them. The borough is asking for letters, cards, drawings, and other well-wishes to be sent to the borough by July 10th to be distributed to care facilities in the area.
Do you know of a business or individual who is going above and beyond during these unprecedented times to help others? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in our District Update or on our social media pages.
Please visit the district newsroom to view additional stories, videos, and photos from across the district and the commonwealth.
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Offices of State Senator Steve Santarsiero
All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
2003 Lower State Road
Building 100, Suite 121
Doylestown, PA 18901
3 Terry Drive
Newtown, PA 18940
184 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203010
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3010
|TULLYTOWN SATELLITE OFFICE
500 Main Street
Tullytown, PA 19007
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM