Human Rights Campaign Endorses Governor Wolf

Last week, the Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for reelection.

Last week, the Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for reelection. Governor Wolf formally accepted the endorsement at a press conference alongside HRC President Chad Griffin, State Representative Brian Sims, State House Candidate Malcolm Kenyatta, Equality Pennsylvania Board Member Kira Kinsman, and LGBTQ advocate Gina Cline.

“Throughout his career, Governor Wolf has stood shoulder to shoulder with LGBTQ Pennsylvanians — fighting for fairness and equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “HRC is proud to endorse Governor Wolf’s bid for reelection, and we look forward to continuing to fight side by side for equality across the commonwealth.”

Governor Wolf is a dedicated champion for equality in Pennsylvania. He is a strong advocate of the PA Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation that extends non-discrimination provisions in state law to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender expression or identity. Governor Wolf has signed executive orders to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination within state government and among its contractors and grantees. He has fought for the expansion of state health care benefits for LGBTQ employees and has appointed several members of the LGBTQ community to key positions within his administration.

“I am truly honored to accept the Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement,” said Governor Wolf. “Throughout the last three years, they have been an important partner as we’ve fought to protect the rights of our LGBTQ community and ensure that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone. We have made progress, but I know that there is still more work to be done to ensure the rights of the LGBTQ community are protected. I am committed to continuing to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community and will keep fighting for a statewide anti-discrimination bill.”

Governor Wolf Takes Action on Equal Pay

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf took matters into his own hands to combat the gender pay gap which is plaguing Pennsylvania’s women, families, and businesses.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf took matters into his own hands to combat the gender pay gap which is plaguing Pennsylvania’s women, families, and businesses.

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports:

“Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order regarding applicants to state agencies and salary history in hopes of helping to close the gender pay gap.”

The executive order directs state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to no longer ask job applicants their salary history during the hiring process, to base salaries on job responsibilities, position pay range, and the applicant’s job knowledge and skills, and to clearly explain the pay range on job postings.

Pennsylvania women make just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes– a gap of 21%. This gap costs women an average of $10,000 a year and makes it harder to for them to buy homes, pay for college, and provide for their families.

“The gender wage gap is wrong,” said Governor Wolf. “It’s wrong for women, wrong for families, wrong for business, and wrong for the economy of Pennsylvania. This executive order begins to end this discriminatory practice, so that women hired by the commonwealth are paid what they deserve, and the wage gap does not follow them to a state job.”

Governor Wolf also called on the General Assembly to pass similar protections for all working women in Pennsylvania.

Governor Wolf Celebrates Pride Month

June has arrived, and with it brings warm weather, vacations, and the beginning of summer. But June is more than just this– it is also Pride Month, a time for both celebration and reflection for the LGBTQ community. Governor Wolf recently proclaimed June 2018 Pride month in the commonwealth.

June has arrived, and with it brings warm weather, vacations, and the beginning of summer. But June is more than just this– it is also Pride Month, a time for both celebration and reflection for the LGBTQ community.

Governor Wolf recently proclaimed June 2018 Pride month in the commonwealth. “Pride Month is a time to take a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward LGBTQ individuals, to promote self-affirmation, dignity, and equality, and to build community and celebrate diversity,” he said.

Governor Wolf has a record of fighting to expand rights for the LGBTQ community. Since his first days in office, the governor has urged legislators to pass the PA Fairness Act, but Republicans have blocked these bills from reaching a vote in the General Assembly despite broad, bipartisan support.

In the face of this stalled legislation, Governor Wolf took matters into his own hands. He signed two executive orders that prohibit any agency under his jurisdiction or any entity that receives grants or contracts from the commonwealth from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity, among other areas.

Governor Wolf recognizes that the LGBTQ community deserves equal benefits and the same state services as everyone else and continues to fight for expansion of state health care benefits for LGBTQ employees.

The governor has also been lucky to work alongside several talented members of the LGBTQ community in his administration. In 2015, Governor Wolf chose Dr. Rachel Levine as his Physician General, and now she serves as the Secretary of Health working with the governor to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic. Dr. Levine is currently one of the highest ranking transgender women in the nation.

There is still much to be done in Pennsylvania for the advancement of the LGBTQ community. Despite the hurdles, Governor Wolf is committed to continuing to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community and will stand with them as they fight to protect and expand their rights in today’s political climate.

Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt’s Story: Why I Will Support Governor Wolf (Guest Blog)

By Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt I first met Governor Tom Wolf in April of 2016, when I spoke at a press conference at the State

By Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt

I first met Governor Tom Wolf in April of 2016, when I spoke at a press conference at the State Capitol. As a mother who made the heartbreaking decision to end a pregnancy after 20 weeks’ gestation, I was increasingly advocating against proposed legislation attempting to restrict women’s reproductive rights. In 2016, Governor Wolf, likeminded legislators, patient advocates and I publicly opposed HB1948, which specifically targeted the difficult and painful decisions women like me were forced to make on behalf of our unborn children.  This bill, which later evolved into SB3, sought to criminalize abortion providers and restrict women across Pennsylvania with no exceptions for rape or incest. In my case, I would have been forced to carry a baby with a rare and deadly abnormality to term if the pregnancy continued. While we deeply loved and wanted our son Darby Joss, my husband and I knew that we could not responsibly bring a child into the world only to experience horrific suffering with no hope of recovery. As a result, ensuring that bills like HB1948/SB3 would never become law became a call that I felt compelled to answer. Thankfully, Governor Wolf was on the side of women, as he always has been. He went on the record stating that should the legislation come to his desk, he would veto it.

When I met Governor Wolf that first day, I was unable to say much more than “Thank you.” In fact, in our multiple meetings since, I have been able to say little else. I am so grateful for Governor Wolf’s commitment to protecting my rights as a woman and mother. Abortion bans rob us of our self-determination and freedom to make decisions for our own health and bodies and, in my case, the decision to protect our unborn children from excruciating pain. Governor Wolf clearly understands that reproductive choices can only be made by women who must bear their consequences alongside loved ones, religious advisors, and expertly informed physicians.

When I thanked him, Governor Wolf told me, “I have two daughters. I could never imagine taking this important choice away from them”.  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the health of women like me would not fall into the hands of politicians they would never even meet.  A few weeks later, I received a hand-written note from the Governor, thanking me for my advocacy in the press conference, which ultimately resulted in the tabling of HB1948. It meant a great deal to me that my actions mattered to the Governor, and that he took the time to express his appreciation.

Unfortunately, in 2017, SB3 made its way through the House without any opportunity for public testimony. Governor Wolf promised to veto that bill too, because enacted, it would have resulted in the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. But the bill did reach his desk, and I proudly stood beside him once again on December 18, 2017, when he made good on his word to ensure that no woman, family, or abortion provider would suffer the cruel and unusual punishment the bill proposed. As he stated repeatedly, “Pennsylvania will not play games with women’s healthcare in our Commonwealth”. With the stroke of his pen he vetoed the bill.

During a tumultuous time in the nation’s history, Governor Wolf continues to stand by his word and his commitment to social justice. He is willing to enact change, whether it is vetoing dangerous, toxic abortion legislation or ensuring that the Pennsylvania congressional districts are redrawn in order to ensure the democratic process that underpins this great country remains as fair and unbiased as possible. Governor Wolf doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. These days, it’s increasingly rare to find a politician that follows through on his promises. Pennsylvania constituents always know where Tom Wolf stands. There’s never any bait-and-switch where he’s concerned and he always follows through.

I will support Governor Wolf’s reelection and continue to speak out on his behalf because his track record already speaks volumes: under his plan for Pennsylvania, our beautiful state is growing and thriving. After all, he’s already expanded Medicaid and increased enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He’s on top of the opioid epidemic. He’s taking care of seniors. All told, he is a governor for the people, ensuring that we the people are heard by our elected officials, making sure that they are accountable to us and not special interest groups. For these reasons and more, I believe in Governor Wolf. I can’t wait to see what he does with his second term.