Senator Kearney


Championing Racial Justice

Senator Kearney fights for state resources and policies that directly benefit Black children, youth, families, and the community at large here in Delaware County and across the state.


Championing Racial Justice

Senator Kearney

Senator Kearney fights for state resources and policies that directly benefit Black children, youth, families, and the community at large here in Delaware County and across the state.

The first Democrat elected to serve the 26th Senatorial District in 50 years, Senator Kearney is strongly committed to racial justice and Black empowerment. Despite the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, racial inequality has only gotten worse in the past several decades – from economic opportunity to education and housing to health care. To dismantle this structural inequality, Senator Kearney fights for state resources and policies that directly benefit Black children, youth, families, and the community at large here in Delaware County and across the state. TIM KEARNEY STATE SENATOR Kearney believes that being an advocate for racial justice includes championing equitable policies that ensure equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their race or ethnicity. He recognizes the barriers that have historically marginalized Black and brown people and continues to help amplify those voices while being a partner in the fight for racial justice.

Advocating for Equity & Inclusion

Senator Kearney is a proud advocate for racial justice and civil rights in Pennsylvania and has introduced and co-sponsored colleagues’ bills that promote equity and look to dismantle structural racism.


  • Held vaccine hesitancy townhalls focused on Black and Brown Communities followed by vaccine hesitancy event with appointments held and prioritized for Black and Brown constituents
  • Hosts the annual Black and Diverse Business Forum in Delaware County each year
  • Worked with the PA Department of Corrections to provide assistance to Delaware County in de[1]privatizing the George Hill Correctional Facility
  • Convened student voice panel to lift student experiences in local school districts with racism and bias. As a follow up provided a grant to ADL to offer implicit bias training across the 26th District
  • Stood with and supported Delco Resist in their ongoing fight against white supremacy and racism including intervening with Ridley police and their antagonistic response to their BLM march in Ridley
  • Actively participated in Delaware County Re-entry Coalition Reform which disproportionately affects Black men and women across the County.
  • Supported Indivisible and their work on judicial gerrymandering
  • Given his support in the community invited to be the Installing Officer for the opening ceremony of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas

Grants (Snapshot)

  • HOPE Home Ownership Program for Equity: $500,000
  • Nonprofit Excellence Center: $50,000 to support capacity building for immigrant led organizations, most are Black led
  • All for All Summer Camp: Black led church and nonprofit. Supported their summer programs for 2 summers ($15,000 and then $50,000)
  • Bywood Association: $50,000 to implement a neighborhood development program and community garden
  • Working with the Delco Black Caucus on a project grant to support a partnership and their ongoing work: $50,000
  • Working with the Delco Black Caucus: $50,000 for a project grant to support partnership and their ongoing work

Bills Co-Sponsored by Senator Kearney


COMPREHENSIVE MODERNIZATION OF THE MINIMUM WAGE This bill would raise the minimum wage to $15/hr and have it rise along with inflation. Minimum wage workers are disproportionately people of color, especially women.

SB 663 – SMALL BUSINESS FEE EXEMPTION This bill would exempt Black-owned businesses and other minority-owned businesses from fees the state usually charges all entrepreneurs when they start a new business.

ENACTMENT OF AN EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT IN PENNSYLVANIA This bill would create a tax credit for low-income families.


SB 331 – BLACK STUDIES IN K-12 CURRICULUM This bill would create curriculum units on Black history that could be taught by all PA schools.

SB 415 – RESTARTING PLANCON This bill would revive the state’s program for assisting school construction and renovation projects to ensure that all students can go to a safe, comfortable, and inspiring school building.

SB 465 – LEVEL UP FUNDING This bill would fast-track $400M in school funding to Pennsylvania’s most poorly funded school district, which disproportionately represent Black and Latino communities.


SB 498 – ESTABLISHING A PENNSYLVANIA COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT This bill would address racial discrimination in mortgage lending by requiring banks to demonstrate that they are not making lending decisions based on race through publicly available reporting.

FAIR CHANCE HOUSING This bill would prohibit landlords from conducting criminal background checks when screening prospective tenants.

FAIR RECORDS FOR RENTERS This bill would address housing discrimination against renters by sealing eviction records for cases that are withdrawn by the landlord, end in a settlement, or end in a victory for a tenant.

Police Reform

SB 66 – 8 CAN’T WAIT This bill would reform police use of force policies to prevent unjustified police brutality.

SB 105 – DEMILITARIZATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT This bill would prohibit police departments from purchasing military equipment such as tracked armored vehicles or explosives from the US Department of Defense.

SB 332– PROHIBITING THE USE OF CHOKEHOLDS BY THOSE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT This bill bans police officers from using chokeholds.

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS OF DEADLY FORCE This bill requires an independent investigation into every police killing, instead of a police department or district attorney investigation.

SB 291 – BREONNA’S LAW This bill would prohibit police form executing dangerous no-knock raids, like the one that killed Breonna Taylor in 2020

Voting Rights

SB 40 − AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION This bill would automatically register citizens to vote when they apply for public benefits, service, or license through PA state agencies.

ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION This bill would allow “same day registration” for citizens to register to vote on election day.

YOUNG VOTER PREREGISTRATION This bill would allow teenagers to pre-register to vote, allowing them to vote as soon as they turn 18.

SB 642 − INCREASING VOTER PARTICIPATION BY CREATING ELECTION DAY HOLIDAYS This bill would require companies to give two hours of paid leave to workers on election days to make sure everyone has time to vote.

Criminal Justice

COMPREHENSIVE PROBATION REFORM This bill intends to reduce probation periods for individuals who have completed sentences for past crimes, allowing them to fully re-integrate back into society.

SB 79 – RACIAL IMPACT STATEMENTS This bill would allow legislators to request a racial impact statement on any piece of legislation proposing changes to crimes, offenses, or sentencing laws.

SB 135 – PAROLE ELIGIBILITY FOR LIFE SENTENCES This bill would make it possible for those sentenced to life imprisonment to eventually have an opportunity to be reviewed for parole in PA.

SB 328 – ENDING INCARCERATION OF INDIGENT UNABLE TO PAY FINES, FEES OR RESTITUTION This bill would end the practice of incarcerating or revoking the driver’s licenses of those who are financially unable to pay court fines, fees, and restitution.

CONVICTION INTEGRITY BILL PACKAGE These bills would clampdown on coerced confessions and eyewitness false testimony by requiring law enforcement to record interrogations and improve eyewitness identification procedures. They would also require prosecutors to disclose any agreements they made with informants in capital cases.

SB 333 – ENDING CASH BAIL IN PENNSYLVANIA This bill would prohibit cash bail, which discriminates against poor people and unnecessarily incarcerates individuals who don’t pose any risk to the community.

CANNABIS LEGALIZATION This bill would decriminalize cannabis and create a system for growing, processing, and selling legal marijuana. It also includes automatic expungement of past marijuana criminal records and includes funding and support for Black cannabis entrepreneurs.

REFORMING SOLITARY CONFINEMENT This bill prohibits the use of solitary confinement on pregnant women, LGBTQ individuals, anyone age 21 and younger, and anyone age 70 and older in Pennsylvania, and caps the use of solitary confinement for all other incarcerated individuals at 15 days. Additionally, this legislation would prohibit the use of restraint chairs, chemical agents, and shackles.

SB 136 – MEDICAL PAROLE This bill creates a new medical parole process that would allow parole for individuals with serious health issues and individuals age 55+ who have served 25 years or at least half their minimum sentence.

Gun Control

SB 461 – LOST AND STOLEN GUN REPORTING This bill would require lost or stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, to prevent illegal sales or insecure storage of firearms.

SB 48/49 – 3D-PRINTED FIREARMS AND UNDETECTABLE FIREARMS These bills would increase regulations of ghost guns and 3D-printed guns.

SB 424 – REPEALING PENNSYLVANIA’S “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAW This bill would repeal the Pennsylvania version of the law that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

SB 695 – INCREASED PENALTIES FOR FIREARM “STRAW PURCHASERS” This bill would increase penalties for false statements on an application for a permit to carry or a document related to the purchase or delivery of a firearm.

Other Racial Equity Focused Bills

SB 78 – PROHIBITING FALSE REPORTS OF “CRIMINAL ACTIVITY” BASED ON RACE OR ETHNICITY This bill would criminalize making a false report to law enforcement based solely on the alleged race or ethnicity of the alleged perpetrator.

SB 158 – CODIFICATION AND EXPANSION OF OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE This bill would make permanent and enhance the powers and duties of the Office of Environmental Justice, which works to eliminate pollution and environmental hazards that disproportionately affect communities of color.

CODIFYING THE OFFICE OF HEALTH EQUITY This bill would make permanent and improve resources for the Office of Health Equity, which works to reduce racial disparities in health outcomes, access to health services, and access to affordable healthcare.

In the 2023/24 Budget, Gov. Shapiro has allocated $105 million for Violence and Prevention Programs.