A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

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Supreme Court amends Appellate Rule 2572 on time for remand of record

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(The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session schedule

Senate

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

Budget hearings

February 22–  Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3:00- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. Click Here to watch Senate hearings live.

February 23– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3:30- Attorney General.  Room 140.   Click Here to watch hearings live.

February 23– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1:00- State Police/Homeland Security; Moved To March 8- 3:00- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.  Click Here to watch Senate hearings live.

February 27– Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee meeting to consider reports on Commonwealth’s Access To Justice Act and the Department of Corrections Overtime Study.  Room 14 East Wing.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Judiciary; 1:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Room 140.   Click Here to watch hearings live.

February 28– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1:00- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.  Click Here to watch hearings live.

Commission on Sentencing meets March 15-16

Click for Notice in Pennsylvania Bulletin

Bipartisan bill to end gerrymandering introduced in Senate

Senators Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh) and Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) have introduced bipartisan legislation– Senate Bill 22(not yet online)— to establish an independent commission to draw up Pennsylvania’s legislative maps.

Senate Bill 22 would establish an 11-member independent commission comprised by four individuals registered with the largest political party in the Commonwealth, four registered with the second-largest party, and three people not affiliated with either major political party.

The commission would draw up both Congressional and state legislative district maps. It would take a majority of seven – with support from a qualified majority of Commission members — for a redistricting plan to win approval.

Commission members would not be allowed to hold political or party office, be related to those who hold office, or work for those who hold office. Scavello and Boscola said state legislative districts would be redrawn using modern technology and software, and focus on standards such as ideal population balance in accordance with existing federal and state laws.

 

 

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Presidents’ Day

 

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Supreme Court amends Juvenile Rules 152 and 242 on waiver of counsel

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Clock for Report

March 20 is deadline to comment on proposed Juvenile Rules on expungements and weight of evidence claims

Click for Notice of Proposed Rule making on expungements

Click for proposed changes to Juvenile Rules 170 and 172

Click for Report on proposed changes to Rules on expungements

Click for Notice of Proposed Rule making on weight of evidence claims

Click for proposed new Rules 415 and 518 and changes to Rule 620

Click for Report on proposed changes to Rules on weight of the evidence claims

Bills Moving

House

Juvenile Sentences: House Bill 159 (Nesbit-R-Butler) further providing for the enforcement of sentences against juveniles was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Trafficking In Infants: House Bill 128 (Jozwiak-R-Berks)  providing for the offense of trafficking in infant children was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available. The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Protection From Abuse: House Bill 44 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) further providing for protection from abuse orders was reported from the House Appropriations Committee and was passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Restitution: House Bill 234 (Costa-D-Allegheny) further providing for collection of restitution and fines (sponsor summary) and House Bill 236 (Corbin-R-Chester) providing for restitution attachments for support obligations and restitution payments (sponsor summary) and House Bill 285 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) requiring criminals to pay restitution to crime victims (sponsor summary) were reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and are on the House Calendar for action.

Bonds & Recognizances: House Bill 280 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) further providing for forfeiture and allocation of bail monies was amended and reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: House Bill 126 (Baker-R-Tioga) further authorizing the use of epinephrine auto-injectors (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Health Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: House Bill 224 (Simmons-R-Lehigh) providing for the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors by school bus drivers (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Education Committee, was amended on the Floor and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

 

Senate

Sanctuary Cities: Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R- Allegheny) prohibits municipalities, cities and counties from adopting sanctuary city policies, removes the sovereign immunity of those who do from lawsuits and makes other changes (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee, referred into, amended and reported out of the Senate Rules Committee and was passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Abortion: Senate Bill 3 (Brooks-R-Washington) further relating to the prohibition of abortions (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

REAL ID Correction: Senate Bill 133 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) fix for federal REAL ID issues (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Lottery Winnings/Restitution: Senate Bill 146 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) lottery winnings and individual tax refunds as restitution was Tabled.

Senate passes bill to penalize sanctuary cities

The Senate Tuesday voted 37-12 to advance legislation that supports enforcement of federal laws requiring municipalities to report illegal immigrants who pose a danger to Pennsylvania communities and residents.

Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) requires cities and counties to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for those who are arrested by local authorities.

Under the bill, municipalities that do not enforce federal immigration policy would not be eligible for state grants for law enforcement purposes and could be sued for negligence for releasing an individual with a detainer who subsequently committed another crime.

Senate Bill 10 now goes to the House for consideration.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Senate Committee approves bill to comply with Federal Real ID requirements.

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee Wednesday approved Senate Bill 133 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) designed to help fix Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, according to Committee Chairman Sen. Ryan P. Aument (R-Lancaster).

In 2005, the federal government passed the REAL ID Act requiring states to adopt specific standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards in order to strengthen immigration enforcement and boost homeland security.

The General Assembly passed a law in response that prohibits the state from participating in the act due to concerns regarding the cost of compliance and questions pertaining to privacy issues.

Failure to comply with the REAL ID Act would mean Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards would not be considered a valid form of identification for the purposes of boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings or nuclear power plants.

Although the new requirements were supposed to go into effect on January 30, Pennsylvania received an extension until June 6 to allow additional time to comply with the federal mandate.

Senate Bill 133 would repeal the state law that prevents Pennsylvania from complying with federal law and allow the state to begin having discussions with Federal authorities on how Pennsylvania may become compliant.

Senator Aument also indicated that whatever plan is developed for compliance must include an opt-out provision to accommodate those with religious or security concerns

A sponsor summary of the bill is available.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration when it returns March 20.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Representatives Dawkins and Grove to introduced bipartisan resolution for taskforce on juvenile life sentences

State Representatives Jason Dawkins (D-Philadelphia)  and Seth Grove (R-York) Monday announced they will reintroduce a bipartisan resolution– House Resolution 915 from last session– to establish a task force on juvenile life sentences

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Representative Dawkins

The resolution did not get out of the House Judiciary Committee last session.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling a life sentence for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment, we as a state must develop policies to address it,” said Rep. Grove.  “I appreciate Representative Dawkins’ leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him on ensuring we as a state can develop policies which conform to the court’s rulings.”

“Pennsylvania faces a greater challenge than most states in complying with the Supreme Court’s rulings, since our state is home to nearly 500 of the nation’s 2,000 ‘juvenile lifers.’” said Rep. Dawkins.  “I thank Representative Grove for his commitment to working in a bipartisan way on this vital criminal justice issue.”

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life without parole sentences for people who were under 18 at the time of the offense are unconstitutional, and in January 2016, the court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller must be applied retroactively.

The proposed task force would undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of laws, court decisions, policies and procedures. The lawmakers said this would ensure an efficient appeals and post-conviction relief process that would provide just and fair sentences that are sufficient both to protect public safety and promote rehabilitation.

Under the resolution, the task force would meet to develop recommendations regarding how best to handle appeals and applications for post-conviction relief from the hundreds of people in Pennsylvania sentenced to mandatory life without parole when they were under 18.

The task force would be comprised of 11 experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in issues relating to criminal appeals, post-conviction relief and the appropriate sentencing of youth offenders.

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Representative Grove

Seven members would be appointed by the House, Senate and governor, while the remaining four would be representatives from the Department of Corrections, the Board of Probation and Parole, the Sentencing Commission and the Office of Victim Advocate.

The resolution would require the task force to make a final report within 90 days of its first meeting.

Rep. Dawkins is also committed to continuing to pursue broader judicial reform regarding life sentencing.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session Schedule

Senate

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

 

Legislative Hearings      

February 23– Change. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1:00- State Police/Homeland Security; Moved To March 8- 3:00- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 27– NEW. Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee meeting to consider reports on Commonwealth’s Access To Justice Act and the Department of Corrections Overtime Study.  Room 14 East Wing.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Judiciary; 1:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

March 2– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- PA Emergency Management Agency/State Fire Commissioner.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

 

February 14 Statehood Day

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Oregon

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Arizona

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Session Schedule

Senate

February 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

Governor’s budget address is scheduled for Tuesday.

Click Here to watch live.

Bills moving

Child Abuse Claims: Senate Bill 261 (Scranti-R-Jefferson) providing for an extension of the statute of limitation on child abuse lawsuits without retroactive provisions was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee, was referred into and out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Cruelty To Horses: Senate Bill 69 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) relating to cruelty to horses was passed by the Senate and now goes to the House for action.

Restitution: Senate Bill 146 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) lottery winnings and individual tax refunds as restitution was amended and reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Child/Animal Abuse Cross Reporting: Senate Bill 176 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) child and animal abuse cross reporting (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Providing Dextromethorphan: Senate Bill 221 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing for the offense of selling or furnishing dextromethorphan to minors (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Proof Of Citizenship: Senate Bill 9 (Stefano-R-Fayette) requiring proof of citizenship before receiving certain state benefits (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate State Government Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Sanctuary City: Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) prohibits municipalities, cities and counties from adopting sanctuary city policies, removes the sovereign immunity of those who do from lawsuits and makes other changes (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Civil Forfeiture Reform: Senate Bill 8 (Folmer-R- Lebanon) reintroduction of the civil forfeiture reform proposal was amended and reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Key Reforms in Senate Bill 8 Include:

— Higher burdens of proof imposed on the Commonwealth;

— Protections for third party owners by placing additional burdens of proof on the Commonwealth;

— Improved transparency in auditing and reporting at both the county and state levels;

— Specific and additional protection in real property cases by prohibiting the pre-forfeiture seizure of real property without a hearing; and

— Additional procedural protections for property owners, such as returning property to the forfeiture proceeding if there is undue hardship, and an extra level of protection for anyone acquitted of a related crime who is trying to get their property back.

Public hearings

February 7– NEW. House Judiciary Committee meets to consider House Bill 234 (Costa-D- Allegheny) further providing for collection of restitution and fines (sponsor summary), House Bill 236 (Corbin-R-Chester) providing for restitution attachments for support obligations and restitution payments (sponsor summary). Room 140 Main Capitol. 10:00.

February 7– NEW. Senate Education Committee considers the nomination of Estelle Richman to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 3:00.

 February 8– NEW. House Health Committee meets to consider House Bill 126 (Baker-R-Tioga) further authorizing the use of epinephrine auto-injectors (sponsor summary).  Room G-50 Irvis Building. 9:30.

February 22–  Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Department of State; 1:00- Auditor General; 3:00- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3:30- Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1:00- State Police/Homeland Security; 3:00- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Judiciary; 1:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3:00- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 1:00- Liquor Control Board; 3:00- PA Emergency Management Agency/State Fire Commissioner.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8 — House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Aaron Marcus appointed to Criminal Procedural Rules Committee

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Resistance meets resistance as bills target demonstrators

Lawmakers in eight states are considering measures aimed at protesters who block roads and cause damage. Their sponsors said they reflect the public’s frustration with prolonged, disruptive protests; critics called them “undoubtedly unconstitutional.”

Click for full report from the Washington Post

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Massachusetts ratifies Constitution, February 6, 1788

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Supreme Court amends Rule Juvenile Rule 407 concerning admissions

On January 23, 2017, the Court amended Juvenile Court Procedural Rule 407 to further simplify the admission form and to require an addendum when the juvenile is admitting to an act of sexual violence.

Click for Order

Click for text of Rule

Click for Report

(The items below are from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session schedule

January 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

Governor’s budget address is scheduled for February 7.

Senate Judiciary Committee meets Tuesday to consider Senate Bill 8 (Folmer-R- Lebanon) reintroduction of the civil forfeiture reform proposal (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 146 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) lottery winnings and individual tax refunds as restitution (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 176 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) child and animal abuse cross reporting (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 222 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing for additional Common Pleas judges (including Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties) (sponsor summary).

State Government Committee meets Tuesday to consider Senate Bill 9 (Stefano-R-Fayette) requiring proof of citizenship before receiving certain state benefits (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 169 (Laughlin-R-Erie) further providing for lobbyist disclosure requirements (sponsor summary).

Bills moving

Senate

Cruelty To Horses: Senate Bill 69 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) relating to cruelty to horses was amended and reported out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Sanctuary Cities: Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) prohibits municipalities, cities and counties from adopting sanctuary city policies, removes the sovereign immunity of those who do from lawsuits and makes other changes (sponsor summary) was amended and reported from the Senate Local Government Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  News report:  PA Bill Would Restrict State Funding For Sanctuary Cities In PA

Bills introduced

Cybersecurity/Personal Information Breach: House Bill 32 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) establishing a Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence Commission (sponsor summary).  House Bill 33 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) update of cybersecurity breach notification procedures (sponsor summary); House Bill 35 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) further providing for the disposal of materials containing personal information; House Bill 36 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) further providing for notification if a breach of personal information occurs.  These bills did not get out of committee last session.

Prohibiting Sale Of Novelty Lighters: House Bill 66 (Burns-D-Burns) prohibiting the retail sale and distribution of novelty lighters (sponsor summary). This bill failed to get out of committee last session.

Headlines (click for full report)

Murphy: Wolf To Propose Consolidating 4 Agencies Into 1

AP: Wolf To Close Pittsburgh Prison To Save $80M Annually

Governor Fires Head Of Drug And Alcohol Office

AP: Fired Cabinet Secretary Says Lobbyist Didn’t Sway Hiring

Esack: Porn And Politics Give Way To Ethics In Attorney General’s Office

Budget hearings

February 22–  Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3:30 p.m.- Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1 p.m.- State Police/Homeland Security; 3 p.m.- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Judiciary; 1 p.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3 p.m.- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

SCOTUS

This week in history:  February 1, 1790, First session of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Click for report from History.com.

 

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Session Schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

The Governor’s budget address is scheduled for February 7.

Members named to Senate standing committees

— Judiciary Committee

Majority: Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Chair; Rafferty (R-Montgomery), Vice-Chair; Alloway (R-Franklin); Eichelberger (R-Blair); Gordner (R-Columbia); Langerholc (R-Cambria)-NEW; Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny); Vulakovich (R-Allegheny); Yaw (R-Lycoming)

Minority: Leach (D-Montgomery), Chair; Boscola (D-Lehigh); Farnese (D-Philadelphia); Haywood (D-Philadelphia); Sabatina (D-Philadelphia)-NEW.

— Law & Justice Committee

Majority: McIlhinney (R-Bucks), Chair; Alloway (R-Franklin), Vice-Chair; Rafferty (R-Montgomery); Regan (R-Cumberland)-NEW; Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny); White (R-Indiana); Yaw (R-Lycoming.

Minority: Brewster (D-Allegheny), Chair; Fontana (D-Allegheny), Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia); Williams (D-Philadelphia).

Public hearings

January 23– Senate Judiciary and Senate Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a hearing on proposed closure of two state prisons.  Hearing Room 1 North Office Building 9 a.m.  Click Here to watch the hearing online.

January 24– Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 69 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) related to cruelty to horses and providing for a Humane Society Police Officer Advisory Board (sponsor summary) and other bills.  Room 8E-A, East Wing.  10 a.m.

Budget hearings

February 22–  Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3:30 p.m.- Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  10 a.m.- PA State System Of Higher Education; 1 p.m.- State Police/Homeland Security; 3:00- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Judiciary; 1 p.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3 p.m.- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

Health releases Medical Marijuana Growers/Processors, Dispensaries Permit Applications
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Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy Tuesday announced applications for medical marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries are now available on the department’s Medical Marijuana Program website.

Permit applications will be accepted from February 20 to March 20, 2017.

Josh Shapiro Sworn In as sixth elected Attorney General

Josh Shapiro was sworn in Tuesday as Pennsylvania’s 6th elected Attorney General, vowing to ensure integrity, safeguard Pennsylvanians’ rights, health and safety, and tackle the heroin and opioid epidemic in a comprehensive way.

On Thursday, Attorney General Shapiro issued a new Code of Conduct for the OAG, fulfilling a promise he made during the campaign to ensure integrity in the work of his Office.

PA Bulletin: Commission On Sentencing 2017 meeting schedule

The Commission on Sentencing published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin of its 2017 schedule of meetings.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Appointment to Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness

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Michigan statehood, January 26, 1837

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Session schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

The Governor’s budget address is scheduled for February 7.

Senate Committees to hold hearings on proposed closing of two State prisons

The Senate Judiciary and Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a joint hearing January 23 in Harrisburg on the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee has scheduled its own hearing on the impacts of state prison closings for January 17 at the August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave. in Pittsburgh starting at 10:00.

On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that they would close two state prisons in June. Five state prisons are currently under consideration, including SCI Frackville, SCI Mercer, SCI Pittsburgh, SCI Retreat and SCI Waymart.

The Administration is scheduled to make its final decision as to which two prisons will close on January 26.

The goal of the Committees is to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.

The joint committee hearing will be held in Hearing Room No. 1 of the North Office Building starting at 9:30 a.m.

The weeks ahead

January 16– NEW. Martin Luther King Day – State Offices Closed

January 17– NEW. Senate Democratic Policy Committee holds a hearing on the impacts of state prison closings.  August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh.  10:00.

January 23– Senate and House Come Back To Voting Session.

January 23– NEW. Senate Judiciary and Senate Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a hearing on proposed closure of two state prisons.  Hearing Room 1 North Office Building 9:30.  Click Here for more information.

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

February 22– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3 p.m.- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3:30 p.m. Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1 p.m.- State Police/Homeland Security; 3 p.m.- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Judiciary; 1 p.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3 p.m.- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole.

March 8– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

Senate Committee Schedule                     House Committee Schedule

You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.

Department of Health publishes amendments to temporary regulations on medical marijuana

The Department of Health published notices in the January 14 PA Bulletin containing amendments to the temporary regulations related to Growers/Processors and Dispensaries.

Health also gave notice that it has adequate temporary regulations as required by the Medical Marijuana Act.

Information about the program is available at the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana webpage.

Shapiro announces top appointments for Office of Attorney General

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Josh Shapiro

Attorney General-Elect Josh Shapiro Thursday announced a series of appointments to his leadership team as he prepares to be sworn in as Attorney General next week.

Shapiro also named six members of his executive staff on Saturday.

Shapiro named the following persons as Executive Deputy Attorneys General to lead divisions in the Office of Attorney General–

— Jennifer Selber, a career prosecutor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

— Jonathan Scott Goldman, an experienced litigator at the Blank Rome law firm, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division.

— Sara Manzano-Diaz, an attorney with extensive experience and leadership skills in government service, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Public Protection Division.

Shapiro also announced that Abington Township Police Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Kelly will become Senior Agent in Charge overseeing all agents in OAG.

Selber currently serves as chief of the Homicide Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she oversees all homicide investigations and tries cases as well.

Selber successfully prosecuted the killer of Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, and more recently, the contractor responsible for the building collapse on Market Street that left six people dead.

As head of the Criminal Division, Selber will oversee 436 employees and an array of law enforcement actions, including the Attorney General’s efforts to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Pennsylvania.

Goldman is a partner at Blank Rome, where he specializes in commercial litigation and complex commercial disputes. In heading OAG’s Civil Division, Goldman will be responsible for a unit of 104 attorneys that represent the Commonwealth in a variety of complex matters.

The Civil Division represents state agencies, collects delinquent taxes and other debts, and reviews all state contracts and regulations for legality.

Manzano-Diaz brings a wealth of government service and experience to her role leading the Public Protection Division and its 136 employees. Most recently, Manzano-Diaz served as regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region for the U.S. General Services Administration.

Her prior public service includes leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at the Pennsylvania Department of State under Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Manzano-Diaz also served as an assistant attorney general in New York state, prosecuting consumer frauds.

Abington Chief Kelly will serve as Senior Agent in Charge of more than 250 agents in the Office of Attorney General, including agents in the bureaus of criminal investigations, narcotics investigations and special investigations.

Chief Kelly has more than 44 years of law enforcement experience, including 34 years as a police chief in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Shapiro’s appointments follow earlier ones, in which he appointed Michelle Henry as First Deputy Attorney General, the first woman to serve in that role in Pennsylvania history, and Eric Fillman as Chief Integrity Officer, a new position intended to make adherence to ethics and integrity a top priority of the Office.

Shapiro will be sworn in as Attorney General of Pennsylvania January 17th in Harrisburg.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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capitol

February 24 is deadline to comments on proposed changes to Criminal Rules

Proposed amendment to Rules 203 and 513 concerning arrest warrants.  Click for proposed rule.

Proposed amendment to Rule 1006 concerning notice of right to appeal.  Click for proposed rule.

Proposed rescission of Rule 107 and adoption of new Rule 107 concerning subpoenas.  Click for proposed rule.

Session schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

New House Committee chairs

Aging and Older Adult Services

Majority: Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester)

Minority: Rep. Steve Samuelson (D-Lehigh)

Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Majority: Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron)

Minority: Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne) NEW

Appropriations

Majority: Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) NEW

Minority: Rep. Joe Markosek D-Allegheny)

Children and Youth

Majority: Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) NEW

Commerce

Majority: Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler) NEW

Minority: Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D-Philadelphia)

Consumer Affairs

Majority: Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) NEW

Education

Majority: Rep. David Hickernell (R-Lancaster) NEW

Minority: Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia)

Environmental Resources and Energy

Majority: Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny

Minority: Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) NEW

Finance

Majority: Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny)

Game and Fisheries

Majority: Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York)

Minority: Rep. Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria) NEW

Gaming Oversight

Majority: Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks) NEW

Minority: Rep. Patrick Harkins (D-Erie) NEW

Health

Majority: Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford)

Minority: Rep. Florindo (Flo) Fabrizio (D-Erie)

Human Services

Majority: Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks)

Minority: Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Philadelphia)

Insurance

Majority: Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford)

Minority: Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny)

Judiciary

Majority: Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin)

Minority: Rep. Joseph A. Petrarca (D-Westmoreland)

Labor and Industry

Majority: Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) NEW

Minority: Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks) NEW

Liquor Control

Majority: Rep. Adam Harris (R-Juniata)

Minority: Rep. Paul Costa (R-Allegheny)

Local Government

Majority: Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery)

Minority: Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton)

Professional Licensure

Majority: Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) NEW

Minority: Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny)

State Government

Majority: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler)

Minority: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) NEW

Tourism and Recreational Development

Majority: Rep. David Millard (R-Columbia) NEW

Minority: Rep. Mark Longietti (D-Mercer) NEW

Transportation

Majority: Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia)

Minority: Rep. William F. Keller (D-Philadelphia)

Urban Affairs

Majority: Rep. Mark Keller (R-Cumberland) NEW

Minority: Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Philadelphia) NEW

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness

Majority: Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Delaware)

Minority: Rep. Christopher Sainato (D-Lawrence)

House Republican Policy Committee

Chair: Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York)

There appointments are unofficial until announced on the House floor.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopts uniform standards for record requests

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has adopted a new order that, for the first time, establishes uniform standards for all appellate and trial courts in responding to requests from the public for case records.

The policy includes how requests for access are to be handled, establishes a limit on copying fees and delineates what information will be safeguarded.

The policy was initially published in draft form for public comment in 2015, and responses were considered and changes were made. The new policy goes into effect in January 2018, although courts, attorneys and parties may begin preparing for the transition now.

“This new policy simplifies and unifies the process by which the public may access case records in trial and appellate courts statewide, but it does so while safeguarding the privacy and safety of citizens,” said Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Thomas G. Saylor. “It reflects the judiciary’s long commitment to making court records open and accessible to the public.

“The policy is built upon the principle that court records are open for inspection by the public while maintaining appropriate boundaries for the protection of individuals who come into the court system. In the internet age, courts are mindful of the damage that can be caused to citizens by dissemination of highly sensitive, private information that may be found in a court file.”

The policy provides four different ways of safeguarding sensitive information:

1. Certain types of information cannot be included in court filings, but instead must be identified to the court on a separate form, called a Confidential Information Form (CIF), and attached to the filing.

— As an alternative to filing that CIF, a court may require a party to file two versions of every document with the court – both a redacted (without sensitive information) and unredacted version (which includes sensitive information).

— Only the redacted version will be available to the public.

— Social Security numbers are an example of information which falls under this section of the policy.

2. Certain documents must be filed with a Confidential Document Form (CDF).

— Any document filed with this form will not be accessible to the public; however, the CDF or a copy of it will be accessible.

— Financial documents are examples of documents falling under this section of the policy.

3. Certain cases – are not accessible to the public because there is no method to ensure that all of the sensitive information contained in the case file can be redacted before permitting public access.

— This policy adds two types of cases to those already protected under existing legal authority: cases pertaining to birth records and cases filed in incapacity proceedings. However, for these cases, the docket and court orders and opinions or final decrees will remain available for public inspection.

4. Certain information is only accessible at the courthouse and not online

— Family court records, except for dockets, court orders and opinions, are an example of information which falls under this section of the policy.

Parties and their attorneys will be responsible for safeguarding information in the documents they file with the courts. Courts may impose appropriate sanctions upon a party or attorney for failing to comply with the new policy.

The policy is the result of a multi-year review by a group led by co-chairs Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Lois E. Murphy, who were the original visionaries for the project.

The work group included judges, court administrators, appellate court prothonotaries, county filing office personnel, representatives from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Supreme Court’s rules committees and staff of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

The most current public access policy for the state’s magisterial district courts was adopted in 2010. Electronic case records are governed by a separate policy which was effective in January 2007 and updated in 2013.

Each court is required to have a copy of the policy available for public inspection.

Throughout 2017 the AOPC will work with judges, court staff, lawyers’ organizations and others with business before the courts to educate them about the new requirements.

Copies of the Order, Public Access Policy, Limits on Public Access, and Explanatory Report.

From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

January 31 is deadline to apply for Supreme Court boards and committees

Board of Law Examiners.   Click for information.

Disciplinary Board.  Click for information.

Continuing Legal Education Board.  Click for information.

 

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Connecticut statehood January 9

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