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

Bar Lobbyist Tony Crisci today briefed the Legislative Liaison Committee today on developments in Harrisburg.

The General Assembly is likely to be distracted from bills already on the agenda (Marcellus shale, school vouchers, transportation) by reaction to the Penn State scandal. It is likely that new sex offender legislation will be introduced much as legislation to change the statute of limitations was introduced in response to the clerical abuse scandals.

Crisci said that a voter ID bill “is coming.” The Secretary of the Commonwealth is lobbying to get the bill passed before the next elections. There are moves to expand the type of identifications (example expired driver’s license) which would be acceptable.

Next Thursday, there will be public hearings in Philadelphia on two Merit Selection bills (House Bills 1815 and 1816). If passed, the bills would abolish elections for the appellate courts. Bar Chancellor Rudolph Garcia will testify in favor of the concept of the bills, with suggestions for improvements. Both bills are sponsored by Representative Brian Cutler (R-Lancaster).

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