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



Governor Nominates Gary Tennis To New Drug & Alcohol Programs Agency

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday nominated Gary Tennis of Philadelphia to serve as secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, which is being created as a result of a 2010 state law.

Tennis is retired from his previous position as chief of the legislation unit in the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office, where he represented the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association working with the General Assembly.

“Gary Tennis has been a passionate advocate for effective drug and alcohol treatment both within and outside the judicial system,” Corbett said. “I am confident his experience will help guide the delivery of quality, effective drug and alcohol services for Pennsylvanians.”

In addition to more than 25 years of legislative experience, Tennis served as executive director of the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws in 1993. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1975 and was a Rhodes Scholarship nominee. He is also a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Tennis’s first order of business will be to analyze the provision of drug and alcohol services, which are currently provided through several agencies including the state departments of Health and Public Welfare. The goal is to ensure the highest and most effective care for Pennsylvania citizens struggling with addiction.

Tennis has been charged with taking a common-sense approach to streamlining and eliminating duplication of state drug and alcohol treatment and prevention efforts in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs was created under Act 50 of 2010. It will establish a plan for the management and allocation of state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is currently located in the Health and Welfare building. The Department of Health is assisting in the agency’s formation.
—Crisci Associates Pennsylvania Capitol Digest

Legislative Schedule
The House and Senate return to session on February 6. The Governor’s budget address will be February 7.

Bills Moving
Phishing: House Bill 1156 (Neuman-D-Washington) further providing for the offense of phishing was passed by the House on January 23 by a vote of 194-0. Phishing occurs when a scammer uses an email or website disguised as a legitimate business, such as a bank, to dupe the person into revealing his or her account number or personal information with the intent of defrauding the individual. The bill would make it a crime for a person or entity to misrepresent itself as a legitimate business in email or on the Internet in an attempt to solicit private financial or personal information from consumers and steal from the victim. This private information can include a person’s name, birth date, phone number, computer passwords, bank account numbers or other confidential information. Click for summary and fiscal note. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Juvenile Offenders: Senate Bill 818 (Baker-R-Luzerne) providing for the disposition of juvenile offenders information, registration of sexual offenders and making other changes was reported out of the House Rules Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action. Click for summary and fiscal note.

House Judiciary Committee Meets in Philadelphia on March 1 on Merit Selection Bills
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill 1815 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) providing for the merit selection of justices for Superior and Commonwealth Courts, House Bill 1816 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) establishing the Appellate Court Nominating Commission. Perelman Quadrangle Cafe 58 First Floor, Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St., Philadelphia. 1:30 p.m.

The Free Student Research Center is now OPEN. It will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9AM to 3PM. The Free Student Research Center is available for use by attorneys who are current members of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section and who are court-appointed to the case for which they seek research (either state or CJA!).

The Free Student Research Center is located in the Jack Myers Memorial Lounge on the Third Floor of the CJC. You may make a research request in person or via the Criminal Justice Section website at http://www.philadelphiabar.org/page/CJResearch

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