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

The General Assembly is in recess for the November 6 election.  Both houses agreed not to conduct a lame duck session after the election.  Therefore any bill not already passed by both houses is dead.  The Senate will be in session on November 14 for leadership elections.  The House will be in session on November 13 and 14.  Much of these sessions will involve housekeeping details and farewell speeches by retiring legislators.

Bills signed by Governor

Alcohol Penalties: Senate Bill 941 (Corman-R- Centre) further providing for public drunkenness.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 205.

Small Games: Senate Bill 444 (Earll-R-Erie) further amending Small Games of Chance authorizing sports game raffles.  The bill was signed into law as Act 184.

Aggravated Assault: House Bill 1417 (Staback-D- Schuylkill) further providing for the offense of aggravated assault on Game and Fish and Boat Commission officers.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 150.

Street Gangs: House Bill 1121 (Reichley-R-Berks) further providing for the offense of recruiting criminal gang members.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 200.

Corrections Reform: House Bill 135 (Sabatina-D-Philadelphia) corrections reforms Part 2.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 196.  This bill is the second phase of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative that will redirect funds from corrections to communities.

In January, Governor Corbett established a working group, including cabinet members, lawmakers from all four legislative caucuses and local criminal justice leaders. With support from the Council of State Governments, the Pew Center on the States and the Department of Justice, the group studied Pennsylvania’s current judicial system and recommended ways to make it more efficient and effective.

Once implemented, funds generated from savings in the state prison system can then be redirected back to local communities to be used for law enforcement, probation, parole and victims’ services.

Juvenile Mandatory Sentencing/Sexting/Cyberbullying: Senate Bill 850 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) providing for the offense of cyberbullying and sexting by minors.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 204.  Bill 850 has provisions on expungement of juvenile criminal records.  House Bill 75 signed into law as Act 91 on July 5, 2012, excluded juvenile adjudications for sex crimes similar to rape from eligibility for expungement.  I thank Scott Sigman, Esquire for pointing out the expungement legislation.

Sexting: House Bill 815 (Grove-R-York) further providing penalties for sexting by minors.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.    The bill was signed into law as Act 198.

NewsClips: Legislature Passes Juvenile Sexting Bill

Op-Ed: Sexting Bill Victimizes PA Teens

Editorial: Better Law On Sexting

Criminal History: House Bill 2407 (Hackett-R-Delaware) further providing for criminal history review under the Older Adults Protective Services Act.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 175.

Wiretap Reform: House Bill 2400 (Marsico-R- Dauphin) wiretap reform.   A summary and Senate Fiscal Noteare available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 202.

International Jurisdiction: Senate Bill 79 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) making changes to the basis of jurisdiction and interstate and international procedure..  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.   The bill was signed into law as Act 183.

Firearms: House Bill 898 (Toepel-R-Montgomery) further providing for the sale or transfer of firearms.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 199.

NewsClip: Editorial: PA Must Crack Down On Straw Gun Purchases

Human Trafficking: House Bill 235 (Clymer-R- Bucks) providing for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.  The bill was signed into law as Act 197.

NewsClips:

Justice Reinvestment, Prison Reform Becomes Law

Corbett Signs Juvenile Murder Sentence Legislation

Corbett Signs Law to Cut Prison Population

You may make a research request in person or via the Criminal Justice Section website by clicking here.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.

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