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

PaCapitol

Session Schedule

The State budget must be approved by June 30.  A version has been passed by the House.

The House and Senate have scheduled sessions days for Monday through Friday, with the Senate listing Saturday and Sunday as possible session days.

Judicial Retirement

Though the State Supreme Court rejected two law suits brought by Judges seeking to overturn the mandatory retirement age of 70, they still have hope.  House Bill 79 (Harper-R-Montgomery), which would amend the Constitution to raise the mandatory retirement age to 75, is on the House voting calendar this week.

Mandatory Pro Bono

House Resolution 107 (Dean-D-Montgomery) calling upon the Supreme Court to require 50 hours of mandatory pro bono legal services as a condition to being admitted to the Bar is on the House voting calendar this week.  Click for memo.

Traffic Court 

The Governor signed two bills to abolish the Philadelphia Traffic Court.  Senate Bill 334 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) folded Traffic Court into a new Traffic Division of the Philadelphia Municipal Court.  This bill is effective immediately.  Senate Bill 333 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) would amend the Constitution to abolish Traffic Court.  The bill must be passed by the next General Assembly and approved by the voters in a referendum.

Criminal Laboratory Fees

The House passed House Bill 1274 (Farry-R-Bucks) concerning criminal laboratory fees.  The bill was sent to the Senate.  Click for House fiscal note.

Child Protective Services

Click for memo on child protection package.

The House passed  House Bill 430 (Watson-R-Bucks) further providing for child protective services registration, education and training.  Click for summary and  House Fiscal Note.  The House also passed House Bill 433 (Aument-R-Lancaster) further providing for child protection in disposition of founded and indicated reports.  Click for summary and House Fiscal Note.  The bills now go to the Senate for action.

Three additional bills were approved by the House Judiciary Committee and sent to the House Appropriations Committee.  House Bill 435 (Moul-R-Adams) further proves for child protection for prospective child-care personnel, family-care homes and other circumstances.  House Bill 436 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) further provides for reporting child abuse.  House Bill 726 (Petri-R-Bucks) further provides for founded and indicated reports involving child abuse.  Click for memo on defining child abuse.  The House Appropriations Committee will consider these bills on Monday.

DNA Samples

The Senate passed Senate Bill 150 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) modernizing the collection of DNA samples was amended on the Senate Floor and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

The legislation will:

— Require post-arrest DNA samples from those arrested for serious offenses;

— Explicitly prohibit DNA samples from being used for anything other than legitimate law enforcement identification purposes;

— Establish an expungement process for the DNA records of exonerated individuals;

— Codify accreditation requirements for forensic DNA testing laboratories;

— Require continuing education for forensic DNA testing personnel; and

— Authorize the state police to use modified DNA searches to help investigators identify unknown DNA profiles taken at crime scenes.

Contraband

Senate Bill 305 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) providing for uniform procedures for the disposition of contraband seized from a probationer or parolee passed the Senate was was sent to the House.  Click for summary and Senate fiscal note.

Expungements

Senate Bill 391 (Solobay-D- Washington) further providing for the expungement of some misdemeanors was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Click for summary and Senate fiscal note.  The bill is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Supreme Court 

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets Thursday to consider the nomination of the Honorable Correale Stevens to a vacancy on the Supreme Court.  He is the President Judge of the Superior Court.

 

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