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

PaCapitolPhiladelphia City Council

Councilperson Dennis O’Brien’s package of bills relating to contracts for representation of indigent defendants were postponed for one week due to the snow emergency.  The bills are scheduled to be called for a vote on Thursday.

Click for most recent post on the legislation.

Session Schedule

The House and Senate are conducting budget hearings.  Regular sessions resume on March 10.

Schedule for Budget Hearings

February 19–  Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 1:00- Liquor Control Board. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 20– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:30- Dept. of Corrections/Office of Probation & Parole.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 24– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Dept. of Health/Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs, 11:00- Liquor Control Board, 2:00- Judiciary.  Room 140 Main Capitol.

February 25– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:30- State Police/Homeland Security.  Room 140 Main Capitol.

February 26– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 9:00- State Police/Homeland Security. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

Budget Notes


Zygmont Pines, state court administrator, said the court has saved about $46 million over the last six years through various means, including more effective collections through the Judicial Computer System; $4.5 million by eliminating 18 magisterial district judge seats; and $2 million by not filling staff vacancies.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee were critical of the courts for not posting the salaries of employees on the PennWATCH website.  Pines said the courts were concerned about security of employees in some instances.


Corrections’ Secretary John Wetzel told the House Appropriations Committee lawmakers should be cautious about passing new crime bills because that will make the state’s prison population grow.

Attorney General:  Budget Cuts Weaken Pennsylvania

Corbett Budget Addresses Child Abuse Recommendations

Kane Seeks $12M Boost For AG’s Budget

Kane Looks For More Funding For Street Crimes Unit

PA Prison Population Up Slightly

Prisons Boost Efforts For Mentally Ill


Corrections Department Reports Slowest Growth in Inmate Population Since 1971

Judge: Kids For Cash Case Resulted In Many Changes

PA Courts Only Following Essence Of Law On Transparency

Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest


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