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

PaCapitolSession schedule

The House and Senate meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  The House and Senate will meet the following week, then adjourn for the May 20 primary election.  The General Assembly will return to session on June 2.

Public hearings

April 29– House Judiciary Committee meets to consider House Bill 1537 (Harper-R- Montgomery) providing for the offense of a vehicle with false compartments– sponsor summary.

House Bill 2107 (Murt-R-Adams) further providing for the offense of dissemination of intimate images– sponsor summary.

April 29– Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Senate Bill 1215 (White-R- Indiana) transferring Clerks of Court and Prothonotaries to the Judicial System– sponsor summary.

May 5– House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on a presentation on the Restitution Task Force.

Source—Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

Legislative alert

Charlie Klitsch of the Bar Association staff has sent the following alert to the Legislative Liaison Committee:

Click for SB 76, PN 673 

The legislative tracking report distributed yesterday afternoon inadvertently left out an important bill that the Philadelphia Bar Association is closely monitoring.  The bill is SB 76 – a “tax reform” bill that would eliminate all school property taxes in Pennsylvania, increase the state personal income tax and extend the sales tax to transactions not currently taxed – including most legal services.  SB 76 exempts from the sales tax certain Business to Business legal transactions that are poorly defined, criminal representation and certain family law matters.  All other legal services would be taxed.

SB 76 is being pushed by certain Tea Party interests and the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.  The realtors somehow believe that if property taxes were eliminated, sales of residential property would increase. Of course, revenue from the proposed new taxes will not come anywhere close to adequately funding schools in Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Bar Association is on record opposed to SB 76 and we are part of a coalition working in Harrisburg to let legislators know loud and clear that we oppose this legislation.  Tony Crisci has been working on this issue for some time and is keeping us informed of any new developments.

The prime sponsor of the bill, David Argall, R-Schuylkill, refers to the bill as the Property Tax Independence Act.  The short title of the bill is as follows:

An Act providing for tax levies and information related to taxes; authorizing the imposition of a personal income tax or an earned income tax by a school district subject to voter approval; providing for imposition of and exclusions from a sales and use tax for the stabilization of education funding, for increase to the personal income tax, for certain licenses, for hotel occupancy tax, for procedure and administration of the tax, for expiration of authority to issue certain debt and for reporting by local government units of debt outstanding; establishing the Education Stabilization Fund; providing for disbursements from this fund; and repealing certain provisions of the Public School Code of 1949 and sales and use tax provisions of the Tax Reform Code of 1971.

The bill is currently before the Senate Finance Committee and a committee hearing on the bill is set for Wednesday, April 30 at 9:30 am in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing

The Commission on Sentencing published notice of its upcoming meetings in the April 26 PA Bulletin.

Source—Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

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