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


Supreme Court seeks applicants for committees.  First vacancies to be posted online on October 3.

Click for news release.

The items below are from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest.

Governor calls for “joint” (not special) session of General Assembly to address opioid heroin crisis

Governor Wolf Friday “respectfully requested” a Joint Session of the General Assembly (not a Special Session) on the opioid and heroin crisis at a time that is convenient for the House and Senate this Fall.

After extensive conversations throughout the summer, Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders decided that the most timely and efficient way to make progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic would be to call a Joint Session, rather than a special session as previously discussed.

A special session would require bills to be reintroduced with co-sponsor memos to be circulated, and each new bill would take a minimum of six legislative days to reach the Governor’s desk.

For more information, read “Why Gov. Tom Wolf Called a Joint Session to Address the Opioid Epidemic.”

Together with the legislature, Governor Wolf said his Administration has made great strides in battling this epidemic. The 2016-2017 budget provided funding to implement 45 centers of excellence (COE) throughout the commonwealth that will treat nearly 11,000 people with substance use disorder.

These centers will work with those suffering from the disease of addiction to make sure they get the comprehensive, holistic treatment they need to beat their disease.

Last month, the Department of Health went live with the newly re-designed Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that will allow prescribers and dispensers to query and report information regarding the number of opioids prescribed, and to whom.

The Administration also recently announced new prescribing guidelines for the safe and effective use of opioids in order to reduce the pattern of over-prescribing painkillers that have a high risk for abuse. These guidelines will help fight back against opioid abuse and heroin use before those habits even begin.

Under the Department of Drug and Alcohol Program’s leadership, Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program is helping communities properly dispose of unused and unwanted prescriptions.

To date, there are nearly 520 take-back boxes located at police stations across Pennsylvania. Since 2015, more than 145,000 pounds of prescription drugs were taken back and destroyed.

Substance use disorder affects people all across the commonwealth and that is why the search for effective solutions enjoys broad bipartisan support. Together with the legislature, Gov. Wolf said his Administration will continue to fight to make sure Pennsylvanians have the resources we need to get our arms around this crisis.

Legislative support grows for limiting opioid use

Click for report from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Judicial retirement question to be on November ballot

Click for report from philly.com

Session schedule


September 26, 27, 28

October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

November 16


September 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28

October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

November 14, 15

Public hearing

September 20– House Judiciary Committee meets to consider House Bill 2258 (M.Keller-R-Cumberland) state preemption of local firearms ordinances (sponsor summary), Room 140, 10 a.m.


Happy Autumn


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