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

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Session schedule

Senate

January 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

February 1, 6, 7, 8

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

January 23, 24, & 25.

February 6, 7, & 8.

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

The Governor’s budget address is scheduled for February 7.

Senate Committees to hold hearings on proposed closing of two State prisons

The Senate Judiciary and Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a joint hearing January 23 in Harrisburg on the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee has scheduled its own hearing on the impacts of state prison closings for January 17 at the August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave. in Pittsburgh starting at 10:00.

On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that they would close two state prisons in June. Five state prisons are currently under consideration, including SCI Frackville, SCI Mercer, SCI Pittsburgh, SCI Retreat and SCI Waymart.

The Administration is scheduled to make its final decision as to which two prisons will close on January 26.

The goal of the Committees is to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.

The joint committee hearing will be held in Hearing Room No. 1 of the North Office Building starting at 9:30 a.m.

The weeks ahead

January 16– NEW. Martin Luther King Day – State Offices Closed

January 17– NEW. Senate Democratic Policy Committee holds a hearing on the impacts of state prison closings.  August Wilson Center, Highmark Room, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh.  10:00.

January 23– Senate and House Come Back To Voting Session.

January 23– NEW. Senate Judiciary and Senate Republican and Democratic Policy Committees will hold a hearing on proposed closure of two state prisons.  Hearing Room 1 North Office Building 9:30.  Click Here for more information.

February 7– Gov. Wolf Presents His FY 2017-18 Budget Proposal.

February 22– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3 p.m.- Attorney General. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 23– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  3:30 p.m. Attorney General.  Room 140.

February 23– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1 p.m.- State Police/Homeland Security; 3 p.m.- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 28– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Judiciary; 1 p.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3 p.m.- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

February 28– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 3 p.m.- Judiciary. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 2– NEW. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole.

March 8– NEW. House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

Senate Committee Schedule                     House Committee Schedule

You can watch the Senate Floor Session and House Floor Session live online.

Department of Health publishes amendments to temporary regulations on medical marijuana

The Department of Health published notices in the January 14 PA Bulletin containing amendments to the temporary regulations related to Growers/Processors and Dispensaries.

Health also gave notice that it has adequate temporary regulations as required by the Medical Marijuana Act.

Information about the program is available at the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana webpage.

Shapiro announces top appointments for Office of Attorney General

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Josh Shapiro

Attorney General-Elect Josh Shapiro Thursday announced a series of appointments to his leadership team as he prepares to be sworn in as Attorney General next week.

Shapiro also named six members of his executive staff on Saturday.

Shapiro named the following persons as Executive Deputy Attorneys General to lead divisions in the Office of Attorney General–

— Jennifer Selber, a career prosecutor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

— Jonathan Scott Goldman, an experienced litigator at the Blank Rome law firm, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division.

— Sara Manzano-Diaz, an attorney with extensive experience and leadership skills in government service, has been appointed Executive Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Public Protection Division.

Shapiro also announced that Abington Township Police Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Kelly will become Senior Agent in Charge overseeing all agents in OAG.

Selber currently serves as chief of the Homicide Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she oversees all homicide investigations and tries cases as well.

Selber successfully prosecuted the killer of Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, and more recently, the contractor responsible for the building collapse on Market Street that left six people dead.

As head of the Criminal Division, Selber will oversee 436 employees and an array of law enforcement actions, including the Attorney General’s efforts to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Pennsylvania.

Goldman is a partner at Blank Rome, where he specializes in commercial litigation and complex commercial disputes. In heading OAG’s Civil Division, Goldman will be responsible for a unit of 104 attorneys that represent the Commonwealth in a variety of complex matters.

The Civil Division represents state agencies, collects delinquent taxes and other debts, and reviews all state contracts and regulations for legality.

Manzano-Diaz brings a wealth of government service and experience to her role leading the Public Protection Division and its 136 employees. Most recently, Manzano-Diaz served as regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region for the U.S. General Services Administration.

Her prior public service includes leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at the Pennsylvania Department of State under Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Manzano-Diaz also served as an assistant attorney general in New York state, prosecuting consumer frauds.

Abington Chief Kelly will serve as Senior Agent in Charge of more than 250 agents in the Office of Attorney General, including agents in the bureaus of criminal investigations, narcotics investigations and special investigations.

Chief Kelly has more than 44 years of law enforcement experience, including 34 years as a police chief in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Shapiro’s appointments follow earlier ones, in which he appointed Michelle Henry as First Deputy Attorney General, the first woman to serve in that role in Pennsylvania history, and Eric Fillman as Chief Integrity Officer, a new position intended to make adherence to ethics and integrity a top priority of the Office.

Shapiro will be sworn in as Attorney General of Pennsylvania January 17th in Harrisburg.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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