After committee vote, lawmakers now forced to pick path forward on reforming judicial elections

After committee vote, lawmakers now forced to pick path forward on reforming judicial elections

Lawmakers are at odds over the best path to reforming judicial elections, even as they voted to move two competing bills out of committee Tuesday.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the two bills, one authored by Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin), the other by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon). 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
State Police defend interactions with federal immigration authorities at House hearing

State Police defend interactions with federal immigration authorities at House hearing

Pennsylvania State Police leadership defended a new policy limiting how they can interact with federal immigration authorities before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday in response to concerns from both conservative lawmakers and civil liberties groups.

Starting in January, PSP policy bars troopers from stopping residents for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status. It also prohibits detaining people based on non-binding administrative warrants issued by federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
With hearings to come, lawmakers stake out priorities on criminal justice reform

With hearings to come, lawmakers stake out priorities on criminal justice reform

Legislators have made clear their intentions to continue efforts to trim Pennsylvania’s prison population, pointing to cost savings and the need to make the state’s criminal justice system more equitable.

But despite several major criminal justice reform measures already being introduced, the General Assembly is still in the early stages of charting its course forward on the matter. While none of the bills have gotten hearings as of yet, lawmakers have their sights set on altering the state’s probation system, moving away from cash bail and updating a major criminal justice law already on the books.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
House Committee approves controversial response to SCOTUS' Janus decision

House Committee approves controversial response to SCOTUS' Janus decision

Public sector employees would receive more information about their rights pertaining to union membership following a landmark Supreme Court decision, under a controversial bill advanced by a House committee Monday.

The measure, authored by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York), would require public sector employees be regularly notified that they are not compelled to pay union dues. 

Monday, March 18, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Despite questions over a lack of hearing, House Judiciary approves Marsy's Law

Despite questions over a lack of hearing, House Judiciary approves Marsy's Law

The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the rights of crime victims in the state’s constitution, despite objections from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and at least four committee members.

The amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, has been enacted in at least six other states. The Pennsylvania version, authored by Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) would ensure victims have the right to be notified about court proceedings, be present at hearings and speak at plea and sentencing proceedings, among other rights.
Thursday, February 21, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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