5 bills to watch for the week of December 16

5 bills to watch for the week of December 16

We get it, session weeks are busy. That’s why we put together a list of the bills being discussed in committee and on the floor of the General Assembly that are worth devoting your precious time to tracking. From a convention of states to a controversial judicial nominee, here are five bills to watch for the week of December 16.
Friday, December 13, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Despite push from Republican lawmakers, Wolf vetoes Down syndrome abortion ban

Despite push from Republican lawmakers, Wolf vetoes Down syndrome abortion ban

Despite approval from a Republican-controlled legislature, Pennsylvania’s top executive has vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions based on a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.


The Senate approved House Bill 321 mostly along party lines Wednesday as Republican lawmakers looked to add a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis to the list of reasons women may not receive an abortion in Pennsylvania. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Dems, faith leaders push for tougher hate crime penalties

Dems, faith leaders push for tougher hate crime penalties

A bevy of lawmakers and faith leaders from across the commonwealth unveiled Wednesday a package of bills to better address hate crimes, coming less than a week after the anniversary of the Tree of Life shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Led by Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), whose district includes the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the Tree of Life shooting took place, the bills would give the state attorney general concurrent jurisdiction in hate crimes, expand legally protected groups and give law enforcement and educational institutions more resources to combat incidents of hate and bias.
Thursday, October 31, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Legislators weigh action on statute of limitations reform in Senate hearing

Legislators weigh action on statute of limitations reform in Senate hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee convened Wednesday the first hearing in years to examine the state’s statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue the institutions which shielded their abusers, although it is unclear whether the meeting signals a sea change within the chamber.

The hearing comes as new Senate Judiciary chair Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Monroe) says she is exploring action on the matter. Victim advocates praised the fact that multiple panels of sexual abuse survivors were featured but it remains to be seen whether their advocacy will push the Senate to take action after the House passed a two-bill package in the spring.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Senate sends $33.9 billion spending plan to Wolf's desk; code bills to follow

Senate sends $33.9 billion spending plan to Wolf's desk; code bills to follow

The Senate approved the $33.99 billion General Appropriations bill Thursday, sending it to Gov. Tom Wolf and paving the way for the completion of an on-time budget—often times a rarity in Harrisburg.

Eight Democrats voted against the spending plan, citing reasons ranging from defunding General Assistance, to funding cuts for conservation programs. Republicans cheered its investment in workforce development programs and its healthy deposit in the Rainy Day Fund.

Thursday, June 27, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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