Judiciary Committee 2017-2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, and reported the following bills from committee:

As Committed:

SB 196 (Hughes): This bill amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to allow a judge to require a defendant to wear an electronic monitoring device (EMD) in cases of protection from abuse (PFA) orders. The bill was unanimously adopted.

SB 500 (Vulakovich): This bill amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to require the police, sheriff or any other individual approved by the court to accompany a plaintiff issuing a protection from abuse (PFA) order during service of the petition and orders.  The bill was unanimously adopted.

As Amended:

SB 313 (Boscola): This legislation amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to provide for victims of domestic violence in situations where altering a shared telephone contract plan is needed due to sharing a contract with an individual in which a victim has a protection from abuse (PFA) order against.  Senator Boscola offered Amendment A04723, which removed the requirement that a defendant has would have to remove the plaintiff from their wireless plan and pay any associated fees.  The bill also removed definitions and proof of abuse needing to be provided to a wireless provider.  The amendment was approved by a vote of 14-1 and the bill as amended was unanimously adopted.


The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday, October 3, 2017 and reported the following bills from committee:

As Committed:

Senate Bill 499 (Gordner) – Amends Title 61 (Prisons and Parole), related to the frequency and location of prison inspection board meetings in counties of the eighth class.

Senate Bill 844 (White) – Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relation) related to standing for individuals to file an action for any form of physical or legal custody of a child

House Bill 352 (Culver) – Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) related to acquiring title to real property through adverse possession

As Amended

House Bill 203 (Longetti) – Amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) to provide for wage, salary or employee benefit payments to an employee who is deceased

House Bill 1139 (Topper) – Amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 23 (Domestic Relations), related to the existing Newborn Protection Act

The Senate Judiciary Committee met on September 19, 2017, and took the following action:

As Committed:

SB 827 (Killion) – This bill amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries), by adding a new Chapter 39 to provide for access by agents and other fiduciaries to digital assets of a decedent. This bill was reported unanimously.

SB 854 (Greenleaf) – This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to remove the offense of interference with custody of children from the Tier 1 sexual offenses for which an offender must register with the Pennsylvania State Police. This bill was reported unanimously.

HB 561 (Saccone) – This legislation amends the Crimes Code by repealing the sunset provision in Section 5743.1 (f) (Expiration), relating to the issuance of administrative subpoenas in an investigation involving child sexual exploitation or abuse. This bill was reported unanimously.

Reported As Amended:

SB 742 (Greenleaf) – This bill amends the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act to provide sexual assault victims with the right to a forensic examination and information relating to the examination. This bill was reported unanimously.

SB 790 (Hughes) – This bill amends the Fiscal Code to establish the First Chance Trust Fund for at-risk youth. The amendments created a preamble for the legislation, as well as eliminated any government entity for a funding source for this program. This bill was reported from committee with a vote of 12-1.

SB 883 (Greenleaf and Leach) – This legislation amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to provide for automatic expungement of offenses for which a pardon is granted. The amendment requires the pardon must be unconditional. This bill was reported unanimously.


Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday, March 28, 2017 and reported the following bills from committee, unanimously:

As Amended
Senate Bill 554 (Greenleaf and Leach): Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to create a “safe harbor” policy for sexually exploited children.

Senate Bill 560 (Greenleaf): Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) establishing procedures for gaining access to recordings made by law enforcement officers and describing what and when recording devices may be used.

As Committed
Senate Bill 108 (Sabatina): Amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) as it relates to anatomical gifts.

Senate Resolution 32 (Farnese): Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to study the use of Youth Courts in Pennsylvania.

Senate Resolution 35 (Rafferty): Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an animal abuse prevention task force.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday, March 21, 2017 and reported the following bills from committee:

As Amended

Senate Bill 222 (Greenleaf): The bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) in organization and jurisdiction of courts of common pleas, further providing for courts of common pleas.

Senate Bill 523 (Greenleaf): This bill amends The Crime Victims Act to make technical changes related to the consolidation of the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole into a single agency called the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

As Committed

Senate Bill 95 (Farnese): This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary & Judicial Procedure) providing for immunity for constitutionally protected communications.

Senate Bill 260 (Ward): This bill amends the Crime Victims Act to add members to the Victim Services’ Advisory Committee and make technical changes.

Senate Bill 298 (Alloway): This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to change the standard for cruelty to animals and to create the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Senate Bill 421 (Argall): This bill amends Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) to address the compensation of management employees of the Department of Corrections.

Senate Bill 522 (Greenleaf): This bill amends Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) to consolidate the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole into a single agency called the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee met Monday, February 6, 2017 and reported the following bill from committee:

As Committed
Senate Bill 3 (Brooks): decreases the gestational age at which an abortion can be performed from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It also allows for a physician who violates this prohibition to be guilty of a felony of the third degree. Sen. Farnese made a motion to table, which failed along party lines. The bill was then approved, 10-5, along party lines.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday, January 31, 2017 and reported the following bills from committee:

As Committed
Senate Bill 176 (Reschenthaler)
: Amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 23 (Domestic Relations) to require reporting of suspected child abuse by humane society police officers and suspected animal abuse by social service workers.

Senate Bill 221 (Greenleaf): Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to add the offense of selling or furnishing dextromethorphan to minors

As Amended
Senate Bill 8 (Folmer)
: Sets up a process through which the property of an individual convicted of certain crimes may be forfeited if it was derived from proceeds obtained directly from the commission of the offense for which they were convicted, was used or intended to be used to commit or facilitate the commission of the offense, or bears a significant relationship to the offense.

Senate Bill 146 (Boscola): Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) by allowing the Department of Revenue to intercept an individual’s State Lottery winnings if that person is determined to owe any court-ordered obligation.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee met Monday, January 30, 2017 off the floor and reported the following bill from committee:

As Committed
Senate Bill 261 (Scarnati)
: Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) related to the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. The bill creates an exception for the sovereign immunity law for childhood sexual assault actions or omissions that constitute simple negligence.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday, January 24, 2017 and reported the following bills from committee:

As Committed

Senate Bill 42 (Williams): Stolen Valor Legislation
Senate Bill 59 (Greenleaf): Establishes the Prison Industry Enhancement Authority
Senate Bill 62 (Greenleaf): Provides for children of incarcerated parents and services available to them.

As Amended
Senate Bill 60 (Greenleaf): Provides for dealer’s retention of precious metal for inspection to make sure item was not stolen.
Senate Bill 69 (Eichelberger): Cordelia’s Law, provides for the offense of cruelty to animals and providing for the Humane Society Police Officer Advisory Board.