Social & Criminal Justice Reform
Pennsylvania can be a wonderful place to work and live, to raise a family, to go to school, to start a business. We must ensure that those opportunities are available to all our residents, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or creed.
This means preserving women’s rights, making sure their access to health care is protected, that they receive the same pay for the same work, and that they are free from sexual harassment in the workplace.
We need to protect the rights of our LGBT citizens as well. Right now, we have no statewide, nondiscrimination laws that prohibit discrimination in housing or employment based on sexual orientation or gender. Many of our neighboring states do, and it’s time we join them in making everyone feel comfortable and welcome in this commonwealth.
Re-entering a community after serving time in prison can be difficult, and it’s one of the factors that leads to higher rates of recidivism.
Create programs to ease the re-entry process can be enormously helpful in getting a person back on their feet
Reform the expungement process, so that minor offenses can be wiped from a person’s record and they don’t spend the rest of their lives paying for a single mistake.
"Ban the Box,” a provision that prohibits employers from asking job applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime in the first round of their screening process. Too often, checking “Yes” in that box will automatically disqualify an applicant.
Eliminate incarceration for someone who fails to pay their cash bail. Paying a cash bail is simply not possible for some people, and locking them up for failing to pay that is a policy that punishes them again for not having means.
Our Members at Work
HARRISBURG - June 19, 2019 - Senator John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) was pleased to see Marsy’s Law pass unanimously in the Senate today by a vote of 50-0. The version that passed the Senate is State Rep. Delozier’s companion bill, HB 276, which is identical to Sen....read more
HARRISBURG - June 19, 2019 - Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) is elated that his legislation Senate Bill 123, also known as Karen’s Law, was passed unanimously (50-0) by the Senate and is one major step closer to becoming a law in Pennsylvania. “It’s been well...read more
HARRISBURG - June 3, 2019 – State Senator Andy Dinniman and fellow senators announced new legislation to address security needs and confront violence against faith-based organizations and those with diverse members. Dinniman was joined by state Senators Jay...read more
PHILADELPHIA - May, 16, 2019 - Senator Anthony H. Williams will attend one of the final stops of Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s listening tour on the legalization of marijuana this weekend in Philadelphia. “I’m looking forward to providing constituents of the...read more
HARRISBURG – April 30, 2019 – Today, Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks, Chester, Montgomery), and Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) were joined by advocates as they called for ending the death penalty in Pennsylvania. The lawmakers are...read more
HARRISBURG - April 29, 2019 - On Tuesday, April 30, Senators Katie Muth (D-Berks, Chester, Montgomery) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) will join Representatives Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) and Francis Ryan (R-Lebanon) to advocate for the repeal of the death penalty...read more
HARRISBURG -- April 10, 2019 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D- Philadelphia) today said he strongly supports legislation unveiled by Senate Democrats that would eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual offenses and allow victims to sue their abusers for damages. ...read more
HARRISBURG - April 10, 2019 --- Today, members of the Senate Democratic Caucus introduced legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual offenses and open a window for civil liability. The legislation was introduced as Senate Bill 540. “I...read more
HARRISBURG – April 9, 2019 – State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) and State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) joined Villanova University’s Film Department, John Pace, and Tyrone Werts for a press conference and screening of The Mayor of...read more
Senators Haywood and Street to Host Press Conference and Film Screening on Life Without Parole in PA
HARRISBURG – April 8, 2019 – Tomorrow, State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) and State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) will join Villanova University’s Film Department, John Pace, and Tyrone Werts for a press conference and screening of The...read more
HARRISBURG - April 8, 2019 - Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus will introduce legislation to abolish the statute of limitations for a list of sexual offenses, regardless of whether the victim was a child or adult when the crime occurred. They...read more
Sens. Hughes, Haywood, Williams, and Street Make Call to Address Poverty and Economic Insecurity in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
PHILADELPHIA – April 4, 2019 – Senators Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia), Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), and Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny) stood with local activists and advocates to announce the Senate Democrats...read more
HARRISBURG - March 27, 2019 – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved both Marsy’s Law (SB149) and Karen’s Law (SB123), Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) announced. Both bills passed unanimously, 12-0. They now head to the full senate for consideration. “Both of...read more
Leach and Street Bill Will Legalize Cannabis for Adult-Use in PA; Proposed Model Emphasizes Minority Ownership and Criminal Justice Reform
HARRISBURG - March 18, 2019 – State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) today announced legislation that would end Pennsylvania’s prohibition of cannabis and would ultimately legalize cannabis for adult-use in...read more
Senators Anthony H. Williams and Camera Bartolotta Unveil Probation Reform Legislation with Broad, Bipartisan Support
HARRISBURG − January 28, 2019 − On Monday afternoon, Senators Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) and Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver, Greene and Washington) hosted a press conference to introduce Senate Bill 14, comprehensive probation reform legislation. They were...read more
Senators Haywood and Hughes Host Fair Housing Community Roundtable to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
Philadelphia, December 12, 2018 - Today, State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined State Senator Vincent Hughes (D- Montgomery/Philadelphia), activists, advocates, and community organizations for a roundtable discussion on the Fair Housing Act...read more
HARRISBURG, November 16, 2018 — Sen. Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) released the following statement in connection with the passage of HB2060 that disarms Protection from Abuse (PFA) violators. “I want to congratulate the advocates, legislators, and...read more
COATESVILLE, October 11, 2018 – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently joined officials from local and state police departments to recognize National Juvenile Justice Week. “Juvenile justice providers fulfill a vital mission in holding involved youth...read more
HARRISBURG, October 3, 2018 – Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) is pleased that his legislation Senate Bill 1023, also known as Karen’s Law, was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The legislation passed with a 14-0-1 vote. “Karen’s Law has been a...read more
Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Pittsburgh) release the following statement on HB2060: Today is an historic day. We have finally passed substantive legislation to protect the victims of domestic violence, and it goes to Governor Wolf for his signature. HB 2060...read more