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.

Criminal justice

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.

We can:

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

Sabatina: Marsy’s Law Passes Senate

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....

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Sabatina: Karen’s Law Passes the Senate

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...

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Dinniman, Fellow Senators Introduce TRU Bill

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...

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Sabatina: Marsy’s Law & Karen’s Law Head to Full Senate

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...

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