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Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Public Policy Action

Pending Legislation

PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATION

SB 449 (Bartolotta-R) This legislation clarifies that Magisterial District Judges may, in cases of domestic violence, use a risk assessment tool to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when determining bail. Passed out of the Senate by a vote of 49-0. Currently awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. NEUTRAL

SB 500 (Vulakovich-R) Provides for a law enforcement official to accompany a victim to their residence before or during the service of a PFA. This bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SUPPORT

SB 501 (Killion-R) SB 501 would (1) require that a defendant relinquish all firearms, other weapons and ammunition upon entry of a Final Protection From Abuse Order; (2) eliminates the third party safe-keeping provision for firearms currently described in Pennsylvania’s PFA Act; and (3) require that a defendant convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence turn in their firearms to law enforcement within 24 hours of their conviction. A hearing on this bill is expected in the Fall. SUPPORT

SB 502 (McGarrigle-R) Allows judges the ability to extend the terms of a Protection From Abuse order or create an entirely new one if the order is set to expire or has expired while the defendant is incarcerated. The plaintiff would not be required to show that the defendant engaged in a new act of domestic violence that indicates a continued risk of harm to the plaintiff. This bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENTS

SB 6 (Regan-R) Senate Bill 6 would prohibit any individual with a drug conviction on their record the ability to receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits for a period of up to 10 years. Passed out of the Senate by a vote of 40-9. Awaiting a hearing in the House Health Committee. OPPOSE

HB 175 (Klunk-R) This bill would mandate that every police officer, state trooper and sheriff complete Lethality Assessment training. While PCADV supports statewide implementation of the evidence-based Lethality Assessment Program, we do not support mandating the training. In fact, the national model emphasizes developing collaborations between victim service agencies and police in order to maximize victim safety. This bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. OPPOSE

Budget Brief:
While the General Assembly passed a $32 billion budget earlier this summer, they have not been successful in passing a spending plan to support it. There is currently a projected $2.2 billion gap and a number of proposals are being considered in the two chambers to address it. House Republicans have been meeting over the past several weeks and are rumored to be considering a plan that would pull money from special reserve funds in order to balance the budget. Just yesterday it was announced that Rep. Kate Harper’s severance tax bill, creating a new tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, would be heard in the House when the legislature returns from break on September 11. Meanwhile, Governor Wolf has indicated that September 15 is the day on which he will start freezing some spending. Stay tuned!


PCADV’s Goals – Funding for Victims


At the federal level, PCADV’s primary legislative goals are to:
  • Fully fund the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
  • Reauthorize and fully fund the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Protect and increase the cap on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
Visit our Funding page for more information about these vital programs.

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