Legislation that did not pass the General Assembly
2013 - 2014
Safe and Affordable Housing
House Bill 1218 – Representative Stanley Saylor (R-York)
PCADV Position: Support
In May of 2014, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1218 sponsored by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) after adopting an amendment that outlines tenants' rights in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. PCADV urged the House to make safety for victims of domestic violence and their children a top priority by allowing for early lease termination when they are fleeing an abuser.
HB 1218 balances the needs of victims and landlords by allowing victims to avoid the costs of terminating a lease as long as they give their landlord 30-days’ written notice. The bill also requires a landlord to change the locks on the home at the request of a tenant who is a victim.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill now waits for consideration in the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.
Senate Bill 1380 – Senator Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-Beaver)
PCADV Position: Support
PCADV supports the “Fund the Fund Campaign” charged with the task of securing a sustainable funding source for the Pennsylvania State Housing Trust Fund. Senate Bill 1380, sponsored by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) and Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), would expand the Pennsylvania Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act (PHARE) to benefit the entire Commonwealth. SB 1380 would dedicate up to $25 million in future proceeds from the Realty Transfer Tax.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill passed the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.
Firearms and Background Checks
House Bill 1243 – Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery)
House Bill 1010 – Representative Steven Santarsiero (D-Bucks)
PCADV Position (HB 1243): Support
PCADV Position (HB 1010): Support
House Bill 1243 sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) would require Pennsylvania to submit mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. PCADV supports an amendment to HB 1243 that would take language from House Bill 1010 sponsored by Rep. Steve Santarsiero that would require a background check for all firearms, including rifles, shot guns and other long guns. Although the underlying bill was expected to receive a vote on this amendment several times in the spring, the House of Representatives has stalled on action.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: HB 1243 now awaits full consideration by the House of Representatives where PCADV is advocating for Amendment A06142 to be adopted and create universal background checks for purchasing firearms in Pennsylvania.
Utilities and Telecommunications
House Bill 1608 – Representative Warren Kampf (R-Chester)
PCADV Position: Oppose
Victims of domestic violence have a critical need for invariable access to affordable and reliable telephone communication service that is capable of connecting the victim to emergency 911 services, crisis and intervention services, and supportive friends and/or family. For a victim in danger, the inability to place an emergency call due to faulty or deficient technology places the victim and their children at increased risk for serious injury or even death. For these reasons, PCADV testified against House Bill 1608, sponsored by Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester) that would deregulate telecommunication services in Pennsylvania. PCADV requested several amendments to the bill that would strengthen protections for low-income citizens.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill is currently in House Consumer Affairs Committee.
Domestic Violence Fatalities
Senate Bill 850 – Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
House Bill 30 – Representative Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland)
PCADV Position (SB 850): Amend
PCADV Position (HB 30): Amend
Domestic homicide is a grim reality of perpetuated domestic violence. Last year in Pennsylvania, there were 158 domestic violence fatalities; 107 of these deaths were victims, and 51 of these deaths were perpetrators. These victims were men and women, elderly and children, and spanned the socio-economic spectrum. PCADV seeks to amend Senate Bill 850, sponsored by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), and the House companion bill sponsored by Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland) that would create additional rights and privileges for organ procurement organizations. It is important to minimize the likelihood of trauma to surviving children and other family members as a result of the organ procurement process and procedure. PCADV’s concerns with SB 850 and HB 30 include the need to establish protections to: 1) help ensure domestic abusers are not able to consent to have a victim’s body donated, 2) safeguard meaningful informed consent and confidentiality, and 3) preserve a potential crime scene for evidence collection. It is critical that the amended law balances the rights of crime victims with any additional support to organ procurement organizations.
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