House Judiciary Committee Meeting Focuses on Public Safety
HARRISBURG — Majority Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) created an aggressive public safety-related agenda for the September meeting of the full committee.
“The seven bills that the committee voted on today had a cohesive goal in mind – increase public safety in some capacity,” said Marsico. “We covered everything from creating new criminal offenses, enhancing existing sentences and tackling the establishment of entirely new sections to the crimes code to cover new areas of criminal activity.”
House Bill 2249 provides that a person commits the offense of online impersonation if the person creates a web page or sends an email or other electronic message by using the name or identifying information of another person, with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or deceive and without the person’s consent.
House Bill 2507 provides for sentencing enhancement for criminal activity related to criminal street gangs. Specific circumstances would trigger the enhancement such as committing a crime of violence (defined as drug trafficking, assault, or a sex offense) and the offense was knowingly committed at the direction of a criminal street gang or if a person encouraged another to participate in the offense with a criminal street gang.
House Bill 2590 will authorize the attorney general or a district attorney, or a designee, to more promptly begin investigations and prosecutions by serving an administrative subpoena to procure certain non-content subscriber and customer record information maintained by an electronic communications service or a remote computing service, in an investigation involving sexual exploitation or abuse of children.
Senate Bill 775 expands the state’s DNA database by requiring that a DNA sample be obtained from an individual within five days of arrest for a felony sex offense and other specified offenses.
Senate Bill 850 establishes offenses for cyber bullying by minors. This includes the transmission, distribution, publishing or dissemination of a visual depiction of another minor in a state of nudity where the minor has not given consent or has withdrawn consent.
Senate Bill 941 increases the potential maximum fines for public drunkenness and underage drinking.
Senate Bill 943 establishes that if certain alcohol-related offenses are committed in a municipality in which a college or university is also located, then those convicted of such offenses will incur an extra $100 fee for payment to the municipality for its local law enforcement officers to operate an alcohol offense prevention unit.
“I am elated that we were able to get so much accomplished in our meeting today, particularly so much vital legislation that will undoubtedly make the Commonwealth a safer place,” said Marsico. “These are issues that I felt should be dealt with swiftly, and the committee complied by moving these bills forward.”
All of the aforementioned bills were voted out of the House Judiciary Committee today.
State Representative Ron Marsico
105th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Autumn Southard