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Legislative News

House Bill 587 was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee as amended. This bill add provisions to improve the process for compassionate release for those individuals aged 55 and older. (Oct. 3, 2023)

House Bill 1470 was amended and voted from the House Judiciary Committee. This bill creates a process whereby individualsl who are wrongfully incarcerated are awarded compensation. (Oct. 3, 2023)

Senate Bill 944, introduced by Senator Bartolotta, the bill provides that an expungement shall occur automatically upon notification that a conviction has been unconditionally pardoned by the Governor. A court of common pleas upon receipt of the Governor's pardon must order the expungement of all criminal history record information and all administrative records of the Department of Transportation and the central repository relating to the conviction. (Sep. 28, 2023) 

House Bill 1689 was introduced by House Representative Tarik Khan. This bill would address a one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing by simply requiring courts to consider an adolescent’s mental capacity, maturity, and ongoing brain development at the time of a crime committed at age 24 and below. (Sep. 21, 2023)

House Bill 689 was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee as amended. This bill amends Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in criminal history record information, by further providing for definitions, for general regulations, for expungement, for petition for limited access, for clean slate limited access, for exceptions, for effects of expunged records and records subject to limited access and for employer immunity from liability. (Sep. 19, 2023).

House Judiciary Action:

The House Judiciary Committee voted out of committee several bills on September 27. They include:

  • SB 589 - this bill extends the expiration date of the Pennsylvania Wiretapping Law
  • HB 1381 - this bill passed out of committee as amended and improves the Juvenile Justice law including 1) Ending direct file to adult court, 2) Stopping failure to comply referrals, 3) Capping juvenile probation for misdemeanors at 12 months and 18 months for felonies, 4) Requiring consultation with an attorney before a minor waives a right; 5) Requiring age and developmental appropriate Miranda rights; 6) Prohibiting the use of solitary confinement of children; 7) Eliminating the imposition of almost all court fees and fines; 8) instituting manifest determination hearings for probation reviews for children with disabilities; 9) Ending forced admissions for access to first time offender programs; 10) Increasing the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 13 and prohibiting criminal prosecution of kids under 10; and 11) Expanding the use of diversionary informal adjustments for low level offenses.
  • HB 1708 which expands school diversion across the state, to ensure that youth have a chance at in-school resolution in lieu of court referral for less serious issues; creates a recurring funding stream for schools to support those diversion programs; and makes provisions for improved school stability for youth while they’re in juvenile justice placements and when they return to the community.