On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the House returns to session with a focus on bills aimed at addressing human trafficking. Legislation will increase penalties for anyone knowingly patronizing a victim and anyone connected to trafficking victims. Other bills assist victims and aim to increase resources and protections. The package of bills passed through the committee process last week and are scheduled for floor consideration Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Weekly Schedule
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Education, 11 a.m., G-50 Irvis Office Building
• Public hearing on HB 1897, which would require full-time cyber education programs in public school districts.
Human Services, 11 a.m., B-31 Main Capitol
• HB 1895 (Rep. David Rowe, R-Union/Snyder): Would amend the Mental Health Procedures Act to protect the rights of people in treatment to be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
• HR 344 (Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Philadelphia): Would urge the attorney general to pursue legal actions regarding the opioid crisis.
• HR 642 (Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh): Would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study to determine ways to better connect survivors of sexual assault and rape to mental health services.
Insurance, 11:30 a.m., 60 East Wing
• Informational meeting on HB 2200, association health care plans reforms.
Environmental Resources and Energy, Call of the Chair, 60 East Wing
• HB 1779 (Rep. Parke Wentling, R-Mercer/Crawford/Erie/Lawrence): Would amend the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act by adding a definition for “Groin Structures” and exempt such structures from Submerged Lands License Agreement fees.
Judiciary, Call of the Chair, G-50 Irvis Office Building
• HB 437 (Rep. Joshua Kail, R-Beaver/Washington): Would update domestic relations law as it relates to contempt powers of the court in custody cases.
• HB 1984 (Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin): Would amend the Adoption Act so that victims of rape can terminate parental rights of the rapist without having to re-marry.
• HR 657 (Rep. Barbara Gleim, R-Cumberland): Would designate the week of Feb. 8-15, 2020, as “Court Reporting and Captioning Week” in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, session will begin at 1 p.m.
Votes on Second Consideration:
• HB 161 (Rep. Barry Jozwiak, R-Berks): Would reclassify the offense of trafficking of infants as a first-degree felony from a first-degree misdemeanor.
• HB 2174 (Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington): Would prohibit defendants from introducing evidence of a human trafficking victim’s past sexual victimization and allegations of past sexual victimization in any prosecution related to human trafficking.
• HB 2175 (Rep. Meghan Schroeder, R-Bucks): Would expand the list of sexual offenses whereby an expert may testify in sexual assault cases.
• HB 2176 (Rep. Marci Mustello, R-Butler): Would add certain prohibited activities that, if committed, constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor.
• HB 2177 (Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Allegheny): Would expand the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to attend and participate in a Department of Corrections program of counseling and therapy designed for incarcerated sex offenders.
• HB 2178 (Rep. David Rowe, R-Union/Snyder): Would amend Pennsylvania’s child custody statute to require that a court consider whether a party or member of that party’s household has been convicted of human trafficking prior to awarding child custody to that party.
• SB 60 (Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York): Would increase penalties relating to human trafficking and enhance funding for programs and services for trafficking victims.
• HR 618 (Rep. Wendi Thomas, R-Bucks): Would recognize the month of January 2020 as "National Human Trafficking Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.
• HR 648 (Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Philadelphia): Would recognize the bravery and professionalism of the Philadelphia Police Department during the events of Aug. 14, 2019.
Votes on Third Consideration:
• HB 283 (Rep. Justin Simmons, R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton): Would amend the Right-to-Know Law to permit a state or local agency to charge additional fees for the search, review and duplication of records that have been requested and will be used for a commercial purpose.
• HB 1737 (Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny): Would grant the same protections to land banks that are presently given to redevelopment authorities when they are dealing with brownfields.
• HB 1981 (Rep. Parke Wentling, R-Mercer/Crawford/Erie/Lawrence): Would consolidate statutory language relating to the PA Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) into the History Code.
• HB 2088 (Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington): Would designate the Sheriff Brian A. Tennant Memorial Bridge in Greene County, the PFC Joseph Frank Duda Memorial Interchange in Fayette County, and the CPL Denny Ray Easter Memorial Interchange in Fayette County.
• HB 2116 (Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette/Somerset): Would designate a bridge on a portion of State Route 669 in Somerset County as the Sergeant Stephen M. Minick Memorial Bridge.
• HB 2117 (Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette/Somerset): Would designate the bridge on a portion of State Route 2004 in Somerset County as the Airman Michael L. Menser Memorial Bridge.
• SB 790 (Sen. Joseph Scarnati, R-Cameron/Clearfield/Clinton/Elk/Jefferson/Mckean/Potter/Tioga): Would create the "Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act" for the regulation of conventional oil and gas wells.