HB 741: Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
HB 741 Sponsor Todd Stephens (R) – This bill provides a technical correction to evidentiary and sentencing procedures in Pennsylvania. This correction would reinstate mandatory minimum sentencing for a range of crimes, including sexually violent crimes against children and older adults and for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements.
PCAR supports the specific provisions in HB 741 that pertain to sexual violence.
SB 851: Safe Harbor
SB 851 Sponsor Stewart Greenleaf (D) — This bill proposes “safe harbor” protection and a system of support for minor victims of sex trafficking. Child sex trafficking victims would receive protection not prosecution for their criminal behaviors. The bill establishes a fund to support child protective services for trafficked children and would require law enforcement training in identifying child victims of human trafficking.
PCAR Supports this bill.
For more information regarding human trafficking check out the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
HB 1948: Reproductive Health Care Options
HB 1948 Sponsor Kathy Rapp (R) —This bill would restrict the abortion period from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. There would be no exceptions for rape and sexual assault victims. There are additional reporting requirements placed upon physicians as well as penalties for preforming abortions beyond 20 weeks.
PCAR Opposes this bill.
PCAR believes that when a women, adolescent or child becomes pregnant as a result of sexual violence, the full range of medial and treatment options must be available. Additionally, we recognize the impact that sexual trauma can have on the mind and body, and that it is in the best interest of the health and well-being of the victim to have as much time as possible to consider what choices are best for them as they begin the journey of healing from sexual assault.
SB 976: Body-Worn Cameras
SB 976 Sponsor Stewart Greenleaf (D) — This bill would allow law enforcement officers on duty to wear body-worn cameras to record events inside of a residence when: conducting a search warrant, executing an arrest, an individual has given consent to record, and/or when there are other urgent circumstances present. These recordings are not to be subject to production under the right to know law.
PCAR is neutral on this bill.
PCAR believes that a victim of sexual assault should have protections when being recorded to ensure confidentiality and minimize additional trauma.
PCAR also reviews legislation at the request of allied stakeholders, such as PCADV, CVAP, OVA, PSP and the PDAA.
For questions or comments, please contact Kristen Houser at 717-728-9740 ext. 144 or Donna Greco at 717-728-9740 ext. 114
5 Ways to Get Involved with Public Policy
- Contact your local Senators and Representatives to advocate for an issue. It can be as easy as sending an email, posting a letter, calling their offices to leave a message, or scheduling an appointment in an elected official’s office to speak about an issue. Elected officials rely upon their constituents to tell them what the problems are and what is important to their districts.
- Register to vote for the upcoming elections. Check out our resources about voter engagement to prepare for election day.
- Attend local rallies, press conferences, other advocacy days at the Pennsylvania Capitol to advocate for issues that inspire you.
- Stay informed! Keep updated on current issues by reading newspapers, watching the news, and following PCAR’s social media pages for updates on local and federal policy.
- Utilize PCAR’s talking points and “What to Know” documents for information in your everyday conversations. Create discussions with family, friends, and co-workers about policy issues to enhance their knowledge.