|Strengthening Public Corruption Laws
Public officials and employees who are convicted of public corruption crimes would be forced to forfeit their government pension under legislation that passed the House recently.
House Bill 939 would hold state, county or municipal government officials and public employees, including judges, teachers and other school district employees, accountable for crimes related to their official duties by requiring them to forfeit their government pension.
They would also need to pay appropriate restitution when they plead guilty or no contest to any crime related to their official government position or any felony offense related to their office or employment.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would also impact federal crimes that are classified as felonies or are punishable by a term of at least five years in prison.
Giving Children the Best School Choices
Recently, I received the Paul M. Henkels Award at the state Capitol. The award is given to a person or organization that exhibits innovation and commitment to improving the quality of education for children, prompting long-term sustainable change, addressing the critical societal issue of school choice as a civil right and exhibiting a strong record of accomplishment within the school choice community.
Our children deserve to have the best education and opportunities, and I consider that to be one of my foremost responsibilities.
Protecting Our Children
Legislation to further protect Pennsylvania’s children passed the House recently. The measures are designed to toughen the criminal sentences for those who put children in harm’s way.
House Bill 217 would increase the grading of offenses related to endangering the welfare of children to reflect the degree of risk and the age of the child victim. This would better ensure that parents, guardians or those charged with the care of a child would face harsher penalties in cases of child endangerment if the child was under the age of 6, if the endangerment resulted in serious injury or death, or if the endangerment was part of a continuing course of conduct.
Likewise, House Bill 489 toughens the sentences in cases of indecent exposure where children under the age of 16 are present. The measure provide for ranges of sentences applicable based upon aggravating circumstances such as the number and ages of people present and the nature and character of the incident.
Both proposals are now with the Senate for review.
Upcoming Road Construction
Plans are being finalized for road construction on Perry Highway in Marshall Township. The project extends from Wallace Road to just north of the Butler County line.
The scope of the work consists of milling and resurfacing, base repairs, concrete pavement rehabilitation, minor guide rail and drainage updates, cub ramps, signal updates, signing, pavement markings, and delineation.
Construction is scheduled to begin in August and is expected to last for the remainder of 2017 with minor work to complete next spring. Resurfacing operations are expected to be complete by late fall.
The project will be constructed under single lane off-peak closures on Perry Highway, including nights to minimize impact to traffic.
Fish for Free on Sunday
On Sunday, May 28, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a Fish for Free day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations will still apply.
This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4.
This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors. Find more information here.
No More Robo Calls on Holidays?
Legislation that responds to widespread consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing and robo-calls passed the House recently.
House Bill 105 would improve the state’s telemarketing law by making registrations on the do-not-call list permanent, rather than re-registering after five years; prohibiting the calls on legal holidays; requiring telemarketers using a rob-call system to provide an opt-out process within the first few seconds of each call; and requiring robo-calls left on a voicemail to include a toll-free call back number that would directly connect a person to an opt-out process.
Registration on the list will not prevent all calls; individuals with an existing relationship with a company, along with charitable and political calls are exempt.
The bill now goes to the Senate for review.