|Remembering the Tree of Life Synagogue Massacre
This week, the House of Representatives and Senate held a joint session to remember the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh that happened in October.
We honored their memories, prayed for those injured in the attack and applauded first-responders who risked their own lives to save others.
I share the pain of this loss and I’m outraged over the malicious violence that happened to this outstanding community.
I am mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps you to know that you’re not alone in your grief. We share your pain! We care deeply!
Click here to watch my remarks from the House floor.
Protecting Crime Victims
With this week designated as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the House began working through a package of bills designed to help protect victims of crime.
A cornerstone of this package is Marsy’s Law, a bill that seeks to amend the state Constitution by adding a victim’s bill of rights.
Other bills in the package passed this week include measures to shield rape victims from being re-victimized by irrelevant cross examination; allow victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism to submit out-of-court statements rather than face their perpetrators in court; expand the types of crimes for which an out-of-court statement can be accepted; and allow crime victims to attend any proceeding relating to their cases, unless attending would materially alter the victims’ testimony.
The bills now head to the Senate for consideration. Learn more about efforts to protect crime victims in Pennsylvania here.
Expanding the Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse
As the Commonwealth marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the House passed a two-bill package known as the Pennsylvania Hidden Predator Act to help empower victims of child sexual abuse.
House Bill 962 would change the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, allowing childhood victims until age 55 to file suit, and provide for waivers of sovereign and governmental immunity relating to claims of childhood sexual abuse. It would also abolish the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse moving forward.
House Bill 963 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide a two-year window in which civil lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse may be filed in court, notwithstanding any otherwise applicable statute of limitations defense.
Reporting suspected abuse is the best way to protect children. For more information, call the Department of Health’s toll-free ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
Community College Day 2019
Tuesday was Community College Day at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. I had the pleasure of meeting with students from the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).
Education is one of my top legislative priorities. I enjoy meeting with students and teachers to talk about career goals and curriculum.
Pictured with me are (left) Matthew Konvalin, Brooke Allen, Nicole Russell, Tyler Omune, Georgios Sotiriou and CCAC president Quintin Bullock. Thanks for visiting.
Changes to The Start of Deer Hunting Season
This week, the Pennsylvania Game Commission voted to move the opening day of deer rifle hunting to the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Since 1963, deer rifle hunting in Pennsylvania has started the Monday after Thanksgiving. When the commission first proposed the change in January, it said the move was an attempt to stay current with changing hunting demographics and would create more opportunities for hunters.
Supporters of the change believe a Saturday opener could bring back lapsed hunters that struggle to find time to hunt as well as helping high school and college hunters that do not get the day off from school for opening day.
Applications for Summer Turnpike Positions End Monday
The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission summer positions is Monday, April 15. Positions are available for toll collection, maintenance, clerical and engineering employees.
All applications MUST be submitted online here under the “Summer Work” selection. Copies of online applications should be sent to my Harrisburg office
Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays. Employees will work a 40-hour week and will not receive benefits.
All eligible candidates must be at least 18 years of age and have completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. The program is limited to 16 weeks per employee and runs between May 1 and Sept. 30.