Senator Mike Regan E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In This Update:

  • Senator Dave Arnold Remembered and Honored
  • Bill Increasing Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography Passes Senate
  • Senate Approves $912 Million COVID-19 Relief Package
  • Senate Advances Constitutional Amendment Limiting Disaster Declarations
  • Committee Roundup – Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Next Week
  • PA Launches HuntFishPA: New Mobile-Friendly, Outdoor Recreational Licensing Platform

Senator Dave Arnold Remembered and Honored

1/27/21 – Condolence Resolution on the Death of Senator Dave Arnold

On January 17th, Senator Dave Arnold lost a long-fought battle with brain cancer.  He was only 49 years old and had been sworn into the Senate just a year before, having won a special election to serve the 48th Senatorial District, which includes all of Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York Counties. 

Dave was a former Lebanon County District Attorney, a role in which he worked closely with law enforcement and tirelessly to protect his community. From my perspective as a former US Marshal, I admired Dave’s work in that position and felt compelled to share my thoughts on the Senate floor on Wednesday when we honored Dave’s life and service with a Condolence Resolution and moment of silence. 

My heart goes out to his wife, daughter, and the rest of his family as they grieve, and I ask you, if you are inclined, to keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate life without Dave. 

Bill Increasing Penalties for Possession of Child Pornography Passes Senate

Following the Senate’s honoring of Senator Arnold, we approved a bill that he championed from the first day he entered the Senate, which increases penalties against individuals charged with possession of child pornography. 

Senate Bill 87 would boost penalties in cases of child pornography in which the child is under the age of 10 or is prepubescent. This includes penalties for anyone who views, possesses, disseminates, photographs, videotapes or otherwise depicts these children engaging in sexual acts. 

The bill also allows the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to develop sentencing enhancements for those who sexually abuse children that are known to them. 

In addition, SB 87 creates a special Task Force on Child Pornography to review laws pertaining to child pornography and recommend any necessary changes to state statutes, practices, and policies relating to child pornography. 

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves $912 Million COVID-19 Relief Package

The Senate approved a comprehensive $912 million relief measure to help restaurants, schools, employers, and tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 109 allocates $569.8 million for Rental and Utility Assistance, $197 million for education programs, and $145 million to support Pennsylvania’s struggling hospitality industry as it copes with the devastation created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s mandated closings and restrictions. 

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Advances Constitutional Amendment Limiting Disaster Declarations

The Senate approved a proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would limit the length of future emergency disaster declarations unless an extension is approved by the General Assembly.

Senate Bill 2 includes three proposed amendments to the State Constitution. Currently, a Governor’s emergency declaration can last up to 90 days and be renewed by the Governor indefinitely. One of the proposed constitutional amendments would limit an emergency declaration to 21 days unless the General Assembly approves a longer duration.  Additionally, Senate Bill 2 makes it clear that a Concurrent Resolution passed by the legislature to end a disaster declaration does not need to be presented to the Governor for signature or veto.

The legislation also provides for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the denial of equal rights based on race or ethnicity, bringing the Pennsylvania Constitution in line with the U.S. Constitution.

The exact language of constitutional amendments must be approved by the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions before going to the voters for final approval. Last session, the legislature passed the same language in Senate Bill 1166. Therefore, if Senate Bill 2 is approved by the House of Representatives, the amendments could appear on the ballot as early as the upcoming spring Primary Election.

Committee Roundup

A recap of activity by the Senate committees I serve on.

Judiciary

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved six bills in addition to Senate Bill 87 mentioned above.

Senate Bill 8 amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to create a two-year window for retroactive civil lawsuits from childhood sexual assault victims whose statute of limitations has already expired.

Senate Bill 78 establishes procedures for custody proceedings to better protect children.

Senate Bill 81 provides for expert witnesses in cases of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Senate Bill 84 amends the County Code to state the first assistant district attorney will become the district attorney in the event of a vacancy for Class 2A through Eighth-Class counties until the next municipal election. 

Senate Bill 85 amends the Second-Class County Code to state the first assistant district attorney will become the district attorney in the event of a vacancy for Second-Class Counties until the next municipal election.

Senate Bill 86 amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) to require counties under a home rule charter to follow the procedures for succession under the county codes in the event of a vacancy in the office of district attorney.

Next Week

The Senate returns to session on Monday, February 1st at 1pm. You can watch session live on my website.

PA Launches HuntFishPA: New Mobile-Friendly, Outdoor Recreational Licensing Platform

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) have launched HuntFishPA, the new user-friendly licensing platform for hunters, anglers, and boaters.

HuntFishPA provides outdoor enthusiasts with a modern and streamlined platform to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, launch permits, boat registration renewals, lotteries, draws, and permits – on any device, at any time.  The platform also offers Harvest Reporting, 24/7 call center support, and a seamless transition for license holders who previously used the Pennsylvania Automatic Licensing System (PALS) known as The Outdoor Shop.  Prior users will simply need to log in as they’ve done in the past with existing credentials.  All profile, license, and past purchase information has been transferred to HuntFishPA.

Instructional videos are available to guide users through their purchases using HuntFishPA:

If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.

2021 © Senate of Pennsylvania | https://www.senatormikereganpa.com | Privacy Policy