Feb. 22, 2019

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Legislative Headlines
Ensuring Victims’ Rights
This week, the House Judiciary Committee reported out my legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to add a victims bill of rights.

Last session, Marsy’s Law passed in the House and Senate unanimously. An identical bill must be passed this session before the question is placed on the ballot.

While Pennsylvania has protection for victims written into its laws, a constitutional amendment is the only way to ensure that victims have equal footing with offenders and the only way to ensure that victims have some kind of redress when their rights are violated.

The amendment would require notice of hearings and other proceedings, physical and emotional protection from the accused, notice in cases of release or escape, proceedings free from unnecessary delay, the ability to confer with the prosecutor in the case, full and timely restitution from the offender, and notification of all of these rights.

Good Jobs for PA: Focusing on Careers, Not Minimum Wage
A key to economic success for all Pennsylvanians and the Commonwealth as a whole is to ensure our students and workers are prepared to fill the good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.

House Republicans launched our #GoodJobs4PA initiative this week, focusing on efforts to enhance our workforce development system to help students, under-employed and unemployed adults, as well as returning military veterans and others enter fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.

The bills aim to address the skills gap and worker shortages faced by industries across the state, as well as enhance educational programs and access to those opportunities for workers of all ages.

The launch coincided with the governor signing an executive order to create the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The center is charged with addressing barriers to employment and enhancing cooperation among education and workforce development entities.

New Hope Ministries to Hold Job Fair
New Hope Ministries is partnering with the United Way of the Capital Region and its new Road to Success initiative to host a career fair on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. This nonprofit organization is located at 5228 E. Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg.

It is free and open to the public. Local businesses and representatives from the Road to Success program will be available to talk about careers. For more information, please contact Jacy Luce at 717-766-7333 ext. 207.

Preparing PA Students for Careers
As a foundational part of the #GoodJobs4PA initiative, the House Education Committee unveiled a package of bills aimed at improving career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania.

The package of bills includes:
House Bill 265, which would expand the online database that allows students and potential students to plan where courses, programs, certificates and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.
House Bill 297, which would direct the State Department of Education to develop materials outlining workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential.
House Bill 334, which would expedite the approval of important educational programs to respond better to industry and workforce demands.
• House Bill 393 (to be introduced soon), which would create an online career resource center.
• House Bill 394 (to be introduced soon), which would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to inventory workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions.
• House Bill 395 (to be introduced soon), which would require CTE programs to establish occupational advisory committees.
• House Bill 396 (to be introduced soon), which would add at least one member from a Career and Technical Center to each Workforce Development Board.
House Bill 522, which would create a CTE investment incentive program, including tax credits for contributions to support CTE programs and enrollment expansion programs.

These bills are designed to increase awareness of job-training opportunities and high-demand careers for students.

Supreme Court Responds to House Pressure, Delays Venue Rule Change
Seeking to prevent a health care crisis in Pennsylvania, physicians, administrators, attorneys and industry professionals told members of the House Majority Policy Committee last week that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should not change a rule dealing with medical malpractice lawsuits. Shortly after the hearing concluded, the Supreme Court decided to postpone its consideration until a study on the impact of the rule change is conducted later this year.

The pending proposal would reverse a rule that requires malpractice cases be brought in the county where the malpractice occurred, thereby prohibiting “shopping” for venues, such as Philadelphia, where jury awards tend to be higher.

Reversing the rule would also reverse progress that has been made to ensure access for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of ZIP code, to quality health care. Prior to the rule’s implementation, skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates were forcing many doctors and specialists to retire early or move their practices out of state. Rural areas were hit especially hard, and a reversal of this rule could again put health care into a crisis situation.

Improving the Do-Not-Call List
Helping Pennsylvanians cut down on the number of telemarketing calls they receive is the goal of House Bill 318, which was passed this week.

The bill gives Pennsylvanians the ability to sign up for the state’s telemarketing "do-not-call" list without requiring them to re-register every five years.

The bill also aims to cut down on the annoyance of telemarketing calls during holidays by banning telemarketing calls on legal holidays. It would also ban the use of calls from computerized auto-dialers (robocalls).

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Committee Updates
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Health Committee
Informational meeting on opioids.

Consumer Affairs Committee:
Informational meeting with the Public Utility Commission, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate and Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate.

Thursday, Feb. 21
HB 276 (Delozier) – Constitutional Amendment/Marsy’s Law - constitutional amendment creating a victims “bill of rights.”

HB 502 (Hershey) – Crime Victims Act/rights

HB 503 (Everett) – Title 42/victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism.

HB 504 (Mihalek) – Title 18/ helping those who are victimized to testify against their abusers.

HB 505 (Kauffman) – Title 42/ helping those who are victimized to testify against their abusers.
Rep. Delozier in the Community
• On Monday, I joined some of my House colleagues in visiting female inmates at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy. We listened as they offered suggestions on how to change the criminal justice system for the better. As co-chair of the House Criminal Justice Reform Caucus, I am committed to making changes to the criminal justice system that give a strong voice to the rights of the victims and also work to have released offenders become productive members of our communities.

• This week, I met with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation student leaders on my House Bill 416. The bill names the Hellbender as the Pennsylvania amphibian. It only survives in clean water. I was glad to have Mechanicsburg Area High School students involved in the lobbying.
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2929 Gettysburg Road, Suite 6, Camp Hill PA 17011 | Phone: (717) 761-4665
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Email: sdelozie@pahousegop.com
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