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The Joint State Government Commission serves as the bipartisan and bicameral research agency
of the General Assembly. It is comprised of the entire membership of the General Assembly.
Summary - Contents of Report
This report contains proposed legislation that amends 35 Pa.C.S. and concerns disease control measures.
The proposed legislation contains official comments, developed by the Joint State Government Commission and the Advisory Committee, which may be used in determining the intent of the General Assembly.
Notes follow several statutory provisions and set forth explanatory material or background information regarding the current law.
Transitional language -- provisions regarding applicability, repeals and the effective date of the proposed legislation -- follows the statutory recommendations.
This report also contains the following:
- A summary of the proposed legislation.
- A discussion of the proposed legislation.
- A source table for the proposed legislation.
- A disposition table that lists the location of the provisions of the DPCL that have been codified into 35 Pa.C.S.
- The DPCL.
- Health and safety regulations from Title 28 of the Pennsylvania Code.
- Select statutory and regulatory provisions, including those regarding The Administrative Code of 1929, the Local Health Administration Law, the seizure of certain clothing, the right to counsel, and the Public Defender Act.
- An appendix containing 2007 Senate Resolution No. 194.
One Page Summary
Posted on November 01, 2013
THE PROBATE, ESTATES and FIDUCIARIES CODE and ORPHANS' COURT MATTERS
The Joint State Government Commission is pleased to present this report, The Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code and Orphans’ Court Matters: Legislation Recommended by the Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws, 1945-2013, which provides a historical perspective regarding the work of the Advisory Committee. Formed in 1945, the Advisory Committee has generated more than 40 reports that have served as the basis for legislation introduced during numerous legislative sessions of the General Assembly.
On behalf of the Joint State Government Commission, we thank the members of the Advisory Committee, as well as the members of the legislative Task Force on Decedents’ Estates Laws, for their dedication to improve Pennsylvania law regarding Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code) and related statutes.
Posted on August 01, 2013
Senate Resolution No. 194 of 2007 states that “Pennsylvania’s public health law is a patchwork of statutes mostly contained in Purdon’s Title 35 (Health and Safety), but also scattered throughout other titles, old case law and State and local regulations” with many of the Commonwealth’s public health statutes dating to the 1950s or earlier.
This resolution directed “the Joint State Government Commission to establish a legislative task force with an advisory committee of experts to review, update and codify Pennsylvania’s public health law.”
The Task Force on Public Health Law, a bipartisan panel of Senators, consists of Senator Edwin B. Erickson (Chair), Senator James Ferlo, Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf and Senator Shirley M. Kitchen.
The Advisory Committee on Public Health Law was appointed and represents a broad range of expertise and background in law, medicine and education. It includes attorneys, judges, professors, graduate school deans, physicians, nurses, public health administrators, medical directors and officers, an epidemiologist, and representatives from the court system and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The Advisory Committee agreed to form five subcommittees to assist in reviewing specific topics and developing proposed legislation involving public health law: Behavioral Health, Data, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Response, and the Public Health System.
In 2012, the Advisory Committee decided to release a report containing background information to allow additional time for continued work on each subcommittee’s proposed legislation and recommendations.
In January 2013, the Task Force authorized the publication of this report:
Public Health Law in Pennsylvania
Report of the Advisory Committee on Public Health Law
As each public health law topic area is completed through subcommittee or staff review and deliberation, the Advisory Committee as a whole will finalize the codification of each topic area, with ultimate consideration by the Task Force. It is anticipated that a separate report will be issued for each topic area.
Posted on January 01, 2013
The Joint State Government Commission of the Pennsylvania General Assembly released a report on the criminal justice system of Philadelphia. The report was mandated by 2010 Senate Resolution 344, whose prime sponsor was Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf. The study was prompted by a series of articles that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on December 13–16, 2009, which presented a scathing indictment of the system. The principal deficiencies were found to be high violent crime rates, low conviction rates, a dysfunctional bail system, and witness intimidation. The commission was directed to arrive at recommendations to address these problems. Under the guidance of the sponsors of the resolution, commission staff assembled a 34-member advisory committee, headed by
David Sonenshein, professor of law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
· Since the publication of the Inquirer’s critique, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the First Judicial District, the District Attorney, the City Administration, the Defender Association, and private stakeholders have come together to formulate and implement a wide variety of measures to address the system’s deficiencies. The initial results of this reform initiative have been very positive. A great deal of progress has been made in the last three years.
· Attempts to improve the City’s criminal justice system face a chronic shortage of funds and other resources.
· Among the most important measures that have been taken to improve the system are:
o the consolidation of hearings and trials in the Criminal Justice Center
o more accurate charging of offenses
o advances in electronic filing and discovery
o implementation of techniques to counter witness intimidation in court
At the same time, further measures are needed to further reform the system. The Advisory Committee made recommendations under four topics: pretrial services and bail, witness intimidation, court procedure, and technology.
· Update the guidelines for setting bail
· Expand use of nonfinancial pretrial release conditions
· The committee was split over whether to encourage the participation of private bail sureties
· Create a witness intimidation investigation and prosecution unit under the District Attorney
· Commence criminal proceedings before an indicting grand jury if witness intimidation is taking place or appears to be a serious threat
· Try felony cases in absentia (outside the defendant’s presence) if the defendant deliberately fails to attend the trial
Posted on January 01, 2013
Joint State Government Commission
The Commission is pleased to unveil its newly preserved treasure...a painting commemorating its 10th anniversary. Dating to 1947, this painting was discovered, rolled-up, in a storage room. To preserve this piece of history, the oil on canvas was framed and now hangs proudly in the Commissions’ conference room.
Posted on October 11, 2013
Joint State report Recieves Notable Document Award
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently announced the selection of the 2013 Notable Document Award recipients, which included Joint State's report on Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania The study was recognized as "innovative in providing substantiative information on contemporary issues of interest to legislators."
Posted on July 09, 2013
Child Protection in Pennsylvania: Proposed Recommendations, Report of the Task Force on Child Protection
The full report is available here A summary of the report is available here A clip of the joint House Children & Youth and Judiciary Committee hearing, on January 22, 2012, is available here
Posted on November 27, 2012