The Senate unanimously approved legislation to criminalize so-called “revenge porn.” Senate Bill 1167 was prompted by the case of Allyson Pereira, who was 16-years-old when her ex-boyfriend published a nude photo of her online.
The unauthorized photograph went viral and Pereira quickly became the victim of harassment by her classmates. Her family’s northern New Jersey home was also vandalized, and her story led New Jersey to become the first state to make the act a crime.
Under the bill, people who commit the offense of Intimate Partner Harassment would be subject to a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if the case involves a victim who is a minor. It would carry a penalty of up to two years and a $5,000 fine if the victim is an adult.
A person who with no legitimate purpose and without consent exposes to a third person a photograph or similar image of the offender’s intimate partner nude or explicitly engaged in a sexual act, with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm him or her, would commit the crime of intimate partner harassment.
If the bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would join California and New Jersey in making it a crime to post unwanted pictures of former partners without their consent. Similar bills have been proposed and are being considered in a number of other states, including New York and Delaware.
The bill is now before the House.
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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1056, which allows temporary volunteer dental licenses for out-of-state dentists who want to visit Pennsylvania to volunteer their services.
Under the measure, the board may issue one 30-day temporary volunteer license per applicant each year; or up to three 10-day temporary license per applicant per year.
The bill was enacted as Act 7 of 2014.
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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1599, which names a bridge spanning the Schuylkill River (SR 3019) in Philadelphia as the ““Honorable Robert C. Donatucci Memorial Bridge.”
Donatucci (D-Phila.) was first elected to the state House of Representatives in a special election on March 11, 1980. He served as Chairman of the House of Liquor Control Committee from 1993 until he died in 2010.
The bill would also designate a portion of State Route 23 in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, as the “SFC Brent Adams Memorial Road.”
The bill now returns to the House.
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The Senate voted 47-1 on Senate Bill 57, which would allow audio taping on school buses.
School districts are currently allowed to videotape school bus rides, but do not have the legal authority to record the audio of those trips.
The bill was enacted as Act 9 of 2014.
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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1045, which would update the state’s 1972 Securities Act to reflect changes forced by the merger of the Securities Commission into the Department of Banking.
The bill contains key provisions that reflect the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, which changed federal securities law to make it easier for small companies to raise capital from multiple individuals.
The bill would also add provisions to bring the state Securities Act in line with the Uniform Securities Act and federal law, such as providing the department with authority to require continuing education as a penalty for license violations, eliminating paper registration certificates and accepting electronic payments.
The bill is now in the House.
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The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would add the crime of “aggravated arson” to the Crimes Code. Under Senate Bill 1024, a person would commit aggravated arson if:
- Bodily injury results to a firefighter, police officer or other person actively engaged in fighting the fire.
- Serious bodily injury results to a civilian.
- More than three people were present inside the property at the time of the offense.
- The fire caused more than $1 million in property damage.
- The arsonist used, attempted to use or possessed an explosive or incendiary device.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing will determine new penalties. The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence.
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