The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 275, which amends the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act by changing the name of the “Early Intervention Program” to the “Strategic Management Planning Program.”

House Bill 275 became Act 6 of 2019.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 115, which would provide for CPR curriculum in high schools.

The Department of Education would be required to consult with the Department of Health and at least one approved agency to develop this curriculum by the 2019-2020 school year. Schools could use this curriculum or develop their own.

A teacher, instructor or community volunteer, with the participation of a professional educator with state certification, could provide or oversee the instruction offered by a school entity and need not be a certified CPR trainer.

CPR teachers would not be liable for civil damages from providing this instruction unless found to have acted intentionally harmful or grossly negligent.

Senate Bill 115 became Act 7 of 2019.


The Senate approved Senate Bill 139 by a vote of 31-17. The bill would amend the Price Gouging Act by requiring the governor to impose price restrictions on the sale of goods and services in a declaration of a state of emergency.

The price restrictions would be for 15 days and could be extended for two additional 15-day periods.

A violation would occur if someone sells goods or services at a price that is deemed by a judge to be “unconscionably excessive” when price restrictions are in effect.

The bill expressly states that pricing is not unconscionably excessive when consistent with price fluctuations, established pricing formulas or within 10 percent of the price immediately before the restrictions or within 10 percent of the sellers cost and normal markup.

The bill was referred to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committee.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 275, which would ensure that a strangulation conviction is considered in sentencing for subsequent crimes and in custody proceedings

The bill would also upgrade stalking to a third-degree felony if the offender has previously been convicted of strangulation involving the same victim, family or household member.

The legislation adds strangulation to the list of offenses under the definition of “crime of violence” in the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.

The bill also adds strangulation to the list of offenses a court must consider when determining whether an offender seeking custody of child poses a threat to the child.

The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 500, which would establish the County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The powers and duties of the committee would include:

  • Review and comment on grant applications for county intermediate punishment programs or discretionary grants;
  • Develop a funding plan for county adult probation and parole departments that includes county intermediate punishment programs, discretionary grants and a funding formula;
  • Advise on all matters pertaining to the administration of the county adult probation and parole system;
  • Analyze data to identify trends and to determine the effectiveness of programs and practices to ensure the reasonable and efficient administration of the county adult probation and parole system;
  • Make recommendations and adopt standards for probation and parole personnel;
  • Assist the commission in the implementation of county intermediate punishment;
  • Within one year, absorb the funding, powers and duties of the County Probation Officers’ Firearm Education and Training Commission, appoint a subcommittee and assume responsibility and oversight for the firearm education and training county adult and juvenile probation and parole officers; and
  • Report annually to the governor and General Assembly on the distribution and use of funding.

The bill outlines who would serve as members of the committee including the following officials or their designee: Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on sentencing, President of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Executive Director of the County Chief Adult Probation and Parole Officers Association of Pennsylvania, the victim advocate, court administrator of Pennsylvania, other officials appointed by the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and the Governor. The chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, chair of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission would also serve as an ex officio and nonvoting member.

The legislation requires the Office of the Budget to develop a formula to calculate the amount of savings to the Department of Corrections through fiscal year 2024 — and that the savings be deposited into the Justice Reinvestment Fund.

The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 501, which would give the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing the power to report to the legislature on:

  • implementation of revisions to the sentencing guidelines;
  • implementation and outcomes of justice reinvestment funding to county probation;
  • use of court-imposed sanctions for violating probation;
  • implementation of short sentence parole, use of the state drug treatment program and use of sanctions for technical parole violations;
  • evaluations of the effectiveness of various criminal justice interventions and programming. To evaluate effectiveness of programs aiming to reduce recidivism, the commission would report on:
  • The number of individuals eligible for the program, the number of individuals participating in the program and the number of individuals who successfully completed the program;
  • The recidivism rates for participants of the program and for a comparison group of individuals who did not participate in the program; and
  • Potential changes in the program that the commission believes would make the program more effective.

The legislature would be required to hold hearings to deliberate on commission reports.

The legislation would also amend sentencing guidelines by requiring that the guidelines specify a range of sentences based on factors such as severity, level of culpability, use of a deadly weapon, level of harm inflicted, risk to reoffend based on criminal history, risk to public safety and recommendations related to county intermediate punishment programs.

The bill would also require courts to consider sentencing guidelines for probation and restrictive conditions of supervision. The bill would require the courts to use specific probation conditions for DUI offenders that were previously optional. It would also require the imposition of a minimum and maximum sentence for offenders who need of additional drug or alcohol treatment.

The legislation also makes changes in terms of eligibility of offenders for boot camp and short sentence parole.

The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 502, which would amend the Crime Victims Act by making several changes to the information and compensation available to crime victims.

Eligible crime victims would have the right to be notified about the Address Confidentiality Program. Victims enrolled in the program would be exempt from providing contact information to agencies responsible for providing information to victims.

The legislation would require officers responding to an incident to provide basic information to victims including the rights and services available to them and the availability of crime victims’ compensation.

The bill also would clarify powers and duties of Victim Advocates, the Office of Victims’ Services and that prosecutors must provide victim advocates in personal injury crimes with victim information and notice regarding sentencing of offenders or offenders released to or from state correctional institution or mental health facilities.

The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee.


The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 589, which would make changes to military educational programs. This includes providing the Adjutant General further discretion to forgive grant repayments when a state National Guard member is ineligible for the Education Assistance program and required to repay grants.

The legislation would also create the Military Family Education Program to enable guard members to assign an education grant to a family member — if the guard member meets eligibility requirements and accepts an obligation to serve an additional six-year commitment.

The bill was referred to the House Veteran Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committee.