JRI II parole reforms face uncertain future after recent murders by parolees

JRI II parole reforms face uncertain future after recent murders by parolees

Many state lawmakers hoped to move forward with reforms to Pennsylvania’s parole system this fall, but a recent spate of murders by parolees may slow passage of the second phase of the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative. 

The reforms, known colloquially as JRI II, are designed to reinvest more funding into county probation and parole programs from savings created by other portions of the legislation. However, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee now wants an independent investigation into Pennsylvania’s current parole processes before advancing the bills. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Murt, gun control activists hope third time is the charm to close state's gun show loophole

Murt, gun control activists hope third time is the charm to close state's gun show loophole

A Republican lawmaker is gearing up for another fight over closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” hoping that the third time's the charm for accomplishing one of the long-held goals for Pennsylvania gun control activists.

Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) is set to introduce a bill, currently being circulated for co-sponsorship, which would create a special check, valid for 48 hours, designed for gun show attendees. It would also require all gun sales be from a federally licensed dealer or take place in front of a sheriff’s deputy.
Thursday, July 18, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
House pumps the brake on JRI2 bills despite unanimous Senate support

House pumps the brake on JRI2 bills despite unanimous Senate support

The second phase of the state’s Justice Reinvestment Program, which cruised through the Senate with unanimous approval, will likely receive more scrutiny in the House, with the bills likely to remain in committee until fall.

House Judiciary Chair Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) said his committee will take the summer to review the three-bill package, with a litany of members saying they wanted to ensure the committee learned from the successes and failures of the first installment of JRI, passed in 2012.

Monday, June 17, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
In 'opening conversation' on recreational marijuana, lawmakers consider effect legalization has on gun rights

In 'opening conversation' on recreational marijuana, lawmakers consider effect legalization has on gun rights

Following the completion of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s listening tour on recreational marijuana, lawmakers cautioned Monday in a joint House hearing that they would take their time in considering the impact legalization of the drug could have on Pennsylvania.

The House Health and Judiciary Committees heard from law enforcement, gun control advocates and gun owners about the effect of marijuana use, both medical and recreational, has on gun ownership. The matter is complicated, those testifying said, because of how federal and state laws conflict.
Monday, June 3, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
After committee vote, lawmakers now forced to pick path forward on reforming judicial elections

After committee vote, lawmakers now forced to pick path forward on reforming judicial elections

Lawmakers are at odds over the best path to reforming judicial elections, even as they voted to move two competing bills out of committee Tuesday.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the two bills, one authored by Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin), the other by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon). 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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