HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved a series of bills that would increase penalties for terroristic threats at schools and address family law disputes, …
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved a series of bills that would increase penalties for terroristic threats at schools and address family law disputes, wiretapping, and body cameras.
“In my district, close to a dozen schools have been plagued by anonymous threats this year resulting in closures and lost instruction time and hindering student progress,” said PA Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20), who chairs the committee. “I spoke with numerous parents and grandparents who were understandably frightened and upset.”
As part of the bill, Baker offered an amendment that would allow schools to recoup the full costs of an evacuation done in response to a threat, to relieve schools and emergency responders unnecessary costs.
The committee also considered a bill that would allow parties to resolve certain family law disputes through voluntary arbitration. Baker said it remains difficult to fairly adjudicate family disputes through adversarial litigation, and the number of cases can overwhelm the system.
The last bill considered would extend Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act through 2029 and authorize the use of body cameras worn by state parole agents, allowing law enforcement to continue evidence gathering. She also offered an additional amendment that removes requirements for the use of body cameras by parole agents, such as requiring prosecutors to obtain a search warrant before obtaining recordings, which she said puts unnecessary burdens on law enforcement and prosecutors.
The bills now head to the full senate.
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