HARRISBURG – House Judiciary Committee Majority Chairman Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) moved legislation to outline a process for sealing the records of people who commit low level, non-violent misdemeanors.
“Millions of Pennsylvanians have criminal records and many of those people have only committed minor offenses, such as misdemeanors or arrests without a conviction. Even having a minor criminal record can be devastating and make it very difficult for those individuals to ever become productive members of our communities,” said Marsico. “This legislation gives those individuals another chance.”
House Bill 1419
builds on Act 5 of 2016, which established a process by which a court, on petition, may grant an order limiting public access to certain criminal history records if the petitioner has been free from subsequent arrest, prosecution or conviction for a period of at least 10 years. The bill would seal the records of those who have nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after they have remained crime-free for at least 10 years. It would also seal all non-conviction records. Additionally, the legislation includes language to provide liability immunity to employers, as well as exemptions for certain industries where the proposed legislation would conflict with federal requirements. Juveniles are not included in this legislation.
In addition to House Bill 1419, several other bills moved through the committee today:
• House Bill 1885
would grant a register of wills the authority to require a personal representative of an estate to post additional security after the register of wills has examined the inventory of an estate or the inheritance tax return.
• House Bill 973
would change the frequency and location for meetings of a county jail board of inspectors in an eighth-class county.
• House Bill 1886
would require the clerk of the orphans’ court to transmit to the court, on at least a quarterly basis, a list of guardians who are delinquent in their duty to file an annual report.
• Senate Bill 108 would prohibit discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient on the basis of a physical or mental disability.
• Senate Bill 180 would make changes to the law regarding organ donation, including those designed to educate students, health care practitioners and the general public about the need to become organ donors.
• Senate Bill 844 would amend the custody statute to allow for an expansion of standing for third parties who do not stand in loco parentis to a child when neither parent can take care of the child. The bill is designed to respond to the opioid crisis by allowing third parties who have a strong connection to the child, including a grandparent, to have standing to file an action for custody.
The legislation will now go to the full House for consideration.
Representative Ronald Marsico
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Autumn R. Southard, 717.652.3721