Contact Information 
District Offices
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9
Coopersburg, PA 18036

Phone: (610) 282-0160
Fax: (610) 282-3955

191 Main St., Suite 104
Emmaus, PA 18049
Phone: (610) 965-5830
Fax: (610) 282-3955

56 W. Fourth St., 2nd Floor
Red Hill Borough Building
Red Hill, PA 18076
Phone: (215) 679-3152
Fax: (215) 679-3155
 
Capitol Office
5 East Wing
PO Box 202131
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131
Phone: (717) 783-1673
Fax: (717) 705-7012
Stronger Protections for Crime Victims
4/12/2019
Facebook Website Bio Latest News State Forms Photo Gallery Contact
The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Stronger Protections for Crime Victims

With this week being National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the House began working through a package of bills designed to help protect victims of crime.

A cornerstone of this package is Marsy’s Law, a bill that seeks to amend the state Constitution by adding a victims’ bill of rights.

Other bills in the package passed this week include measures to shield rape victims from being re-victimized by irrelevant cross examination; allow victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism to submit out-of-court statements rather than face their perpetrators in court; expand the types of crimes for which an out-of-court statement can be accepted; and allow crime victims to attend any proceeding relating to their cases, unless attending would materially alter the victims’ testimony.

The bills now head to the Senate for consideration. Learn more here.
 
 
My ‘Caylee’s Law’ Bill Advances to Senate

I am pleased to report that my legislation to increase the penalties for the crime of concealing the death of a child was passed unanimously by the House this week and will next be considered by the Senate.

House Bill 288 is also known as “Caylee’s Law” because its impetus is the highly publicized child death case of Caylee Anthony in Florida a decade ago in which her mother waited almost a month before reporting her daughter was missing.

My proposal would upgrade the offense of concealing the death of a child from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony and increase the maximum penalties to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
 
 
In the District


I had a great meeting this week with Natacha Rivera of the Victim Services Center of Montgomery County. They do outstanding work with victims of sexual assault and rape.
      
 
Honoring the Victims of the Tree of Life Shooting


On Wednesday, the House and Senate held a rare and historic joint session to remember the 11 victims of the shooting rampage at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh nearly six months ago.

We honored their memories, prayed for those injured in the attack and applauded first responders who risked their own lives to save others.

We also unanimously adopted House Resolution 214, which designated April 10 as “Stronger Than Hate Day” in the Commonwealth. You can watch a video of the somber and moving ceremony here.
 
 
Expanding the Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse

As the Commonwealth marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the House passed a two-bill package known as the Pennsylvania Hidden Predator Act to help empower victims of child sexual abuse.

House Bill 962 would change the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, allowing childhood victims until age 55 to file suit, and provide for waivers of sovereign and governmental immunity relating to claims of childhood sexual abuse. It would also abolish the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse moving forward.

House Bill 963 would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide a two-year window in which civil lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse may be filed in court, notwithstanding any otherwise applicable statute of limitations defense.

These bills, which will next be considered by the Senate, are important in the effort to ensure justice for victims of past abuse.
 
 
Spring Newsletter Available Online

My spring newsletter, which arrived in mailboxes around the district this week, is also available online here. It includes an update on the 2019-20 budget process, details on some upcoming events in our area, and the latest on legislation I am working on.
 
 
Give PennDOT Feedback

PennDOT is looking for feedback on its winter services and communications. You can provide your input by taking a 10-question survey that asks about how often you travel in poor weather, how you rate PennDOT’s winter service, and how you rank its snow-removal priorities. You can take the survey by clicking here.
 
Let's Get Connected
 
Our District
Web Site

RepSimmons.com
 
Office Locations
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
Share |