Simmons’ ‘Caylee’s Law’ Bill Advances to House Floor

Rep. Justin Simmons testifies before the state House Judiciary Committee Tuesday on his Caylee’s Law legislation, which would impose tougher penalties for parents who conceal the death of a child.  

HARRISBURG – A bill sponsored by state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton), which would strengthen the penalties for the crime of concealing the death of a child, was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee today by a unanimous vote. House Bill 1842 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Similar legislation (House Bill 1841), which was sponsored by state Rep. Tarah Toohil
(R-Luzerne), and would strengthen the penalties against someone who makes false reports to police during a criminal investigation involving a child, was also sent to the House floor after a unanimous committee vote. The two measures are in response to the recent Caylee Anthony homicide case in Florida and together are known as “Caylee’s Law.”

“Our goal, when we introduced this legislation last fall, was to make sure we had stronger laws in place here in Pennsylvania to discourage the kind of tragedy involving a young child that occurred in Florida,” said Simmons. “I would like to thank the majority chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Ron Marsico, and the committee members for moving this important piece of legislation forward in a timely manner.”

House Bill 1842 would upgrade the offense of concealing the death of a child to a third-degree felony. It would also increase the maximum penalties to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. The legislation ensures the law applies to a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, guardian, a person responsible for the child’s welfare, including babysitters, teachers and coaches, any individual living in the same home as the child or a paramour of the child’s parent.

House Bill 1841 would make the same changes in the law regarding the crime of providing false information to police in a criminal investigation involving a child.

“In recent months, I have heard from a large number of constituents who support our Caylee’s Law legislation,” said Simmons. “They feel the same way I do. We need to have tougher laws in Pennsylvania for those who commit crimes against children. Even if it results in the saving of one young life, our efforts will be time well spent.”

For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities visit or

State Representative Justin Simmons
131st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Andy Briggs