HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation that includes language to provide information and compensation to crime victims, according to Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
House Bill 2464 – which amends the Crime Victims Act to give crime victims legal standing in court – was amended by the Senate to include Senate Bill 708, which was sponsored by Sens. Art Haywood (D-4), Vince Hughes (D-7) and Bartolotta to better protect crime victims.
The added language would reinvest savings generated through companion legislation into victim services and help streamline the process so more victims receive the help they need. It would require the law enforcement officer responding to or investigating an incident to provide basic information about the rights and services available to crime victims.
“Providing for the needs of crime victims is an essential part of the criminal justice system, but in too many cases, victims feel left out of the entire process. This legislation will ensure all victims understand their important role in the system and receive any compensation they are owed,” Bartolotta said.
As amended, House Bill 2464 would also ensure victims know their right to be enrolled into the Address Confidentiality Program, which exempts those who enter the program from providing a public address and telephone number when their life may be in danger.
Senate Bill 708 is part of a package of bills introduced to continue the progress made by the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a bipartisan working group comprised of legislators, stakeholders and advocates of criminal justice reform. The other two proposals, which strengthened public safety and reduced prison and probation costs, were signed into law as Acts 114 and 115 of 2019.
As House Bill 2464 was amended by the Senate, it returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence vote.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer, 717-787-1463