Newest laws of the decade

More than 100 bills were signed into law last year in Pennsylvania, including legislation of my own. Below you’ll find information on a few of the most impactful new laws for 2020.

Questions regarding these or any state law may be directed to my office by calling 484-200-8264.

Election Reform: Act 77 of 2019 is the most significant improvement to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years. The law creates a new option to vote by mail up to 50 days before an election, extends the deadline to register to vote by 15 days and helps pay for safer, more secure voting systems with a paper trail. This legislation takes effect for the April 2020 primary election.

“Do Not Call” Law: The strengthened “Do Not Call” law went into effect in December. Under the new law, telephone numbers registered with the state database no longer need to be re-registered every five years. Business telephone numbers also may be added to the “Do Not Call” list. To register your telephone number or to get more information on the new regulation, please visit the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s website.

PA GI Bill: This law extends tuition benefits to Pennsylvania National Guard members’ spouses and children. If the servicemember chooses to re-enlist for six years, their family may attend college at no or reduced cost. This program is the first of its kind in the nation. In addition to supporting military family members, this program also would improve PANG retention and enhance its readiness.

Farm Bill: This multi-bill package’s goal is to create more jobs, expand resources and heighten interest in Pennsylvania’s top industry – agriculture. The new law will provide personal income tax credits for farmers who sell or lease their land to new, beginner farmers, build upon resources within the dairy industry to help with marketing, increase nutrition and agriculture education to students in kindergarten through 5th grade, and to fund the continuous fight against the detrimental spotted lanternfly.

Convicted Elected Officials and Pensions: If a public official, state or school employee is convicted of a job-related felony or a crime punishable by more than five years of jailtime, they will lose their pension. Senate Bill 113 expanded upon the list of crimes that would revoke a public servant’s pension.

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Education: This was my first piece of legislation to be signed into law. To benefit children throughout the commonwealth, the law better equips teachers and other school employees to help children who have experienced trauma, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, succeed by implementing mandatory training. The training will cover how to identify the signs of trauma among students, how to use multi-tiered support systems, and applying schoolwide policies related to positive behavior supports, restorative justice and resiliency.

Other laws passed last year that may be of interest to you include: