Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!
My family and I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah. We hope you have a joyous holiday season with family and friends and a wonderful New Year!
Governor Signs My Criminal Justice Reform Bill Into Law
This week, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law my legislation to significantly reform Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system.
The reforms contained in my legislation will streamline the placement of criminal offenders in drug treatment programs and other intermediate punishment programs, and this new law will expedite the parole process for non-violent offenders.
I have long felt that emphasizing drug treatment and punishments other than incarceration is the right thing to do for taxpayers, our communities and for those convicted of non-violent crimes. Breaking the cycle of addiction by streamlining the placement of offenders in drug treatment will make our criminal justice system more efficient, improve public safety and reduce the burden we ask taxpayers to bear.
My legislation, Senate Bill 501, is part of a Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) approach to reducing corrections spending and reinvesting savings in strategies that reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Aspects of this new law include incorporating county intermediate punishment programs into county probation; renaming the State Intermediate Punishment Program as the State Drug Treatment Program and streamlining the process for placement; allowing parole agents to quickly detain parolees for violations; and helping improve the process for paroling persons who receive a short sentence to prison.
This legislation builds on the success of JRI measures approved in 2012. Over the past six years, the inmate population in state prisons has been reduced by more than 4,000, and the crime rate has decreased by approximately 3.7 percent, providing an incredible $400 million in projected savings to taxpayers.
Pennsylvania’s criminal justice reform initiatives will further reduce costs in the justice system and ensure the money saved through these reforms is put to good use by providing assistance to our county probation and parole offices in evaluating public safety risks and compensating crime victims.
As the author of this new law, I am proud to be part of our state’s reform efforts to shift policies toward parole and addiction treatment for non-violent offenders instead of unnecessary and costly prison sentences.
Deana’s Law Featured in Newsmaker Show
Recently I sat down with Jill Horner from Comcast Newsmakers to talk about my Deana’s Law legislation. You are able to watch this interview HERE.
Named in honor of DUI homicide victim Deana Eckman, my legislation will mandate the use of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) devices for the first time in Pennsylvania for certain DUI offenders and increase jail time for those convicted of three DUIs or more. Deana’s Law will also require the imposition of consecutive sentences after conviction.
Deana’s Law was recently approved by the Senate’s Transportation Committee, and we are hopeful for a vote on the bill by the full Senate by the first anniversary of Deana’s tragic death on February 16th.
Developing Chester’s Waterfront
There are great things happening along the waterfront in the City of Chester. State, county and city government have partnered with the Philadelphia Union, Power Home Remodeling and many others to bring economic and recreational development to the area.
Earlier this month, I hosted Secretary Dennis Davin of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, officials from the Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and other officials on a tour of the exciting work now underway.
You are able to read a news article about this event HERE.
Behind-the-Scenes at McDonald’s in West Goshen
My thanks to Alyssa and Rich Doane for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at their McDonald’s in West Goshen. The Doanes own and operate 15 McDonald’s restaurants in Chester and Delaware counties.
Small businesses are critical to our economy and they prosper when employees are happy and respected. It was great to visit a business where the owners are invested in the personal success of their team members.
You will find a news article about my McDonald’s visit HERE.
Protecting Children in Foster Care
Pennsylvania’s child welfare system has failed again as a Berks County woman was recently charged with the murder of her two children, Conner and Brinley Snyder, who were returned to her after time in foster care.
I spoke with NBC 10 earlier this month about eliminating the gaping holes in our child welfare system. You can view this interview HERE.
Highlighted in the interview is my legislative proposal resulting from the horrific murder of 14-year old Grace Packer.
In 2016, Grace was brutally murdered by her adoptive mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Despite five different child welfare agencies being aware of irregularities in her home life, the system failed to protect Grace. This tragedy is now the subject of an investigation by the Pennsylvania Inspector General.
As a father and grandfather, I am sickened by what happened to Conner and Brinley Snyder and Grace Packer. As lawmakers, we owe it to them to make sure no other Pennsylvania child suffers their fate.
Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award
I am humbled and honored to be a part of Penn State’s 2020 Class of Distinguished Alumni Honorees. Penn State has been such an integral part of my life, and I am grateful for the preparation provided by PSU to serve my community and the Commonwealth. My thanks to the Board of Trustees for this great honor.
More information about this year’s award recipients can be found HERE.
Digital Family Photos, Videos, Music and Books – Ensuring Our Loved Ones Can Keep this Property When We Die
ABC 27 News in Harrisburg ran a story on my digital assets legislation, Senate Bill 320. You can view this news story HERE.
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not provide an easy mechanism for people to leave online accounts, photos, videos, music and other digital property to loved ones upon their passing. My bill will change that and allow Pennsylvanians to easily transfer digital and online property via a will, trust or power-of-attorney.
Having passed the Senate in October, the bill now is in the House Judiciary committee awaiting consideration.
Tourism is Key in Our Region and State
I recently visited the Independence Visitors Center in Philadelphia and met with the Center’s Board Chairman Tom Caramanico and President & CEO Jim Cuorato. This organization does a tremendous job highlighting key tourist attractions in our region.
In my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, I am a big proponent of promoting tourism across the Commonwealth.
Below are photos from this visit.
Flu Season Precautions
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is encouraging those who have not gotten a flu vaccine yet this year to do so. With the upcoming holiday gatherings many will be attending, it is important to get a flu vaccine to be protected throughout the flu season. As of November 30th, there were 2,667 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu and five deaths statewide.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated and taking specific preventive actions:
Flu symptoms come on quickly and may include a fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Populations at particular risk include the very young, older Pennsylvanians, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions.
Monroe Energy Visit
I had a chance to visit Monroe Energy in Trainer Borough recently. A subsidiary of Delta Airlines, Monroe Energy was founded in 2012 where refining has taken place for more than a century.
Monroe fulfills 70 percent of Delta’s domestic fuel needs. 490 employees and hundreds of contractors work on-site daily.
This company operates three storage terminals and produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, propane, home heating oil and other products. The energy industry has a “high multiplier effect.” Per a 2012 Pennsylvania Department of Labor study, Monroe helps generate 29,000 jobs across the country.
Assistance for Veterans
I partner with the Pennsylvania American Legion every month to assist local veterans at my Brookhaven office. A representative from this organization will be helping veterans with issues on:
Date: Wednesday, January 22nd
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Senator Killion’s Brookhaven Office, 4110 Edgmont Avenue, Brookhaven, PA
I encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment during these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting my office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
How I Can Help
My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.
How to Contact Me
Please visit my website at www.SenatorKillion.com.
I have staffed two offices in the district to provide you with top-notch constituent service and provide answers to legislative inquiries. Both offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Locations are noted below.
If you are having any problems with state agencies or need help with an issue relating to government, my staff and I will be happy to assist you.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.