Philadelphia City Council Votes in Favor of Resolution Related to Victims’ Rights

PHILADELPHIA [June 21, 2018] -- Today, the Philadelphia City Council voted in favor of a resolution commending the Pennsylvania General Assembly for working in a bipartisan manner to address victims’ rights.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown and Cherelle Parker, was prompted by the state Senate’s recent passage of bills related to victims’ rights, domestic violence, gun control and more.

Marsy’s Law, one of the primary drivers of the City Council resolution, was unanimously approved by both the Pennsylvania Senate and the House. Marsy’s Law (Senate Bill 1011) would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide equal protections for crime victims.

“The Philadelphia City Council appreciates the bipartisan effort of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to address victims’ rights in Philadelphia and across the state of Pennsylvania,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. “This issue is worthy of the laser beam focus we intend to provide.”

"We at Marsy's Law are grateful to have the support of the Philadelphia City Council," said Jennifer Riley, Pennsylvania campaign director for Marsy’s Law. "This resolution exemplifies the widespread support for equal rights for crime victims in Pennsylvania — and we look forward to our continued work with City Council members throughout the constitutional amendment process.” 

Bills included in the resolution include:

  • Senate Bill 1011, sponsored by Sen. Guy Reschenthaler and also known as Marsy’s Law, amends the state Constitution to extend enumerated rights of victims.
  • Senate Bill 196, sponsored by Sen. Vincent Hughes, allows a judge to order a defendant to wear an electronic monitoring device if a defendant is found to present a substantial risk of violating a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.
  • Senate Bill 1082, also sponsored by Sen. Hughes, amends the Crime Victims Act by expanding services for survivors and victims of crime.
  • Senate Bill 919, sponsored by Sen. Art Haywood, allows the option for domestic violence victims who live in public housing to be relocated to another unit.
  • Senate Bill 449, sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta and also known as Tierne’s Law, allows magisterial district judges to use a risk assessment tool to determine bail for domestic violence defendants.
  • Senate Bill 500, sponsored by Sen. Randy Vulakovich, ensures that law enforcement protection is available to a victim during the process of obtaining and serving a PFA.
  • Senate Bill 501, sponsored by Sen. Tom Killion, removes the third-party safekeeping option for domestic violence defendants who are ordered by the court to relinquish their firearms.
  • Senate Bill 502, sponsored by Sen. Tom McGarrigle, will assist the court in extending a PFA order when the abuser is released from custody.

“We commend these efforts,” said Councilwoman Cherelle Parker. “We, as Philadelphia City Council, will continue to support efforts that ensure equal rights for crime victims and we will continue to do our part to protect victims and their families.”