Judy Schwank

A national advocacy group is calling Pennsylvania’s new anti-revenge porn law inadequate.

Revenge porn refers to nude or sexual images shared without permission of the person pictured. It has been called “intimate partner harassment” by state lawmakers, but legal experts say it might be more broadly called “non-consensual porn” – something that isn’t restricted to spurned lovers posting photos of ex-girlfriends online.

The death of a 55-year-old mother of seven has led to the proposal of new legislation in the PA Senate, which would eliminate sending parents of frequently truant children to jail.

Some school districts in Pennsylvania have a policy where a child who is absent without an excuse for an excessive number of days must appear before a magisterial district judge, and the parents of the child could be fined.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, there were as many as 20,000 concentration camps during from 1933 to 1945 — used for forced labor, transit camps and even killing centers for 11 million victims.

But many don’t believe this actually happened, and others just simply never learned about it.

That’s what House Bill 1424 — which just passed the Senate this week — aims to fix.

Lancaster and Bethlehem were chosen to take part in Pennsylvania’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program this year, but some state lawmakers feel like their cities are missing out.

State lawmakers are already considering efforts to tamp down bullying online, but one Democrat wants to quash a very particular kind of harassment.

Sexually explicit photos or videos that are posted without the consent of the person they feature have become known as “revenge porn.”

It’s illegal in New Jersey and was just banned in California.

Sen. Judy Schwank of Berks County said she’s talked to people whose reputations, job opportunities and safety has been affected by material their ex-spouses or ex-lovers posted online.

Although Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state, it has the largest full-time legislature in the nation with 253 members (203 in the House, 50 in the Senate).

At least three different proposals to reduce the size of the General Assembly are floating around the state capitol.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said he will introduce two measures: one that would reduce the House to 153 members, and the other to shrink the Senate to 38.

Hundreds of municipalities in the commonwealth that do not have their own police departments can request state police coverage, and get it for free. 

State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) wants to charge for it.  

According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, an office of the state legislature, the Pennsylvania State Police provided full- or part-time coverage to more than 1,700 of the state's 2,562 municipalities.