State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

New year, new laws. Check out some of the latest updates to PA's books.

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 2, 2019 8:21 PM
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Governor Tom Wolf signs a bill into law. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

 

(Harrisburg) -- As 2018 turned to 2019, a bunch of new laws took effect in Pennsylvania.

For one, a new year in the commonwealth wouldn't be complete these days without an increase to turnpike tolls.

They went up six percent at the start of the year--the eleventh straight increase.

Harsher penalties for drunk driving are now on the books too. Third-time offenders with blood alcohol levels at or above 0.16 now face felony charges.

Another new bill, which partially kicked in after Christmas, is a so-called "Clean Slate" measure. It's designed to get people back into the workforce after convictions, sealing records for summary offenses and non-violent misdemeanors after 10 years. Right now, people have to petition to get their records cleared, but the process will become automatic on June 28. 

There is also a new law protecting child victims of human trafficking. Under it, these children can't be prosecuted. It also creates a new victim services fund for them.

This article has been updated to correct a description of the Clean Slate Act. The record expungement process is not yet automatic. Until June, interested people will have to petition to have their records cleared. 

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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