HARRISBURG – The state House this week approved two measures authored by Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks), including legislation to create an exception to reporting identifying information in sexual assault cases and conduct a study on establishing a rape kit tracking system and legislation to simplify the certification process for career and technical instructors.
House Bill 2032
, known as the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, would create an exception to reporting identifying information in sexual assault cases where victims wish to remain anonymous. It would also require Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), in consultation with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, to conduct a study on establishing and sustaining a rape kit tracking system.
“Remaining anonymous is important to victims of sexual violence since the crime is such an incredibly traumatic experience and many fear retaliation or invasion of privacy,” Schroeder said. “By allowing victims to remain anonymous in sexual assault cases, they will feel safer in seeking help and moving forward.”
The report to be conducted by PSP would include identifying the most efficient way of creating an online database accessible to victims of rape and allowing data to be entered in and stored by law enforcement agencies, forensic labs, hospitals and health care facilities.
“We have backlog of rape kits in Pennsylvania. This legislation to conduct a study in solving this backlog is a step in the right direction in getting those processed,” Schroeder added. “The report on the study would be due within 12 months of House Bill 2032 being signed into law.”
The bill is part of a legislative package, Safer Pennsylvania Act. The package is designed to ensure that victims feel safe and supported after a traumatic experience, and that the criminal justice system is equipped to increase public safety outcomes.
House Bill 2646
, also passing the state House this week, would allow teachers holding a current career and technical instructional certificate issued by another state, along with four years wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught and two years of teaching experience, to be issued an equivalent Pennsylvania career and technical instructional certificate.
“Our Commonwealth is experiencing a teacher shortage like we have never seen,” Schroeder said. “While this shortage affects all areas of public education, this solution would go a long way to strengthening our ability to recruit teachers at our career and technical centers.”
House Bills 2032 and 2646 will now head to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Meghan Schroeder
29th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rene Morrow