Jun. 01, 2015

HARRISNBURG—Following up on her commitment to increase safety for our state’s most vulnerable citizens, Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) joined her colleagues in passing legislation to hold those accountable who place young children in danger and to enhance our state’s 911 systems.

“One of my priorities is to strengthen our laws to hold criminals accountable for committing crimes against children,” White said. “I’m happy to report we are doing just that.”

House Bill 74 would change the penalty for endangering the welfare of a child. Currently, the penalty makes no distinction between someone who places a very young child at risk versus an older child.

First, this bill would make the offense a third-degree felony if the crime placed the child at risk of death or serious injury and a second-degree felony if it was part of a continuous course of conduct. Second, the grading for any offense would be increased one level if the child victim is under the age of 6 at the time of the offense.

House Bill 424 would increase the penalty for concealing the death of a child from a first-degree misdemeanor to the third-degree felony. This legislation was created in response to the disappearance of toddler Caylee Anthony in Florida in 2008.

White also supported legislation to upgrade the state’s aging 911 systems.

“We passed House Bill 911 to modernize the law by focusing on the implementation of next-generation technology, which will allow citizens to contact emergency responders through a variety of new communication methods, such as text messaging, video calls and more,” White said.

Not all 911 centers are equipped to handle these new communications methods. House Bill 911 would create a standard statewide which will not only increase convenience for people across Pennsylvania, but would also have the potential to save lives, especially in situations where people need to contact emergency responders in a discreet manner.

All the bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Martina White
170th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster
RepWhite.com / facebook.com/RepMartinaWhite