Legislative Accomplishments

The start of each two year legislative session offers the opportunity for the introduction of new and renewed measures, in order to implement changes to Pennsylvania’s laws and policies. 

The process of a bill being signed into law is tedious and requires extensive input from our constituents, community leaders, local elected officials, stakeholders and colleagues in the General Assembly. I am proud to have successfully worked to achieve enactment of the following pieces of legislation.

Legislation Signed Into Law

Child and Victim Protection

Act 61 of 2022 (HB 975*) Amends the Crimes Code to create the offense of institutional sexual assault of a care-dependent person, further protecting persons with a physical or cognitive disability or impairment while living or receiving treatment in a facility.

Act 50 of 2022 (SB 1179) Modernizes the Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act by allowing applications and supporting documents to be filed electronically, and expanding the eligibility list to include victims of child abduction or human trafficking.

Act 53 of 2021 (SB 87) Enhances the penalties for child pornography and establishes a task force on child pornography.

Act 31 of 2019 (SB 469) Expanding the Tender Years Exception for out-of-court statements to include additional serious sexual offenses.

Act 16 of 2019 (HB 1615*) Requiring Pennsylvania institutions of higher education to offer online and anonymous options to report sexual misconduct.

Act 117 of 2013 (SB 23) Expanding the definition of a perpetrator to include family and broadening the definition of a person responsible for a child’s welfare to any individual who has direct or regular contact with a child. 

Act 14 of 2013 (HB 492*) Allowing crime victims to provide in-person testimony at parole hearings.

Act 204 of 2012 (SB 816) Redefining the purpose and scope of the Office of the Victim Advocate. 

Act 56 of 2012 (SB 817) Limiting the shackling of children during court proceedings. 

Act 23 of 2012 (SB 815) Eliminating nearly all waiving of counsel in juvenile delinquency hearings. 

Act 22 of 2012 (SB 818) Requiring juvenile court judges to place their reasoning for placement decisions on the record. 

Act 69 of 2010 (SB 260) Granting the Attorney General concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute sexual abuse of children.

Act 46 of 2010 (SB 1427) Providing for restitution for victims of juvenile crime in Luzerne County and victims of juvenile offenders funding.

Act 32 of 2009 (HB 1648*) Establishing the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice.

Consumer Protection and Community Need

Act 61 of 2023 (SB 506) – Further provides for the appointment of guardianship for an incapacitated person.   

Act 64 of 2023 (SB 815) – Amends the Tax Code to clarify that the grantor of an irrevocable trust is obligated to pay the appropriate state income taxes rather than the beneficiaries.   

Act 7 of 2023 (HB1100*) Amends the Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program to increase the income eligibility and the amount of rebates for homeowners and renters.  Further, for the first time, the income limits will be adjusted annually equal to the CPI.  SB 608 looked to accomplish a similar goal by holding harmless this year’s social security large COLA.

Act 88 of 2022 (SB 982) Prohibits outside groups from contributing to election operations and establishes the ‘Election Integrity Grant Program’.

Act 68 of 2018 (SB 934) Creating an elevator safety board and establishing elevator safety standards following the death of Luzerne County Corrections Officer Kris Moules. 

Act 50 of 2017 (SB 242) Strengthening PA One Call reporting to improve community and worker safety and placing unconventional gas lines in rural Class 1 areas under PUC oversight.

Act 40 of 2017 (HB 118*) Providing for a feasibility study in Wyoming County for the creation of a state park, which is one of only a few counties with no facilities.

Act 41 of 2013 (HB 1325*) Ensuring a balance is maintained in enabling community growth and rural homeownership while protecting Pennsylvania’s specially designated watersheds

Act 127 of 2012 (SB 325) Creating a statewide registry for Class 1 Marcellus Shale pipelines and granting the PUC authority to conduct safety inspections.

Act 24 of 2010 (SB 1050) Providing for the removal of waste tire piles.

Corrections and Justice Reforms

Act 34 of 2023 (HB 1300*) – Establishes the Indigent Defense Advisory Committee at the PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency, thereby creating for the first-time minimum standards for the delivery of effective legal defense for this population. 

Act 36 of 2023 (HB 689*) – Provides for an expansion of the sealing of certain felony convictions, aka clean slate provisions, for qualifying low-level drug offenses. 

Act 44 of 2023 (SB 838) – Provides probation reform that promotes both a defendant’s rehabilitation and protection of the public. 

Act 53 of 2023 (HB 1278*) – Extends the sunset date for the state’s wiretap law, allowing law enforcement continued access to this useful investigative tool for public safety.

Act 47 of 2022 (SB 905) Allows for improvements to the scheduling of probation and parole meetings.

Act 46 of 2022 (SB 904) Permits probation meetings to be held remotely.

Act 7 (SB 84), Act 8 (SB 85) & Act 9 (SB 86) of 2021 Makes uniform the succession of the office of district attorney in various classes of counties.

Act 78 of 2020 (SB 902) Creating Assistant District Attorney Succession Requirements (4th-8th Class Counties).

Act 115 of 2019 (SB 501*) Expanding the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI2) legislation, providing for improvements to the sentencing process.

Act 114 of 2019 (SB 500) Sponsored the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI2) legislation, which created the county adult probation and parole advisory committee.

Act 133 of 2018 (SB 748) Ensuring responsible notice and consideration of any proposed closure of structures employing individuals who provide law enforcement, security, or care custody, and control of inmates. 

Disability Advocacy

Act 43 of 2017 (HB 542*) Providing that contributions to a PA ABLE account may be deducted annually from taxable income up to a maximum of the annual federal gift tax exclusion. 

Act 26 of 2016 (HB 400*) Transitioning high school students with disabilities into competitive integrated employment. 

Act 17 of 2016 (SB 879)  Creating the ‘Achieving a Better Life Experience’ (ABLE) program, administered by the Department of Treasury.  These are savings accounts to be used for qualified expenses related to a person’s disability.

Emergency Preparedness

Act 172 of 2016 (HB 1683*) Granting municipalities which levy an earned income tax the option to waive that tax for volunteer firefighters and volunteers at nonprofit emergency medical service agencies, in an effort to help recruit, retain, and reward volunteers. 

Act 187 of 2014 (SB 720) Establishing the Small Disaster Assistance Program to help counties and municipalities that become victims of disasters that fall below the federal threshold. 

Act 9 of 2012 (SB 995) Improving emergency management and response at Marcellus Shale wellsites by requiring drillers to create disaster plans and share them with emergency responders. 

Act 37 of 2009 (SB 240) Modernizing Pennsylvania’s Emergency Medical Services Law to ensure high levels of patient care and greater public safety. 

Act 31 of 2008 (SB 987) Providing standard and uniform language for municipalities regarding the delivery of fire and emergency medical services.

Health and Human Services

Senate Resolution 20 of 2019 A Resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study of the impact of venue for medical professional liability actions on access to medical care and maintenance of health care systems.

Act 7 of 2020 (HB 1001*) Creates the Keystone Mothers Milk Bank Act.  This concept is found in SB 811.

Act 111 of 2019 (SB 473*) Preventing tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21 and expands the definition of tobacco products to include vaping and e-cigarette devices.  Act 111 draws on the premise and definitions of SB 396.

Act 108 of 2019 (SB 314) Establishing the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund to provide a more dependable and fair funding formula for rural hospitals.

Act 19 of 2019 (SB 695*) Delaying the implementation of the Department of Human Services plan to utilize a statewide or regional broker for delivery of services to senior citizens, until DHS conducts a thorough review.

Act 112 of 2018 (HB 1884*) Requiring notification directly to patients of certain medical test results, if a significant abnormality is discovered. 

Act 106 of 2018 (HB 1233*) Creating a new standard for assisted outpatient treatment so that individuals need not present a clear and present danger before they can receive needed mandatory outpatient mental health services. 

Act of 2018 (SB 978) Authorizing hospices to dispose of unused medications upon the death or discharge of a patient.  Previously, hospices were not authorized to touch such medications and instead could be forced to hand them over to family members, who would in turn need to determine a proper method of disposal. 

Act 1A of 2017 (HB 218*) Providing a supplemental appropriation for Critical Access Hospitals.

Act 125 of 2012 (SB 351) Offering Good Samaritan civil immunity to bystanders who give emergency aid and to businesses who house AEDs.

Act 87 of 2008 (SB 684) Creating the Child Death Review Program to coordinate local teams to examine the circumstances surrounding deaths of individuals under the age of 21.

Labor and Industry 

Act 132 of 2018 (SB 676) Reforming the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund. 

Act 36 of 2017 (HB 409*) Modernizing Pennsylvania’s construction codes and allowing future code changes to be more easily adopted. 

Act 144 of 2016 (HB 319*) Restoring unemployment compensation benefits to seasonal workers and ensuring the long-term solvency of the UC system.

Act 113 of 2016 (SB 889) Extending Heart and Lung Act benefits to Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission Enforcement Officers, in the event of an injury while performing their duties.  

Act 184 of 2014 (HB 1846*) Reforming the practice of physician dispensing within the worker’s compensation system. 

Act 75 of 2013 (HB 421*) Exempting summer camp owners from paying unemployment compensation taxes on full-time students employed during the camp season.

Act 84 of 2011 (HB 278*) Increasing the bid limit threshold for second class townships. 

Military and Veterans Affairs

Act 156 of 2022(SB 1083) Amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to provide eligibility for spouses of active-duty members of the Armed Forces upon transfer of duty, thereby correcting a technical loophole that previously existed in state law.

Act 104 of 2020 (SB 1076) Removing the sunset date on the PA Military Family Relief Assistance Program, thereby making the program permanent in state law.

Act 62 of 2019 (SB 298) Redirecting fines paid for Stolen Valor offenses, from the General Fund, to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund.

Act 6 of 2016 (HB 561*) Excluding active duty military pay from the definition of earned income, thereby prohibiting collection of local earned income tax by local governments.  

Act 32 of 2015 (SB 42) Providing penalties for falsely claiming to be a veteran in pursuit of a veteran’s designation on your driver’s license

Acts 17 and 18 of 2015 (SB 284 & SB 285) Creating the ‘Honoring Our Veterans’ license plate for motorcycles, with proceeds to benefit the Pennsylvania Veteran’s Trust Fund.

Act 80 of 2014 (SB 1090) Extending free hunting and fishing licenses to 100% disabled veterans. 

Act 66 of 2014 (SB 923) Expanding eligibility guidelines for the Military Family Relief Assistance Program, to help more military families who have fallen on hard times.

Act 5 of 2013 (SB 302) Providing training requirements and standards for county veteran’s affairs directors. 

Act 194 of 2012 (SB 1531) Creating the Pennsylvania Veteran’s Trust Fund, to enhance programs, services, and benefits for veterans.

Act 32 of 2012 (SB 1167) Allowing military parents to more easily change their custody arrangements before deployment.

Act 66 of 2007 (SB 915) Establishing the Veteran’s Service Officer Program to better coordinate veterans outreach assistance and support programs through veteran’s service organizations.

Transportation and Roads

Act 23 of 2022 (HB 1560*) Designating a section of SR 309, located between SR 1026 in Luzerne County and SR 29 in Wyoming County, as the Edward L. Nulton Sr. Memorial Highway.

Senate Resolution 53 of 2021 Directs the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to study the PennDOT Highway Maintenance Funding Formula, which has not been updated since 1997.

Act 35 of 2015 (SB 405) Designating Interstate 84, Exit 30 as the Corporal Bryon K. Dickson, II Exit.

Act 58 of 2011 (SB 163) Designating the Brigadier General Richard J. Tallman Memorial Bridge.

Act 99 of 2010 (SB 1320) Designating Interstate 84 as the Fallen Trooper Memorial Highway.

*In addition to prime sponsored bills and resolutions, this list includes compromise bills where the House companion was the vehicle signed into law, as well as bills incorporating Baker authored language or legislation where her involvement was critical to final passage.

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