State Capitol Roundup

New Law Takes Effect to Give Crime Victims a Voice

A new law that gives victims of crime in Pennsylvania a voice in the parole process of inmates has recently taken effect.  Act 14 of 2013 makes it clear that a crime victim or representative for the victim may appear personally before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and provide testimony related to an inmate’s application for parole.  Victims or their representatives also may choose to appear through video conference rather than by telephone if the board has that capability.  In addition, the law also will protect victims against potential retaliation by criminals by keeping the testimony confidential.

Department of State Takes Step to Identify Potential Duplicate Voter Registrations

In an effort to protect the integrity of every vote, Pennsylvania has recently joined a multi-state consortium to identify voters who may be registered to vote in more than one state.  Several years ago, a handful of Midwestern states created the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program to cross-check voter registration databases.  There are 25 states now participating in the program.  The Commonwealth will provide data for the program in January 2014 and should have a list of potential duplicate registrations early next year.  Prior to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, there was no similar method to identify potential duplicate registrations among states.  For more information on registering to vote and voting in Pennsylvania, visit

Public Input on Transportation Priorities Sought  for State Transportation Program Update

As part of the Commonwealth’s 12-year transportation program, state residents are invited to visit to offer their input on transportation priorities and to register for the program’s first-ever interactive online public meeting.  The program, which serves as a blueprint of prioritized transportation projects, is updated every two years through a cooperative effort among the State Transportation Commission, PennDOT and its 23 regional planning partners.  Through Oct. 7, the public can submit feedback at their convenience through the “Tell Us What You Think” survey on the website, through a printed survey obtained by emailing, or by telephone at 1-855-896-4930.  Citizens may also register to take part in an online public meeting to be held from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26.  During the webcast, Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch will give an update on state transportation issues and answer questions from registered participants.  Questions may be submitted in advance to
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