State Capitol Roundup
3/14/2014
House Judiciary Committee Advances Bill to Protect Police Dogs 
The House Judiciary Committee this week unanimously voted to advance a bill to strengthen felony charges for anyone who deliberately harms or kills a K-9 officer in the line of duty. House Bill 2026 would charge any individual who willfully or maliciously tortures, mutilates, injures, disables, poisons or kills a K-9 officer with a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison. The measure was introduced in response to the fatal stabbing six weeks ago of Pittsburgh K-9 officer Rocco, whose death drew nearly 1,200 people to the funeral, including many police officers and their K-9 partners. House Bill 2026 is expected to be voted in the House as early as next week.

Committee Votes in Support of Bill Aimed at Reducing Drug Overdose Deaths 
A person who calls to seek medical attention for someone overdosing on drugs could be immune from prosecution under legislation approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Under House Bill 1149, immunity would be offered as long as an individual provided the correct name and location, cooperated with the responders, and remained with the person needing medical attention until the responders arrived. Currently, a person who contacts law enforcement or emergency personnel by reporting a drug overdose or transporting someone to get help could face prosecution for possession, use or other offenses related to the presence of the controlled substance at the scene. If prosecuted, their emergency telephone call or actions would be admissible against them. The goal of the bill is to reduce drug overdose deaths, which have increased substantially over the last two decades. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

New Feature Added to Website to Help Pennsylvania Job Seekers 
The Pennsylvania JobGateway website has added a new feature to further assist job seekers throughout the Commonwealth. The site recently added Big Interview, a mock interview tool to help job seekers prepare for the workforce through creating and recording an occupation-specific mock job interview that can be uploaded and sent to professors, friends and family for feedback. Recent research from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry indicated that employers are often disappointed in the preparedness of job candidates. Big Interview was introduced to help address that concern. JobGateway adds new features every six weeks to offer job seekers the latest available technology and information in enhancing their search for employment. Readers can visit the site at www.JobGateway.PA.Gov.
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