Jul. 19, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Calling on the FCC to Protect Your Phone from Spoofers


Calls from telemarketers have long been an issue, but the situation becomes dangerous when scammers “spoof” calls. That’s when a call shows a different name or phone number than is actually associated with the caller. All too often it can result in recipients being tricked into sharing their personal information and scammed out of their hard-earned money.

Spoofing needs to be swiftly and aggressively addressed. Despite being illegal, these unwanted robocalls that appear to originate from local, often legitimate, numbers in order to deceive consumers are on the rise.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously supported a resolution urging Congress to grant additional authority to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop unwanted robocalls and spoofing, as well as to educate the public on how to report illegal calls. Spam calls are the most frequent complaint received by the FCC, and it’s time to do something about it.

While we implore the FCC to stop the harassment of Pennsylvanians through their own devices, residents can take action to limit another form of harassment – unwanted calls from telemarketers.

There are two Do Not Call Lists available: The National Do Not Call List and the
Pennsylvania Do Not Call List. Register your cell phone and landline numbers with the state list by calling 888-777-3406 and the national list by calling 888-382-1222. Both phone numbers are toll free.
 
 
Help Track PA’s Thriving Bald Eagle Population


The Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking for the public’s help to track the state’s growing bald eagle population.

After reaching a low of just three nesting bald eagle pairs in the Commonwealth in the early 1980s, officials now estimate there are more than 300 nesting pairs here.

While bald eagles are no longer listed as a threatened species in Pennsylvania, they are still protected by the U.S. Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits taking of the birds, nests or eggs.

If you spot a bald eagle nest, please use proper etiquette to avoid disturbing the birds. To review bald eagle nest guidelines, or to report your nest sighting to the game commission, click here.
 
 
House GOP Advocacy Leads to New Laws to Ensure Fairness, Justice


Working to ensure justice is served for victims of crime in the Commonwealth, several initiatives championed by the House aimed at improving the effectiveness and fairness of court proceedings were recently signed into law.

Recognizing that children and people with intellectual disabilities are often targeted as victims and may have more difficulty handling the trauma of testifying in court, two laws expand the situations in which out-of-court statements by victims or witnesses may be used in lieu of in-person testimony.

Act 31 of 2019 adds several different crimes – such as human trafficking, sexual abuse and related offenses – to the statute allowing out-of-court statements by children. Act 30 of 2019 extends the ability of the court to accept out-of-court statements made by people with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Other measures recently signed into law this week that address court proceedings include Act 23 of 2019, which ensures a victim is permitted to be present at any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses; and Act 24 of 2019, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up a victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.

Learn more about our victim protection initiatives here.  
 
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RepKnowles.com
Office Locations
237 West Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
Email: jknowles@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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