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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 12, 2012 02:09 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione and Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Assault on Public Transportation Employees
In the near future, Senator Greenleaf and I plan to re-introduce legislation, formerly S.B. 236 of 2011-2012, which would provide heightened penalties for offenses committed against public transportation employees. The intent of this legislation is to reduce and eliminate future assaults against such employees.

Under current law, a protected class of public servants has been created under section 2702 (c) of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses). This class, which does not include public transportation employees, receives protection from additional offenses of aggravated assault while performing assigned job duties. Additional offenses against the employees listed in section 2702 (c) include attempting to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury, attempting by physical menace to put in fear of imminent serious bodily injury and using tear gas or electronic incapacitation devices. When committed against the protected class of employees, these additional offenses are considered second degree felony offenses; however, when committed against transportation employees, they are graded as first or second degree misdemeanors.

Unfortunately, at this time, public transportation workers are only protected from an offense of aggravated assault if a person attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause serious bodily injury—a first degree felony offense. No second degree felony offenses of aggravated assault against public transportation employees exist.

My legislation would include public transportation employees in the protected class of employees found under section 2702 (c) of Title 18. This would provide for additional offenses of aggravated assault against public transportation employees to ensure they receive protection equal to that of other public servants under the law.

More than 60 public transportation employees have been attacked this year, and the number of assaults escalates annually. We cannot allow the lives of more workers and passengers to be endangered without providing adequate protections and repercussions for committing such offenses. Now is the time to take action.

This legislative proposal has already received support from the following organizations and offices: AFL-CIO, SEPTA, the Pittsburgh Port Authority, the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85, Transport Workers Union Local 234, the City of Philadelphia Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police Pennsylvania State Lodge and the NAACP Philadelphia Branch. Please join us in supporting and protecting all public transportation employees throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

S.B. 236 was co-sponsored previously by Senators Greenleaf, Fontana, Tomlinson, Rafferty, Browne, Leach, Erickson, Brewster, Costa and Stack.

If you are interested in co-sponsoring this legislation, please contact Amanda Wolfe at awolfe@pasenate.com or (717)787-1141.

Introduced as SB282