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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 10:31 AM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Licensing and Inspection of Group-Based Homes

In the near future I will be introducing legislation to require group-based homes which provide concurrent residence to three or more individuals required by law to register as sex offenders under “Megan’s Law” to be licensed and inspected annually by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Such group-based homes are currently required, by law, to notify the municipal government in which they are located when certain violent criminals are to be housed on premises and are limited as to how many sexually violent predators which may reside at the facility at any given time.

However, there is currently no law requiring these facilities to be licensed or inspected by any state agency.

In addition to requiring licensing and annual inspections of such facilities, my legislation will grant DHS the authority to promulgate regulations setting minimum health and safety standards for such group-based homes.

DHS would also have the ability to refuse to grant or revoke a license for any facility which does not adhere to these minimum requirements.

The legislation would also provide for fines and criminal penalties for individuals who operate an unlicensed group-based home or fail to comply with DHS’ written orders regarding their operation.

By nature, facilities that host numerous convicted sexual predators present a danger to the general public.

Requiring such facilities to be licensed and inspected will go a long way to ensuring government fulfills its duty to protect the health and wellbeing of its residents to the greatest extent possible.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to protect the public’s safety.

Introduced as SB557