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PRINTER'S NO. 3354
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2306
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY ROZZI, BULLOCK, MURT, HOWARD, HARKINS,
SCHLOSSBERG, HANBIDGE, KINSEY, HILL-EVANS, HOHENSTEIN,
GALLOWAY, GAINEY, BURGOS, KENYATTA, SANCHEZ, T. DAVIS,
READSHAW, DONATUCCI, KOSIEROWSKI, FREEMAN, LEE, SHUSTERMAN,
McNEILL, KIM, GILLEN AND DRISCOLL, FEBRUARY 24, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions relating to
children and minors, providing for contracting and consent by
certain minors.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 5106. Contracting and consent by certain minors.
(a) General rule.--Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, a minor may contract for housing, employment, purchase of
an automobile, receipt of a student loan, admission to high
school or postsecondary school, obtaining medical care, opening
a bank account, admission to a shelter for victims of domestic
violence or a homeless shelter and receipt of services as a
victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse, including, but not
limited to, counseling, court advocacy, financial assistance and
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other advocacy services, if:
(1) The minor is at least 16 years of age.
(2) The minor is a homeless minor.
(3) The minor is self-supporting and is without the
physical or financial support of a parent or legal guardian.
(4) The minor's parent or legal guardian has consented
to the minor living independent of the parent's or legal
guardian's control. Consent may be expressed or implied as
follows:
(i) Expressed consent shall be any verbal or written
statement made by the parent or legal guardian of the
minor displaying approval or agreement that the minor may
live independently of the parent's or legal guardian's
control.
(ii) Implied consent shall be any action made by the
parent or legal guardian of the minor that indicates that
the parent or legal guardian is unwilling or unable to
adequately care for the minor. The actions may include,
but are not limited to:
(A) barring the minor from the home or otherwise
indicating that the minor is not welcome to stay;
(B) refusing to provide any or all financial
support for the minor; or
(C) abusing or neglecting the minor or
committing an act of domestic violence against the
minor.
(b) Contract for automobile insurance.--A homeless minor or
a minor who is 16 years of age or older and who is in the legal
custody of a county agency under an order of a court of
competent jurisdiction may contract for the purchase of
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automobile insurance with the consent of the county agency or
the juvenile court. The minor shall be responsible for paying
the costs of the insurance premiums and shall be liable for
damages caused by the minor's negligent operation of a motor
vehicle. No county agency, foster parent or entity providing
case management of children on behalf of a county agency shall
be responsible for paying any insurance premiums nor liable for
any damages of any kind as a result of the operation of a motor
vehicle by the minor.
(c) Contract for checking or savings account.--A homeless
minor or a minor who is 16 years of age or older and who is in
the legal custody of a county agency under an order of a court
of competent jurisdiction may contract for the opening of a
checking or savings bank account with the consent of the county
agency or the juvenile court. The minor shall be responsible for
paying all banking-related costs associated with the checking or
savings bank account and shall be liable for any and all
penalties should the minor violate a banking agreement. No
county agency, foster parent or entity providing case management
of children on behalf of a county agency shall be responsible
for paying any bank fees nor liable for any penalties related to
violation of a banking agreement.
(d) Consent for no cost emergency shelter, housing and
related services.--A homeless minor may consent to no cost
emergency shelter, housing and related services, if the homeless
minor understands the benefits, responsibilities, risks and
limits of the shelter, housing and services and the homeless
minor agrees to adhere to the provider's rules and cooperate and
participate in the services recommended by the provider if:
(1) the provider has not, despite reasonable efforts,
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been able to contact the homeless minor's parent, legal
guardian or legal custodian;
(2) the provider has made contact with the homeless
minor's parent, legal guardian or legal custodian and the
homeless minor's parent, legal guardian or legal custodian
has refused to give consent and, based on the information
available to the provider, the provider reasonably believes
that the homeless minor would incur harm or would be subject
to threatened harm if the homeless minor returned immediately
to the home of the parent, legal guardian or legal custodian;
or
(3) the homeless minor has refused to provide contact
information for the homeless minor's parent, legal guardian
or legal custodian, and the provider reasonably believes that
the homeless minor would incur harm or would be subject to
threatened harm if the homeless minor returned immediately to
the home of the parent, legal guardian or legal custodian.
(e) Duration of consent for no cost emergency shelter,
housing and related services.--Any consent given under
subsection (d) by a homeless minor shall, for the duration of
the period of shelter or housing and with respect to all
services, including medical services, be valid and binding as if
the homeless minor had reached the age of majority. The
following shall apply:
(1) The consent given under subsection (d) shall not be
subject to later disaffirmance by reason of the homeless
minor's minority.
(2) A provider who renders emergency shelter, housing
and related services to a homeless minor under and can
demonstrate compliance with subsection (d) shall be immune
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from any civil or criminal liability based on the provider's
determination to provide the emergency shelter, housing and
related services provided that if a provider's assessment and
determination or conduct in providing emergency shelter,
housing and related services, is the result of the provider's
gross negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions, the
provider may be held liable for the provider's gross
negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions.
(3) A provider who renders emergency shelter, housing
and related services to a homeless minor shall document in
writing the efforts made to contact the homeless minor's
parent, legal guardian or legal custodian.
(4) The provider shall report any suspected child abuse
or neglect to the county agency or the local police
department in accordance with this title.
(f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"County agency." As defined in section 6303 (relating to
definitions).
"Homeless minor." An individual who is under 18 years of
age, who lives apart from the individual's parent, legal
guardian or legal custodian and who lacks a fixed and regular
nighttime residence. The term includes the following:
(1) Children and youths who are sharing the housing of
other individuals due to loss of housing, economic hardship
or other similar reasons, who are living in motels, hotels,
trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of
alternative adequate accommodations, who are living in
emergency or transitional shelters or who are abandoned in
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hospitals.
(2) Children and youths who have a primary nighttime
residence that is a public or private place not designed for
or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for
human beings.
(3) Children and youths who are living in cars, parks,
public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus
or train stations or similar settings.
(4) Migratory children, as defined under the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-10, 20
U.S.C. § 6301 et seq.), living in circumstances under
paragraph (1), (2) or (3).
"Minor." An individual under 18 years of age.
"Provider." An organization established to provide emergency
shelter to minors and to provide related services, health care
or supplies.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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