Smart Talk: Marsy’s Law passed by voters, overturned in court

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Advocates for Marsy’s Law were dealt a blow this month when a Commonwealth Court threw out the amendment that passed on the ballot in November 2019.

The court decided that the amendment conflicted with a Pennsylvania Constitution provision that requires amendments address a single subject only. Opponents successfully argued the victim’s rights amendment bundled too many changes together.

The amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, would confer certain protections for victims of crimes, not unlike those extended to criminal defendants. Crime victims in Pennsylvania by law are extended statutory not constitutional protections. Pennsylvania is one of only 15 states that denies victims such rights. What happens now will likely rest with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the fight over Marsy’s law are Jen Riley, the Pennsylvania State Director, Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania, and Jennifer Storm, former Pennsylvania Victim’s Advocate. Steven Bizar with the law firm Dechert LLP, is the lead counsel and a member ACLU of Pennsylvania, and he will join the conversation, too.

“When do we get our Rosie the Riveter moment?”

The paradox of long-term care staffing shortages amid reports of high unemployment is not lost on long-term care workers and administrators.

With plenty of jobs available in the industry, one health administrator is asking how is it that the long-term care industry can need so much help, and the rest of the world is unwilling to provide it?

Erin Viale, is a senior professional in human resources and a licensed nursing home administrator based in Pittsburgh and she joins Smart Talk Thursday. Zachary Shamberg, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) is also on the program with a perspective on the need for workers in this vital industry.