HARRISBURG - Governor Edward Rendell today signed legislation to bring the power of the Pennsylvania Game Commission to conduct stops and searches in line with the commonwealth's police officers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania praised the governor for recognizing the flaws in the current law and for approving House Bill 181.
"Sportsmen do not give up their rights and aren't presumed to be criminals simply because they hunt and fish," said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
Under current law, Game Commission officers can stop and search someone at any time and for no reason. HB 181, introduced by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster County), requires that commission officers find reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred to stop a vehicle and to ask for identification. They will need to meet the stronger probable cause standard to conduct a search.
Hoover noted that the ACLU of Pennsylvania has received numerous complaints about stops and searches by commission officers.
"We've been aware of the flaws in the current code for some time," Hoover said. "At the ACLU, we prefer revising bad law through legislation and only resort to litigation when there is no other choice.
"In this case, the legislature and the governor understood that this needed to be fixed."
House Bill 181, now Act 64 of 2010, will go into effect in 60 days.
New York governor signs law designed to restrict video games Building on the 2007 initiative of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, current Governor David Paterson signed into law New York Senate bill s.6401-A. The bill's stated purpose is to "take steps to crack down on video game violence and...
UTAH GOVERNOR VETOES GAMING LEGISLATION Jon Huntsman, Utah's governor vetoed HB 353, a bill which targets both movies and video games. Hunstman stated: "While protecting children from inappropriate materials is a laudable goal, the language of this bill is so broad that it will likely be struck down by the courts as an unconstitutional violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause and/or the first Amendment...
New York Governor Signs Foreclosure Bill GOVERNOR PATERSON SIGNS COMPREHENSIVE REFORMS TO ADDRESS FORECLOSURE CRISIS Law Will Help Save Thousands of New Yorkers from Losing Their Homes to Foreclosure; Reforms Will Help to Prevent a Similar Crisis in the Future Governor Paterson Commends Federal Government for Following New York?s Lead and Taking Additional Action Governor David A...