Baker Reappointed as Senate Judiciary Chair; Sets Agenda for 2021-2022 Legislative Session
HARRISBURG – Known for her bipartisan approach to problem-solving, and a strong commitment to changing laws, policies and practices that are no longer working, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) continues serving as chair of the consequential Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The Judiciary committee is extremely important because of its wide-ranging jurisdiction and the conflicts over the issues brought before it,” Baker said. “In addition to the normally heavy load of legislative proposals, this year brings intensified concerns about justice, fairness, and the protection of fundamental rights.”
Honoring a commitment she made last year, Baker has shared that her immediate priority is giving the second round of legislative approval, and sending to the voters, a proposed constitutional amendment opening a two-year window to the civil statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. She will also be pushing for new reforms being advanced by Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Task Force. Baker has helped lead the effort for the last year, and explained the group is nearly ready to release its recommendations on evidence-based policies that better align practices with public safety research.
“Responding to the additional challenges of COVID-19 complicates nearly every issue,” Baker added. “Not a day goes by without news about business closures, layoffs, and permanent job losses. There are reports that abuse of every variety is on the rise because of the loss of contact with protective services. And the pandemic has placed even greater demands on our indispensable first responders and the difficulties encountered by our veterans.”
Baker has also been appointed to the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform tasked with examining the uniformity, accuracy and security of Pennsylvania’s election processes.
“We will be taking a hard look at what went right and what went wrong in recent elections,” Baker concluded. “If we approach this responsibility in a constructive manner, we can emerge with remedies and additional reforms that will improve voter access and increase participation in future elections. Our democracy functions best when there are more voters engaged.”
New for the 2021-2022 legislative session, Baker will serve as a member of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. A champion for workers and employers, she will once again act as vice-chair of the Labor and Industry Committee. She will continue to focus on protecting vulnerable populations and ensuring public safety as a member of the Aging and Youth, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and Veterans’ Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. Baker said these committee assignments will give her an opportunity to make a difference in the communities she serves.