HARRISBURG, March 21, 2018 — The state Senate today unanimously approved Senator Lisa M. Boscola’s legislation that would enable domestic abuse victims with protection from abuse (PFA) orders to quickly get out of shared cell-phone contracts. 

“Knowing that access to a reliable, and secure cellular phone can be critical to domestic violence victims, my legislation provides an additional layer of security and protection,” Boscola said. “I am encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan vote and am hopeful the House will act quickly on my bill (Senate Bill 313).” 

Boscola noted that in many cases, an abuser will arbitrarily terminate their victim’s phone service, or worse yet, use the joint plan to track down their victim. The Boscola bill enables wireless companies to protect a victim’s phone service while quickly cutting the contractual tie. 

Senate Bill 313 is part of a bipartisan legislative package aimed at protecting domestic violence victims. Other bills in the package would: 

  • allow district justices to use a risk assessment tool to determine bail in domestic violence cases (SB 449);
  • reform the process for third-party safekeeping as an option for domestic violence defendants who are ordered by the court to relinquish their firearms (SB 501).
  • make police available to protect victims before, during and after protection orders are served (SB 500);
  • make it easier for courts to extend a PFA when an abuser is released from custody (SB 502);
  • allow domestic violence victims in public housing to be relocated to a different unit; unit (SB 919); and
  • amends the state Constitution to create a crime victims’ “Bill of Rights (SB 1011).” 

All the bills passed the Senate and now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

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