HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform Executive Director Curt Schroder said his organization looks forward to working with the next chairs of the state's judiciary committees following announcements that both of the current leaders oplan to retire.
Rep. Ron Marsico and Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, both Republicans, each recently announced their retirements in unrelated decisions that the PCCJR said “will prompt a significant shift in the leadership of the powerful committees.”
“The Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform looks forward to having a close working relationship with the next chairs of the House and Senate judiciary committees,” Schroder told the Pennsylvania Record. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of retiring House judiciary chair Ron Marsico and hope that future chairs will show the same sense of fairness exhibited by chairman Marsico.”
Schroder said the PCCJR “has worked very closely with chairman Marsico and his staff," adding that they “have been very open-minded and have shown a true understanding of the need to restore fairness to civil litigation.”
“It is our hope that future chairs of the House and Senate judiciary committees will be open-minded and willing to listen to our views on improving the quality of civil justice in Pennsylvania,” Schroder said.
In a Feb. 2 post on its site, the PCCJR said Marsico supported “legislation to protect nursing homes from predatory out-of-state attorneys and to bring transparency to asbestos litigation, which unite our mutual missions to ensure our courts are operating in a manner that is fair and balanced.”
In a Jan. 22 news release, Greenleaf announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
The release from Greenleaf’s office said he “is the author of several constitutional amendments; one, implemented in 1996 after overwhelming voter approval, allows child witnesses to testify via closed-circuit television.”
“Greenleaf also sponsored 'Megan’s Law' here in Pennsylvania to help protect children from sexual predators,” the release said, adding that he “is also the architect of Pennsylvania’s 'Puppy Lemon Law' as well as the state’s smoking ban in restaurants and numerous other public spaces.”
In addition, the release said Greenleaf “has also been the driving force behind criminal justice reforms as well as criminal rehabilitation efforts aimed at reducing recidivism and helping returning defendants to be productive citizens.”
According to a biography on his site, Marsico “wrote 28 bills that have become law - including cracking down on unwanted invasions of privacy, creating safe havens for unwanted infants at Pennsylvania hospitals and increasing penalties for raping a child under the age of 13.”
In addition, the biography said “throughout his legislative career and as chairman of the judiciary committee, (Marsico) has focused on public safety.”
“His laws increased the number of cadets in the Pennsylvania State Police so that more troopers would be available to patrol Pennsylvania and investigate crime, toughened the death penalty, strengthened laws punishing heroin dealers and modernized Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act so that police can better investigate and stop crime,” the biography said, adding that he “also played an instrumental role in the passage of the Medical Marijuana Act.”