Pielli' wiretap bill passes PA House

H.B. 1278 would extend Wiretap Act expiration to 2029

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Chris Pielli, D-Chester, announced today that his legislation (H.B. 1278) to extend the expiration date of Pennsylvania’s wiretap law has passed the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1278 would extend the expiration date of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act to Dec. 31, 2029. The law was set to expire at the end of 2023.

The bill also would amend the current definition of “oral communication” in the law to remove restrictions on conversations made in the presence of a state parole officer and Department of Corrections police officers.

State Rep. Tim Bonner, R-Mercer/Butler, added an amendment to the bill that would remove previously prohibited recordings of predatory telemarketers.

“Since its enactment, the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act and subsequent amendments have enabled prosecutors to obtain critical evidence for cases,” Pielli said. “As a former attorney and correctional officer, I understand the benefits of utilizing this comprehensive statutory scheme. In an era of increasingly complex communications, this bill will provide the necessary guard rails of judicial oversight for both the accused and accuser.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.