ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
HB 103 would create two new, unnecessary and broadly applicable felonies for offenses against law enforcement officers:
- A new third-degree felony offense for something as small as “expelling” saliva on an officer, punishable by up to 7 years incarceration and $15,000 in fines; and
- A new second-degree felony offense if the person knew or "should have known" they had a communicable disease if their actions could have transmitted a communicable disease, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Police already have special protections that punish people more severely when they’re assaulted, and prosecutors already have all the tools they need to charge offenses against police. Creating new offenses only expands police power to arrest and prosecutorial power to stack charges against defendants. Moreover, the communicable disease provision in HB 103 could be weaponized broadly against the public, including Black people, other people of color, and LGBQ&T communities who are already over-policed, as well as those engaged in First Amendment protected speech, protest, or assembly.
Governor Wolf signed HB 103 into law on November 3, 2022 as Act 99 of 2022.