Sponsored Legislation


Each year thousands of pregnant women across the United States deliver their babies while incarcerated. Childbirth is a deeply personal experience, and mothers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their status as a prisoner. Across Pennsylvania, a practice of restraining mothers while in labor has been instituted by prisons. This barbaric treatment is appalling, and should be saved for the most extreme cases. Mary Jo’s bill would establish a detailed reporting system whereby all instances of use of restraints on pregnant women shall be recorded and reported to the state. This will create much needed oversight, and accountability on the part of prison systems. 


The benefits of breastfeeding to both mothers and their babies are well documented. Decreased cancer risk, decreased risk of diabetes, less postpartum bleeding and more make breastfeeding the best option for new mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life. This is not always an easy task, especially for working mothers who are not allowed the time needed to express milk during the day whether by pumping or active feeding. It is imperative for milk to be expressed as many as 8 times a day to retain proper flow and production. Mary Jo’s legislation would provide workplace accommodations for nursing mothers by allowing them break time to attend to their bodily needs, as well as a safe and comfortable place to do so. 


Pennsylvania has rich environmental diversity in every corner of the state. Unfortunately population growth and human development have encroached on previously undisturbed areas, threatening the wildlife in those places. This legislation drafted by Mary Jo would provide for conservation corridors in PA; meaning the installation of “natural land” pathways across landscapes fragmented by development for safe animal crossings. These conservation corridors have been employed across the country with great success, and we should look to this example to follow in our commonwealth. 


Voting is a sacred right, bestowed upon citizens of our country to make their individual voices heard. Voting is a fundamentally peaceful process that must be protected from threats of violence. Mary Jo believes that polling places are no place for guns to be carried for any reason except by the appropriate law enforcement agents. Carrying a firearm to vote is tantamount to pure voter supression by virtue of intimidation. This bill would prohibit the possesion of a firearm at polling places, ensuring the safety and peace of mind voters deserve.