Press Release, Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf made the following remarks while paying tribute to former Sen. Harris Wofford today at his memorial service in Washington, D.C.:“Hello and thank you for being here today.“I’m here for two reasons: To pay tribute to a Pennsylvanian who honored the commonwealth by his service, and, second, to pay tribute to a human being who was an inspiration to me.“On both, I extend my deepest condolences to all who loved him, and I want to thank Harris’ family for sharing him with us.“His life story is a remarkable one. He seemed to always be where something important was happening – and as he lived his life – the important things that were happening had a lot to do with him.“Thus, he and Clair traveled to India soon after its independence, where they met most of the key leaders of that independence movement.“He was Father Hesburgh’s lieutenant on the Civil Rights Commission. He brought Gandhian non-violence to Martin Luther King Jr.’s attention. He convinced JFK of the need to take civil rights seriously, including his famous phone call to Coretta Scott King.“He helped Sargent Shriver found his Peace Corps. He was a college president – twice. He served in Gov. Robert Casey’s cabinet. He was a U.S. senator.“In all these things, he made our world a much better one, and it was truly a great thing that some of the chapters of his distinguished life had a connection to Pennsylvania.“All of us in Pennsylvania remember him with great appreciation, and we mourn his passing.“I got to know him through our shared commitment to the Peace Corps. He was one of its founders. I was a volunteer.“He was possessed by the idea – and the practice – of service.“From the Peace Corps to the Citizen Service Project to public service, he judged himself and the people he knew by their willingness to serve.“Like many others here today, I was privileged to know him. And, I was privileged to see firsthand how his passion for serving others made the lives of so many of us better.“As Harris said in his last words on the Senate floor, ‘My thoughts tonight are most of all on how lucky I have been; how very lucky.’“Actually, Harris, we who knew you were the lucky ones.” SHARE Email Facebook Twitter March 02, 2019 Governor Wolf Pays Tribute to Former Sen. Harris Wofford
WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Joni Ernst is pressing her GOP colleagues to make it a crime for federal agents to engage in a sex act with a person in their custody.Federal judges, prosecutors and probation officers would also be barred from sexual contact with a defendant. That kind of activity is already a crime for employees in federal prisons. “That would be specifically in prison systems where those guards are taking advantage of their position of authority and engaging in ill-advised activities with those that are imprisoned,” Ernst said.Democrats in the U.S. House included this provision in the 2019 bill that reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, but the bill did not clear the GOP-led Senate. Ernst is lobbying for this issue to be included in the GOP’s police reform package that could be debated yet this month.“Certainly we need to wrap up that loophole, make sure we’re closing down on that and hold our law enforcement officials to a higher standard of conduct,” Ernst said.Ernst said current law lets federal law enforcement officers claim a sexual encounter with a defendant or a person in custody was consensual in order to avoid assault charges. At least 20 states have enacted legislation similar to what Ernst and two of her Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate first proposed at the federal level last year.