State Capitol Roundup

Benninghoff Resolution Aims to Bring Awareness to Childhood Cancer

A House resolution introduced by state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and unanimously approved in June designates the month of September in Pennsylvania as “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”  Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15.  The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 11,000 children are likely to be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year.  Despite the large number of cancer diagnoses in children, advances in treatment in recent decades have resulted in more than 80 percent of children with cancer now surviving five years or longer, compared to only a 60 percent five-year survival rate in the mid-1970s.  Pennsylvania has been a leader in the fight against and treatment of childhood cancer, with some of the nation’s leading hospitals and cancer treatment centers located in the Commonwealth.

House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Bill Addressing Cyber Harassment of Children

Members of the House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing in Harrisburg this week on legislation to make it a crime to use the Internet to harass a child.  House Bill 1163 would define cyber harassment of a minor as a crime in which a person uses any form of electronic communication with the intent to harass a child or post information on a social media network about a child such as: statements or opinions about the child’s sexuality or sexual activity; disparaging statements or opinions about the child’s physical characteristics, mental or physical health or condition; or threats about the use of unlawful harm.  The bill would classify cyber harassment of a child as a third-degree misdemeanor and would allow a case to be prosecuted in the location where the victim of the harassment resides.

Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Applications Now Available

Fire companies and volunteer ambulance services throughout Pennsylvania can now submit an application for the 2013-14 Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.  The grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction.  The application period will remain open until Oct. 24.  The grants are funded from state gaming proceeds, and a total of $30 million is available to support these valuable public safety organizations.  For more information, visit and click on “Fire and Ambulance Grants.”
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