State Capitol Roundup
11/15/2013

Legislation to Create Offense of Sexual Assault by Sports Official Approved by House 

House Bill 112 would make it a crime for a sports official, volunteer or employee of a nonprofit association to commit acts of sexual assault against children. The third-degree felony would be applied when that person engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a child who is participating in a sports program of the nonprofit or for-profit association. The penalty would hold a maximum of seven years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine. There is no current provision of law that specifically addresses sexual misconduct with a child by a person who has the influence and access that a sports official or person performing charitable services has. The bill goes to the Senate for consideration. 
 

Lobbyist Disclosure Law Reform Legislation Passes House

House Bill 744 would increase the maximum penalty that may be imposed by the Ethics Commission when a lobbyist has committed an unlawful act. The intent of the legislation is to make lobbying more transparent and apply stronger penalties for violations. The current maximum fine is $2,000. The bill would increase the maximum fine to $10,000. Currently, the commission may prohibit a lobbyist from lobbying for economic consideration for up to five years. The bill would increase that time to 10 years. The bill would increase the maximum administrative penalty that may be imposed for negligent failure to report under the lobbying disclosure law from $50 per late day to $50 per late day for the first 10 days and $250 per late day after the first 10 late days. In addition, the bill increases the misdemeanor grading for various offenses and increasing the maximum fine from $25,000 to $100,000. The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.

LIHEAP Registration Underway

Eligible Pennsylvania residents who are struggling with their home heating bills are encouraged to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP helps low-income people pay their heating bills through home energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Cash grants are awarded based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided in the event of a heating emergency, including broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated. In most counties, assistance with home heating crisis situations is available 24 hours a day. For more information or to apply online, visit www.compass.state.pa.us
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