Committee Approves Bills to Protect Pennsylvanians
5/30/2019
Judiciary Committee Tackles Bills to Protect Pennsylvanians

The House Judiciary Committee recently approved three bills to help protect Pennsylvanians from a variety of crimes.   

Recognizing that some children are coerced into a childhood marriage, House Bill 360 would prohibit the issuance of a marriage license to anyone under the age of 18. The change in law would also better ensure a person choosing to be married is prepared to make this life-altering commitment.

Responding to the growing problem of illegal residential trespassers or “squatters” essentially taking over properties that don’t belong to them, House Bill 365 would give law enforcement officers better tools to remove such individuals from the property.

Finally, the committee approved legislation to create the offense of sexual extortion, which occurs when a person uses coercion and misuses their power to demand sexual acts, images, or videos from victims. Establishing this specific offense better equips law enforcement officers to protect victims and prosecute offenders.

The bills now head to the full House for consideration.
 
 
Education Committee Advances Charter School Reform Measures

The House Education Committee approved four bills aimed at updating and improving Pennsylvania’s charter school laws.

Charter schools are an important component of our effort to ensure we can meet the unique educational needs of each child.

The bills included in the charter school reform package include:

House Bill 355, which would create a new ethics requirement for charter school trustees and administrators. 

House Bill 356, which would give charter schools a first right of refusal for the purchase or lease of unused school district buildings and require school districts, community colleges and state-owned universities to give cyber charter schools reasonable access to their facilities to administer standardized tests. 

House Bill 357, which would require the Department of Education to create a uniform process for a charter school application and a uniform charter amendment process.

House Bill 358, which would allow charter school students to be dually enrolled in college classes through a higher education institution.

The bills now head to the full House for consideration.
                                     
 
Save Money with FREE Weatherization Services for Residents


SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) is helping residents save money by offering free weatherization services to make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the cost of heating and cooling their houses.

This service is available to income-qualifying homeowners and renters in Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Perry, Snyder and Union counties.

Weatherization services include energy education, diagnostics and solutions, furnace repair or replacement, and Cold Weather Crisis intervention.

To get the whole picture, SEDA-COG staff reviews the home heating bills, energy leaks and heat distribution system.

Specifically, services can include:

  • Insulation, sealing air leaks.

  • Heat system repairs and insulation.

  • Water pipe insulation.

  • Appliance efficiency testing.

  • Energy-efficient lighting, faucet aerators and smart strips.

  • Thermostats, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and ventilation fans.

  • Indoor air quality tests and corrective action.


More than 8,600 homes have been weatherized since 2008 through this program.

For more information, call SEDA-COG at 1-800-332-6701 and ask for the Weatherization program.
   
 
Explore Summer Fun Opportunities in PA

Pennsylvania has thousands of places to visit for summer fun, and the Happy Traveler Guide, now available for download here is a great tool to help you plan!

Categorized by region, the guide includes more than 100 pages of attractions, lodging options, dining and many other recreational activities, stretching from Lake Erie to the City of Brotherly Love. The attractions are specially marked for these traveler categories: adventure, arts and culture, family, foodie, history buff, party animal and shopper.

This year’s guide celebrates our awesome amusement parks, eight of which are more than 100 years old! Pennsylvania is also home to more roller coasters rated in the top 100 by Amusement Today than any other state.

Tourism is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries, injecting $41 billion annually in the state’s economy and supporting nearly half a million jobs. Each year, Pennsylvania hosts nearly 200 million travelers from across the United States. An estimated $2.8 billion is spent each year by international visitors.