The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved:
Youth Vaccinations – Senate Resolution 27 (Sen. Kitchen, D-Philadelphia) directs the Advisory Committee on Public Health Law of the Joint State Government Commission to study the issue of youth vaccinations to determine whether any amendments should be made to state law. The committee’s recommendations would be due in 12 months.
House Action This Week
The House passed:
Cyberbullying – PSBA supported House Bill 229 (Rep. Marsico, R-Dauphin), which amends the Crimes Code to create the offense of cyber harassment of a child. A person commits the crime of cyber harassment of a child if, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, the person engages in a continuing course of conduct that involves communicating directly to a child by electronic means such as e-mail or by publication through an electronic social media service. This communication must include seriously disparaging statements or opinions about the child’s physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity, or mental or physical health or condition; or threats to inflict harm.
Truancy Penalties -- PSBA supported House Bill 141 (Rep. Killion, R-Delaware), which would give judges more flexibility in penalizing parents convicted in school truancy cases. Current law allows the parent or guardian of a truant child to be sentenced to pay a fine of $300 and court costs or attend parental education classes. Failure to meet those penalties results in being sentenced to a county jail for a period of up to five days. House Bill 141 adds community service as an alternative to the current requirement to complete a parenting education program. Jail time may be considered, but not required, if fines are unpaid, or programs or community service are not completed. The definition of habitually truant is clarified to mean more than three consecutive days following the first notice of truancy given within a 12-month period.