Gov. Tom Corbett signed three more pieces of post-Sandusky reforms to Pennsylvania s child protection laws Monday.
Here s a brief synopsis of the bills that hit the governor s desk:
Senate Bill 24
Creates a new, more-inclusive state database on reports of child abuse, and erases existing barriers to quick information sharing between police and child welfare agencies.
The new database would give investigators on a new case access to every past report lodged against a past perpetrator, including those like malnutrition or poor living conditions that may have only required counseling services or other civil intervention.
Unlike the state's Megan's Law registry of sex offenders, the child abuse database would not be accessible to the public.
But the goal to is give investigators important context for their cases that has often been missed in past cases because of confidentiality rules, or lost because families moved into a new county.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-Allegheny County, also updates language to permit new reports and old case files to be transferred electronically, making case investigation much more efficient going forward.
For more information on Vulakovich's bill,
House Bills 89 and 316
These bills start and create new state funding streams for Childrens Advocacy Centers regional clearinghouses for the investigation of child abuse cases and the provision of treatment for its victims.
House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Julie Harhart, R-Northampton County, would double fees for birth certificates from to , with most of the new revenue earmarked for an annual pool of nearly million for grants to new or existing centers.
House Bill 89, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Lower Paxton Twp., would kick-start that funding effort with an immediate transfer of 0,000 in currently-unused funds from the now-defunct Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
There are 21 regional advocacy centers in operation now. A recently-completed planning study is trying to explore how many additional centers would be needed to place all Pennsylvanians within an hour's drive of a CAC.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, the chairman of the Legislature's Task Force on Child Protection, said Monday that preliminary drafts of that study suggest about 12 more are needed to provide statewide coverage.
For more details on the funding bills,
More to come
The General Assembly could also act as early as this week to a final batch of bills, including and clarifying what a reporter s responsibilities are.
These reforms, and an earlier set adopted late last year, are all responses to recommendations from the task force, empanelled to study Pennsylvania s child protection systems in the wake of
Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of serially sexually molesting 10 boys during and after his lengthy stint as defensive coordinator to Penn State s legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.
He is currently serving a minimum 30-year state prison term.
Penn State has since reached monetary settlement agreements with 26 self-identified Sandusky abuse victims, totalling .7 million.
Travel Soccer is a great experience but it is not for everyone. Please read or Policies concerning Commitment in deciding whether it is right for you and your family.