HARRISBURG -- The state Senate has unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Jake Corman (R-34) which would ensure that all proceeds from Penn State’s $60 million fine are used to fund programs within Pennsylvania.
Lehigh Valley Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24, is a co-sponsor of the bill. The bill passed 50-0.
The fine -- which will go into an endowment for programs to prevent child sex abuse or help abuse victims – is one of a number of sanctions imposed on Penn State by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Penn State paid its first $12 million installment into an escrow fund in December but the NCAA has agreed not to disperse the money while a lawsuit filed by Corman is pending.
Senate Bill 187 would require Penn State and any other higher-education institutions that are required by a governing association to pay a penalty in installments of $10 million or more to deposit those fines into an endowment set up through the state Treasurer.
Under the measure, the funds will be used for child sexual abuse prevention efforts, training of mandated reporters and other victim assistance efforts based in Pennsylvania. The fine money would be held in trust by the state Treasurer and distributed through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
"This fine money is coming from Pennsylvania residents, so it makes sense that it should stay here to benefit organizations and children in the Commonwealth," Corman said. "The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently issued a comprehensive report which points to many worthwhile programs in our state that could benefit greatly from the fine money. The Task Force received testimony from more than 60 experts on protecting children and investigating child abuse, and its recommendations could amount to a virtual rewriting of the Child Protective Services Law. It’s clear that, whatever changes are implemented, the Penn State fine money could do an extraordinary amount of good right here in Pennsylvania."