Legislation suggests a new way to support Pa. Children’s Trust Fund | Five for the Weekend

So far, the bill has 25 bipartisan cosponsors

By: - March 19, 2022 6:30 am

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Happy weekend all.

A new piece of legislation currently being considered by the Pennsylvania General Assembly aims to make it easier for Pennsylvania residents to support efforts to fight child abuse.

The bill, HB 2437, “would allow individuals renewing vehicle registrations or a driver’s license to include an optional $5 donation to the Children’s Trust Fund, which awards grants to community-based programs to prevent child abuse and neglect,” according to a statement from House Democrats.

The bill was introduced by state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, of Philadelphia, the ranking Democrat on the House Children and Youth Committee, and state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, who is the committee’s majority chair.

Funding for the Children’s Trust Fund is currently generated by a $10 surcharge on all applications for marriage licenses and divorce complaints, and donations, all of which have declined over the last decade, according to the statement.

“More than 3 million children per year are abused or neglected in the United States, and it’s been estimated that 1 in 1,000 children in Pennsylvania are abused or neglected,” DeLissio, who serves on the board of the Children’s Trust Fund, said. “This legislation would provide a convenient option for Pennsylvania residents to support important work being done to prevent abuse and neglect.”

So far, the bill has 25 bipartisan co-sponsors.

As always, the top five stories from this week are below. 

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

1. The Capital-Star’s 2022 Pa. incumbent retirement and primary tracker

With the 2022 elections on the horizon, tracking legislative turnover amid changing lines, double-bunked incumbents, and retirements is difficult. But the Capital-Star will attempt to track these potential changes over the coming months.

The House and Senate maps were approved in their final form Feb. 5, and the state Supreme Court said the maps are constitutional Mar. 16. These lines drew 26 lawmakers in with each other, however many of those matchups have been resolved by retirements.

Below are the 31 state legislators who have so far said they will not run for reelection, and the eight who still face a colleague to return to Harrisburg next year.

(Photo via The Philadelphia Tribune)

2. Thirteen men died after going to the Allegheny County Jail. Here are their stories

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, 13 men incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail have died, the most recent, a 26-year-old who collapsed and called out for help on March 6.

Some have died inside the jail walls, while others, like the most recent victim, died at UPMC Mercy after being transported there following health problems or unspecified “incidents” at the jail. Just one was reported to have died from COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

The 13 deaths are the total number that has been confirmed through reporting and research by the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. No women have died on record in the two years of our investigation. But, because that reporting has revealed that not all jail deaths are reported publicly, and the jail doesn’t “count” deaths after men are released to the hospital, the total could be higher.

(Screen Capture)

3. GOP Family Feud: Conservative group targets Pa. House leader Saylor for gas tax, budget votes

A top legislative Republican is already facing attacks and a likely primary opponent for not being conservative enough.

new ad by the Cumberland County-based advocacy group, Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, takes aim at House Appropriations Committee Chairperson Stan Saylor, R-York, accusing him of voting for the “bloated budgets of Democrat governors [Ed] Rendell and [Tom] Wolf” and highlights his votes for two infrastructure bills that increased Pennsylvania’s gas tax.

“After 28 years, it is time to retire Harrisburg Stan Saylor,” the ad says of the House GOP leader, who was first elected in 1992.

(Image via the Wisconsin Examiner)

4. An early guide to Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate and governor’s primary election

Who’s on and off the 2022 ballot was finalized Tuesday, the deadline for candidates to hand in their petitions ahead of the May 17 primary election.

Below is a rundown of the candidates for office who submitted enough signatures to the Department of State to make it in front of the voters this spring for two big, open statewide races in Pennsylvania this year.

(Image via pxHere.com)

5. Pa. passed a tax break for data centers. Now crypto-miners are taking advantage

A nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining operation in northeastern Pennsylvania, that counts actress Gwyneth Paltrow among its investors, will get an unspecified tax write-off under a recently expanded state program.

The tax exemption program, initially created in 2016 but extended and uncapped in 2021, aims to encourage companies to establish server farms that host IT operations or store online data in Pennsylvania.

It’s unclear if cryptocurrency was on lawmakers’ minds when they passed the expansion. But the adjusted language, which also removed any ability to monitor how big a break each recipient will get, is expected to expand the program at a cost to taxpayers from about $5 million in 2021 to almost $90 million by 2027.

And that’s the week. See you back here next week. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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