A key piece of legislation dealing with state government transparency that has the support of every member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly faces the threat of a veto by Governor Tom Wolf. House Bill 2463, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, would prevent the governor and his administration from directing a Commonwealth agency to ignore Right-to-Know (RTK) requests for records during a disaster declaration. The legislation also strengthens penalties against state agencies that fail to comply with RTK requests. Only twice in the last 42 years has a Pennsylvania governor opposed legislation that was endorsed by every member of the General Assembly.
Authorities are investigating a report of a possible sexual assault on a child in Mifflin County. State Police say the alleged incident involving a six-year-old female took place between June 1st and July 6th in Armagh Township.
Legislation introduced in Harrisburg would create new scholarship accounts for students whose education was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Bill 1230, authored by Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair/Fulton/Cumberland/Franklin/Huntingdon), and House Bill 2696, proposed by Representative Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) each propose to create Back on Track Education Scholarship Accounts (ESA). The accounts would provide funding to offset educational costs for school-age children in grades K-12. Funds could only be used for approved education-related purchases, such as tuition, online classes, counseling and services for students with special needs. Parents would receive $1,000 per child in the scholarship account, which would come from a portion of the state’s federal CARES Act funds. School-age children who currently qualify for Pennsylvania’s free or reduced-cost lunch program would have priority in applying for the accounts.