About the Children: Policy Updates from Pennsylvania

Another week, another set of legislation coming down the pike.


State House

HB 1653 – This is a bill to include students enrolled in distance education (online classes) in eligibility for state grants for higher education.  I’m not a huge proponent of distance education (but I’m biased as a former classroom teacher) but online classes make learning accessible to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take some of their classes, including youth who don’t have permanency or need to work during the day to make money for school.  Our youth often fit into those categories, so it is necessary that online education be an option for them, without disqualifying them from receiving state money.

State Senate

HB 59 – Remember this one?  This is the bill that amends the adoption subsidies law “to allow parents who adopt a child or children to appeal to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services the amount of an adoption subsidy provided by local authorities.”  I am not sure where the details stand, but I can say that it was signed in the House and the Senate this week, and actually sent to the Governor.  He vetoed it.  It looks like the bill was loaded with amendments relating to public health insurance and other healthcare measures.  It will go back to the House and the Senate to be voted on again; we’ll see if there are enough votes to override the veto.



HR. 695 – This is the one we’ve seen before about a national criminal background check registry.  This bill has been passed in the House and the Senate, but the Senate made changes and sent it back to the House on October 16, 2017.


S. 705 – We’ve talked about this one before, too.  This bill passed in the Senate on October 16, 2017 and goes to the House next for consideration.

Again, just a quick plug for legis.state.pa.us and govtrack.us!  Invaluable websites for your use!

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