Pa. Senate Passes Corman's Bill to Keep $60 Million in State
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved Sen. Jake Corman's legislation proposed to keep Penn State's $60 million fine from the NCAA in state Wednesday.
The fine will go into an endowment for programs that protect and help victims of sexual abuse and was levied against Penn State as part of its NCAA sanctions, handed down in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. In addition to the fine, Penn State lost a significant number of scholarships, the football team was banned from postseason play for four years and all wins between 1998-2011 under former coach Joe Paterno were erased.
Penn State paid its first $12 million installment in an escrow fund in December. The NCAA has agreed not to disperse the money pending a lawsuit Corman (R-34) filed against the association.
The legislation, also known as 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, according to a press release.
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, the press release said.
"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."