During the week of November 18,
a State House committee is expected to take action on Senate-passed bills
designed to update and strengthen child protection laws. A vote in the full House of Representatives
would follow. As you know, this
legislative action comes in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky conviction and the
release of findings and recommendations from the Pennsylvania Task Force on
The Senate and House passed
different versions of reform legislation and negotiations over the differences
have continued over the past several weeks. Through our lobbying team, we
have been working at the committee staff level to insure that final legislation
incorporates the most responsible language possible so that library leaders,
workers, and volunteers are not overly burdened with unreasonable or unworkable
or too-costly requirements.
Senate Bill 21 now appears to be
the bill that will most directly affect libraries. The current version—SB 21, Printer’s
Number 1427—defines the responsibilities of those who have regular contact
with or supervision of children and therefore would be required to report
("mandated reporter”) instances of suspected child abuse.
Senate Bill 21 yet may be
amended. This is where you can have an
impact. Please take a minute now to send
a message to your State Representative and State Senator by clicking here
asking them to support the mandated reporter language in SB 21. This is the last week legislators will be in
Harrisburg so there will be a big push to conclude this and other legislation.