The Capitol Roundup

House Moves to Bring Fairness to Special Education Funding

The state House voted unanimously this week in support of legislation to address the state’s distribution of special education funding. House Bill 2 would create a 15-member legislative commission on special education funding to develop a new formula for allocating any additional dollars beyond those distributed in the 2010-11 school year. The commission would be tasked with establishing three cost categories for students receiving special education services, ranging from least intensive to most intensive; obtaining a student count for each school district averaged for the three most recent school years to correspond to each cost category; and assigning a weight to each category of disability. Currently, state funding for special education is distributed based on an estimate that special education students make up 16 percent of the overall student population in each school district.

Child Protection Measures Advance in House

The House continued its efforts to protect and support Pennsylvania children with passage of two bills this week. House Bill 321 would increase penalties for child pornography offenders based upon such factors as age of the child, the number of images possessed, and the nature and character of the abuse.  House Bill 89 would provide grants to the state’s Child Advocacy Centers (CACs), which provide a comprehensive treatment program for abused children that brings doctors, nurses, prosecutors, social workers and law enforcement to the child in a safe and nurturing environment. There are currently 21 CACs operating in Pennsylvania. The measures were adopted based on recommendations made by the Task Force on Children Protection.

March is Dog License Awareness Month in Pennsylvania

March has been designated as “Dog License Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth. State law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed each year; owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed animal. An annual dog license costs $8.45 and a lifetime license is $51.45.  If the animal is spayed or neutered, the fees drop to $6.45 and $31.45.  To help raise awareness about the importance of licensing dogs, the Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a poster contest for students in first through sixth grades. The grand prize winner will receive a $20 cash prize and his or her poster will be featured on the cover of the 2014 Dog Law Enforcement Office Coloring Book.  The deadline for submitting a poster is April 30. For more information on Pennsylvania’s dog licensing law or the poster contest, please visit

Representative Mike Peifer
139th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Patricia Hippler
(717) 772-9846


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