HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed four bills relating to the modernization of Pa. laws to address hate crimes and ethnic intimidation.
House Bills 1024, 1025, 1026 and 1027 were passed on Oct. 31, each of them focusing on aligning Pennsylvania’s protected classes with those included at the federal level.
HB 1024 will provide Pennsylvania’s law enforcement with training to properly investigate, identify and report crimes of ethnic intimidation.
HB 1025 is designed to train educators and school administrations on how to identify and address hate incidents before they become deadly, as stated in the release. This bill will allow the expansion of existing anonymous reporting programs in K-12 schools, along with institutions of higher education.
HB 1026 will require, as a condition of probation or parole, an individual who is convicted of ethnic intimidation to perform community service or complete educational classes relating to the motivating factor of the underlying crime.
This bill will also allow a representative of a targeted community group to submit a community impact statement prior to sentencing. This state would be similar to a victim impact statement that are submitted by a victim of a crime prior to sentencing.
HB 1027 is planned to strengthen Pennsylvania’s “ethnic intimidation” criminal penalty language and step up civil penalties on those who target individuals or groups because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability.
For more information on the bills, visit the House’s website.