Sen. Jake Corman’s bill to keep $60M Penn State fine in Pa. passes House, heads to Corbett

mmorgan@centredaily.comFebruary 14, 2013 

A bill that would keep Penn State’s $60 million NCAA fine in Pennsylvania passed the state House Wednesday and is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk for approval.

The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed state Sen. Jake Corman’s bill, 194-2, two weeks after the Senate unanimously passed the bill. Corbett supports and plans to sign the measure, according to Janet Kelley, his deputy director of communications.

Corman, R-Benner Township, didn’t want to speculate whether the NCAA would challenge the bill but said it could all be over today if it choose not to. He said the NCAA should be happy about the bill because it follows the guidelines of the consent decree.

“Everyone gets a win here because it will happen the way they wanted it to,” he said “It will just happen here in Pennsylvania.”

The bill, if signed by Corbett, would make Penn State pay the fine into an endowment to be distributed by the state treasurer into child sex abuse prevention programs in the state. Corman said it would be used the way the NCAA intended it, but because the money was generated in Pennsylvania, it should be used in Pennsylvania and not distributed throughout the country.

Corman also filed a lawsuit against the NCAA for the same purpose and said it would become moot if the NCAA doesn’t challenge the bill. If challenged, he said, litigation would continue.

“It’s the end of the legislative process,” Corman said. “It’s really up to the NCAA. They can make this all end today.”

Neither Penn State nor the NCAA would comment for this story.

State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said he has supported the bill since it was proposed and helped push it through for a vote from the House.

“I supported it because it was the right thing to do,” Conklin said, adding that it would help to slow things down a bit and give time for more facts to come out.

Conklin, also proposed a bill related to Penn State, which would shrink the board of trustees by 10 seats, remove the Penn State president and strip the governor of his voting power. Conklin is looking for the same bipartisan support.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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