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House Approves Kauffman Bill to Increase Penalties for Those Who Endanger the Welfare of Children
HARRISBURG – In order to better protect Pennsylvania’s youngest and most vulnerable children from harmful situations, Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) has authored legislation approved by the state House to increase the grading of certain offenses for those who are convicted for endangering the welfare of a child. Language for the bill was recommended by the Franklin County district attorney and supported by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

“The charge of child endangerment can cover a large range of situations, ages of children and degrees of risk to the child,” said Kauffman. “My legislation would recognize these differences when determining penalties for the parent, guardian or person supervising the child at the time of the incident. Under my bill, when a child is found to be in a situation that could result in death or the situation involves a very young child not yet school aged, harsher penalties would be handed down to more accurately fit the crime.”

House Bill 2411 would make the following changes:
• An offense will be a third-degree felony if the person’s conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
• An offense will be a second-degree felony if the person’s conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury and was part of a course of conduct.
• The grading for any offense would be increased one level if the child victim is under the age of 6 at the time of the offense.

Currently, a person who endangers the welfare of a child under the age of 18 can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, and if the conduct is part of a continuing course of conduct, the offense is graded as a third-degree felony.

“The protection of our children is a serious matter and stricter penalties are needed to more accurately address those who put them in a harmful situation,” said Kauffman. “I am grateful my colleagues in the House recognize the importance of this legislation and are working to help move this bill through the legislation process before the end of the legislative session this year.”

House Bill 2411 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
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