A bill to keep within the state Penn State's $60 million fine to the NCAA over the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal is on its way to the state House for its consideration.
The Pennsylvania Senate voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the measure, sponsored by Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican whose district includes State College, would require such fines of at least $10 million to be deposited into a state-administered account, and be spent on Pennsylvania programs that address childhood sexual abuse.
"It makes sense that it should stay here to benefit organizations and the children of the commonwealth," said Corman, who also recently filed a lawsuit over the fine, an action currently pending in Commonwealth Court. He said the money "could do an extraordinary amount of good right here in Pennsylvania."
Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said the Legislature needed to act quickly.
"The victims were from Pennsylvania, the abuse was perpetrated in Pennsylvania, and the crimes were investigated and prosecuted by Pennsylvania authorities -- not authorities from other states, the federal government or the NCAA," Schwank said.
In response, the NCAA issued a statement saying it was monitoring the legislation, "including examining whether, if enacted, the proposed legislation would violate both the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions."
In had previously said 25 percent of the annual grants would be reserved for Pennsylvania organizations.
Penn State agreed to the fine last summer as part of a deal that averted a potential shutdown of its football program by college sports' governing body. The university has already made the first of five $12 million payments.
Gov. Tom Corbett has filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA over the sanctions.