HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to provide scholarships and grants to children who are victims of violent crimes from the same state fund that benefits kids of the incarcerated.
The First Chance Fund, established during this year’s budget process, will provide scholarships and other programs for students who live in areas with statistically higher high school dropout rates, incarceration rates, and high crime rates.
Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) says helping the children of inmates is a commendable goal, but he says the fund should also benefit other children from the same high crime areas. His proposal, House Bill 1929, would aid children who are victims of violent crime, or whose parents were victims of homicide or other violent crimes.
He said those children deserve just as much attention and assistance.
“I would like to see the same “first chance” be given to children who, also through no fault of their own, are victimized. We have a responsibility to help our crime victims and their children at least as much as we help the children of inmates,” Marsico wrote in a co-sponsorship memorandum.
The legislation is waiting to be referred to a committee.