House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Clymer (R-145, Quakertown) has called a committee vote this coming Thursday, June 27th, on a landmark suicide prevention bill. HB 1559 was introduced today, June 20th, 2013, by freshman Rep. Frank Farina’s (D-115, Eynon). There are now 42 co-sponsors – 11 Republicans and 31 Democrats.
Co-Sponsors of HB 1559 (as of June 25, 2013): Rep. Frank Farina, Rep. Karen Boback, Rep. Edward Neilson, Rep. Mike Schlossberg, Rep. Greg Vitali, Rep. Mike Peifer, Rep. Mike Rozzi, Rep. Susan Helm, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, Rep. Michelle Brownlee, Rep. Gerald Mullery, Rep. Daniel McNeil, Rep. Stephen McCarter, Rep. Sid Kavulich, Rep. Dan Truitt, Rep. Mike Vereb, Rep. Patty Kim, Rep. Marty Flynn, Rep. Mark Cohen, Rep. Tim Briggs, Rep. Vanessa Brown, Rep. Kevin Haggerty, Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, Rep. Dom Costa, Rep. Mark Longietti, Rep. Ryan Sankey, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, Rep. Bernie O’Neill, Rep. Tim Mahoney, Rep. Micheal McGeehan, Rep. Rosita Youngblood, Rep. Jaret Gibbons, Rep. Pat Harkins, Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, Rep. Mike O’Brien, Rep. Scott Conklin, Rep. James Clay, Rep. Joe Emrick, Rep. Thomas Murt, Rep. Ed Pashinski, Rep. Hal English, and Rep. Anthony DeLuca.
Rep. Farina’s suicide prevention bill would mandate all professional educators for students in grades 6 to 12 to have four hours of training on the issue every five years. If adopted by the State Senate, it would go into effect during the 2014-2015 school year.
On April 25, 2013, the House Education Committee under Rep. Clymer held a hearing on school bullying and youth suicide. CommonGround PA expects this measure to easily pass the House Education Committee next Thursday, and soon thereafter the full House. We await notice from the Senate Education Committee if they are interested in concurring on this bill.