State Sen. Jake Corman’s bill to keep the $60 million fine the National Collegiate Athletic Association imposed against Penn State in Pennsylvania was passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 194-2 on Wednesday, Scott Sikorski, Corman’s legislative director, said.
The legislation, Senate Bill 187, mandates that the NCAA fines be paid to the State Treasury to be disbursed within Pennsylvania. The funds will be used to support in-state programs that help combat child sexual abuse.
Penn State agreed to pay the fines, along with other sanctions, including the loss of athletic scholarships, this past summer.
The new law would not only apply to the Penn State fines, but would also require that any fines greater than $10 million imposed on Pennsylvania colleges and universities in the future be paid directly to a state fund.
The bill passed unanimously in the state senate last month, with a vote of 50-0. The final step for the bill to become law is a signature from Gov. Tom Corbett, Sikorski said.
“The governor is supportive of the bill, so the indication is that he will sign it,” Sikorski said.
He said Corbett would likely sign the bill into law within the next week.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-171, said that he supported the bill because he thinks the money from the NCAA fines should stay in Pennsylvania and not be used to fund programs all over the country. Benninghoff said that because the fines were levied on a Pennsylvania university, the funds should remain in state.
“The victims were from Pennsylvania, so we would like to utilize these funds to maximize our efforts in the commonwealth,” Benninghoff said. “We hope the NCAA will honor this wish.”
A spokesperson for the NCAA said that the group is researching whether the law would violate state or federal constitutions.
The NCAA is also currently trying to have Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit thrown out of court. Corbett’s suit, filed in January, argues that the NCAA overstepped its power when imposing sanctions on Penn State, and that the sanctions will lead to unnecessary harm on students and other Pennsylvanians. The NCAA maintains that Corbett’s lawsuit does not have legal standing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.