The start of a new year means some changes for Pennsylvania’s residents, as new laws and policies take effect.
One of the new standards is a requirement that all Pennsylvania colleges and universities issue and publicly post a report on all reported hazing violations in the past five years. It’s part of the new Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, the state’s reaction to the hazing-related death of Piazza two years ago at Penn State. IUP has an extensive anti-hazing policy posted on its website, but like all other schools, it must have the incident reports posted by January 15th, and it must update the list every six months.
Other changes in state laws and policies for 2019:
• Hospitals must now post their standard charges for medical and surgical procedures, and diagnostic services.
• The implementation of the Keystone Scholars program, providing automatic enrollment in a college savings plan for all newborns in Pennsylvania. Indiana County was part of the pilot program for that policy.
• Changes to the PSSA tests administered to all school students in the state.
• School students may take non-aerosol sunscreen with them to school and use it without having to go to the school nurse.
• New pension plans for all new state employees hired after January 1st and school employees hired after July 1st.
• New fines for people using drones to invade peoples’ privacy and to furnish contraband to prison or mental health inmates.
• Tax changes on alimony and spousal support for new divorces.
• No more aerial fireworks sold at those pop-up fireworks tents.
• A six percent increase in turnpike tolls…of course.