FILE - PA coal mining 6-7-2017

A worker waits for a piece of heavy machinery to pass by June 7, 2017, at a coal mine in Friedens, Pa.

Casey, other senators introduce bill to save miners’ pensions

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. and a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill they say would save the pension plans of America’s miners.

The bill, dubbed the American Miners Act, allows funds the transfer of funds to the 1974 Pension Plan which is in danger of becoming insolvent following the 2008-2009 financial crisis, according to a statement from Casey. The bill will also protect health care benefits for about 13,000 miners affected by company bankruptcies.

“Thousands of Pennsylvania families are counting on us to take action,” Casey said in a statement. “We must hold a vote and pass the American Miners Act now.”

New law authorizes grants to assist nonprofits with security

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill that will set aside $5 million for security grants for faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations that could be the subject of hate crimes.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will oversee the funds and applications are expected to be accepted no later than March of 2020, according to state Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin, one of the bill’s sponsors.

“Beyond just the dollars and safety improvements, my hope is that the creation of this program sends the message that all of Pennsylvania stands with our charitable and religious institutions against those who would do them harm,” DiSanto said in a statement.

The bill comes a little more than a year after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed eleven people.

Wolf signs bills to ease intergovernmental cooperation

A package of bills signed by Gov. Tom Wolf will allow municipalities to adopt resolutions instead of ordinances when making intergovernmental agreements. The bills will also apply to townships.

State Rep. Paul Schemel, R-Franklin, said the bill will save taxpayers time and money.

“House Bills 510, 511 and 512 will make it easier, faster and less costly for municipalities, municipal utilities and school districts to work together,” Schemel said in a statement. “This kind of cooperation on projects serves to save taxpayers money while encouraging local governments to work more closely together.”