Dem introduces eclectic batch of bills | News, Sports, Jobs

Representative Angel Cruz, D-Philadelphia, speaks at a press conference in Harrisburg to discuss its legislation dealing with the need to enforce waste laws, especially the disposal of used tires.

Representative Angel Cruz has introduced an eclectic series of bills in the State House of Representatives dealing with issues ranging from teaching handwriting in schools to penalties for cell phone use. by putting gasoline on his vehicle.

The bills were introduced in the House on December 22.

States that have adhered to the Common Basic State Standards do not have to teach cursive within the standards, although each state may choose to require cursive if it chooses to do so. Legislation passed in 2014 in Tennessee requires cursive instruction in Grades 2 through 4, while cursive has been reinstated in the elementary school curriculum for all schools in Texas starting in 2019-2020. Similar legislation has been introduced in several states, including Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, California, Florida, New Jersey, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Cruz cited a 2020 survey by federal agencies that showed 74% of American homes had computers, with the fewest in homes with Indigenous, African American, and Hispanic children as evidence that many children still need. to know how to master handwriting. Philadelphia Democrat proposes to require public schools to teach kindergarten to fifth grade handwriting while being required to print legibly in third grade and write in cursive by the end of fifth grade . The bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.

“In the digital age of instant communication, certain skills such as handwriting are becoming less necessary than before. Although the teaching of cursive writing is slowly disappearing from our classrooms, there is growing evidence of its benefits that go beyond simple writing ”, Cruz wrote in his legislative memorandum. “Not only does cursive writing require fine motor skills associated with cognitive development, but engaging in handwriting activities can activate many neural pathways that don’t form when tracing or entering letters alone. Additionally, handwriting activities are linked to improving word recognition, hand-eye coordination, and information retention. The teaching of handwriting must remain in our school curriculum. The decision to remove teaching cursive writing from the Common Core Standards has led many schools facing budget crises and unfunded mandates to withdraw from teaching an unnecessary class. “

Some of the other bills that Cruz introduced on December 22 included:

¯ House Bill 2192, which would allow courts to order community service to pay up to 50% of an eligible person’s traffic fines and court costs. Hawaii and Georgia are among the states that currently allow a judge to sentence someone to community service in traffic court cases, with Cruz wishing to add Pennsylvania to the list. The proposal was referred to the House Transport Committee.

“Today’s precarious job market has made paying fines under the Pennsylvania vehicle code increasingly difficult for many people.” Cruz wrote in his legislative memorandum. “Unpaid tickets can result in late fees, the involvement of a collection agency, license suspensions and even the issuance of an arrest warrant. Evidence has shown that imprisoning people who fail to provide guarantees can prevent their reintegration into the community and their participation in local economies. Conversely, alternatives such as community service are geared towards rehabilitation and may have long-term benefits for communities, including workforce contributions.

¯ House Bill 2191, which would make it an offense to smoke in a vehicle with children. At least eight states have banned smoking with children in cars: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. Most of these states make the offense a secondary offense, which means that the police cannot arrest a driver for the offense, but can cite him if he is arrested for some other reason. Most fines do not exceed $ 100, although Oregon’s fine is $ 250 for a first offense and $ 500 for subsequent offenses.

“Second-hand smoke concentrations in smoking vehicles can reach dangerously high levels, making the confined space of a car an extremely dangerous place for passengers.” Cruz wrote in his legislative memorandum. “Every time a person breathes second-hand smoke, they are exposed to over seven thousand chemicals, many of which are dangerous and known to cause cancer. Not surprisingly, exposure to second-hand smoke is particularly harmful to people. children whose lungs are still developing. As little as 10 seconds of exposure to this smoke can stimulate asthmatic symptoms and lead to a host of other health problems – opening the car window is not enough to cleanse it. look out for these harmful toxins.

¯ House Bill 2190, which would make it a summary offense to use a cell phone while pumping gasoline.

“The risk of spilling highly flammable liquid fuel is higher when the person refueling is distracted” Cruz wrote in his legislative memorandum. “We understand that using a cell phone while refueling a car creates a distraction that puts the tanker and other people around them at risk. In an effort to prevent preventable fires and explosions in these circumstances, I am proposing a bill to make the use of a wireless communication device while dispensing liquid fuel a punishable offense. Fuel dealers must post signs informing customers of this policy on their property. Those who fail to do so will face a civil sanction set by the state fire marshal. “

House Bill 2188 to limit the use of parking lots and gas stations to avoid traffic lights. Similar bills have been passed in Virginia and New Jersey, Cruz said, to limit accidents.

“Traffic jams are one of the most common factors contributing to reckless driving” Cruz wrote in his legislative memorandum. “For busy drivers, crossing a parking lot to avoid a red light can be a tempting shortcut. However, this maneuver often results in drivers moving around the property much faster than those who have just parked, posing a serious hazard to pedestrians and other drivers. National data on fatal crashes and injuries show that 73% of pedestrian fatalities and 64% of bicycle fatalities occur far from intersections.

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