HARRISBURG – The PA House approved three bills that expand and strengthen the state’s anti-hate crime statutes. House Bill 1027 would change the state’s ethnic intimidation statute to a “hate-based intimidation” law and extend its protections. House Bill 1024 would bolster how law enforcement investigates hate crimes and House Bill 1025 would expand online and anonymous reporting options for higher education institutions in dealing with hate crimes involving students and employees. Bill sponsors said PA saw a 7% increase in hate crimes in 2022. PA Family Institute President Michael Geer expressed concern over the legislation saying “these proposals could demonize and even blacklist those who hold opposing views on areas of sexuality, marriage, and what it means to be male and female. This is state-sanctioned discrimination in some of its worst forms.” The bills go to the PA Senate.