HARRISBURG – Legislation creating heightened penalties for persons who make terroristic threats to a school has passed in the PA Senate. Senate Bill 975 would establish new felony criminal penalties for falsely reporting emergency threats to any school or institution of higher education. In PA, the crime of terroristic threats is generally categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor. However, if the threat causes disruption to the normal operations of a building, assembly area or public transportation facility, it is upgraded to a third-degree felony and the person would face imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of up to $15,000. Additionally, the bill includes an amendment to assist schools in recouping the full expenses associated with evacuations prompted by threats. It would enable courts to force those convicted of the crime to pay for costs associated with the emergency response and evacuation. The measure now goes to the state House.