HARRISBURG, Pa. (4/3/09)--A Pennsylvania bill that would establish robbery of a financial institution as a second-degree felony regardless of the method used to commit the robbery garnered support of the state Senate Wednesday. Senate Bill 605, introduced by State Sen. Mike Waugh (R-York), passed on a 49-1 vote (Life is a Highway April 2). “There is great concern with the lack of uniformity of sentences for robbery of a financial institution,” Waugh said. “Considering our current law does not specifically define and classify such robberies, it has been left to the courts to make the determination on a case-by-case basis.” S.B. 605 amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The legislation addresses the specific action of taking or removing money of a financial institution, and would classify such a robbery as a felony of the second degree. Language is also included in S.B. 605 to ensure equal classification of all bank robberies, regardless of how the demand for money is made--orally or in writing. S.B. 605 now goes to the state House for consideration. The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association is in support of the bill (News Now March 26).