HARRISBURG, Pa. (1/20/10)--Pennsylvania Senate Bill 605, commonly referred to as the “Robbery Bill,” is closer to becoming law, says the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA). The bill would expand the definition of robbery of a financial institution to include verbal or written threats. The offense would be moved from a misdemeanor with no mandatory sentencing to a felony. The legislation passed the State Senate last year and is waiting for consideration by the State House Appropriations Committee, said PCUA (Life is a Highway Jan. 19). The association said it has asked key state committee and house members for a speedy passage of the legislation during a time when robberies are increasing dramatically. “The association recognizes credit unions’ grave concern of the recent and growing number of robberies in the Commonwealth,” said PCUA President/CEO Jim McCormack. He cited the latest robberies in Western Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reaching out to assist those credit unions. PCUA is “working diligently to see that this legislation is enacted quickly so credit unions and their employees will have additional protection from these traumatic experiences,” he added. The association’s appeal comes as the FBI has asked the Pittsburgh Chapter for an emergency meeting about a rash of robberies in the Pittsburgh area, the association said. A meeting will be held Jan. 27. The FBI said it believes that credit unions are prime robbery targets, the association said.