Mar. 20, 2019

HARRISBURG – The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness (VAEP) Committee unanimously supported legislation drafted by Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) that would provide for a sunset reauthorization of the Commonwealth’s 911 system under Title 35.

The reauthorization would enhance public safety by enabling 911 centers to provide critical emergency services to communities all across the state as quickly as possible. House Bill 859 would also counteract the increasing expenses of communications equipment and rising personnel costs. Without the bill’s passage, the program would expire on June 30.

“When this provision originally passed four years ago, we addressed many financial and operational provisions that were outdated in the current law. Now, having seen the effect it has had on our Commonwealth’s 911 system and public safety in general, we know it must be reauthorized,” Barrar said.

Another bill that passed was House Bill 529, which would amend Title 51 by placing the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol under the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for administrative support purposes. This change would help the Commonwealth secure federal funding.

Finally, House Bill 807 would also amend Title 51 by establishing that Pennsylvania National Guard general officer pay shall be uniform with the Federal Department of Defense (DoD) pay scale for general officers. It would help the Commonwealth overcome issues that arise when key executive positions are vacant for extended periods of time, due to higher salaries being available for lower management positions that use a federal pay scale.

This legislation will ensure greater upward mobility for our Pennsylvania National Guard’s senior office corps.

After receiving unanimous support from the VAEP Committee, all bills move to the full House for consideration.

To view footage of the House Veterans’ Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee’s meeting, click here.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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