Barrar Leads House Committee Approval of Benefit Increase for Blind and Paralyzed Veterans
5/23/2012
HARRISBURG – Just days before the observation of Memorial Day, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by Majority Chairman Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), has approved an increase of $50 per month for beneficiaries of the Paralyzed Veterans Pension and Blinded Veterans Pension programs.

“The men and women who collect these pensions live with a 100 percent service-connected disability, meaning they became blind or paralyzed in their service to the United States military,” said Barrar. “In less than one week, we will mark Memorial Day, a time to honor our fallen heroes. This legislation is about bettering the lives of those veterans who gave so much to this nation and who are still here for us to thank.”

House Bill 305 would increase the pensions for paralyzed and blind veterans from $150 to $200 per month. The last pension increase occurred in 1999, when it went from $100 to $150 per month. The legislation will now go before the full House.

The committee also approved House Bill 173, which would change the way Pennsylvania National Guard and military reservist leave is calculated for certain public employees by defining a “day” as a calendar day of 24 hours, regardless of the portion of the day allotted to work.

Current law allows for 15 days of leave without loss of vacation time for National Guard and military reservist duty. For government employees who work on a 24-hour schedule, such as firefighters, three days of leave could be deducted for one 24-hour day of absence. House Bill 173 would clarify this situation so employees working on a 24-hour schedule are not docked additional days of leave for their service in the military.

The legislation now is awaiting a vote on the House floor.

Barrar also noted the House passage this week of House Bill 2168, which would increase the minimum state active duty pay for Pennsylvania National Guard members from $75 to $100 per day.

“Pennsylvania’s National Guardsmen have risen to the call of duty many times over the past few years, including their unprecedented presence and assistance during the devastation of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” said Barrar. “Guardsmen have not seen a pay increase since 1996, despite their immense service to our Commonwealth. I believe this modest pay increase for the guard is well deserved.”

House Bill 2168 is now before the Senate. 

More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at SteveBarrar.com or Facebook.com/RepBarrar.

State Representative Steve Barrar
160th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063
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