Barrar’s Committee Votes to Provide Commonwealth Youth with an Opportunity to Succeed
HARRISBURG – The Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by majority chairman Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), today passed a bill to create a dropout recovery program for teens in the Commonwealth. The committee also supported two other bills.

House Bill 1689, sponsored by Reps. Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) would establish the National Guard Youth Challenge program in Pennsylvania. The program would help at-risk 16-18 year-olds through a six month residency followed by mentoring for a year. It enables them to earn their high school diplomas or GEDs and instills respect for authority and peers.

“Some youth need extra attention if they are going to succeed as a result of circumstances that are not their fault. Many young adults who are part of programs like this in other states have been kicked out of their homes because their parents are going through a divorce. Others have dropped out of school as a result of bullying,” Barrar said. “These young adults need another opportunity to achieve success in their lives, and programs like this in other states have had tremendous results.”

The program would receive 75 percent of its funding from the federal government. Thirty-six other states have similar programs.

The committee also voted in favor of House Bill 1727, sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington), which would create and add two new decorations to the list of existing medals, badges and awards that are authorized and presented by the governor. The decorations would recognize military members and those who support them in the community.

The final bill supported by the committee was House Bill 1653, sponsored by Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest). It would ensure that minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses in the Commonwealth are properly certified and promoted to increase their competitiveness outside of Pennsylvania.

The bills are now awaiting a vote in the House.

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
717.260.6206 /
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