House Amends Child Protection Legislation to Waive Fee for Background Checks, Says Gabler

HARRISBURG – The $10 fee that volunteers must pay for background checks associated with child protection laws enacted last year would be waived under legislation, which moved unanimously Wednesday in the state House, according to Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk).

The move was made as an amendment to House Bill 1276, which is expected to be voted on final passage next week.

“Since the implementation of Act 153, it has been clear that changes are necessary to defray the burden this law has placed on our adult volunteers who work with children,” said Gabler.

“I applaud my colleague, Rep. Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), who filed this amendment last week (June 4) to be voted today,” said Gabler. “We have heard from virtually every type of volunteer group about the difficulties they face as a result of the changes implemented in Act 153.

“This amendment is an important first step in fixing this flawed law to benefit our volunteers in the community who work with children while keeping our children safe in their activities.

“Adopting this amendment to waive the fee not only makes it the law of the land, but prevents any governor’s administration from using the fee to generate government revenue on the backs of our Commonwealth’s volunteers.

“We look forward to the opportunity to pass House Bill 1276 next week with the goal of having it signed into law by the end of the month.”

The Moul amendment to House Bill 1276 would do away with the fee volunteers must pay to undergo the necessary background checks performed by the Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania State Police. The fees have applied to volunteers since the enactment of Act 153 of 2014.

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