Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – A passed bill that Democrats and Republicans can agree on… PA House Bill 930 has been signed into law, requiring law enforcement to provide DNA from a missing person, missing child, or unidentified deceased person to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) for submission to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS).
Read the press release from the PA House of Representatives GOP caucus:
Relatives of more than 400 missing people in Pennsylvania now have a tool described as vital to keeping memories alive, thanks to legislation co-authored by state officials Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) and Dave Millard (R-Columbia) which was signed into law.
“The toll on the family and loved ones of a missing person is unimaginable,” Culver said. “The terror they feel upon hearing the news is horrendous… still wondering how and where this happened, as well as where they are now haunts them. I’m so happy to see House Bill 930 signed into law (as Act 4 of 2022), especially for the families who came forward and generously shared their stories with us, which I know shouldn’t have been easy for them.
Law 4 now requires the Pennsylvania State Police to turn over DNA samples from missing persons and unidentified deceased persons to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS), a nationwide clearinghouse that has been set online in 2008. NAMUS expanded over the following years by establishing links with other databases and worked with the FBI in 2012 to add a fingerprint unit to its search capability.
“It has been my pleasure to work with Rep. Culver on this legislation from start to finish,” Millard said. “NAMUS offers a unique feature that allows family members of missing persons to access the database and play an active role in the search for their loved one without financial costs, as they seek closure in those cases that may have disappeared.”
“Before we started studying the bill, I had never heard of NAMUS and didn’t understand how or why it worked,” Culver added. “We were quickly contacted by families across the state regarding the importance of this database in locating missing persons.”
“Every week in Commonwealth communities we hear an Amber Alert or see a headline that indicates an elderly person with dementia, or a high school student thought to be studying at a friend’s house, is missing,” said Millard. “While many of these cases are resolved quickly, there are far too many that are not. We hope that Act 4 will be useful.
Read the press release from Governor Tom Wolf’s office:
Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 930, House Bill 1121, House Bill 1304, House Bill 1479, and House Bill 1588. The Governor vetoed House Bill 979.
February 3 is National Missing Persons Day, and House Bill 930 requires law enforcement to provide the DNA of a missing person, missing child, or unidentified deceased person to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) for submission to the National Persons System missing and unidentified (NAMUS).
House Bill 1121 designates the bridge, identified as Bridge Key 45676, carrying Pennsylvania Route 26 over Yellow Creek in Hopewell Township, Bedford County, as the Colonel Joseph M. Stine Memorial Bridge.
House Bill 1304 means a bridge, identified as Bridge Key 48382 on the portion of SR 4021 over the Stonycreek River, Hooversville Borough, Somerset County, as the Private First Class Howard Hahn Memorial Bridge.
House Bill 1479 designates a portion of Pennsylvania Route 31 from Strikertown Road to Renaissance Lane, South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, as the John Michael Beyrand Memorial Highway.
House Bill 1588 makes permanent a temporary waiver granted at the start of the pandemic, which allows mortgage lenders to do business remotely. Under the new legislation, mortgage lenders have the ability to issue mortgages from traditional brick-and-mortar locations, and can also conduct business from remote locations as long as they comply with specific consumer protection requirements.
Governor Wolf vetoed House Bill 979, which would have provided that a person aggrieved by any ordinance, resolution, rule, practice, or other action enacted or enforced by a county, municipality, or township in violation of limitations imposed by state law on the firearms and ammunition regulator can seek declaratory or injunctive relief and actual damages. The bill would also have amended the Municipal Code to state that the General Assembly has always intended and continues to intend to occupy the entire field of regulation of firearms, ammunition, magazines, accessories, firearm components and ammunition components in the Commonwealth, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, use, discharge , transportation and related reporting of loss or theft.
This legislation would have discouraged local jurisdictions from attempting to regulate firearms. Additionally, it would have provided an opportunity for individuals to challenge local ordinances and sue a county, municipality or township that violates the prohibition of stricter gun laws. Philadelphia, which saw more gun violence-related deaths in 2022 than days in January, would have potentially been unable to enforce local laws that were created to curb violence and save families and communities from heartbreak. continuous love.
Read Governor Wolf’s Bill 979 message of veto:
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 15 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, I herewith refer, without my approval, Bill 979, Printer Number 1706. This legislation is an attack on local governments that take action to find common sense solutions to gun violence and is yet another bill that shows indifference to the safety of Pennsylvanians.
At a time when injuries and deaths from gun violence are on the rise, Bill 979 would discourage local jurisdictions from attempting to regulate guns. Additionally, it provides individuals with the ability to challenge local ordinances and sue a county, municipality, or township that violates the prohibition of stricter gun laws. Under House Bill 979, Philadelphia, which has seen more gun violence-related deaths than days in January, may have difficulty enforcing local laws that were created to curb violence and save families and communities. of continuous heartache.
When I vetoed Senate Bill 565 of 2021, a bill that would have allowed unverified gun owners to transport concealed weapons through our streets, I said that these victims and these communities deserved to pass meaningful legislation to address the scourge of gun violence. I stick with that. I offered many ideas that would help keep Pennsylvanians safe while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners, including legislation requiring safe storage, allowing extreme risk protection orders, improving reporting lost or stolen weapons and closing gaps in the background check system. yet I have not received a bill from the General Assembly that seeks to address this problem in any meaningful way. Instead, I received a bill that aims to attack local governments that want to find solutions for those they serve. I urge the Republican-controlled General Assembly to stop allowing the problem and become part of the solution.
For the reasons stated above, I must withdraw my signature from House Bill 979, Printer’s Number 1706.