Committee also approves measure promoting Veterans Outreach
HARRISBURG – On Monday the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced two measures, according to Committee Chairman, Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York). The first would create commendation medals for law enforcement, and the second would establish a program to ensure outreach to members of the military who are returning to civilian life.
Senate Bill 1246, sponsored by Senators Regan and Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), would task the Municipal Police Officers Education & Training Commission (MPOETC) with designing three medals: the Bronze Star of Valor, for exceptional gallantry, heroism and bravery in the face of life-threatening circumstances; the Blue Heart, for those injured in the line of duty; and the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice, for those who have fallen in the line of duty. The Governor would make the ultimate decision on the awarding of a medal.
“This is a simple measure, creating medals of commendation for our State and local law enforcement officers, but it is an extremely important one in that, it would establish a statewide mechanism to recognize and thank law enforcement for their heroism,” said Sen. Regan. “There are a countless number of good deeds done by police officers every day that are not recognized. It is my hope that through steps like this that we can help restore the respect for our men and women in blue who protect us.”
House Bill 2022, introduced by Representative Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne), would establish the “Veterans’ Outreach & Support Network” within the Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. The Department would provide a “Welcome Home to Pennsylvania” packet to partner agencies in an attempt to make Veterans aware of the services and programs that they may be eligible for and in order to provide regular communication.
“Last year, I held several Roundtable Discussions on the issue of Veterans Suicide and the Senate advanced our Veterans Court legislation, but another area that we often fall short is when Veterans are making the transition to civilian life,” said Sen. Regan. “This measure aims to connect Veterans to state services within the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.”
SB 1246 and HB 2022 now go to the full Senate for consideration.
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