February 2, 2015 11:39 AM
Representative Patrick Harkins
All House members
Legislation Providing Additional Benefits to Enforcement Officers and Investigators of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (House Bill 1345) that would amend the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law of 1935, more commonly known as the Heart and Lung Act, to add enforcement officers and investigators of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to those employees covered under the act.
As you may know, employees covered under the Heart and Lung Act receive compensation, including full wage replacement and paid medical expenses, if they are injured while performing their official duties. It is my understanding that certain employees, such as state and local police and sheriffs, are covered under the act because they provide an important public service that can sometimes cause them harm.
While there certainly may be other employees performing valuable public services left out of the act, one group of employees that I believe should be added to those covered under the act are enforcement officers and investigators of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In the performance of their duties, these employees sometimes find themselves in volatile situations where the individual they encounter may be carrying a knife or firearm.
In an effort to better protect these employees while serving the public, the legislation that I will be re-introducing would add “any enforcement officer or investigator of the Pennsylvania Game Commission or the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission” to the list of employees covered by this act. By including these individuals, we will be affording them comparable benefits to others charged with the responsibility of enforcing the laws of our Commonwealth.