13 September 2010

Pennsylvania Vital Records Legislation Coming Soon

The People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access (PaHR-Access) has been working to provide genealogists access to that state's vital records. In the following message they are seeking support from the genealogy community for the coming legislative session, in late September:

Pennsylvania SB 683 (Vital Records Legislation)

The PA state legislature will be in session one last time this year in late September for a short time. In order to get them to do something we are pushing to get them to make death certificates after 50 years and possibly birth certificates after 100 years open records even if they are not made available online right now. Just making them open records will not cost the State of Pennsylvania a penny. If anything it would actually increase revenue coming in because more people would be able to request these records including professional researchers. The September 1st, 2010 entry on The Latest News section of our website explains this in more detail: http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htm.

Please send a letter or an email to Public Health and Welfare Committee Chairperson Senator Vance asking her to support SB 683. Your help in this push would be appreciated.

By the way there are now fifteen states that have scanned images of their older state death certificates available online: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Utah and West Virginia. Eight other states have extracted data available online: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington. The states of Arizona, Delaware, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia now have scanned images of their older state birth records online. The links to the various states (except Delaware and Vermont) can be found on the Death Certificates for Other States, Etc section of our website. However, it will not happen in Pennsylvania unless we make enough noise about it.