03 November 2011

PA Bill On Better Access to Older Birth & Death Certificates 1/2 Home -- Your Help is Needed!

Good news, in reference to getting better access to older Pennsylvania state birth and death certificates, on September 27th, 2011 Vital Records Bill SB-361 was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania State Senate and is now in the House Health Committee. We cannot assume it will automatically be passed by the House. It won't be the first time a bill was passed by one body unanimously only to have it die in committee in the other. In other words we still have to keep up the pressure. We need to urge the committee members, particularly the chair Matthew Baker (who decides if and when a bill is voted on) and the House leaders to bring the bill up for a committee vote and pass it.

In order to get a tacit agreement with the Corbett Administration the years required to have birth certificates become open records was changed from 100 to 105 years old. The whole situation is discussed in detail in the September 28th, 2011 article under The Latest News section of our website: http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htm  (includes a sample letter for this bill to this committee).

Visits, phone calls, letters are the most effective, but even a one paragraph email sent to at least one state representative is better than nothing. Hearing from organizations within their districts, constituents and others (including out of state residents) could prove decisive in getting the bill brought up for a vote and passed by the Pennsylvania House Health Committee.

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  1. This would be so wonderful as I have hit bottom on my family tree

  2. SB-361 has passed both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature and is on Governor Corbett's desk for signature.

    If you have Pennsylvania ancestors, please send an email tomorrow in support of the bill.

    Details and a sample letter can be found at http://users.rn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htm

    We want to thank Tim Gruber for his efforts over several years to make this change in access to older vital records in Pennsylvania possible.

    Jan Alpert
    NGS representative to RPAC