Driscoll legislation approved by state House

HARRISBURG, Dec. 15 – Legislation that provides protections and limits liability for groups working to improve land for public recreational use passed the House in a bipartisan vote, according to the bill’s co-sponsor state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila.

The bill would amend the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act to ensure organizations who volunteer their time on private lands are not swept up in lawsuits if those landowners are sued, which keeps those organizations from being able to obtain reasonable liability insurance and can put their volunteer operations at risk.

“These groups are volunteer in nature and are doing work for the good of our communities at no cost to taxpayers,” Driscoll said. “We want to applaud this kind of initiative. Folks who participate in these endeavors spend their own time, often many hours of their own time, to help their neighborhoods and communities, whether its through community cleanups or beautification efforts like planting trees. They are doing this work in the name of good and we should ensure they are not held liable for things that have nothing to do with their projects.

“I want to thank my colleagues, Representatives Martina White, Perry Warren, Jim Struzzi and Joe Hohenstein for all their dedication to this issue and all the hard work and time they put in to see this through to the finish line.”

The RULWA was created to encourage landowners to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting liability to the landowners. This amendment extends that limited liability protection to volunteers, volunteer organizations, and those who the landowner invites onto their property who, without compensation, provide services to care for, enhance, preserve, restore or maintain land for recreational purposes.