Sappey supports legislation for veterans, first responders

As a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I am committed to assisting those who make sacrifices for our community each and every day. The legislation below provides for additional support to first responders, active military and veterans. If you have any questions regarding these initiatives, please contact my office at 484-200-8264.

Signed into law:

  • Act 32 of 2019
    • PA National Guard Military Family Education Program – sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar and Rep. Chris Sainato

This legislation established a program to financially assist families of PA National Guard members in attending higher education institutions. Current guardsmen and guardswomen are now able to enroll in the program to fund their spouse or children’s education.

I am also co-sponsoring the following legislation:

  • House Bill 432 
    • Workers' Comp Benefits and PTSI – sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar

This bill would expand Pennsylvania’s Workers' Compensation Law to first responders, including police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, allowing them to access post-traumatic stress injury-related benefits.

  • House Bill 376
    • Volunteer Firefighter Tax Exemption Legislation – sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett

This legislation would provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters who spend their own, hard-earned money on expensive firefighting equipment, including protective gear and clothing.

  • House Bill 1596 
    • Transition – Military to Civilian Jobs – sponsored by Rep. Mark Gillen

To provide a better transition from military to civilian life, this bill would expand current requirements for professional credentials to allow veterans with a military specialty related to agriculture to apply their military education in lieu of re-training.

  • House Bill 857
    • Veterans’ Trust Fund – sponsored by Rep. Jennifer O’Mara

This bill would support the current Veterans’ Trust Fund by allowing Pennsylvanians to make a donation on their annual income tax form to the fund.

  • House Bill 1459 
    • Emergency Responder Mental Wellness and Stress Management Program – sponsored by Rep. Michael Schlossberg and Rep. Frank Farry

To support first responders, this bill would develop a new PTSI and stress management protocol with the PA Department of Health, including peer-to-peer support programs, a toll-free helpline, Critical Incident Stress Management programs and trauma awareness training. It will also increase fines to the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund. 

  • House Bill 1630 
    • Veterans’ Records of Discharge – sponsored by Rep. Joe Webster

To prevent identity theft, particularly against elder veterans, this bill would ensure that DD-214s and other discharge records are only accessible to the veteran, their immediate family or an authorized agent of the veteran.

Finally, I am co-sponsoring the following forthcoming legislation: 

  • Planned legislation: 
    • Legislation Providing Tuition Assistance to Firefighters – sponsored by Rep. Tina Davis

This bill would provide tuition assistance for higher education to volunteer firefighters, following the system used for PA National Guard members.

  • Planned legislation:
    • Establishing the Veterans’ Peer Outreach and Support Network – sponsored by Rep. Aaron Kaufer

To improve the transition to civilian life and ensure that veterans are aware of all benefits and services, this bill would establish a Peer Outreach and Support Network under the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The network would connect state agencies, local service organizations, health care providers, and non-profits while conducting outreach activities and sharing resources throughout the network.