Matzie commends Wolf for waiving clearance check fees for volunteers

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, commended Gov. Tom Wolf today for his move to waive fees associated with background checks for volunteers working with children.

“I am proud to have worked with Governor Wolf to make sure that this vital action was taken," Matzie said. "By waiving the fees, we ensure that those who generously give their time to the children in our communities won’t be deterred from doing so because of cost."

Wolf today announced his administration would waive the $10 fee for the Pennsylvania State Police criminal background check and the $10 fee for the Department of Human Services child abuse check required by the Child Protective Services Law for volunteers working with children.

This decision is in response to new requirements enacted under Act 153 of 2014 to require criminal and abuse clearances every three years for employees and volunteers who are in contact with minors as a part of their duties.

Since the passage of Act 153, many legislators have worked to improve the law to alleviate some of this burden on volunteer organizations such as volunteer fire departments and EMS providers.

According to Matzie, Wolf today also said the Department of Human Services and the state police will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants.

"This move keeps the safety provisions of Act 153 firmly in place, without discouraging people from volunteering," Matzie said. "This is a great example of what can be accomplished when politics are put aside and the governor and the legislature work closely and diligently to solve real problems.”

According to figures from the Wolf administration, nearly 300,000 volunteers are projected to seek the clearances in the first year.