Bizzarro commends Gov. Wolf's decision to exempt volunteers from paying background check fees

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement to waive state background check fees for volunteers working with children.

“The governor’s action today is encouraging for our volunteers who dedicate so much of their time to improving our communities,” Bizzarro said. “I am proud we will be able to continue protecting our children, as well as give some assistance to the volunteers who help them every day.”

Last week, Bizzarro held a news conference at the West Lake Fire Department in Erie calling for waiving background check fees for at least volunteer firefighters and EMS providers.

“The good news today is that our volunteer firefighters and EMS professionals will be able to do their important work without having to worry about paying these fees,” Bizzarro said. “Now, I am hoping we can expand our efforts so that anyone who works with our children will not have to pay for these checks out of pocket.”

Wolf also said the state Department of Human Services and Pennsylvania State Police will reduce the cost of child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for persons seeking employment for work with children and others required to obtain them under the law.

Last year, the state significantly updated its child protection laws, which required volunteers to obtain $10 criminal history and child abuse clearances starting July 1, 2015.