Bill would ease the cost of background clearance fees for firefighters/EMS workers

LEVITTOWN, May 21 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, today introduced legislation that would exempt experienced emergency responders from fees totaling more than $47 for state and federal background clearances.

“I understand and endorse the need for better protections for our children,” Davis said. “However, first responders who have proven their integrity and value to their communities deserve a break from the financial burdens of such background checks.”

Flanked by emergency responders at the Newportville Fire Company station, Davis said her House Bill 1081 would spare paid and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service responders from the $10 clearances from the state police and state Department of Human Services and the $27.50 fee for an FBI criminal background clearance.

Those fees and clearances are requirements under new laws enacted last year in an effort to better address how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse.

 

“Many if not most of our experienced first responders have previously received clearances as a condition of their employment or service,” Davis said. “My measure would exempt them from burdensome fees as well as the FBI clearance requirements if they have clean records and have been state residents for the last 10 years.”

“Our firefighters and EMS providers save lives and property throughout the commonwealth every day, and I believe they deserve to be spared from clearance fees when their records warrant such consideration,” Davis said. “We always want to weed out the bad apples but not punish those who through their years of service have proven to be upstanding citizens.”

H.B. 1081 has garnered significant bipartisan support and has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where Davis serves as a member, for consideration.