HARRISBURG, PA — The Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness (VAEP) Committee and its chairman, Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), unanimously supported legislation that would protect Pennsylvanians financially during emergencies.
Senate Bill 1172 would amend the Price Gouging Act to issue a separate declaration imposing price restrictions for a period of 15 days when a disaster declaration is issued for an emergency. Three additional 15-day periods may be authorized by the governor. The declaration would apply only to goods and services in the affected geographic area.
“Companies should not be focused on making excessive profits when customers are struggling with emergencies that may leave them without food and heat. This legislation prevents people from being taken advantage of during challenging situations,” Barrar said.
The court would determine if a violation has been made if there is a gross disparity between the price immediately before and after a declaration. Violations against a seller would result in a fine of up to $25,000 per day.
The committee also unanimously voted for two resolutions. House Resolution 992 would proclaim Pennsylvania as a Purple Heart State and would establish Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in the Commonwealth. To promote patriotism and ensure military sacrifices aren’t forgotten, 23 other states have already been designated as Purple Heart states.
More than 32,000 veterans were killed in action in Pennsylvania. Sixty thousand were injured in action. All of these veterans would be eligible to receive a Purple Heart.
Later in the morning, the committee met again to support House Resolution 1002, which would encourage participation in the Valley Forge Military College Legislative Appointment Initiative Program. The program works to identify young men and women who have demonstrated the highest physical, intellectual, moral and leadership potential, as well as service-to-country orientation, who are interested in attending the two-year, postsecondary educational institution.
After receiving support from the VAEP Committee, the bill and resolutions move to the full House for consideration.
Source: Representative Stephen E. Barrar, 160th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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