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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2015 02:34 PM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Expanding the Definition of “Enforcement Officer”
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (House Bill 1037) that would amend the definition of “enforcement officer” in the State Employees Retirement Code to include a Game Commission officer employed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

As you may know, the State Employees Retirement Code is contained in Part XXV (Retirement for State Employees and Officers) of Title 71 (State Government) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. This statute includes definitions and eligibility requirements for the various classes of employees in the state retirement system. One of the definitions provided for in this part is that of an enforcement officer.

Due to the physically demanding and dangerous nature of their work, individuals included in the definition of enforcement officer attain their superannuation age (full retirement age) earlier than most other Commonwealth employees. For example, the current definition includes special agents and narcotic agents of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and parole agents employed by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. In 1997, with the passage of Act 41 of 1997, waterways conservation officers employed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission were added to the definition. A subsequent effort to add Game Commission officers to the definition passed the General Assembly, but was vetoed by the governor.

Game Commission officers undergo a vigorous training and continuing education program. Oftentimes, persons they encounter in performance of their duties are carrying weapons such as knives and firearms. As such, they frequently find themselves in stressful and volatile situations. The legislation that I will be re-introducing would add these individuals to the definition of “enforcement officer,” so as to provide them with comparable benefits to other individuals charged with enforcing the laws of our Commonwealth.


Introduced as HB1085