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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2017 09:52 AM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Expanding the Definition of “Enforcement Officer”
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce House Bill 1085, which 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 with the goal to provide them with benefits comparable to those in similar positions currently enrolled in the system.

As you may know, the State Employees Retirement Code is contained in Part XXV (Retirement for State Employees and Officers) of Title 71 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, 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. They often encounter people carrying weapons, such as knives and firearms, while on duty. As such, they frequently find themselves in stressful and volatile situations. My legislation 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.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.