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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 16, 2017 03:57 PM
From: Representative Stephen Barrar
To: All House members
Subject: Title 35 (Emergency Management Code) Rewrite
In the very near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation to both expand and update Title 35, our Emergency Management Code.

As you may know, the General Assembly last updated Title 35 in 1996 as a result of the winter storm and flood disaster responses. Since 1996, there have been significant events and new changes at the federal level that necessitate updates to Title 35.

For example, the 2007 Valentine’s Day Winter Storm, Hurricane Katrina, and the attacks of September 11, 2001. Other events include the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the creation of the Commonwealth’s nine Regional Tasks Forces, and new federal guidelines and programs relating to all-hazard disasters.

In 2008, the House and Senate Emergency Preparedness Committees held a joint hearing to review draft legislation and receive testimony from interested stakeholders. Since this hearing, we have worked with PEMA, stakeholders and county emergency management agencies and officials to revise the proposed rewrite.

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held three subsequent public hearings across the state in 2012 to review HB 2562 from the 2012 Session. My legislation is a product of all the work that has been done on this issue over the past three years and I plan to have the committee hold additional public hearings in the near future on this legislation.

I believe it is important that we begin to move this legislation through the legislative process to bring to fruition the needed updates that are necessary for a more efficient and effective mechanism so that our Commonwealth and local agencies can effectively prepare and respond to all hazards; to include both disasters or emergencies.

Introduced as HB1218