|Posted:||January 25, 2019 02:08 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. In addition, several stakeholder meetings were held since last session to further review the proposed changes to the Title 35 rewrite. Moreover, subsequent events and additions to our statutes to address specific issues has taken place warranting our attention to this important rewrite.
My legislation is a product of all the work that has been done on this issue over the past several years and I plan to have the committee hold at least one additional public hearing on my proposal as we move forward in the early part of the 2019 – 2020 Session.
Furthermore, my proposal will include additional consolidations of statutory law to further enhance the effectiveness of our emergency management code and to better orchestrate the implementation of relevant law and regulations pertaining to the Commonwealth’s response to specific public emergencies.
I believe it is important that we continue to move this legislation through the legislative process to bring to fruition the needed updates that are necessary for a more efficient and effective emergency management mechanism so that our Commonwealth and local agencies can effectively prepare and respond to all hazards.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.