|Posted:||January 30, 2019 11:22 AM|
|From:||Representative Keith Gillespie|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Inclusion of Game Commission Officers (State Game Warden's) under the definition of Enforcement Officer (former HB583)|
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation that seeks to amend the definition of “enforcement officer” in the State Employees Retirement Code to include a Game Commission officer under the employment of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).
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. This legislation will add these individuals to the definition of “enforcement officer,” to provide them with comparable benefits to Fish and Boat Commission officers and others charged with enforcing the laws of our Commonwealth.
Introduced as HB615