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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 3, 2021 12:15 PM
From: Representative Susan C. Helm
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Providing Coroners Direct Access to JNET and Driving Records
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to provide coroners with greater access to certain records maintained by PennDOT and to JNET, which will aid our coroners when identifying next of kin for the deceased and when investigating causes of death. 
JNET is a portal that allows secured access by criminal justice agencies to Commonwealth records provided by JNET’s data partners (PennDOT, Labor and Industry, Human Services, PA Courts , PA State Police, and others). Unfortunately, coroners have been recently denied JNET access or have had access revoked due to  questions regarding whether a coroner’s office is a “criminal justice agency”. Additionally, PennDOT’s current policy is that non-criminal justice agencies, in general, are to be only granted access to PA driver photos and detail records. Additional access to driver history, medical information, emergency contact information and vehicle registration information is reserved by PennDOT for criminal justice designated agencies only. 
Seeing that both JNET access and access to certain PennDOT records would be an invaluable tool for coroners when performing their official duties, I am introducing legislation that provides for the following:
  • Coroners are to be provided access to JNET.
  • PennDOT is to provide coroners with any record maintained by the department, unless prohibited by federal law, which is reasonably necessary to help identify next of kin or aid in a death investigation.
  • PennDOT is required to update their driver licensing forms to provide drivers with the option to provide next of kin information on their record. 
I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as HB2088