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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 23, 2021 03:18 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk and Rep. Torren C. Ecker
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Legislative Agencies Access to Vital Statistics
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to allow Legislative Agencies access to records information for research purposes under the Vital Statistics Law.
On November 19, 2020, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 1087, which directed the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a data collection review surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the reporting and categorizing of deaths.
As part of that study, the Department of Health found various reasons to deny the LBFC access to redacted death certificates, citing that the LBFC is not a “government entity” and that the LBFC was not conducting “research.” While the LBFC understandably disagreed with these assertions, they were nonetheless denied access to the records needed to adequately finish the report.
Our legislation would make minor revisions to the Vital Statistics Law to expressly include the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee as a government entity to ensure that their purposes are research-based.   
We hope that you will join us as a co-sponsor for this important legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Allie Vaccaro.

Introduced as HB2441