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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 13, 2017 04:51 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Earmarking "Stolen Valor" fines to the Veterans' Trust Fund

In the near future, and at the suggestion of a veteran in the 20th Senatorial District, I plan on introducing legislation that would earmark any fines collected as a result of the violation of Pennsylvania’s “Stolen Valor” statute (Section 6701 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes-Wearing of Uniforms and Insignia and Misrepresentation of Military Service and Honors) to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund ( 51 Pa.C.S. Section 1721).

Section 6701 of Title 18 originally provided that the wearing of a uniform or other indicia of membership, without authority, constituted a summary offense. The Section was amended by HB 168 (Act of June 27, 2017, P.L. 214, No. 9) to add that an individual commits a misdemeanor if, with the intent to obtain certain benefits, he or she fraudulently holds himself or herself out as a member of the armed forces or as the recipient of any decoration or medal. In any case, a violation of Section 6701 subjects an individual to the imposition of a fine.

Thirteen other states have enacted “Stolen Valor” legislation. In six of those states, the fines imposed as a result of a violation are earmarked to veterans’ causes.

My legislation would earmark fines imposed for a violation of Section 6701 to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund, which issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, to veterans’ service organizations, and to county directors of veterans affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and the necessities of living.

In this way, not only will the Stolen Valor legislation protect the valor and integrity of our veterans and the honors that they have earned, but it would also serve to support them and their present day needs.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB933