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PRINTER'S NO. 2486
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1824
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MARKOSEK, HANBIDGE, SAINATO, PASHINSKI,
RAVENSTAHL, T. DAVIS, PETRARCA, HILL-EVANS, SCHLOSSBERG,
D. MILLER, FREEMAN, KIM, KINSEY, MURT, SAYLOR, KULIK,
CALTAGIRONE, READSHAW, POLINCHOCK, O'MARA, SHUSTERMAN,
YOUNGBLOOD, DEASY, DeLUCA, BARRAR, SCHWEYER, ULLMAN,
MALAGARI, MULLINS, MERSKI, KORTZ, FRANKEL, KOSIEROWSKI,
GOODMAN, HOHENSTEIN AND FLYNN, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY
PREPAREDNESS, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, providing for the Pennsylvania Amber
Alert System, the Missing Endangered Person Advisory System
(MEPAS) and the Green Alert System and for duties of the
Pennsylvania State Police; assessing costs; providing for
immunity and penalties; and making a related repeal.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 56
RECOVERY ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
FOR ABDUCTED AND MISSING PERSONS
Sec.
5601. Definitions.
5602. Pennsylvania Amber Alert System.
5603. Missing Endangered Person Advisory System (MEPAS).
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5604. Green Alert System.
5605. Duties of Pennsylvania State Police.
5606. Prohibited use of alert systems .
5607. Use of Missing Endangered Person Advisory System and
Green Alert System.
5608. Coordination with other jurisdictions.
5609. Assessment of cost.
5610. Immunity.
§ 5601. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"System." The Pennsylvania Amber Alert System, the Missing
Endangered Person Advisory System (MEPAS) and the Green Alert
System.
"Veteran-at-risk." A veteran, as defined in 51 Pa.C.S. §
7202 (relating to definitions), who is known to have a physical
or mental health condition that is related to the veteran's
service and is at special risk of harm or injury.
§ 5602. Pennsylvania Amber Alert System.
The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish and maintain
the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System to assist in the recovery of
abducted children through prompt notification to the general
public, appropriate law enforcement authorities and other public
agencies.
§ 5603. Missing Endangered Person Advisory System (MEPAS).
The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish and maintain
the Missing Endangered Person Advisory System to assist in the
recovery of missing persons who are at special risk of harm or
injury, through prompt notification to the general public,
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appropriate law enforcement authorities and other agencies.
§ 5604. Green Alert System.
The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish and maintain
the Green Alert System to assist in the recovery of missing
veterans-at-risk through prompt notification to the general
public, appropriate law enforcement authorities and other
agencies.
§ 5605. Duties of Pennsylvania State Police.
The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish such protocols
and procedures as are necessary for the effective operation of
each system and shall educate and inform local law enforcement
agencies and the public with regard to the availability of each
system .
§ 5606. Prohibited use of alert systems .
The transmission, broadcast or other communication of a
public alert, other than through the Pennsylvania Amber Alert
System, the Missing Endangered Person Advisory System or the
Green Alert System , intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or
negligently purporting to be made by, with or through the
authority of the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System, the Missing
Endangered Person Advisory System or the Green Alert System, is
prohibited and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more
than $5,000.
§ 5607. Use of Missing Endangered Person Advisory System and
Green Alert System.
The Pennsylvania Missing Endangered Person Advisory System
and the Green Alert System shall be operated by the Pennsylvania
State Police. Activation may be requested by law enforcement
agencies when public assistance is considered expedient to the
recovery of a missing individual believed to be at special risk
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of harm or injury. The ability of law enforcement agencies to
independently notify or request assistance from the public shall
not be impaired nor restricted in any way.
§ 5608. Coordination with other jurisdictions.
(a) Pennsylvania Amber Alert System.-- The Pennsylvania State
Police shall coordinate with the authorities of the various
states and the Federal Government that are responsible within
their respective jurisdictions for the recovery of abducted
children to establish and execute the procedures appropriate to
the effective fulfillment of its responsibilities relating to
the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System .
(b) Pennsylvania Missing Endangered Person Advisory System
and Green Alert System.--The Pennsylvania State Police shall
coordinate with the authorities of the various states and the
Federal Government that are responsible within their respective
jurisdictions for the recovery of missing individuals believed
to be at special risk of harm or injury to establish and execute
the procedures appropriate to the effective fulfillment of its
responsibilities relating to the Pennsylvania Missing Endangered
Person Advisory System and the Green Alert System .
§ 5609. Assessment of cost.
Unless the court finds that undue hardship would result, in
addition to any other cost imposed by law, a cost of $25 shall
automatically be assessed on each person convicted, adjudicated
delinquent or granted Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
(ARD) of the offenses named in this section. The cost shall be
forwarded to the Commonwealth and used by the Pennsylvania State
Police to establish and maintain the Pennsylvania Amber Alert
S ystem and apply to the following offenses:
18 Pa.C.S. § 2901 (relating to kidnapping).
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18 Pa.C.S. § 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2904 (relating to interference with custody
of children).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2905 (relating to interference with custody
of committed persons).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2906 (relating to criminal coercion).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2907 (relating to disposition of ransom).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2908 (relating to missing children).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2909 (relating to concealment of whereabouts
of a child).
18 Pa.C.S. § 2910 (relating to luring a child into a
motor vehicle or structure).
§ 5610. Immunity.
(a) Media immunity.--Owners, licensees, operators and
employees of any communication medium, including, but not
limited to, telephone, radio, television, newspaper, digital
communications networks or global communications networks, shall
be immune from civil liability for their good faith conduct
while participating in accordance with this chapter.
(b) Good Samaritan immunity.--Any person who provides,
obtains or attempts to provide or obtain assistance for a child
who is the subject of a Pennsylvania Amber Alert System notice,
a person who is the subject of a Missing Endangered Person
Advisory or a veteran-at-risk who is the subject of a Green
Alert shall be immune from civil liability for acts or omissions
in providing or obtaining or attempting to provide or obtain
assistance except for acts or omissions intended to cause harm
and for which the law does not recognize justification or that
constitute gross negligence or willful, wanton or reckless
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conduct.
Section 2. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeal under
paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of 35
Pa.C.S. Ch. 56.
(2) The act of November 24, 2004 (P.L.1270, No.153),
referred to as the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System Law, is
repealed.
Section 3. The addition of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56 is a
continuation of the act of November 24, 2004 (P.L.1270, No.153),
referred to as the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System Law. The
following apply:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56,
all activities initiated under the Pennsylvania Amber Alert
System Law shall continue and remain in full force and effect
and may be completed under 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56. Orders,
regulations, rules and decisions which were made under the
Pennsylvania Amber Alert System Law and which are in effect
on the effective date of this section shall remain in full
force and effect until revoked, vacated or modified under 35
Pa.C.S. Ch. 56. Contracts, obligations and collective
bargaining agreements entered into under the Pennsylvania
Amber Alert System Law are not affected nor impaired by the
repeal of the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System Law.
(2) Except as set forth in paragraph (3), any difference
in language between 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56 and the Pennsylvania
Amber Alert System Law is intended only to conform to the
style of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and is not
intended to change or affect the legislative intent, judicial
construction or administration and implementation of the
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Pennsylvania Amber Alert System Law.
(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply to the addition of the
following provisions:
(i) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5601.
(ii) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5604.
(iii) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5606.
(iv) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5607.
(v) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5608.
(vi) 35 Pa.C.S. § 5610(b).
Section 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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