By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer
State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, a Democrat who is expected to run for Congress next year, will co-sponsor legislation that would protect public safety officers’ personal information.
The effort is being spearheaded by fellow Bucks Rep. Scott Petri, a Republican.
The measure will contain provisions that would prohibit a political subdivision or state agency, upon receipt of a written request from a public safety official, from disclosing the personal information of the public safety official, his or her spouse, child or parent.
“We must go to extra lengths to protect those who put their lives at risk to protect us,” Santarsiero said. “In the hands of the wrong person, home addresses and names of loved ones can be used to retaliate against, intimidate or harm an officer or his or her family.
“This commonsense provision can save lives and, at the very least, bring simple peace of mind to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. There should be no reason for officers or their families to feel endangered when the work day is over.”
Meanwhile, Santarsiero has been appointed to serve on the House Education, Environmental Resources and Energy, and Transportation committees for the 2015–16 legislative session.
Santarsiero has served on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee since 2009, the Transportation Committee since 2011, and the Education Committee since 2012. He said the assignments will allow him to address important issues facing his constituents in the 31st Legislative District.
“I am honored to serve in these positions, and I will work with my colleagues to protect our environment, promote quality public education and higher education, support infrastructure improvements to strengthen our economy, and advocate for our most vulnerable citizens,” Santarsiero said.
There are 28 standing committees in the state House of Representatives. The committee system allows legislators to assess and amend legislation and evaluate important issues before bringing bills to the full House for a vote.
The Education Committee reviews bills that pertain to funding, school choice and charter schools and teacher standards.
The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee works with the Department of Environmental Protection to establish regulations on environmental issues, including air and water quality, and waste management.
The Transportation Committee reviews legislation relating to all modes of transportation in the commonwealth, including highways, airports, train service, public transit, ports, the Turnpike Commission, the State Transportation Commission and the operations of the Department of Transportation.
Santarsiero also is chairman of the Southeast Delegation of the state House Democratic Caucus and is the sole legislator on the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board, which oversees specific transportation projects jointly managed by private industry and PennDOT.