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Farry legislation advances

Bills aim to protect public safety officials’ personal information, add transparency to policies within the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and more

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The House recently passed several measures co-authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), chairman of the Human Services Committee, including legislation to protect public safety officials’ personal information, allow for county overdose fatality and death by suicide review teams, and add transparency to some policies within the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

“Through these bills, we are better positioned to protect the public,” Farry said.

Passing the House with bipartisan support, House Bill 1546, authored by Farry, would make it illegal to publish confidential personal information of public safety officials.

“Our public safety officials’ personal information should not be shared, which ultimately puts their and the members of their household’s safety at risk,” Farry said. “The legislation is aimed to protect privacy and hold accountable those who would expose this personal information.”

Two other bills co-authored by Farry also passed the House. The first measure is designed to develop information relating to overdoses and suicides to better prevent them in the future, and the second bill will better allow drug and alcohol service providers to aid people battling addiction.

House Bill 1308, introduced by Rep. Michael Schlossberg (D-Lehigh), would allow local communities and agencies to establish overdose fatality review teams. Farry amended the bill in his committee to allow review teams to also investigate death by suicide.

Another component of the legislative package crafted in the Human Services Committee included House Bill 1995, introduced by Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R-Allegheny/Westmoreland), which would direct the DDAP to produce regulations for drug and alcohol treatment facilities, including additional licensing requirements, staff credentialing and staffing ratios. This would allow public and stakeholder participation.

“The goals of this broad package of bills is to better serve those in need and protect those who work to protect us,” Farry said.

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