Rep. Baker Joins Corbett in Signing Birth and Death Legislation

Rep. Matt Baker (standing, center) joined Gov. Tom Corbett (sitting, center), Sen. Bob Robbins (sitting, left) and others for the public bill signing Senate Bill 361 into law, which will provide public access to birth and death records of Pennsylvania citizens after a specified period of time.

HARRISBURG – Joining Gov. Tom Corbett in the Governor’s Reception Room today, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga) was present for the public signing of legislation into law that will provide public access to birth and death records of Pennsylvania citizens after a specified period of time.

“Pennsylvania has a long and rich history, and the desire of Commonwealth citizens to trace their family lineage is becoming a more popular pastime – there is even a reality television show that follows celebrities tracking their family history,” Baker said. “However, in Pennsylvania birth and death records are only available to certain eligible individuals. That being said, many average citizens, not to mention genealogists and historians, are having a difficult time gaining access to these important and informative historical documents. This new law will change that.”

Specifically, Senate Bill 361 would make vital records open to the public when 105 years have elapsed after the date of birth or 50 years have elapsed after the date of death of a person.

“As chairman of the House Health Committee, I had the opportunity to shepherd this legislation through the House,” said Baker. “It was a pleasure to take part in a bill that swiftly, and without opposition, made its way through the legislative process and onto the governor’s desk.”

Baker noted that the state archives will be required to maintain the original birth and death records to ensure proper safekeeping.


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Leave a Comment