‘Hold Harmless’
Recently the majority of the House of Representatives here in Pennsylvania voted to insert two amendments into legislation to clarify state law regarding who should have background clearances when working near or with children.

One of the amendments exempted co-ops who volunteer to train or offer experience for our young people in the work place. This exemption was a “hold harmless” provision in that there will be no clearances required from the employer of certain employees who have direct contact with our children.

The other amendment gave the same exemption of background checks to state institutions of higher education.

After we passed a bill making all state clearances free for volunteers in our communities who give their time, energy and resources to our youth leagues, scouts, church groups, etc., the House saw fit to include one amendment exempting from such background checks the very state university where the monster who preyed on children wreaked such pain and anguish, and inflicted a black eye on our state.

That’s right. The House voted to hold harmless the institution where this happened.

The Merriam Webster dictionary gives this definition to harmless as “free from harm, liability, or loss”

So, with a society so ripe with hate, violence and disregard for humanity, what message are we sending?

But it didn’t stop there. The Basic Education Funding Commission also last week made public its recommendations on how to revise the way public education is funded in Pennsylvania. This “revision” also keeps another “hold harmless” provision in place.

If last week was any indication of what’s to come for Pennsylvania, be prepared to protect your children and your wallet, because “hold harmless” is here.

Rep. Maloney is a member of the House Children and Youth Committee.

By Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks)
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