Governor Tom Wolf signed the "stolen valor" bill into law Tuesday, a move that lawmakers say will protect benefits for Pennsylvania veterans. The governor has plans to sign another piece of legislation Wednesday protecting animal rights.
The "stolen valor" bill, introduced by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington), prohibits the fraudulent representation of military service or military decorations to obtain money, property, or other benefits.
According to lawmakers, the new law makes it a crime to impersonate a soldier, a veteran of the armed services, or a recipient of a service medal or decoration in order to gain access to benefits, resources, or job opportunities that we set aside specifically for members of the military.
“This legislation is incredibly important because Pennsylvania has the fourth largest veteran population in the country and it is our duty to be certain that benefits for those veterans are available to those who have earned them," Wolf said.
Wolf announced he'll sign HB1238, the animal protection, and abuse overhaul bill, during a public event in Harrisburg. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. and will feature a canine advocate “meet and greet” with the official bill signing to follow at 1 p.m.
Wolf called the animal protection bill "landmark legislation."
According to the governor's office, the overhaul bill does the following:
- Mandatory Forfeiture: requires that after an animal abuser is convicted, the victims of that abuse will be forfeited to an animal shelter
- Libre’s Law: increased penalties for heinous animal abuse
- Cordelia’s Law: added protections for horses
- Tethering stipulations
- Civil immunity provided for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and humane society police officers to prevent frivolous lawsuits against these professionals when reporting animal cruelty in good faith