Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Updated Legislative Alert Posted to IAJGS Website

There is a new, updated, legislative alert posted to the IAJGS website. To access the report go to the IAJGS website: www.IAJGS.org and click on either the left hand button that says "Legislation" then "Latest Alert" or scroll down to thePublic Records Access portion of the home page (where the newspaper boy icon is) and click on Latest Alerts.

As most US state legislatures and the US Congress have been grappling with draconian budget issues there was relatively little legislation introduced that would effect genealogical records. However, there are a few and they are summarized in the alert. A few are noted below:

Of concern is California AB 130-- which adds marriage records to the restrictions onindices already in place for birth and death record indices (enacted in 2002). AB130 already passed the California Assembly by a vote of 79-0 this week and is now in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting committee assignment.

Another bill we are watching, but has not yet held a hearing is NY 784 which would open death records to the public and redacting Social Security numbers on the records.

PA has two bills of interest...1. HB 563 which would require an electronic database for all records, with SocialSecurity Numbers redacted, and would require birth records after 100 years and death records after 50 years to be turned over to the PA Historical and Museum Commission. No hearing is yet scheduled.

2. HB 931 would require the PA Department of Health to provide for an internet baseddeath registration AND make any birth record after 100 years and death record after50 years a public record available to the public on the internet. No hearing is yetscheduled.

There are other bills mentioned in the alert.

The Public Records Access MonitoringCommittee continues to monitor these bills and when hearings are scheduled, writes letters advocating access to vital records. Remember, that all politics are local, so if you are interested in a particular bill, especially if you reside in that state, become involved. A list of state legislature websites is on the IAJGS website "legislative websites".

If you know of any legislative or regulatory proposed actions that would either enhance or adversely effect access to vital records, any where, not just the US, please let me know.

Jan Meisels Allen
Director, IAJGS andChairperson,
Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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