State Legislative Update - June 24, 2011

A summary of important events on Capitol Hill

Provided by State Representative George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland)

Dunbar Endorsed Voter ID Bill Advances to State Senate


Co-sponsored and advanced by State Representative George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland) in the House State Government Committee, the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act was passed by the Pennsylvania House on Thursday evening.


Modeled after Indiana’s photo identification law, which was upheld as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, House Bill 934 would amend the state election code to require voters to present valid photo ID before voting.   Current Pennsylvania law requires identification for voters who appear to vote in an election district for the first time.

Expert testimony presented before Dunbar and the House State Government Committee earlier this spring confirmed that requiring valid photo ID at the polls, as provided for by House Bill 934, can prevent the four most widely documented types of voter fraud, including:   impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting and voting by illegal aliens.  

Numerous academic studies have also proven that requiring voter photo identification has had absolutely no disenfranchising impact on voter turnout for minority, poor or elderly voters.  In fact, in Indiana and Georgia, where showing valid photo ID at the polls is now law, voter turnout has increased among the elderly, minorities and Democrats.


Even more recently in a June 7 KQV Radio/Tribune-Review poll, 86 percent of respondents said that “voters should be required to show photo ID.”


House Bill 934 now advances to the Senate for consideration.   For the latest legislative updates, visit or


Castle Doctrine to Be Signed Into Law


Legislation strongly supported by Rep. Dunbar to allow citizens to defend themselves and their families while in their homes, occupied vehicles or anywhere they have a legal right to be is expected  to be signed into the law by the governor early next week. 


House Bill 40, known as the Castle Doctrine, will fully restore the legal ability of law-abiding Commonwealth residents to stand their ground and use lethal force in self-defense again attackers or violent intruders.


In addition, the measure would protect individuals from civil lawsuits by the attacker or the attacker’s family when force is used and would offer specific protection against civil liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense.


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Dunbar Votes to Create Cancer Presumption for PA Firefighters


Representative Dunbar also voted to approve legislation this week to designate cancer as an occupational disease for professional and volunteer firefighters who have served four or more consecutive years in Pennsylvania.


Now awaiting consideration before the Senate, House Bill 797 would allow firefighters to receive workers’ compensation if they develop cancer and can establish direct exposure to certain carcinogens while responding to an incident.


For the latest legislative updates, visit or
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