Governor Wolf Announces Criminal/Abuse Clearance Fee Waiver for Volunteers

Governor Tom Wolf announced last Wednesday, June 10th, that the fee for both the State Police Criminal Background Check and the Child Abuse Clearance will be waived for volunteers. Additionally, for workers that need clearances for current or future employment, the fees will be reduced from $10 each to $8. Both changes will be effective July 25th of this year. This decision is in response to new requirements enacted under Act 153 of 2014 to require criminal and abuse clearances every three years for employees and volunteers who have a supervisory role over minors as a part of their duties. While the intention of Act 153 is to ensure a safe environment for children throughout the Commonwealth, state representatives have received many calls and emails from constituents letting their offices know that the fees associated with these clearances have placed an unintended burden on volunteers and local organizations. Since the passage of Act 153, many legislators have worked to improve the law to alleviate some of this burden on volunteer organizations. Representative Madeleine Dean (or the 153rd Legislative District, covering the Abington and Upper Dublin school districts) introduced legislation, House Bill 515, which would have similarly waived the fee for volunteers. Cooperating legislators have been working with the Governor to ensure that the measures intended to protect children do not create an undue burden for volunteers and the organizations that they serve.