Harrisburg, June 24, 2016 − State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) released the letter that he sent to state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) in reference to Williams’ stolen valor legislation.
Williams has been involved in the issue since 2011 when he introduced Senate Bill 1206 in response to a Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the federal stolen valor act. Williams reintroduced the legislation in successive sessions. His bill, Senate Bill 43, passed the Senate in April 2015.
Similar legislation on stolen valor passed the state House this week. That measure, House Bill 2050, was introduced by Saccone, referred to the House Judiciary Committee on May 9, 2016 and passed the state House of Representatives just over a month later on June 21, 2016
The text of Williams’ letter to Saccone is copied below:
June 23, 2016
The Honorable Rick Saccone
6B East Wing
PO Box 202039
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2039
Dear Representative Saccone,
It was brought to my attention today that we are working at cross-purposes on a very important issue: protecting the honor and valor of our commonwealth’s veterans. Clearly, we both can agree that imposters and embellishers who deceive others with the intent to enrich themselves harm the reputation and besmirch the character of those whose bravery, service and integrity have rightfully earned them a place of honor in our society.
I was also intrigued to learn that you were unaware of my legislation, Senate Bill 43, which passed the Senate unanimously in April of 2015. Typically, legislators or their staff check for current pending legislation in the course of researching issues. Now that you’ve been informed of this oversight, undoubtedly an innocent omission, I would kindly request that you support an effort to vote Senate Bill 43 from the House Judiciary Committee and to the House floor for final passage. Given your dedication to protecting veterans, I’m sure that you will agree that passing Senate Bill 43 with no further delay (as it has been sitting idle in committee for fourteen months now) is critical to ensuring that violators will be punished for profiting from ‘stolen valor.’
I look forward to your immediate response.
Anthony H. Williams
State Senator – 8th District