Senate Bill 1024, Printer’s No. 1661, sponsored by Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery County), was amended by the House on Dec. 16, 2013, and referred to the Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee on Jan 7, 2014. Our Sen. Jake Corman (R., Juniata, Perry, and parts of Mifflin, Centre and Union counties) serves on this Committee.
The gist of the 8 page bill establishes an offense of “aggravated arson” a felony or murder charge, when someone intentionally sets a fire and a person is injured or killed. Rep. Paul Clymer (R., Bucks County) then added an amendment to protect historic resources by giving jail time to arsonists. Specifically, it protects “A historic resource – a building or structure, including a covered bridge, which: has been in existence more than 100 years… or has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places or The Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places.”
This bill would apply to our own Pomeroy-Academia Covered Bridge. Shortly after the $1.2 Million dollar restoration in June 2009, a person/persons lit a campfire on the wooden floor of the bridge. The results could have been disastrous, and caused the Juniata County Historical Society additional costs for fire retardants and bridge security. Both the Bridge AND the Tuscarora Academy are more than 100 years old and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Please contact Senator Corman, and support Senate Bill 1024. He can be reached at: Room 81, Main Capitol, Senate Box 203034, Harrisburg, PA 17120-3034 or 236 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823. His phone numbers are: Harrisburg, 717-787-1377, (FAX: 717-772-3146); or Bellefonte, 814-355-0477, (FAX: 814-355-6046). To read the full text of the bill, go to www.legis.state.pa.us and look for Senate Bill 1024, sponsored by Senator Rafferty.