State Capitol Roundup

House Children and Youth Committee Examines Benninghoff Adoption Birth Certificate Legislation

The House Children and Youth Committee held a public hearing this week about legislation introduced by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) that would allow adult adoptees in Pennsylvania access to their original birth certificate.  House Bill 162 would require that the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health release the original or amended birth certificate for an adoptee if the adoptee requests the birth certificate in writing.  Current law places a number of restrictions on the types of identifying information that can be released about a birth parent or an adoptee.  Generally, a court or government agency may not release the identity of a party to an adoption unless that individual has authorized the release of the information.  Information included on birth certificates can help adoptees with medical and genetic history and obtain proper government identification, among other items.  Original birth certificates for adult adoptees are available in several other states.  House Bill 162 awaits full committee consideration.

PennDOT and Turnpike Commission Seek Public Input on Traveler Information

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are seeking public input about traffic information services through completion of a brief online survey.  The anonymous survey includes questions on the types of traffic information travelers find valuable, how they access and use that information, and how traffic information affects driving habits.  It also asks for feedback on the 511PA traveler information service and the PTC’s Turnpike Roadway Information Program (TRIP).  Motorists can access the survey through PennDOT’s 511PA website,, or through the Turnpike’s website,  The 511PA service offers traffic-delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates, and access to more than 679 traffic cameras, and TRIP offers real-time traffic conditions, weather alerts, and travel information online or on a mobile device for the 552 miles of turnpike roadway.
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