Jan. 27, 2021

HARRISBURG– State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) is honored to once again stand up for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens by introducing House Bill 185, legislation that would strengthen the penalty for anyone who causes bodily injury to an individual with a physical or intellectual disability. Struzzi's bill may now be considered by the full House following passage today by the House Judiciary Committee.

“I am pleased this bill has once again received bipartisan support and is moving from committee to the House floor for a vote,” Struzzi said. “For me, it now becomes a matter of impressing upon my fellow members of the General Assembly the need for this important piece of legislation and getting across the finish line this session.”

House Bill 185, which mirrors Struzzi’s legislation from last session, would elevate the act of intentionally causing bodily injury to a person with a physical or intellectual disability eligible to a second-degree felony of aggravated assault. The law presently dictates that “serious bodily injury” is necessary for charges to be elevated beyond misdemeanor simple assault.

Struzzi’s bill, known as Cody’s Law, is a tribute to Cody Overdorff, a victim of William’s Syndrome who was assaulted by four individuals in August of 2019 on the Hoodlebug Trail near Floodway Park.

“The attack carried out against Cody Overdorff was ruthless and unprovoked,” added Struzzi. “Current law only allows for misdemeanor charges to be levied against the boys who caused him serious bodily injury. Cody was clearly targeted, and I feel the perpetrators got off with a virtual slap on the wrist. I can now focus on working with House members on both sides of the aisle and General Assembly members on both sides of the Capitol building.”

Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Struzzi’s Indiana district office at 1-724-465-0220.