Indiana County legislator also honors local heroes and a former public servant
HARRISBURG – Multiple pieces of legislation authored by state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) are on the move in the General Assembly, including House Bill 185
, which would increase the penalty for anyone who causes bodily injury to an individual with a physical or intellectual disability.
“I’m glad to see House Bill 185, better known as ‘Cody’s Law,’ drew significant support from both sides of the aisle after some spirited debate in the House,” Struzzi said. “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat bill, but rather one which speaks to strengthening the penalty for those individuals who would act out against vulnerable members of our communities.”
House Bill 185, which may now be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, 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.
“The reference to 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,” added Struzzi. “It’s a story most of Indiana County knows all too well, and one which points out a weakness in our judicial system that I feel needs to be addressed.”
Struzzi also saw his attempts to honor a pair of local heroes pass unanimously and be sent to the state Senate.
“House Bill 56
would rename the Route 271 bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Northern Cambria Borough, Cambria County as the Sgt. William Stock Memorial Bridge,” Struzzi commented. “I’m proud to say Sgt. Stock, in addition to serving his country within the 49th Munitions Maintenance Squadron in the U.S. Air Force, was also my father-in-law.
“House Bill 57
would designate the bridge over Crooked Creek in Armstrong Township as the Sgt. Carl Roof Bridge, in memory of a man who was a prisoner of war for 11 months during World War II.”
Struzzi capped the week by honoring former state Rep. Paul Wass, who represented Indiana County in the state Legislature from 1977-90, with a condolence resolution.
“While I didn’t know Paul well, the memory of him that will always stick with me involves being invited to come to his house to not only talk politics but impart some wisdom on a young man with aspirations for public service,” Struzzi said. “I’m glad he saw something in me and felt a desire to point me in the right direction.”
Cody's Law - House Bill 185
It's called "Cody's Law, and House Bill 185 would render a person able to be convicted of aggravated assault if he or she causes bodily injury to an individual with a physical or intellectual disability.
My House Bill 185 now sits with the state Senate following bipartisan support in the House. Please click on the video above to view a recording of my floor remarks in support of the legislation, as well as some background on the bill.
Bill to Name 'Sgt. William Stock Memorial Bridge'
Two notable men with ties to Indiana County are a step closer to being honored through legislation I've authored.
Please click on the video above to listen to my floor remarks from Wednesday in between votes on House bills 56 and 57, both of which passed unanimously.
Honoring Former State Rep. Paul Wass
On Tuesday, I authored a condolence resolution to honor the memory and service of former state Rep. Paul Wass, who represented residents of the 62nd Legislative District from 1977 to 1990.
If you click on the video above, you’ll be able to watch a recording of the floor remarks I made in relation to the resolution.
Rep. Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives