Pennsylvania Senate sends ‘stolen valor’ bill to governor

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Legislation that makes it a crime to lie about military service and decorations to obtain money, a job, or other benefits is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

House Bill 168 passed the Senate by a 49-0 vote on Tuesday, two months after it was unanimously approved by the House.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington), said it would protect the honor and valor of America’s veterans.

“For one to falsely identify themselves as a veteran by wearing decorations they did not earn or service medals with the intention to obtain money or property is truly an insult and discredit to the men and women who have selflessly sacrificed their lives on the battlefield,” Saccone said in a statement. “Our men and women of the armed forces and their families deserve the utmost respect and praise, and criminals who disguise themselves as illegitimate veterans demean our true American heroes.”

Under the bill, a person who economically benefits from lying about military service or decorations could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. Those convicted could face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

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