HARRISBURG – The PA House Aging and Older Adults Services Committee unanimously passed House Bill 996 which provides access to members of the clergy to long-term care facilities during a disaster emergency. The measure creates the Religious Liberty in Long-Term Care Facilities Act which requires the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services to establish protocols for clergy members to have access to long-term care facilities during a disaster emergency. The resident or an individual who has decision-making authority for the resident may request visitation by a clergy member during a disaster emergency. Clergy visiting the facility must meet the necessary qualifications and protocols established by the Health Department. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.