Updated IAJGS Legislative Alert--Includes Information on SSDI, Kentucky, Maine and Virginia #general

Jan Meisels Allen

An updated IAJGS Legislative Alert has been posted to the IAJGS website:
www.iajgs.org and click on left hand green button "Legislation" then on
latest alert.

The alert contains information on the IAJGS statement for the record for the
US Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and
Economic Growth regarding our position on maintaining public access to the
Social Security Death Index (SSDI). On page one go to the first topic under
the "red box " entitled: Genealogical Community Under Attack: Potential Loss
of Access to Social Security Death Index (SSDI). There is also information
regarding the membership of the Subcommittee.

The genealogical community leadership as represented by the Records
Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) of which IAJGS is one of the voting
members--along with FGS and NGS, decided that it was time to be pragmatic
and start negotiating. We know >from the House Subcommittee hearing on
February 2nd that they and the Administration wanted no public access or as
Social Security Administrator Astrue said in his House testimony
genealogists could wait 75 years...while Senator Nelson's bill had a two
year wait (the year of death and the following year when people submit their
tax returns). This is a much more reasonable approach even though we
strongly believe there should be immediate public access-and genealogists
are not the cause of identity theft. It is obvious that the identity theft
issue makes good politics in an election year, and we-the genealogical
leadership--FGS, IAJGS and NGS decided after much consultation between
ourselves and talking with others that we would support the 2 year
compromise with the caveat that certain genealogists would be eligible for
certification for immediate access- such as forensic genealogists, heir
researchers etc. The RPAC statement on this position is posted at

Other updates in this Legislative Alert dated March 28 include updates on
legislation that have been signed into law for Maine (LD 1627) regarding
marriage applications, and Virginia (SB660) reducing the wait period for
marriage, divorce and death records and more, and amended legislation still
in committee, Kentucky SB 54 regarding access to records and establishing a
waiting period of 70 years for marriage records. For these updates scroll
down to the state alphabetically in the report.

As we learn more about the SSDI issue, and as other legislative actions are
taken on access to vital records the legislative alert will be updated and
reported on this forum.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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