“As a small business owner, I want to help create jobs and opportunities and bring fiscal responsibility to state government.”

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York), who was sworn into office on Wednesday.


Preview

Senate Convenes Monday at 1 p.m.

The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), will hold a public hearing on Department of Community and Economic Development budget initiatives, an overview of the DCED programs available for businesses, and a summary of the economic impact of the Pennsylvania travel and tourism industry. (Tues., 9 a.m., N. Office Bldg. Room 1)

The Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), will hold a public hearing on Financially Distressed Municipalities and Senate Bill 1157. (Thurs., 10 a.m., 8E-A)

Senate Committee Schedule
Hearings will be streamed live at
PASenateGOP.com.

Review

Scott Wagner Sworn In As State Senator

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) was sworn into office to represent the 28th Senatorial District in York County during a ceremony Wednesday in the Senate Chamber.

Senator Wagner won a special election on March 18 to represent the citizens of the 28th Senatorial District. He is the president and owner of York-based Penn Waste, Inc. and KBS Trucking in Thomasville, Pennsylvania.

Born and raised on a farm in York Township, Wagner is a lifelong resident of York County. A graduate of Dallastown Area High School, he started his first small business at age 20. His top priorities as a new member of the Senate include bringing fiscal responsibility to state government, controlling property taxes, helping to spur economic growth and protecting and defending constitutional freedoms.

Child Protection Bill Package: Vulakovich Bill Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to respond to suspected child abuse cases was signed into law today.

The Senate unanimously concurred Tuesday on House amendments to Senate Bill 24, a component of the Senate Child Protection package. It will establish a statewide database for protective services. The database will include reports of child abuse and children in need of general protective services. Reports include information relating to the subject of the report, the nature of the occurrence, information on the family, services provided, legal actions initiated, and other details required by the Department of Public Welfare.

Senator Vulakovich : “This database will provide a clearing house that will allow various agencies to provide and share information. These agencies will be able to more easily access information that may be currently missed when reviewing reports of suspected abuses cases. This will benefit law enforcement and social agencies and, especially, the children at risk for abuse.”

For additional child protection measures enacted today, please see In the Spotlight, below.

Senate Passes Alloway Pet Protection Bill

The Senate passed legislation Wednesday to strengthen the state’s Dog Law by preventing irresponsible kennel owners from operating under false pretenses.

Senate Bill 1107, sponsored by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin), targets kennel owners who lose their license due to violations of the Dog Law. The legislation would prevent violators from continuing to operate a kennel at the same location by having a license issued to an immediate family member.

The measure was part of a broad package of pet protection bills introduced last year. The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senator Alloway: “Dishonest and abusive kennel owners can cause lasting physical and psychological scars our pets may carry with them for the rest of their lives. Closing this loophole will prevent unscrupulous kennel owners from subjecting more innocent animals to mistreatment and abuse.”

Senate Approves Bill Restoring Farm Vehicle Exemption

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Wednesday designed to eliminate an unnecessary regulatory burden on Pennsylvania’s farmers.

Senate Bill 1301, sponsored by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), restores the exemption to registration-exempt farm vehicles from intrastate motor carrier safety regulations. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senator Vogel: “ As the law previously read, this exemption existed in full. However, changes on the federal level removed the provision. Pennsylvania will not lose federal funds if these exceptions are restored.”

In the Spotlight

In addition to Senate Bill 24, three bills targeting child abuse received final legislative approval last week and were signed into law today by Gov. Corbett.

House Bill 316 provides for Child Advocacy Centers and creates a grant program to fund those agencies. The bill increases the fee for a certified copy of a birth record from $10 to $20, which will result in additional annual revenue of about $3.8 million. In Fiscal Year 2014-15, the additional funding will be directed to the Department of Public Welfare for training of mandated reporters and related child abuse costs. In Fiscal Year 2015-16 and subsequent years, an estimated $2.8 million will be directed to PCCD to provide funding for Child Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Investigative Teams and $953,000 will be directed to DPW for training of mandated reporters and related child abuse costs.

House Bill 89 will transfer accumulated unused money in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) vehicle license plate fund to the Commission on Crime and Delinquency to provide grants to Child Advocacy Centers. As of August 31, 2013, the available balance in the DARE Fund was $410,408.

House Bill 431 requires any licensing board with jurisdiction over professional licensees identified as mandated reporters to ensure that all license/certification applicants submit documentation of at least three hours of approved child abuse recognition and reporting training.

The bills are the latest legislative actions based on the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, created by the passage of Senate Resolution 250 in December 2011.

Fast Facts

Senate Committee Chairs

AGING & YOUTH
Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)

AGRICULTURE & RURAL AFFAIRS
Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver)

APPROPRIATIONS
Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre)

BANKING & INSURANCE
Sen. Don White (R-Indiana)

COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango)

COMMUNITY, ECONOMIC & RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland)

CONSUMER PROTECTION & PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE
Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks)

EDUCATION
Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)

ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES & ENERGY
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)

FINANCE
Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)

GAME & FISHERIES
Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin)

INTERGOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS
Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York)

JUDICIARY
Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)

LABOR & INDUSTRY
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)

LAW & JUSTICE
Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair)

PUBLIC HEALTH & WELFARE
Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland)

RULES & EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)

STATE GOVERNMENT
Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster)

TRANSPORTATION
Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)

URBAN AFFAIRS & HOUSING
Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill)

VETERANS AFFAIRS & EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery)