A Report on the Legislative Session of
April 24, 2017
I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This
e-newsletter features legislative activities during the Session Week
of April 24, 2017.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website
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Senate Acts to Protect Gun Owners’ Rights
The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that will
protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Bill 5 prevents local jurisdictions from imposing firearms ordinances more
restrictive than laws passed by the General Assembly. The measure now goes to
the House of Representatives for consideration.
SB 5 permits individuals and organizations to take court
action to block restrictive local firearms ordinances that run counter to the
Second Amendment of the US Constitution as well as the protections explicitly
set by Pennsylvania’s Constitution and state laws.
The Senate approved and sent to the House five additional
bills this week.
Bill 8 reforms state law regarding the seizure and forfeiture of property.
Senate Bill 95 addresses lawsuits filed against a person or organization for
statements made or positions taken in connection with a matter of public
interest or regulation.
Senate Bill 260 addresses representation of crime victims on the Victims’
Services Advisory Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Senate Bill 399 clarifies the Second Class Township Code to stipulate that
township supervisors shall not hold any other elective township office or
appointed position in the township that is prohibited by the code or any other
Senate Bill 554 immunizes child victims of human trafficking from criminal
Measure Calling for Fire/EMS Review Receives Final Approval
A measure calling for a comprehensive review of
Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations received final
legislative approval on Wednesday.
The Senate unanimously concurred on House amendments to
Senate Resolution 6, which calls for a “reboot” of
Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues
completed in 2004.
SR 6, as amended, calls for a 39-member commission made up
of legislators, first responders and representatives from municipalities. The
panel would follow up on the impact of SR 60 and study issues currently
affecting first responders. The commission would then provide its
recommendations to the Majority and Minority Chairmen of the Senate and House
Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees by June 30, 2018.
Banking & Insurance
The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, which I chair,
approved two bills on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 143 makes changes to the Underground Storage Tank
Senate Bill 630 reforms insurance licensure requirements for travel
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved three bills on
Senate Bill 25 amends the state’s Professional Nursing Law to provide for
the licensure of certified nurse practitioners by the State Board of Nursing.
Senate Bill 201 provides for “like-kind” exchange tax deferrals.
House Bill 224 provides civil immunity to trained school bus drivers who
administer epinephrine auto-injectors (epi-pens) to students.
Environmental Resources & Energy
The Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee
approved four measures on Tuesday.
Senate Resolution 33 establishes a task force to study lead exposure in
Senate Bill 144 amends Act 537 (Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act) to allow
the use of “alternative systems” for planning purposes.
Senate Bill 497 eliminates the “waste” designation for steel slag when it is
sold as a commodity and is not a discarded material.
Senate Bill 646 amends Act 101 of 1988, the Municipal Waste Planning
Recycling and Waste Reduction Act.
Health & Human Services
The Senate Health & Human Services Committee approved two
bills on Tuesday.
House Bill 23 adds acute stroke-ready hospitals and comprehensive stroke
centers to the provisions of the Primary Stroke Center Recognition Act.
Senate Bill 200 would include postpartum depression as an “at risk category”
for early intervention tracking under Act 212 of 1990 (Early Intervention
Services System Act).
The Senate State Government Committee approved five bills
Senate Bill 168 provides for public notice of collective bargaining
agreements prior to approval.
Senate Bill 353 is a land conveyance bill.
Senate Bill 503 removes the exemption of collective bargaining from the
Senate Bill 504 removes the exemption of collective bargaining from the
Right To Know Law.
Senate Bill 539 recognizes and preserves the Pennsylvania State Area of the
Medal of Honor Grove in Schuylkill Township, Chester County.
The Senate Transportation Committee approved four bills on
Senate Bill 332 would make it a summary offense to smoke in a vehicle in
which children 12 years of age and younger are being transported.
Senate Bill 589 increases the maximum allowable gross weight for commercial
vehicles powered by natural gas from 80,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds.
Senate Bill 614, which I introduced, designates the Diamondville Bridge in
Cherryhill Township, Indiana County, as the Sgt. Robert Eugene Goodlin Memorial
Senate Bill 648 creates a Distracted Driving Awareness Plate for passenger
cars and trucks.
Labor & Industry
The Senate Labor & Industry Committee approved
Senate Bill 269 on Tuesday. The bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction
Rules & Executive Nominations
The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved
Senate Resolution 6 on Tuesday. The Resolution creates a special commission
to study and make recommendations on the delivery of fire and EMS services.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five bills on
Senate Bill 434 would reduce the allotted period of time that is necessary
in order to acquire a title of a blighted or abandoned property through adverse
possession under various situations and circumstances.
Senate Bill 461 would modernize and strengthen the use of DNA technology to
better fight violent crime in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 496 provides additional sentencing provisions for trespassing at
Senate Bill 510 increases the penalty for threatening law enforcement
officers, sheriffs, or members of their family.
Senate Bill 577 bans the sale, possession, or distribution of shark fins.
The Senate Finance Committee approved four bills on
Senate Bill 300 prioritizes the allocation of public funds for family
Senate Bill 508 eliminates the 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products
and replaces it with a 5-cents per milliliter retail tax on e-liquid.
Senate Bill 611 amends the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to require
pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted, pleads
guilty, or no defense to any felony offense related to his or her employment.
Senate Bill 627 ensures that all air freight companies are treated equally
under Pennsylvania tax law.
Community, Economic, & Recreational Development
The Senate Community, Economic, & Recreational Development
House Bill 151 on Wednesday. The bill amends Title 12 (Commerce and Trade)
to define “agent.”