Rendell Signs 22 Bills

Pension and Child Custody Reform among new laws

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell last night signed into law the following bills:

House Bill 60: Establishes the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program, to provide funding for housing projects to benefit older adults, people with disabilities and low-income residents.

House Bill 174: Amends the Public Eating and Drinking Place Law to improve inspections of public eating and drinking places. The bill exempts food facilities owned by a church or other religious order that qualifies for tax exemptions.

House Bill 196: Amends the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. The bill prohibits and prescribes penalties for the retail sale of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or their salts and isomers unless the product is kept behind a counter where the public is not permitted or in a locked cabinet to which the public does not have access. These drugs are commonly misused to manufacture the street drug known as “meth.”

House Bill 708: Creates a program to recycle electronic waste such as computers and televisions. The program is funded through a registration fee paid by manufactures and retailers.

House Bill 1394: Allows for agriculture reserve preferential tax treatment to be granted to places that generate electricity for use on site with Tier I energy resources.

House Bill 1482: Amends the Health Care Facilities Act to require the Department of Health to promulgate regulations requiring employees to wear photo identification tags while on the job.

House Bill 1609: Amends the Municipalities Planning Code to provide for traditional neighborhood development.

House Bill 1639: Provides a comprehensive overhaul to child custody laws and ensures domestic violence is taken into account with child custody matters.

House Bill 2139: Directs the Department of Agriculture to create a program that provides for the delivery of surplus food from retailers and farmers to organizations that can offer the products to people in need.

House Bill 2172: Provides for the number of court of common pleas judges in the 15th judicial district (Chester County) and for the venue of the Philadelphia Municipal Court and magisterial district judges.

House Bill 2258: Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes related to the disposition of dependent children. The bill requires that the court, at both disposition review hearings and permanency hearings, determine whether reasonable efforts were made to place siblings together.

House Bill 2273: Provides for a $150 fee for deer farmers to fund the Department of Agriculture deer farmer program.

House Bill 2275: Provides for multiple land transfers.

House Bill 2321: Consolidates all of the fire service statutes into Title 35 and moves the 911 statutes into Title 35. The bill also clarifies that the $1 surcharge on wireless prepaid devices, which is to be collected and used to fund county wireless E-911 services, be collected at the point of sale.

House Bill 2338: Establishes a foster care bill of rights, outlining the mental, physical, educational, social and medical treatment to which foster children shall be entitled.

House Bill 2497: Provides for pension reform and creates an independent fiscal office.

House Bill 2521: Establishes the Anatomic Pathology Service Disclosure Act. The bill provides that a physician who orders, but does not supervise, an anatomic pathology service shall include on any bill sent to the patient and/or insurance company both the name of the lab and that portion of the bill attributable to that test.

House Bill 2547: Provides relief from unintended and unnecessary double Department of Banking licensing requirements for companies that provide financing for the purchase of manufactured and mobile homes.

Senate Bill 441: Amends the Public School Code to allow certain medical professionals to sign off on the health portion of teacher certification forms. The bill also includes language providing for the education of students who previously attended Duquesne High School.

Senate Bill 642: Amends the Sign Language Interpreter and Transliterator State Registration Act to provide for provisional registration.

Senate Bill 906: Amends the agriculture bio-security law pertaining to access to restricted areas.

Senate Bill 976: Amends the Amber Alert law to provide for alerts for missing older adults or people with disabilities.

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