What’s Happening in the House – Week of June 18, 2012

Election Reform, State Budget, and Liquor Privatization on House Agenda Next Week

The House returns to session on Monday, June 18. Live web streams of House session and the majority of committee meetings are available at PAHouseGOP.com. Important information and events may also be viewed by visiting Facebook.com/PAHouseGOP.

 

Electronic campaign reporting… bringing better public access and transparency

Changing how Harrisburg operates is one of the pillars of the Republican Majority. Thus far, the largest success, besides cutting the legislative budget allocation, has been PennWATCH, the online database of every state government expense. PennWATCH was part of the House Republican Caucus’ Pennsylvania Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg, or PATH.

Another important PATH proposal was electronic filing of all campaign reports, including statements and affirmations. House Bill 2203 (Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-Northumberland/Snyder) would require all candidates and political committees that file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to file the reports electronically.

It is estimated that electronic filing would save the Department of State 35 percent of the Campaign Finance Division budget and provide quicker public access to candidates’ reports.

 

Tis the season… to enact a budget

The House, Senate and governor have been working together to craft a state spending plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year based on sustainable revenues, no increased taxes and below-inflation growth. Top budget funding priorities have been identified: K-12 education, higher education and county human service programs. Every day next week is a scheduled session day with possible votes in the House.

 

Modernizing beer, wine and liquor sales in PA

The current state store system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot to make wine and liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” Lawmakers are expected to continue debate on the 250-plus amendments to House Bill 11 (Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County), aimed at privatizing and modernizing alcohol sales in the Commonwealth.

Poll after poll shows Pennsylvania residents overwhelmingly supporting the privatization of both wine and spirits. Editorial writers in almost every newspaper in the state also have declared strong support of the concept. Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have complete control over wholesale and retail operations.

 

The Weekly Schedule

Identified by bill number, the sponsors and summaries for bills scheduled to be considered in committee or on the House floor are posted below. More information regarding these bills can be found at PAHouseGOP.com by clicking on the “Research Bills” tab.

 

Monday, June 18

Committee Meetings/Hearings

    • EDUCATION, 11 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
      • SB 1115 (Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton): Establishes the Legislative Commission on Special Education Funding, provides for the powers, duties and construct of the commission, and establishes a new equitable special education funding formula.
      • HR 774 (Rep. Tom Quigley, R-Montgomery): Resolution establishing a select committee to investigate and review the interrelationship between all current sources of school district and local government tax revenue, with a focus on property taxes, the current system of federal and state funding of school districts and other local government functions.
    • STATE GOVERNMENT, Noon, Room 205, Ryan Office Building
      • HB 1840 (Rep. John Bear, R-Lancaster): Requires the Department of General Services to produce and annually update a list, to be posted on the department’s website, of the equipment and machinery that is exempt from the requirement that all steel products, equipment and machinery used or supplied in the performance of a publically funded contract be manufactured only in the United States.
      • HR 750 (Rep. Bob Godshall, R-Montgomery): Resolution memorializing the President and the Congress of the United States to provide for the storage of used nuclear fuel.
    • PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE, Call of Chair, Room 60, East Wing
      • SB 1528 (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Bucks/Montgomery): Amends the Occupational Therapy Practice Act to update portions of the law, require occupational therapists to maintain professional liability insurance, and authorize an impaired professionals program.

 

Session

On Monday, the House will convene at 1 p.m. for legislative business. The members will vote the uncontested calendar and Rule 35 resolutions.

Votes on Second Consideration

  • HB 2203 (Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-Northumberland/Snyder): Requires all candidates and political committees that file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to file the reports electronically.
  • HB 2317 (Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin): Eliminates the need for yearly formal approval of academic completion by a public school superintendent within a homeschooled student’s district.
  • SB 276 (Sen. Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill/Berks/Carbon/Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton): Requires the Department of General Services’ guidelines used to encourage state agencies to locate in downtown areas to include consideration of the compatibility with the economic revitalization plan of the downtown area, the local zoning ordinances, and coordination with existing revitalization and historic preservation organizations.
  • SB 367 (Sen. Don White, R-Indiana/Armstrong/Butler/Clearfield/Westmoreland): Authorizes the Department of General Services to make and execute contracts or leases in the name of the Commonwealth for the development of valuable coal, oil, natural gas, coal bed methane, and limestone which may be found in or beneath state-owned land; establishes the process for advertising and bidding; and sets forth the distribution of revenue.
  • SB 887 (Sen. Pat Browne): Establishes the respective rights and duties of tenants and landlords when a tenant leaves behind personal property following the termination of the tenant’s occupation of the premises.

 

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 646 (Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery): Authorizes the Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to expunge the disciplinary record of a licensee, registrant, certificate holder or permit holder.
  • HB 910 (Rep. Seth Grove, R-York): Designates the Pennsylvania Long Rifle as the official firearm of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • HB 1521 (Rep. Kate Harper): Creates an offense and outlines penalties for the possession of a vehicle with false compartments.
  • HB 1991 (Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster): Requires the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Community and Economic Development to verify income eligibility of people receiving energy assistance and weatherization services.
  • HB 2043 (Rep. Marcia Hahn, R-Northampton): Authorizes the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to grant partial waivers of basic training to federal law enforcement officers and military police who have successfully completed equivalent training.
  • HB 2316 (Rep. Todd Rock): Amends the Public School Code to allow a school board to enter into intergovernmental agreements for school security and safety.
  • HB 2390 (Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware): Adds procedures and regulations for the operation of wheelchair accessible vehicles in Philadelphia.
  • HB 2421 (Rep. Dan Truitt, R-Chester): Allows nonprofit corporations to send written notice by electronic mail.
  • HB 2438 (Rep. Mike Fleck, R-Blair/Huntingdon/Mifflin): Consolidates the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and the Pennsylvania Securities Commission into a new agency entitled the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.
  • HR 660 (Rep. Will Tallman, R-Adams/York): Urges the governor to submit a request to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and all Commonwealth agencies encouraging them to accept a postsecondary degree from an accredited institution of higher education in lieu of a required high school diploma for all guidelines, regulations, licenses, certifications or criteria.
  • SB 157 (Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny): Establishes a task force within the Department of Education to study educational services provided to homeless children.
  • SB 444 (Sen. Jane Earll, R-Erie): Makes various changes to the Small Games of Chance Act to permit new games and outline rules for licensing of organizations.
  • SB 449 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York): Requires the Department of Public Welfare, in consultation with the Department of Education, to establish a child abuse recognition and reporting training program.
  • SB 1150 (Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster/York): Establishes the Historic Preservation Incentive Act to provide tax credits for the rehabilitation of qualified historic structures.
  • SB 1398 (Sen. John Yudichak, D-Carbon/Luzerne/Monroe): Extends the sunset date for the Underground Storage Tank Environmental Cleanup Program and for Underground Storage Tank Pollution Prevention Program to June 30, 2017.

 

Tuesday, June 19

Committee Meetings/Hearings

    • LABOR AND INDUSTRY, 9 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
      • HB 380 (Sen. John Galloway, D-Bucks): Requires construction industry employers to verify employees’ Social Security numbers.
    • LOCAL GOVERNMENT, 9 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
      • HB 1718 (Rep. Tom Creighton, R-Lancaster): Under the Municipalities Planning Code, requires municipalities to designate at least three professional consultants from multiple firms who are able to review proposed development plans and monitor projects, clarifies that the municipality may only retain 10 percent of the original financial security for public improvement projects as they are completed, and extends the time period for a property owner to dispute the amount of review fees from 30 days to 180 days.
      • HB 1719 (Rep. Tom Creighton): Under the Municipal Authorities Act, requires municipalities to designate at least three professional consultants from multiple firms who are able to review proposed development plans and monitor projects, clarifies that the municipality may only retain 10 percent of the original financial security for public improvement projects as they are completed, and extends the time period for a property owner to dispute the amount of review fees from 30 days to 180 days.
    • URBAN AFFAIRS, 9:30 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol
      • HB 89 (Rep. Kevin Murphy, D-Lackawanna): Lifts the three-year time frame within which members of the police and fire pension systems must begin working for the City of Scranton in order to be eligible for purchasing credit for time spent while in the armed forces.
      • HB 90 (Rep. Kevin Murphy): Lifts the three-year time frame within which members of the pension systems must begin working for the City of Scranton in order to be eligible for purchasing credit for time spent while in the armed forces.
    • JUDICIARY, 10 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
      • HB 2159 (Rep. Glen Grell, R-Cumberland): Updates the Commonwealth’s Commercial Code relative to secured transactions.
      • SB 237 (Sen. Tina Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia): Withholds distribution of traffic-fine revenue, earned through Pennsylvania State Police traffic stops, to municipalities that provide fewer than 40 hours per week of local police coverage or that have a population exceeding 3,000 people, and redirects the money to state police cadet training.
      • SB 351 (Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Pike/Wayne/Wyoming/Luzerne/Monroe/Susquehanna): Establishes Good Samaritan civil immunity for the use of an automated external defibrillator and extends Good Samaritan civil immunity for bystanders and off-duty emergency response providers.
    • TRANSPORTATION, 10 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
      • HB 1643 (Rep. John Evans, R-Crawford/Erie): Limits civil liability for landowners who allow their property to be used for an approved snowmobile and ATV information, safety education and training program.
      • HB 2460 (Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland): Road designation: the Marine Lance Corporal Nicholas B. Morrison Memorial Highway.
      • HB 2467 (Rep. Nick Micozzie, R-Delaware): Exempts from the notarization and verification requirements for vehicle owners that transfer a vehicle title to an insurer for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of salvage for the vehicle.
      • SB 1382 (Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Allegheny/Beaver/Greene/Washington/Westmoreland): Interchange designation: Officer John David Dryer Memorial Interchange.

 

Session

On Tuesday the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.

Votes on Second Consideration

  • HB 1596 (Rep. Dom Costa, D-Allegheny): Creates the Pennsylvania Officer Down Advisory system to alert law enforcement agencies and the public regarding suspects who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers so that these suspects may be more quickly captured.
  • HB 1659 (Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong/Indiana): Establishes the Department of Environmental Protection Permit Review and Issuance Act to ensure environmental protection and foster economic growth.
  • HB 1844 (Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill/Berks): Restricts the use of employment contracts by public housing authorities.
  • HB 2267 (Rep. Matt Gabler, R-Clearfield/Elk): Clarifies which branches of the U.S. military may sell alcohol in Pennsylvania, changes how an off-premises catering permit is obtained, and allows out-of-state wineries to participate in Pennsylvania wine festivals..
  • HB 2437 (Rep. Nick Micozzie): Amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921, further providing for reinsurance credits, for definitions, for acquisition of control of or merger or consolidation with domestic insurer, for acquisitions involving insurers not otherwise covered, for registration of insurers, for standards and management of an insurer within a holding company system and for examination; providing for supervisory colleges and for group-wide supervision for international insurance groups; and further providing for confidential treatment, for rules and regulations, for injunctions and certain prohibitions and for sanctions.
  • SB 887 (Pat Browne): Establishes the respective rights and duties of tenants and landlords when a tenant leaves behind personal property following the termination of the tenant’s occupation of the premises.
  • SB 1464 (Sen. Don White): Amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921, further providing for reinsurance credits, for definitions, for acquisition of control of or merger or consolidation with domestic insurer, for acquisitions involving insurers not otherwise covered, for registration of insurers, for standards and management of an insurer within a holding company system and for examination; providing for supervisory colleges and for group-wide supervision for international insurance groups; and further providing for confidential treatment, for rules and regulations, for injunctions and certain prohibitions and for sanctions.

 

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 2203 (Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver)
  • HB 2317 (Rep. Todd Rock)
  • SB 276 (Sen. Dave Argall)
  • SB 367 (Sen. Don White)
  • SB 887 (Sen. Pat Browne)

 

Wednesday, June 20

Committee Meetings/Hearings

    • AGING AND OLDER ADULT SERVICES, 9:30 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
      • Joint informational hearing with the Senate Aging and Youth Committee on the draft State Plan on Aging for 2012-16.
    • CHILDREN AND YOUTH, 9:30 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
      • Public hearing on HB 2295 (Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin): Clarifies the purpose of child welfare services in Pennsylvania, establishes that between 75 percent and 90 percent of the cost of intensified educational programs for dependent and delinquent youth under the care of a juvenile court is reimbursable to counties, and allows county children and youth offices to contract with private providers.
    • COMMERCE, 10 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
      • HB 2368 (Rep. John Payne, R-Dauphin): Makes a series of updates and changes to the state’s Banking Code.
      • HB 2369 (Rep. Dan Truitt): Implements the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
      • HB 2370 (Rep. Carl Metzgar, R-Bedford/Somerset): Removes redundant disclosures related to variable rate mortgage loans, as they have been pre-empted by federal banking laws.

 

Session

On Wednesday the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 1596 (Sen. Dom Costa)
  • HB 1659 (Rep. Jeff Pyle)
  • HB 1844 (Rep. Mike Tobash)
  • HB 2267 (Rep. Matt Gabler)
  • HB 2437 (Rep. Nick Micozzie)
  • SB 1464 (Sen. Don White)