What’s Happening in the PA House – Week of June 11, 2012

Liquor Privatization, Putting People Back to Work on House Agenda This Week

 

The House returns to session on Monday, June 11. All of House session and most committee meetings will stream live on PAHouseGOP.com. Many events also may be viewed on Facebook.com/PAHouseGOP.

 

Bringing PA’s Alcohol Sales System into the 21st Century

When it was created nearly 80 years ago during the administration of Gov. Gifford Pinchot, the goal of the state store system was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” Lawmakers will work to change that this week when they take up amendments to House Bill 11 (Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County) to privatize alcohol sales.

 

Gov. Tom Corbett this week endorsed the proposal to privatize sales of both wine and spirits, and editorial writers in newspapers across the Commonwealth have also declared support of the concept. Recent polls show a majority of Pennsylvania citizens also are in favor of privatization.

 

Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have complete control over wholesale and retail operations.

 

Keystone Works…Getting People Back on the Job

Working to improve the state’s employment picture and get people back to work is also on this week’s agenda. House Bill 1539 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York County), creates the Keystone Works program to help match unemployed workers with employers looking to hire.

 

Job candidates would receive up to eight weeks of training by the participating employer. At the end of the training period, the employer must consider the candidate for the job opening but is not required to hire the worker. Keystone Works is modeled after the successful Georgia Works program.

 

The Weekly Schedule

 

Bill numbers will be used to identify the legislation being considered either in committee or on the House floor. Bills may be researched by bill number or topic on PAHouseGOP.com under the “Research Bills” tab. The bills, sponsors and summaries are posted below.

 

Monday, June 11

 

Committee Meetings/Hearings

  • FINANCE, 9:30 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
    • HB 1776 (Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks): Establishes the Property Tax Independence Act, which would replace the school property tax by increasing the state’s personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4 percent and expanding and increasing the state’s sales and use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.
    • HB 2065 (Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria): Establishes a $4,000 annual tax credit to taxpayers that hire veterans to work at small businesses they own.
  • COMMERCE, 10 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
    • 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.

 

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 11 (Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny): Allows the sale of wine and spirits by qualified distributors, allows importing distributors and other qualified applicants to obtain a new wholesale wine license, and further provides for sales by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the quantity of alcoholic beverages sold by certain licensees.
  • HB 532 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Requires health insurers to provide coverage of general anesthesia and associated medical costs for dental care provided to children who are 7 years old or younger or to special needs patients.
  • HB 955 (Rep. Stephen Barrar, R-Chester/Delaware): Expands and reauthorizes the Fire and Emergency Medical Services grant program.
  • HB 2015 (Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny): Allows major league baseball or national hockey league team’s affiliated non-profit organizations to hold 50/50 raffles.
  • 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 2400 (Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin): Updates the state’s wiretap laws to address changes in technology and unnecessary evidentiary restrictions.
  • HB 2406 (Rep. Sue Helm, R-Dauphin): Land conveyance in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.
  • SB 100 (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Bucks/Montgomery): Seeks to reform the state’s Criminal Justice System by establishing the safe community re-entry program; making more nonviolent offenders eligible for alternative sentencing programs; and establishing a county probation program providing for swift, predictable and immediate sanctions on offenders who violate probation.
  • SB 273 (Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Adams/Franklin/York): Allows parties who successfully challenge any local ordinances unlawfully regulating firearms to seek injunctive and declarative relief and damages and addresses sentencing for second and subsequent violations with respect to the illegal sale or transfer of firearms.
  • 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 1067 (Sen. Richard Alloway): Expands the definition of “emergency vehicle” to include vehicles owned by county or regional police associations, any vehicle operated by enumerated special agents in the performance of their duties, and privately owned vehicles used to answer an emergency call when operated by a chief or operations director of a county hazardous materials response team.

 

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 1539 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Creates the Keystone Works Program to promote the hiring of individuals on unemployment compensation.
  • HB 1803 (Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks): Permits third-class cities that have parking authorities to assign enforcement and administration of parking laws to the parking authority and extends Philadelphia’s red light camera pilot program until Dec. 31, 2016.
  • HB 1820 (Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland): Provides an exemption to overtime pay requirements for hospitals and other health care establishments and permits air carriers to work more than 40 hours per week, without being paid overtime, pursuant to various agreements.
  • HB 2167 (Rep. Tom Quigley, R-Montgomery): Amends the Open Space Law to authorize the local taxing option levy to be used for expenses necessary to prepare the resource, recreation or land use plan or for costs associated with the design, engineering, improvement and development of the real property consistent with the approved plan.
  • HB 2359 (Rep. Martin Causer, R-Cameron/Potter/McKean): Requires the Environmental Quality Board to establish procedures for the removal of flood-related hazards or related stream clearing activities by persons owning adjacent property, or municipalities where the flood-related hazards are located or related stream clearing activities are to be completed.
  • SB 388 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York): Requires dentists to maintain medical professional liability coverage.
  • SB 1150 (Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster/York): Establishes a tax credit of up to 25 percent of qualified expenditures incurred to restore certain historic structures and limits the amount of total tax credits granted to no more than $10 million in any fiscal year.
  • SB 1351 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York): Allows certified nurse practitioners to sign death certificates.
  • SB 1433 (Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia/Montour/Northumberland/Snyder/Dauphin/Luzerne): Establishes the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Fund, from which no more than $12 million will be distributed annually at the following rate: 90 percent of the funds will be given to the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, 5 percent will be given to the Attorney General for the purpose of funding housing consumer protection programs, and 5 percent will be given to the Access to Justice account for civil legal assistance related to housing issues.
  • SB 1478 (Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre/Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Union): Appropriation: Workers’ Compensation Administration.

 

 

Tuesday, June 12

 

Committee Meetings/Hearings

  • LOCAL GOVERNMENT, 9 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol 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.
  • STATE GOVERNMENT, 9 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis 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.
    • HB 2442 (Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford): Prohibits student activity fees from being mandatory for any student and establishes that students who wish to opt-out of paying the fees must complete and submit a form each semester.
    • HB 2443 (Rep. Brad Roae): Prohibits schools in the State System of Higher Education from offering free or reduced tuition to spouses, children, same sex partners, or relatives of the institution’s employees.
    • HB 2444 (Rep. Brad Roae): Prohibits the State System of Higher Education from executing or administering any contract for construction, repair, or renovation through June 30, 2014, unless a legally binding contract was entered into prior to the effective date or the project is needed to maintain the health and safety of students and employees.
    • HB 2446 (Rep. Brad Roae): Prohibits institutions in the State System of Higher Education from providing paid sabbaticals to their employees.
    • 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.
  • EDUCATION, 9:30 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
    • HB 1078 (Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware): Authorizes the Office of Safe Schools to develop telephone hotlines for individuals to anonymously report potential or actual violence or the possession of weapons on school property.
    • 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 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 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.

 

Session

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

 

Votes on Second Consideration

  • HB 273 (Rep. Dick Hess, R-Bedford/Fulton/Huntingdon): Authorizes school districts to create a tax reduction incentive for senior citizens age 60 and older who volunteer in the schools.
  • HB 451 (Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks): Reduces the amount of time a parent can revoke his/her consent for adoption from within 30 days to within 20 days of the birth of the child or the execution of consent, and expands grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights.
  • HB 528 (Rep. Karen Boback, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming): Requires long-term care facilities, licensing agencies and local area agencies on aging (AAAs) to coordinate efforts and share information when relocating a senior citizen consumer.
  • HB 910 (Rep. Seth Grove, R-York): Designates the Pennsylvania Long Rifle as the official firearm of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • HB 2162 (Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster): Bridge designation: Captain Edward Anthony Davis Memorial Bridge.
  • HB 2275 (Rep. Glen Grell, R-Cumberland): Updates Pennsylvania laws regarding notarizations, acknowledgements and unsworn foreign declarations to prevent fraud and facilitate electronic commerce.
  • HB 2349 (Rep. Sam Smith, R-Jefferson/Armstrong/Indiana): Bridge designation: Purple Heart Memorial Bridge.
  • HB 2398 (Rep. Neal Goodman, D-Schuylkill): Bridge designation: Cornelius McElhenny Memorial Bridge.
  • HB 2407 (Rep. Joe Hackett, R-Delaware): Allows the Department of Aging to use electronic fingerprinting systems for criminal background checks of prospective staff.

 

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 11 (Rep. Mike Turzai)
  • HB 532 (Rep. Stan Saylor)
  • HB 955 (Rep. Stephen Barrar)
  • HB 2203 (Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver)
  • HB 2400 (Rep. Ron Marsico)
  • HB 2406 (Rep. Sue Helm)
  • SB 367 (Sen. Don White)
  • SB 100 (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf)
  • SB 273 (Sen. Richard Alloway)
  • SB 1067 (Sen. Richard Alloway)

 

 

Wednesday, June 13

 

Committee Meetings/Hearings

  • URBAN AFFAIRS, 9:30 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol Building
    • HB 1844 (Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Berks/Schuylkill): Expands the size of the housing authority of a city of the first class from five to nine and restricts the use of employment contracts by public housing authorities.
    • SB 887 (Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton): 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 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 1321 (Sen. Jane Earll, R-Erie): Clarifies that collective bargaining contracts and arbitration awards shall not affect Act 47 recovery plans for distressed municipalities.
  • VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, 9:30 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
    • Informational meeting with Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon to discuss the current status of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program buyouts of homes that were damaged in Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
  • PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE, 10 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
    • Reg. 16A-4930 (Proposed): With the State Board of Medicine, revises the standards for licensure as a respiratory therapist and for receiving a temporary permit to practice prior to sitting for the licensure examination; enumerates additional acts of practice in which physician assistants may engage; requires physician assistants to complete continuing education; and requires physician assistants to maintain professional liability insurance.
    • Reg. 16A-5321 (Proposed): With the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, revises the standards for licensure as a respiratory therapist and for receiving a temporary permit to practice prior to sitting for the licensure examination; enumerates additional acts of practice in which physician assistants may engage; requires physician assistants to complete continuing education; and requires physician assistants to maintain professional liability insurance.
    • Reg. 16A-54 (Final): Amends the schedule of civil penalties of the State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists to correct deficiencies identified in a recent Commonwealth Court case.
    • Reg. 16A-5122 (Final): Provides guidance to LPNs and other health care practitioners of the authorized scope of practice for LPNs related to IV therapy procedures.
    • Reg. 16A-5428 (Final Omit): Conforms existing regulations to federal regulations enacted by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice to permit the electronic prescribing of Schedule II controlled substances.

 

Session

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

 

Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 273 (Rep. Dick Hess)
  • HB 451 (Rep. Scott Petri)
  • HB 528 (Rep. Karen Boback)
  • HB 910 (Rep. Seth Grove)
  • HB 2162 (Rep. Mike Sturla)
  • HB 2275 (Rep. Glen Grell)
  • HB 2349 (Rep. Sam Smith)
  • HB 2398 (Rep. Neal Goodman)
  • HB 2407 (Rep. Joe Hackett)

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