Senator Scott Hutchinson E-Newsletter

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Harrisburg Happenings

A report on legislative actions from the Session Week of September 23, 2019

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the Session Week of September 23, 2019.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatorscotthutchinson.com for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page. If you would like to contact my office, please go to my website and click the “contact” button. Please do not “reply” directly to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Scott

Committee Holds Hearing on Wolf Administration’s Planned Closing of Polk State Center

9/24/19 - Closure of the Polk and White Haven State Centers

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee held a public hearing on Tuesday on the proposed closure of the Polk State Center and the White Haven State Center. The committee heard compelling testimony from the families that will be impacted by these closures. I continue to strongly oppose the closure of the Polk State Center and have called on the Governor to reverse this decision.

Committee Holds Hearing on Bill to Support Pediatric Cancer Research

9/25/19 - Public hearing on SB 74 (Pediatric Cancer Research Tax Credit)

The Senate Finance Committee, which I chair, held a public hearing on Wednesday on a bill that would increase support for pediatric cancer research efforts.

During the hearing we heard from families and doctors who supported Senate Bill 74, a measure that would allow companies to apply for a tax credit after making an eligible donation to a Pennsylvania pediatric cancer research hospital.

9/25/19 – Meeting to Consider HB 1085 (Repeal of the Obsolete State Property Tax Act)

Prior to the hearing, the committee approved House Bill 1085, a measure that would repeal the obsolete State Personal Property Tax Act.

Senate Sends Three Bills to Governor

The Senate sent three bills to the Governor this week including measures to strengthen Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list and require employers in the construction industry to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the United States.

House Bill 318 prohibits telemarketing on legal holidays and removes the renewal requirement, which means phone numbers can be placed on Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list permanently. Currently, phone numbers must be re-registered every five years.

House Bill 1170 prohibits the employment of unauthorized employees in the construction industry and requires construction industry employers to utilize the E-Verify system when hiring a new employee.

House Bill 1557 amends the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to conform with federal law related to cessation of operations.

Senate Approves Bill Raising Age for Tobacco Purchases to 21

The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would increase the legal age for selling all tobacco products –including e-cigarettes — to 21.

Senate Bill 473 would make it a summary offense for anyone under 21 to purchase any tobacco product, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco. If it becomes law, Pennsylvania will join 21 states that have a tobacco and e-cigarette sales age of 21. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves Measure for Financial Knowledge Graduation Credit

The Senate approved a measure on Monday that will allow students to apply their practical financial knowledge toward their school district’s graduation requirements. Senate Bill 723 will require public schools to allow students to apply personal finance credits towards satisfying graduation requirements. The bill gives schools the discretion to determine the graduation credit requirement to which the credit earned would be applied. Senate Bill 723 now goes to House of Representatives for consideration.

The Senate sent four additional bills to the House.

House Bill 265 addresses the transfer of credits between institutions of higher education and includes several career and technical education provisions. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 439 expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this coverage.

Senate Bill 586 addresses licensing requirements for cosmetologists.

Senate Bill 694 allows gas well bores to cross multiple units provided the operator has the right to drill wells on the units via leases with all applicable landowners.

Committee Roundup

Aging & Youth

The Senate Aging & Youth Committee approved three bills on Monday.

House Bill 775 requires the Department of Aging to review the PACE and PACENET programs to remove deceased enrollees.

Senate Bill 819 updates and revises the Older Adults Protective Services Act.

House Bill 956 amends the State Lottery Law to lower the mandated margin rate of return from 25 percent to 20 percent for five-years, ending on June 30, 2024.

Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved 15 bills on Monday.

Senate Bill 114 requires the removal of snow and ice from vehicles before driving.

House Bill 233 amends the Second Class County Code to provide for the decoration of deceased service members graves with flags on Memorial Day.

Senate Bill 439 expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this coverage.

Senate Bill 473 increases the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 years of age.

House Bill 510 amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) regarding intergovernmental cooperation.

House Bill 511 amends the Second Class Township Code, providing for intergovernmental cooperation.

House Bill 512 amends Title 11 (Cities) providing for municipal authorities and cooperation with other political subdivisions.

Senate Bill 586 addresses licensing requirements for cosmetologists.

Senate Bill 688 amending Title 8 (Boroughs and Incorporated Towns) addressing powers and duties of elected officials, the organization of council, quorums, participation by telecommunication devices, voting, compensation and eligibility; and salaries for mayors.

Senate Bill 689 amends the Second Class Township Code standardizing the maximum salaries of supervisors, and adjusting the annual maximum salary limits according to changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Senate Bill 690 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Incorporated Towns.

Senate Bill 691 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Second Class Townships.

Senate Bill 692 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Boroughs and Third Class Cities.

Senate Bill 694 allows gas well bores to cross multiple units provided the operator has the right to drill wells on the units via leases with all landowners/members of the units.

House Bill 1557 amends the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to conform with federal law related to cessation of operations.

Environmental Resources & Energy

The Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee approved two bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 374 establishes the Keystone Tree Restricted Account and allows for $3 contributions to the Keystone Tree Restricted Account when electronically renewing a driver’s license.

Senate Bill 790 creates a Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act.

Intergovernmental Operations

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee approved Senate Bill 398 on Wednesday. The measure provides additional legislative oversight of the regulatory review process.

Rules & Executive Nominations

The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved House Bill 265 on Tuesday. The bill amends the Public School Code concerning transfers of credits between institutions of higher education and includes other career and technical education provisions.

State Government

The Senate State Government Committee approved six bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 305 directs the Department of General Services to include, in its surveys and inventories of Commonwealth real estate structures and assets, information on the possible use of such assets for fixed or mobile broadband services.

Senate Bill 327 requires executive, independent and state-affiliated agencies to report their space usage to the Department of General Services on an annual basis.

Senate Bill 470 directs the Department of General Services to include, in its surveys and inventories of Commonwealth real estate structures and assets, information on the possible use of such assets for fixed or mobile broadband services.

Senate Bill 532 designates March 6 as First Gulf War Veterans Day, October 7 as Afghanistan War Veterans Day, and December 18 as Second Gulf War Veterans Day,

Senate Bill 750 requires the state to repurpose the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion to support programs for veterans and the National Guard.

House Bill 1222 repeals and then consolidates the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act of 1990 and the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act of 1997 into Title 10 (Charities) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness

The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee approved House Resolution 470 on Tuesday. The measure is a Concurrent Resolution recognizing October 13, 2019 as the 244th birthday of the United States Navy.

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