Senator Hutchinson E-Newsletter

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Harrisburg Happenings

A report on legislative actions from the Session Week of May 26, 2020

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 May 26, 2020.

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Senate Approves Budget/Comprehensive COVID-19 Funding Package

5/28/20 – Passage of Interim State Budget and CARES Funding Distribution

Facing an uncertain economic future and working to address the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Senate set a course for recovery on Thursday by approving a $25.8 billion short-term budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 as well as a plan to direct $2.6 billion in federal CARES funding to support individuals, small businesses, organizations and county governments that were most severely impacted by the virus.

We have no way of determining how quickly Pennsylvania’s economy will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The short-term budget we approved today will fund critical state services until the long-term impacts of the shutdown of the economy are fully known and more accurate fiscal projections can be made.

House Bill 2387 provides five months of funding for most state agencies and services for FY 2020-21. The appropriations in HB 2387 are based primarily on current funding for agencies and services in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget, but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding is provided for a few select line items in HB 2387, notably for education and food security programs.

Senate Bill 1108 appropriates a portion of Pennsylvania’s federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding for critical needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The allocations in Senate Bill 1108 will fund critical services and help mitigate the damage done by the shutdown of the economy during the health emergency declaration. This builds on passage of the short-term state budget to provide essential relief and financial support where the need is the greatest.

Funding in the package includes:

  • $692 million for long-term living services providers.
  • $625 million for counties that did not receive a direct subsidy from the federal government.
  • $260 million for providers of intellectual disability and autism services.
  • $225 million to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses recover.
  • $175 million to provide rent and mortgage assistance to low- and middle–income families impacted by the pandemic.
  • $150 million to help school districts meet the challenges created by COVID-19 through school safety and security funding.
  • $116 million for child-care services.
  • $72.2 million to support higher education students.
  • $50 million to support first responders.
  • $40 million for agricultural and food insecurity programs.
  • $28 million for community programs, including domestic violence programs, homeless assistance and legal services.
  • $20 million for cultural and museum organizations.
  • $9 million for early childhood education programs.

Bills in the FY 2020-21 Budget and CARES Funding Packages

Senate Bill 166 is the 2020-21 Capital Budget.

Senate Bill 1027 amends the Administrative Code.

Senate Bill 1108 appropriates a portion of Pennsylvania’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding.

Senate Bill 1122 provides $50 million for grants to fire companies and EMS stations.

House Bill 1210 amends the School Code to provide for spending across multiple programs.

House Bill 2387 is the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2441 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Pennsylvania State University.

House Bill 2442 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the University of Pittsburgh

House Bill 2443 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Temple University.

House Bill 2444 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Lincoln University.

House Bill 2445 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the University of Pennsylvania Center for Infectious Diseases and Veterinary Activities.

House Bill 2467 provides Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2468 provides for Workers’ Compensation Act funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2469 provides Office of the Small Business Advocate funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2470 provides Office of Consumer Advocate funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2471 provides Public School Employees’ Retirement Board funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2472 provides State Employees’ Retirement Board funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2473 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

House Bill 2474 provides Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2475 provides for Gaming Control Act funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

House Bill 2510 provides for the distribution of federal funding that was provided through the CARES Act.

Seven Additional Bills Sent to Governor

In addition to the budget and the CARES package, seven additional bills received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor.

House Bill 102 provides for expanded availability of hunter education courses in public schools.

Senate Bill 275 ensures that a strangulation conviction would be considered in sentencing for subsequent crimes and in custody proceedings.

Senate Bill 863 addresses campground owners’ rights.

Senate Bill 1030 amends the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537).

House Bill 1036 amends the Borough Code to address ballot questions for a decrease in size of a borough council.

House Bill 1048 eliminates the $700 application surcharge for renewal of liquor licenses by national veterans’ organizations and volunteer fire companies.

House Bill 1907 designates a bridge over U.S. Route 11/15 in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, as the “Senator Hal Mowery Memorial Bridge.”

Three Bills Sent to House of Representatives

Three bills were approved by the Senate this week and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 377 increases the fine and the penalty for killing or unlawfully taking a bald or golden eagle.

Senate Bill 594 requires employers who have a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with the use of opioids.

Senate Bill 1076 removes the sunset provision for the Military Family Relief Assistance Program.

Committee Roundup


In addition to Senate Bill 1076, House Bill 2387, House Bill 2441, House Bill 2442, House Bill 2443, House Bill 2444, House Bill 2445, House Bill 2467, House Bill 2468, House Bill 2469, House Bill 2470, House Bill 2471, House Bill 2472, House Bill 2473, House Bill 2474, House Bill 2475 and House Bill 2510  the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 995 on Tuesday. That bill increases the width of multipurpose agricultural vehicles that are allowed on public roadways.

In addition to House Bill 1083  and House Bill 1210, the Appropriations Committee approved two bills on Thursday.

House Bill 584 provides an exemption from fishing license requirements for therapeutic recreation programs.

Senate Bill 987 requires Senate Confirmation of the Fire Commissioner.

Intergovernmental Operations

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee approved three bills on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 5 requires General Assembly approval of all regulations with an economic impact or cost exceeding $1 million.

Senate Bill 609 provides for a one-time automatic review of all economically significant regulations.

Senate Bill 1034 ensures effective use of state grants.

Game & Fisheries

The Senate Game & Fisheries Committee approved five bills on Wednesday.

House Bill 1003 empowers the Fish and Boat Commission’s to issue citations for failure to mark head or run-of-the-river dams.

Senate Bill 1074 amends the Fish Code regarding fishing licenses.

House Bill 1185 increases and/or clarifies penalties relating to damage to Fish & Boat Commission property; littering; boating education; boating under the influence; and aggravated assault by watercraft.

House Bill 1188 removes the restriction on the use of infrared, thermal, and similar night vision optics for hunting.

House Bill 1584 removes restrictive language that bars Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officers from being included in Act 111 for the purpose of seeking collective bargaining.

Health & Human Services

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee approved Senate Bill 430 on Wednesday. The Measure requires carbon monoxide detectors in child care facilities that use a fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance or has an attached garage.

Labor & Industry

The Senate Labor & Industry Committee approved House Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 on Tuesday. The measure prohibits the Department of Labor & Industry from publishing Regulation #12-106, which addresses Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and overtime exemptions for administrative, executive and professional employees. The bill was adopted by the full Senate on Wednesday.

Rules & Executive Nominations

The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved Senate Resolution 310 on Tuesday. The measure adopts a temporary Senate related to amendments to the General Appropriation Bill and other appropriation bills for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year, including any amendments offered to/or for supplemental appropriations for prior fiscal years. The Senate adopted the Resolution on Wednesday.

The Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved Senate Bill 166, Senate Bill 1027, Senate Bill 1108  and Senate Bill 1122 on Thursday.


The Senate Transportation Committee approved the nomination of Yassmin Gramian as Secretary of Transportation and three bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 30 allows contributions of $6 to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund when renewing a vehicle registration for two years.

House Bill 1510 renames several bridges and highways.

House Bill 1710 creates the USA semiquincentennial registration plate.

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