Senator Mike Regan E-Newsletter

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Week of September 24, 2018

In this Edition:

  • House Committees Support Regan Legislation
  • Senate Passes Student Protection Measures
  • Other Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to the House
  • Two Bills Sent to Governor
  • Committee Roundup
  • Next Week

On Monday, I had the pleasure of welcoming constituents to the Capitol from Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg.


House Committees Support Regan Legislation

This week, two bills that I am the prime sponsor of saw action by House committees on Tuesday and now await action by the full House.

Senate Bill 6, a comprehensive public welfare reform effort termed the Public Assistance Integrity Act (PAIA), was reported out of the House Health Committee.  The legislation is a compilation of proposals and recommendations that have been raised in recent years to bring accountability to Pennsylvania’s public assistance program.

Senate Bill 652, establishes penalties for entering critical infrastructure facilities with the intent to do damage.  As amended by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, the bill also defines and establishes penalties for the act of critical infrastructure vandalism.

Senate Passes Student Protection Measures

As part of its continuing efforts to protect Pennsylvania students, the Senate approved bills this week to establish mental health screening programs, allow for cameras on school bus stop arms, and require CPR training in schools.

Senate Bill 1181 is a bill that has been a topic of conversation as we continue to work to address school safety issues.

I am a co-sponsor of this legislation, sponsored by Senator Guy Reschenthaler, which requires depression screenings for students at the time of their required physical exams in 6th and 11th grades. Currently, there are mandatory physical health and dental exams, as well as vision and hearing screenings for students, but there is no required mental health examination.

Additionally, statistics regarding our youth and mental illness speak to the need to incorporate such screenings into current requirements.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20 percent of youth ages 13 through 18 live with a brain health condition that can drastically affect their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Lack of proper diagnosis and treatment can result in serious risk-taking behaviors such as dropping out of school, substance abuse or harm to oneself or others.

Senate Bill 1098 would allow for the placement of cameras on school buses to capture motorists who pass when red signals are flashing to remove the current burden of school bus operators to report violations.

Senate Bill 521 adds cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction to the state education curriculum for high school students. The 30-minute instructional program would teach students to save lives through CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator.

All three bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Other Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to the House

Senate Bill 31 invests $1 million in a program that awards grants for research into spinal cord injuries.

Senate Resolution 419 is a concurrent resolution honoring the life of former Senate Chief Counsel Stephen C. MacNett.

Senate Bill 668 amends and modernizes the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act.

Senate Bill 891 requires the Department of Aging to cross-check its list of PACE and PACENET beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Department of Health.

Senate Bill 1007 makes changes to state law regarding county boards of assessment.

Senate Bill 1066 creates First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts.

Senate Bill 1096 authorizes the use of highly automated work zone vehicles by PENNDOT and the Turnpike Commission and allows for the platooning of motor carrier vehicles.

Senate Bill 1134 establishes sextortion as a specific criminal offense with consequences comparable to other sexual offenses.

Senate Bill 1205 provides for insurer corporate governance disclosure.

House Bill 2297 renames several roads and bridges. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 1209 addresses the backlog of untested rape kits.

Two Bills Sent to Governor 

Two bills received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor for enactment into law. 

House Bill 1917 provides for additional qualifications for the appointment, training, oversight and continuing education for humane society police officers.

House Bill 1346 provides for the offense of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft and the preemption of local ordinances or regulations.

Committee Roundup

A recap of activity by the Senate committees I serve on. 

Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure

The Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee approved House Bill 2075 on Tuesday. The bill authorizes rate recovery by a water public utility for costs incurred to replace customer-owned lead water service lines.

State Government

The Senate State Government Committee approved three bills on Monday.

Senate Bill 701 conveys a property held by the Department of General Services to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

Senate Bill 1259 authorizes the Department of General Services and East Stroudsburg University to grant and convey water and sewer easements to East Stroudsburg Borough.

House Bill 2489 releases Project 70 restrictions on lands owned by Topton, Berks County, in exchange for the imposition of Project 70 restrictions on other lands to be acquired by the borough. 

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness

The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a joint hearing on Wednesday with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services.  The Committees heard testimony on our State Veterans Homes and the LIFE (Living Independently for the Elderly) Program. 

Click here to watch a video from the hearing.

Other Committee Action

Aging & Youth

The Senate Aging & Youth Committee approved House Bill 1527 on Monday. The bill updates the mandated reporting provisions in Chapter 63, Child Protective Services.

Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved 13 bills on Monday. 

Senate Bill 31 invests $1 million in a program that awards grants for research into spinal cord injuries

House Bill 353 requires electronic prescriptions for certain controlled substances.

Senate Bill 623 updates and revises Pennsylvania law to include the codification of Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment to be used by medical professionals. 

Senate Bill 689 provides for the appointment of two Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators to the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers.

Senate Bill 1007 makes changes to state law regarding county boards of assessment.

Senate Bill 1066 creates First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts.

Senate Bill 1096 authorizes the use of highly automated work zone vehicles by PENNDOT and the Turnpike Commission and allows for the platooning of motor carrier vehicles.

Senate Bill 1175 gives law enforcement and prosecutors the ability to use an administrative subpoena to obtain subscriber information for a social media account from which they are investigating a threat made against a school. It also requires district attorneys and judges to request and review the school disciplinary records of any student who is being prosecuted for making a terroristic threat.

Senate Bill 1181 requires depression screenings for students.

Senate Bill 1205 provides for insurer corporate governance disclosure.

Senate Bill 1209 addresses the backlog of untested rape kits.

House Bill 1499 amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) to clarify and update provisions relating to planned communities, condominiums and cooperatives.

House Bill 1613 reauthorizes and modernizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

The Appropriations Committee approved 12 bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 104 requires a municipal authority to publicly discuss all acquisitions and the sale or transfer of authority-owned water and sewer infrastructure and how the acquisition or sale will benefit the authority’s existing ratepayers.

Senate Bill 899 updates and revises the Older Adults Protective Services Act.

Senate Bill 1006 addresses the existing statutory requirement that building permit information be submitted to the county assessment office to ensure accurate property valuation.

Senate Bill 1073 extends the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this important coverage.

Senate Bill 1157 provides the Auditor General with the authority to audit the Statewide Radio System.

Senate Bill 1176 amends the Home Rule Law.

House Bill 1294 allows motorcycles to be equipped with a special registration plate for Purple Heart and Legion of Merit recipients.

House Bill 1414 authorizes visual and audible signals on emergency vehicles for additional fire personnel, flashing yellow and white lights on tow trucks, yellow strobe lights for solid waste collection vehicles, and mounted internal blue lights for volunteer firefighters.

House Bill 1800 codifies a process for medication synchronization.  

House Bill 1843 adds new chapters to Title 72 (Taxation &Fiscal Affairs) to provide increased public access to financial and budget information.

House Bill 2049 creates the Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act to address documentation requirements for service animals in housing, and to establish penalties for misrepresentation.

House Bill 2321 provides for the admittance of an out-of-court statement of a child or child witness as evidence in certain criminal or civil proceedings. 

Banking & Insurance

The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee approved three bills on Tuesday. 

House Bill 504 allows owners of self-service storage units to obtain a limited license from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to sell insurance to those renting storage space to cover the contents of the storage units.

House Bill 1013 requires managed care plans to pay all reasonably necessary costs associated with the provision of emergency services even if the covered individual does not require transport or refuses to be transported.

House Bill 2211 allows pharmacists to disclose prescription drug information to a patient that would enable the patient to get the best price for medications.

Community, Economic & Recreational Development

The Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee approved House Bill 1284 on Monday. The bill enacts the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop Act to provide online, one-stop services to assist businesses.

Education 

The Senate Education Committee approved six measures on Tuesday. 

Senate Resolution 292 directs the Joint State Government Commission to study the College and University Student Vaccination Act (Act 83 of 2002). 

Senate Resolution 417 directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study on secondary school start time. 

House Bill 1228 allows students, when outdoors at school, at a school-sponsored event or under the supervision of school personnel, to use sun-protective clothing, including hats.

House Bill 1386 amends the Public School Code by adding a new section concerning instructional certificate grade spans and age levels.

House Bill 2157 amends the Public School Code concerning the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence, the utilization of credits, and the classification of program codes.

House Bill 2205 requires an occupational advisory committee be established for each career and technical education program or cluster of related programs offered by an area vocational-technical school or school district.

Environmental Resources & Energy

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

Senate Resolution 214 urges Pennsylvania natural gas producers to export natural gas to European countries in an effort to curtail the natural gas monopoly that Russia has on the region.

House Bill 2154 establishes the Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act to provide for the regulation of conventional well drilling activities and plugging abandoned wells.

Game & Fisheries 

The Senate Game & Fisheries Committee approved four bills on Tuesday. 

House Bill 582 provides for a discounted hunting license for volunteer Hunter Trapper Education instructors.

Senate Bill 1153 allows the use of electronic deer calls for hunting.

House Bill 1153 provides fishing license and hunting license reciprocity for active duty military members and for disabled veterans.

House Bill 1409 provides licensing discounts and exemptions for nonresident disabled veterans and former prisoners of war.

Health & Human Services 

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee approved seven bills on Wednesday. 

House Bill 122 establishes the Project Lazarus Commission to help counties build comprehensive programs to address the opioid crisis.

Senate Bill 912 provides greater access to in-home care by extending “presumptive eligibility” to those who meet the qualifications for Medicaid.

Senate Bill 1220 establishes an advisory council on research, diagnosis, treatment, and education related to Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections in the Department of Health.

Senate Bill 1237 addresses rural hospital issues.

House Bill 1532 amends the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions program to allow Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to query the system.

House Bill 1829 provides greater access to in-home care by extending “presumptive eligibility” to those who meet the qualifications for Medicaid.

House Bill 1884 creates the Patient Test Result Information Act.

Judiciary 

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved four bills on Monday. 

House Bill 1152 provides civil immunity for any damage that may be done to the vehicle when forceful entry is necessary to rescue a child.

Senate Bill 1253 provides for an expedited review of parole cases involving seriously or terminally ill inmates.

House Bill 2321 provides for the admittance of an out-of-court statement of a child or child witness as evidence in certain criminal or civil proceedings.

House Bill 2324  expands the rape shield law to cover instances where the rape victim may be asked about prior victimizations or allegations of victimizations that he or she has made. 

House Bill 2325 allows a reliable but hearsay statement from a victim who is intellectually disabled or autistic to be admissible in court. 

Local Government 

The Senate Local Government Committee approved four bills on Wednesday. 

Senate Bill 1069 provides for the voluntary dissolution of municipal corporations (cities, boroughs, towns, & townships) in Allegheny County and the substitution of unincorporated districts as a new form of government to be administered by the county.

House Bills 1887, 1888, and 1889 amend, respectively, the First Class Township Code, the Borough Code & Third Class City Code, and Act 34 of 1953, which relates to Incorporated Towns to raise the threshold for having to advertise the sale of municipal-owned personal property. The current threshold is a fair market value of less than $1000, and these bills would raise that figure to $2000.

Rules & Executive Nominations

The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved Senate Resolution 419 on Monday. The measure is a concurrent resolution honoring the life of Stephen C. MacNett.

Transportation 

The Senate Transportation Committee approved six measures on Monday. 

House Resolution 76 is a concurrent resolution to remove the federally mandated drivers’ license suspension for individuals who are convicted for a drug offense.

House Bill 86 establishes new emissions test requirements for certain vehicles that currently must get a treadmill test (dynamometer) in the Philadelphia region and a tailpipe probe test in the Pittsburgh region.

House Bill 163 removes language relating to federally mandated driver’s license suspensions for drug/controlled substance convictions, as well as state-imposed suspensions for six other crimes.

Senate Bill 1254 provides for special registration plates for recipients of the Presidential Service Badge.

House Bill 2131 requires PENNDOT to plant native species of vegetation along highways where feasible.

House Bill 2297 renames several roads and bridges.

The Transportation Committee approved seven bills on Wednesday. 

Senate Bill 16 allows the revocation of driver’s licenses for serious DUI offenses.

Senate Bill 110 waives the duplicate driver’s license fee for veterans.

Senate Bill 1084 reduces the vehicle registration fee for veterans.

Senate Bill 1232 renames a portion of Route 30 in Westmoreland County.

House Bill 1811 provides restrictions on the use of data collected from automated license plate reader systems. 

House Bill 1936 makes editorial and technical changes to the Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle Law.

House Bill 2066 clarifies the scenic road designation for the National Road in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Next Week

The Senate reconvenes on Monday, October 1st at 1pm.  You can tune in to watch session live.

For a full list of Senate Committee meetings for the week, click here.

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