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Legislative Review
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PMHA Legislative Review                             April 2017

                                                                                                       

 

Harrisburg Happenings Compliments of Milliron & Goodman:

Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Tom Wolf presented his 2017-2018 budget to the Republican-led General Assembly on February 7. Lawmakers are now wrapping up the state’s annual cycle of budget hearings. Over the course of three weeks, the heads of state departments and agencies have appeared before the state Senate and House Appropriations Committees to defend Governor Wolf's 2017-18 budget proposal. After the hearings are over, it will be up to lawmakers to determine what will be in the final budget plan that moves through the legislative process. It is unclear how lawmakers will move forward. Last year’s budget was a far cry from the 9-month budget impasse of 2015. The new budget year starts July 1.

Here’s a look back at the noteworthy events for the past month.

Budget

  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is taking a new approach. Instead of asking for hikes in the state income and sales taxes, he is looking at cost savings and government restructuring to help tackle the state's fiscal problems. This session he is in reelection mode and already faces a declared GOP challenge from state Sen. Scott Wagner from York County. The governor also faces a legislature that is more conservative and opposed to tax hikes than when he took office in 2015. The $32.3 billion spending plan provides modest increases in funding for education and includes new programs aimed at battling the state's ongoing opioid epidemic. It also calls for an increase in the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 per hour.
  • To close an estimated $3 billion budget gap, Gov. Wolf says he can save $2 billion in government efficiencies, including consolidation of departments and incentivizing early retirements for state workers. Under his plan, the Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole would merge into a new Department of Criminal Justice. The Human Services, Health, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs departments would merge into a new Department of Health and Human Services. State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks), who led the fight to elevate the drug and alcohol program agency to a department, is adamantly opposing the merger.
  • Gov. Wolf would get another $1 billion in new revenue from what the administration views as loopholes in taxes on sales, corporate profits and insurance premiums. In addition to a severance tax on natural gas, the tax plan would expand the 6 percent sales tax to specialty software and computer services, prepared food sold to airlines, aircraft maintenance and repair, and commercial storage. The budget plan also calls for leasing the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg and imposing a $25 per resident service fee in municipalities that don't have their own police departments. $250 million in revenue is assumed from gaming expansion.
  • House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) has introduced the budget bill vehicle, HB 218. Typically, the placeholder will mirror appropriations in the current fiscal year. Interestingly, this budget bill vehicle mirrors the appropriations in the 2015-16 spending plan, not the 2016-17 budget. The state is facing an estimated $3 billion budget deficit.
  • The state’s top court recently announced it will hear oral arguments early next month in a line-item veto case that could shift the balance of power between the governor and lawmakers during this year’s budget negotiations. The case stems from a lawsuit Senate Republican and Democratic leaders filed against then-Gov. Tom Corbett. The Senate asked the court to throw out Corbett's July 2014 line-item vetoes of the Legislature's finances. Corbett cut millions from the Legislature's budget finances and in fiscal code earmarks in a fight over liquor and pension reform. Gov. Tom Wolf, who inherited the case, won a unanimous decision from the Commonwealth Court that ruled a governor has the constitutional and legal right to partially veto spending items in the state budget and in the so-called fiscal code. The fiscal code, along with separate school and welfare codes, are separate bills lawmakers use to legally authorize budget spending, and lawmakers use the codes to earmark spending for their specific projects. Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have asked the justices to overturn the lower court decision.

 

Transportation

  • The Senate Communications and Technology Committee voted out SB 133, which would repeal Act 38 of 2012 (The REAL ID Nonparticipation Act). Senator Folmer (R-Lebanon), the original sponsor of Act 38, was the lone “no” vote. The bill now awaits action of the full Senate. Failure to comply with the REAL ID Act would mean Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards would not be considered a valid form of identification for the purposes of boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings or nuclear power plants, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Although the new requirements were supposed to go into effect on January 30, Pennsylvania received an extension until June 6 to allow additional time to comply with the federal mandate.
  • PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards told lawmakers about PennDOT’s new RoadMaP initiative, with “MaP” being an acronym for “Maintenance and Preservation.” Richards says more than $2 billion will be allocated. She says $500 million of that will be added to the existing interstate highway preservation program, bringing that ten-year program to $1 billion. Another $600 million will go toward rehabilitation and reconstruction needs identified through the department's district and regional planning efforts. Another part of RoadMaP is geared toward less-traveled secondary roads in need of attention.
  • PennDOT will be seeking more local involvement through a new initiative called PennDOT Connects.  The initiative will encourage a collaborative effort between PennDOT and local stakeholders in planning transportation projects. The program requires collaboration with local partners before project scopes are developed. Specific areas to be discussed include, but are not limited to, safety issues, bicycle/pedestrian accommodations, transit access, stormwater management, utility issues, local and regional plans and studies, and freight-generating land use. The requirements are being implemented on new projects on the state’s 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Health Care

  • Numerous bills are being introduced to address the opioid epidemic. Most recently, state Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) introduced legislation (SB 391) that would allow involuntary commitment for substance use disorders. Patients suffering from opioid addiction would have a broader range of treatment options under legislation (SB 428) introduced by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington). In another effort, Governor Wolf announced steps to help tighten the rules under which medication such as buprenorphine can be prescribed under the Medicaid program.
  • The PA Health Department is accepting applications for medical marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries.  Applications will be accepted from Feb. 20 through March 20. Permits will be offered in a three-phase roll-out.  Up to 12 grower/processor permits will be available statewide during the first round of the application roll-out and up to 27 dispensary permits will be issued. Organizations granted a dispensary permit may open up to three individual locations, which must be approved by the Department of Health. Sec. Murphy said the target date for announcing the awards is 90 days after the application period closes on March 20.

Political

  • Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says Pennsylvania should strongly consider regulating and taxing marijuana to benefit from a booming industry expected to be worth $20 billion and employ more than 280,000 in the next decade. DePasquale said Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have all regulated and taxed marijuana in recent years.  Washington, DC has legalized marijuana, but does not yet have retail sales. Other states are considering regulating and taxing marijuana, including Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland.

·         According to unofficial numbers, Democratic write-in candidate Emilio Vazquez has won the special election to fill North Philadelphia's 197th District seat. The unofficial count put Vazquez at 1,964 votes and Green Party write-in candidate Cheri Honkala at 280 votes. Republican Lucinda Little, the only name to appear on the ballot, garnered less than 8 percent of the vote or 198 votes on Tuesday. The election results won't be official until the end of next week. County commissioners will wait to certify the results, allowing time for legal challenges that are likely to come. The special election has been the subject of widespread controversy from the beginning. Most recently with complaints of illegal voter assistance and other questionable poll activities. On Friday, the Election Fraud Task Force in the Philadelphia DA's office launched an investigation into alleged irregularities.  The seat was left vacant after Rep. Leslie Acosta resigned after pleading guilty to a federal embezzlement charge.

Advocacy

Due to the start of a new session and a lot of new faces in Pennsylvania’s legislature, we are updating our membership data, identifying members who have relationships with our state and congressional legislators.  If you do not have a current relationship with your legislator but would like to develop one let us know and we will help.

Enclosed you will find our Industry Action Network form which will be used to create our legislative grassroots teams.  Please complete it, and email (mary@pmha.org) or fax (717-774-5596) back to PMHA, so we can update our files.  Once we have updated our legislative grassroots teams, we will use this information when working on legislative initiatives.  You may also be called upon to attend fundraisers or deliver PMH PAC contributions.  Personal contact at the grassroots level is vital to a strong government relations program.  Please take a moment and complete the information below.

2017 PA Legislative Schedule

2017 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

April                      17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May                        8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24 

June                       5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

2017 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

April                      3, 4, 5, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May                        8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June                       5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

2017 Congressional Committee Assignments

The 115th Congress was officially sworn in or January 3, 2017.  The following is a list of committee assignments for PA’s Senators and Congressional Delegates:

Senator Pat Toomey – Banking Housing, and Urban Affairs and Budget

Senator Bob Casey – Aging (ranking member), Agriculture, Finance, HELP

Rep. Lou Barletta – House Homeland Security Committee (Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management (Chairman), Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials), House Education and the Workforce Committee (Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions)

Rep. Brendan Boyle – House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade), House Committee on the Budget

Rep. Robert Brady – Committee on House Administration (ranking member), Committee on Armed Services

Rep. Matthew Cartwright – Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government)

Rep. Ryan Costello - House Energy and Commerce Committee (Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations)

Rep. Charlie Dent – House Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (Chairman), Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development)

Rep. Mike Doyle – House Energy and Commerce Committee (Subcommittee on Communications and Technology,  Subcommittee on Energy and Power)

Rep. Dwight Evans – House Small Business Committee, House Committee on Agriculture 

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick - House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Subcommittee on Middle East & North Africa, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia & Emerging Threats), House Committee on Homeland Security (Subcommittee on Cybersecurity & Intelligence, Subcommittee on Transportation & Protective Security), House Committee on Small Business (Subcommittee on Health and Technology, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Capital Access, and Tax)

Rep. Mike Kelly – House Committee on Ways and Means (Subcommittee on Tax Policy

Subcommittee on Social Security, Subcommittee on Trade)

Rep. Tom Marino – House Committee on the Judiciary (Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform (chairman), Commercial and Antitrust Law, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet), Committee on Foreign Affairs (Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats (vice chairman), Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations), Committee on Homeland Security (Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Parliamentary Assembly)

Rep. Pat Meehan – House Ways and Means Committee (Subcommittee on Oversight, Subcommittee on Trade), House Ethics Committee

Rep. Tim Murphy – House Energy & Commerce Committee (Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations (chairman), Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Energy, Subcommittee on Environment)

Rep. Scott Perry – House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade), House Committee on Homeland Security (Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency (chairman), Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence), House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Subcommittee on Aviation, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials)

Rep. Keith RothfusHouse Committee on Financial Services (Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit (vice chairman), Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing), House

Republican Policy Committee

Rep. Bill Shuster – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (chairman), House Armed Services Committee (Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities)

Rep. Lloyd Smucker – House Committee on the Budget, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Subcommittee on Highways and Transit (vice chair), Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management), House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions)

Rep. “GT” Thompson – House Agriculture Committee (Subcommittee on Nutrition (chair), Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry), House Natural Resources Committee (Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands), House Education and the Workforce Committee (Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Subcommittee on Higher Education 

PMHA is monitoring the following legislation….


 


HB 38/PN 45 (Saccone/R-Allegheny) Amends PA Human Relations Act to include the exercise of self-defense rights as a protected practice.

Status:     State Government

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 130/PN 95 (Ortitay/ R-Allegheny) Amends the Tax Reform Code decreasing the annual rate of tax on corporate net income for taxable years 2016 through 2021 to 4.99 percent.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 137/PN 101 (Moul/R-Adams) Amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally), in taxation and assessments general provisions, adding that "owner" includes a tenant who possesses and resides under a life lease and is contractually responsible for making all necessary real estate tax payments.

Status:     Local Government

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 162/PN 126 (Maloney/R-Berks) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in Uniform Construction Code, adding language allowing the Department of Labor and Industry to contract with the ICC to establish and publish code manuals that contain the standards of the Uniform Construction Code. The department shall require in any such contract that the standards be made available on the department's website.

Status:     3/13/17 – House Calendar

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 176/PN 139 (Pickett/R-Bradford) Amends the PA Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions and for application. Defines "farmer." Excludes from the act structures used for the direct, seasonal sale of agricultural, horticultural and food products which are open on at least one side, operated by a farmer whose products make up not less than 50 percent of the commodities being sold, is not located on the farmer's property, is temporary in nature, and has an area of less than 1,000 square feet.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 177/PN 341, 140 (Pickett/R-Bradford) Amends the PA Construction Code Act adding "a structure utilized to process maple sap" as an agricultural building. One amendment was adopted that exempts structures less than 1,000 square feet utilized to process maple sap.  

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 180/PN 729 (Goodman/D-Schuylkill) Provides for a Made In PA Program, for duties and authority of DCED, for application process and costs; establishing the Made in PA Fund; and providing for civil penalties, for injunctive relief and for rules and regulations.

Status:  Commerce

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 266/PN 225 (Harper/R-Montgomery) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, deleting references to the appeal boards being established in accordance with the "1999 BOCA code" and replacing the reference with a requirement that such boards be established pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Department of Labor and Industry.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 284/PN 270 (Baker/R-Bradford) Amends the Underground Utility Line Protection Law removing the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Industry and transferring it to the Public Utility Commission; further providing for definitions; requiring submission of reports of alleged violations; requiring facility owners to maintain records of abandoned lines, to participate in the One Call System's Member Mapping Solutions, and to notify a facility owner that an excavator has identified an unmarked or incorrectly marked facility and of the owner's responsibilities; further providing for the One Call System, other parties, designers, excavators and project owners and for penalties; adding that an excavator, designer or operator who proposes to commence excavation or demolition work and requests information from the One Call System shall pay to the One Call System an annual fee; requiring designers to request line and facility information; requiring excavators to renotify the One Call System of an unmarked or incorrectly marked facility in certain instances and to make a locate request to the One Call System prior to excavation or demolition work and to pay the applicable fee; establishing a Damage Prevention Committee in the commission to review and take action on alleged violations; establishing the Underground Utility Line Protection Fund to receive penalties and assessments; and extending the expiration of the act through 2022.

Status:  Consumer Affairs

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 294/PN 288 (Costa/D-Allegheny) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, authorizing municipalities administering and enforcing the act to assess a fee of not more than $30 for fire protection services on each occupancy permit issued. The bill provides for exemptions and for use of the fee.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  Oppose

                                               

HB 298/PN 292 (Delozier/R-Cumberland) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in training and certification of inspectors, further providing for training of inspectors. The bill states that the department may by regulation establish a separate trainee classification for each certification category. The trainee classification shall be considered optional for all individuals seeking certification under this act. An applicant for trainee classification shall secure the sponsorship of an individual certified in each category for which the trainee seeks certification. A trainee classification is nonrenewable and shall be limited. Individuals with trainee classifications may perform all the duties of a certified individual while under the supervision of a sponsor. The department may establish fees and applications and registration procedures to establish the trainee classification system. Individuals with trainee classifications shall be listed on the department's website.

Status:     3/13/17 – House Calendar

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 352/PN 362 (Culver/R-Northumberland) Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure), in limitation of time, providing for ten year limitation, for mesne profits and for reimbursement and further providing for twenty-one year limitation. The bill states title to real property may be acquired after no less than 10 years of actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, notorious, distinct and hostile possession of the real property.

Status:  Judiciary

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 409/PN 416 (Evankovich/R-Allegheny)  Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions and for Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council and providing for review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code; in Uniform Construction Code, further providing for revised or successor codes; in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement; in training and certification of inspectors, further providing for education and training programs; and, in exemptions, applicability and penalties, further providing for applicability to certain buildings.

Status:  4/3/17 voted out of Labor and Industry with amendments

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 416/PN 422 (Murt/R-Montgomery) Amends the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act further providing for findings and declaration of policy and for right to freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation; and providing for therapy dogs and public transportation and unlawful discriminatory practices. Declares it to be the public policy of this Commonwealth to safeguard the rights of all individuals with disabilities, owners or handlers of therapy dogs and persons licensed to train therapy dogs to use all forms of public transportation regardless of the use of accompanying therapy dogs because of disabilities of the users or because the users are handlers or trainers of therapy dogs.

Status:  State Government

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 417/PN 423 (Godshall/R-Montgomery)  Amends Title 27 (Environmental Resources), in conservation and natural resources, adding a chapter providing water well construction standards.

Status:  Consumer Affairs

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 432/PN 448 (Brown/R-Monroe) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in general provisions relating to condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities, providing for complaints filed with Bureau of Consumer Protection. The Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General shall investigate or mediate a complaint filed with the bureau by a person who is a unit owner against the association in which the person is a member.

Status:  Urban Affairs

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 460/PN 481 (DeLuca/D-Allegheny) Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act, in State funds formula, further providing for certification and calculation of minimum and maximum modifiers and for Property Tax Relief Reserve Fund, providing for senior citizen tax relief and further providing for State property tax reduction allocation. The bill freezes all school property taxes on the primary residences of Pennsylvania senior citizens at the rate in effect during the year they turn 65.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No position

                                               

HB 471/PN 491 (DeLuca/D-Allegheny) Amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally), in neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization, further providing for the definition of "owner" by adding mortgage lenders.

Status:  Urban Affairs

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 473/PN 493  (DeLuca/D-Allegheny) Amends Title 7 (Banks and Banking), in mortgage loan business restrictions and requirements, further providing for general requirements by requiring licensees to ensure that font size on all reverse mortgage contracts and disclosures is no smaller than 24-point.

Status:  Commerce

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 509/PN 534 (McClinton/D-Delaware) Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) adding language providing an employer may not inquire about or consider the following when determining an individual's suitability for employment: a case with a final disposition that is not a conviction; a juvenile case resulting in an adjudication of delinquency; a conviction of a summary offense; or a case that was expunged or pardoned. When determining an individual's suitability for employment, if the individual has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, the employer must consider the nature of the crime; the time that has passed since the offense or completion of sentence; and the type of employment sought or currently held. Further provides for notice, final considerations, the powers and duties of the Department of Labor and Industry, administrative penalties, civil penalties, and applicability.

 

Sttus:  Judiciary

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 514/PN 538 (Bullock/D-Philadelphia)  Amends the Landlord and Tenant Act adding a new section providing a landlord may not inquire or require disclosure of the following from applicants or potential tenants or their household members: an arrest not leading to conviction; participation in or completion of a diversion or deferral of judgment program; a conviction that has been judicially dismissed, expunged, voided or invalidated; a conviction or any other determination or adjudication in the juvenile justice system; a conviction that is more than seven years old; or information pertaining to an offense other than a felony or misdemeanor, such as a summary offense. Provides a person who violates this new section shall be subject to a penalty not greater than $250.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 530/PN 556 (Warren/D-Bucks) The Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force Act establishes the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force to review and analyze the law, procedures, practices, processes and rules relating to the administration of flood insurance; to hold public hearings for the taking of testimony and the requesting of documents; to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses appearing before the task force; to accept and review written comments from individuals and organizations; and to make a final report to the Governor, the Senate and the House of Representatives which shall include recommendations regarding potential programs that provide premium discounts, potential programs that create incentives for local governments to undertake or continue flood mitigation efforts, and the implementation of necessary changes in State statutes and practices, policies and procedures relating to the administration of flood insurance.

Status:  Insurance

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 539/PN 565 (Thomas/D-Philadelphia) Amends the Assessors Certification Act repealing provisions specifying that the act does not apply to counties of the first class (Philadelphia) and adding that an assessor who is employed by a county of the first class on the effective date shall have three years to become certified under the act.

Status:  Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 571/PN 611 (Davis/D-Bucks) Act imposing a duty on municipalities to provide notification to property owners of changes to special flood hazard area maps of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Specifies type of notification required.

Status:     Local Government

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 573/PN 612 (Davis/D-Bucks) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in seller disclosures, requiring the disclosure form to disclose the presence of rights-of-way, easements or access limitations that affect the use of the property.

Status:     Local Government

Position:  Support

                                               

HB 595/PN 627 (Brown/R-Monroe) Amends Title 68 (Real & Personal Property), as follows: in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in management of the condominium, providing for alternative dispute resolution in condominiums and for complaints filed with Bureau of Consumer Protection; in protection of purchasers, further providing for effect of violations on rights of action; in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in management of cooperatives, providing for alternative dispute resolution in cooperatives and for complaints filed with Bureau of Consumer Protection; in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in management of planned community, providing for alternative dispute resolution in planned communities and for complaints filed with Bureau of Consumer Protection; and in protection of purchasers, further providing for effect of violations on rights of action.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 596/PN 628 (Harper/R-Montgomery) Amends Title 27 (Environmental Resources) providing for the adoption of National Groundwater Association standards. Provides for water well construction standards; decommissioning of abandoned wells; water well completion reports; and inspections. Also provides for the powers and duties of the Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under this new chapter and for penalties for violations of this new chapter.

Status:  Environmental Resources

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 653/PN 692 (Masser/R-Columbia) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in real property, providing for real estate foreclosure of vacant and abandoned property and for sheriff's commission and credit or attorney fees. The bill states that after a creditor gives notice to an obligor of a delinquency or other default with respect to an obligation secured by a mortgage or initiates a foreclosure action or action for possession or to quiet title, a mortgaged property for which the notice is given or proceedings are initiated shall be certified as vacant and abandoned if it meets requirements established in the bill. The stated intent is to limit the use of the expedited foreclosure process to vacant and abandoned properties.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 668/PN 712 (Schlossberg/D-Lehigh) Amends the Landlord and Tenant Act adding an article providing for lead-based paint and related hazardous conditions and imposing a penalty. A lessor or agent shall inspect a residential dwelling, offered by the lessor or agent for lease, rent or sublease for occupation, for the presence of lead-based paint and hazardous conditions as outlined. The bill provides extensively for disclosures. Fines collected for penalties shall be credited to the Department of Health for the operation and maintenance of the Lead and Healthy Homes Program.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 670/PN 716 (Taylor/R-Philadelphia) The Fire Sprinkler Contractors Licensing Act provides for licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and inspectors; and imposing duties on the Department of Labor and Industry. Provisions regarding refusal, suspension or revocation of license are effective immediately and the remainder is effective upon the effective date of the regulations promulgated by the department or on July 1, 2017, whichever is sooner.

Status:  Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 695/PN 746 (Matzie/D-Allegheny) Act providing for certain non-natural earthquake insurance coverage; conferring powers and imposing duties on the Insurance Department; and providing for enforcement and penalties.

Status:  Insurance

Position:  No Position

                                               

HB 701/PN 751 (Donatucci/D-Delaware) Act providing for paid sick leave for certain employees, for duties of the Department of Labor and Industry and for enforcement; and imposing a civil penalty.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

HR 76/PN 427 (Miller/D-Allegheny) Concurrent Resolution declaring that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is opposed to the enactment and enforcement of a State law, under a Federal mandate, that requires the suspension or revocation, or the delay of issuance or reinstatement, of the driver's license of an individual convicted of a violation of the Controlled Substances Act or another drug offense; urging the Governor to submit a written certification stating the Governor's opposition to the State law along with this resolution to the United States Secretary of Transportation; and accordingly preventing the United States Secretary of Transportation from withholding a specified percentage of Federal transportation apportionments under 23 U.S.C. 159.

Status:  Transportation

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 38 /PN 19 (Hutchinson/R-Butler) Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in licensing of drivers, further providing for driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked and for chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance; in commercial drivers, further providing for implied consent requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers; in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for reports by emergency room personnel; in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, further providing for driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance, for grading and for penalties; and, in powers of Department of Transportation and local authorities, further providing for enforcement agreements. The bill provides for testing of saliva and establishes penalties.

Status:  Transportation

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 41 /PN 22 (Williams/D-Delaware) Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in taxation and finance, authorizing the legislature to permit a city of the first class (Philadelphia) to impose taxes for the benefit of the city of the first class on real estate used for business purposes at a tax rate that exceeds the tax rate applicable to other real estate, with certain stipulations. Constitutional amendments require approval in two consecutive legislative sessions and then approval by the voters through a referendum.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No position

                                               

SB 45/PN 26 (Williams/D-Delaware) The Veterans' Homeownership Assistance Act establishes the Veterans' Homeownership Assistance Program to award financial assistance to qualified veteran applicants who are first-time homebuyers in the form of grants, no-interest forgivable loans, or deferred loans. The act provides for the application and review process as well as guidelines for the program. The act appropriates $2.5 million from the General Fund to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for the period of July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, no more than $250,000 of which may be used for administrative costs.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 50/PN 31 (Greenleaf/R-Bucks) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in seller disclosures, requiring the real estate seller disclosure form to disclose the property's location in a flood zone or wetlands area and the property's flood history including the frequency and the extent of flooding.

Status:  3/30/17 Senate Calendar

Position:  Oppose

                                               

SB 51/PN 32 (Greenleaf/R-Bucks) Amends the Landlord and Tenant Act requiring the disclosure of flood history to lessees of residential real property.

Status:  1/31/17 Laid on Table

Position:  Oppose

                                               

SB 82/PN 61 (Greenleaf/R-Bucks) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in residential real property, repealing provisions relating to home inspections; providing for home inspections; establishing the Pennsylvania Board of Home Inspectors; providing for licensure of home inspectors and for disciplinary proceedings by the Pennsylvania Board of Home Inspectors; and making an appropriation of $85,000 from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account to the Department of State for the payment of costs associated with processing licenses and renewing licenses, for the operation of the Pennsylvania Board of Home Inspectors and for other costs associated with the implementation of 68 Pa.C.S. Ch. 75A. The bill repeals the current chapter on home inspections and replaces it with a new chapter on home inspections. The Pennsylvania Board of Home Inspectors shall promulgate regulations and the provisions requiring the licensure of home inspectors shall not apply until publication that the regulations are in effect.

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  Must include language requiring training if inspecting mfg and modular homes

                                               

SB 92/PN 261 (Greenleaf/R-Bucks) Amends Act 261, proving all residents of a manufactured housing community the ability to seek binding arbitration if they contend the lot rent increase to be excessive. 

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  Opposed/ Rent Control

                                               

SB 97/PN 72 (Greenleaf/R-Bucks) Amends the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law requiring manufacturers to disclose a product's estimated lifespan.

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 128/PN 163, 90 (Eichelberger/R-Blair) Amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) adding a new section stipulating that a municipality may not: (1) enact or administer a mandate requiring an employer to provide an employee or class of employees with vacation or other forms of leave from employment, paid or unpaid, that is not required by Federal or State law; or (2) require an employer to compensate an employee for any vacation or other forms of leave for which Federal or State law does not require the employee to be compensated. Further provides this new section may not be construed to invalidate a mandate enacted by a municipality prior to January 1, 2015. The new section shall apply retroactively to January 1, 2015.

Status:  3/20/17 Senate Calendar

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 138/PN 92 (Yaw/R-Bradford) Amends the Oil and Gas Lease Act defining "lessee," "lessor," and "joint venture"; further providing for payment information to interest owners by requiring a unique property identification; provides for accumulation of proceeds from production by adding that proceeds shall be paid within 60 days, but proceeds from oil and gas may be remitted quarterly for accumulation of proceeds totaling less than $100; further provides for conflicts; adds language providing for joint ventures; and provides for a lessor to inspect the records of a lessee. The bill outlines the procedure for inspections for records and provides for confidentiality and for frequency.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 139/PN 93 (Yaw/R-Bradford) The Natural Gas Lease Anti-Retaliation Act provides protection for a lessor of natural gas rights who reports a violation or suspected violation of a contractual agreement and for remedies and penalties. No lessee may retaliate by ceasing development or production or take other reprisals against a lessor because the lessor takes a good faith action. The bill provides for remedies and enforcement.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 140/PN 94 (Yaw/R-Bradford) The Natural Gas Consumer Access Act requires each natural gas distribution utility to submit a plan to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) within two years after a franchise territory is awarded that includes data on the service area. The commission will review the plan and implement periodic reviews of the distribution system. At the request of the natural gas distribution utility, the PUC shall maintain confidentiality of specific information deemed to be proprietary. Natural gas distribution utilities will also provide residential, commercial and industrial customers with customer contribution criteria for extension and expansion, as well as notifications of its distribution system extension and expansion plan and customer contribution criteria once a year. The bill provides for supplemental filing requirements, provisions related to customer contributions, and for definitions.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 141/PN 118 (Yaw/R-Bradford) Amends Title 58 (Oil and Gas) providing for lease extended by production by adding that any portion of land subject to a lease, which is combined with other lands or leases to form a unit, shall be subject to operations and production on and in the unit. The operations and production shall continue a lease in force and effect during or after the primary term according to the lease provisions only as to that portion of the leased land which is included in the unit. Any land covered by a lease and not included in the unit shall not be subject to operations or production on or in the unit. The lease may be kept in force in any manner provided in the lease agreement for leased land not included in an agreement. The bill provides for applicability and definitions.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 142/PN 119 (Yaw/R-Bradford) Amends Title 58 (Oil and Gas), in unconventional oil and gas conservation, consolidating the Oil and Gas Conservation Law with modifications relating to definitions, standard unit order, process, administration, standard of review, hearings and appeals, establishment of units, integration of various interests, lease extension and scope, providing for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines; and repealing the Oil and Gas Conservation Law. The bill adds a chapter providing for Unconventional Oil and Gas Conservation, entitled the Unconventional Oil and Gas Unit Conservation and Integration Act. The chapter seeks to promote the development of unconventional oil and gas resources in accordance with the best principles and practices of oil and gas conservation while reasonably protecting the correlative rights of the person affected and to provide for the protection of the environment.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 159/PN 132 (Tartaglione/D-Philadelphia) Amends the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act further providing for procedures for registration as a contractor by requiring a registrant to provide proof of workers' compensation coverage in compliance with the Workers' Compensation Act.

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 164/PN 137 (Tartaglione/D-Philadelphia) Amends the Tax Reform Code, in corporate net income tax, further providing for the definition of "taxable income," for imposition of tax, for reports and payment of tax and for consolidated reports; and, in general provisions, further providing for underpayment of estimated tax. The goal of the legislation is to close the "Delaware Loophole."

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 207/PN 195 (Hughes/D-Montgomery) The Healthy Employee and Healthy Workplace Act provides for mandatory statewide employer-paid sick leave for employees for diagnosis, treatment, care, counseling, and emergencies and provides for civil penalties and remedies for violations.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 213/PN 197 (Leach/D-Delaware) The Regulate Marijuana Act provides for personal use of marijuana by adults over the age of 21 and for lawful operation of marijuana-related facilities. Further provides for the powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) under the proposed act. Requires the PLCB to adopt regulations necessary for the implementation of the act no later than July 1, 2018 and provides the regulations may not prohibit the operation of a marijuana establishment, either expressly or through a regulation that makes the operation unreasonably impracticable. Also provides for what shall be included in the regulations. Further adds provisions relating to individual privacy; locality; ordnance or regulation by a locality; and employers, minors and control of policy. Requires the General Assembly to enact an excise tax upon marijuana sold or otherwise transferred by a marijuana cultivation facility to a marijuana product manufacturing facility or to a retail marijuana store.

Status:  Law and Justice

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 231/PN 214 (Boscola/D-Lehigh) Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) adding that offenders subject to registration due to a conviction for an offense wherein the victim was a minor may not reside within 1,000 feet of the real property on which is located any public, private or parochial school, licensed preschool program, certified day-care center, registered family day-care home, public playground recreation center or playground. No such person shall establish a residence, maintain a residence or other living accommodation within 500 feet of any point at which transportation is provided to students of any public, private or parochial school except that provided by a fixed-route public transportation service. Lastly, no such person who is subject to any order of parole, probation or supervision may be placed by any governmental authority in any residential setting that does not comply with the provisions of this section. These new requirements shall not require the offender to sell or otherwise dispose of any real estate, home or other real property or to cancel any lease of real property that was acquired or entered prior to the effective date of the legislation.

Status:  Judiciary

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 235/PN 217 (Leach/D-Delaware) Amends the Pennsylvania Human Relation Act further providing for findings and declaration of policy, for right to freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation, for definitions and for unlawful discriminatory practices. The bill adds marital status and familial status to the scope of the act.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 242/PN 223 (Baker/R-Luzern) Amends the Underground Utility Line Protection Law further providing extensively for definitions, for duties of facility owners, for duties of the One Call System, for duties of excavators, for duties of designers, for duties of project owners and for penalties; providing for enforcement, for underground utility line protection fund and for compliance; and further providing for One Call System authority and for expiration. Among the many changes, facility owners shall maintain existing records of main lines abandoned on or after the effective date and to mark, locate or identify the main lines if possible, based upon the existing records. A damage prevention committee is established to review reports of violations, issue warnings and determinations and require persons to attend damage prevention educational programs.

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 269/PN 256 (Baker/R-Luzern) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions, adding that the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council shall also gather information from construction trades and consumer representatives; repealing provisions providing for review; reconstituting the membership of the council and providing for removal of members; requiring members to participate in person, via teleconference, or via video conference; establishing technical advisory committees; providing for review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code; in Uniform Construction Code, further providing for revised or successor codes; in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement; in training and certification of inspectors, further providing for education and training programs; and, in exemptions, applicability and penalties, further providing for applicability to certain buildings. Additionally, the fee collected shall be allocated as follows: 40 percent in the Municipal Code Official Training Account, 40 percent in the Construction Contractor Training Account, and 20 percent in the Review and Advisory Council Administration Account to be used by the Department of Labor and Industry.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 296/PN 291 (Fontana/D-Allegheny) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in seller disclosures, requiring that the disclosure form include a statement regarding lead paint in homes built before 1978 and a statement regarding lead contamination in drinking water.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 297/PN 299, 292 (Tomlinson/R-Bucks) Amends the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act further providing for definitions, for registration of contractors, for home improvement fraud and for prohibited acts. The bill authorizes the bureau to refuse to register a person or suspend or revoke a registration issued to a person in certain circumstances. The bill provides for appeals of such decisions. Home improvement fraud would include entering into a home improvement agreement without first registering with the bureau as provided for under this act.

Status:  3/20/17 Senate Calendar

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 339/PN 337 (Browne/R-Lehigh) Amends the Housing Finance Agency Law, in the agency, further providing for agency membership by removing the Secretary of Community Affairs and Secretary of Commerce and adding the Secretary of Community and Economic Development, Secretary of Banking and Securities, and Insurance Commissioner; and making an editorial change.

Status:  Urban Affairs and Housing

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 347/PN 375 (Browne/R-Lehigh) Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution further providing for exemptions and special provisions by increasing the limit to exclusions authorized from one half of the median of the assessed value of all homestead properties within a local taxing jurisdiction to 100 percent. Constitutional amendments require approval in two consecutive legislative sessions and then approval by the voters through a referendum.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 354/PN 348 (Tomlinson/R-Bucks) Strengthens licensee reporting requirements to the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs’ 29 licensing boards and licensee suspensions, by providing each licensing board and commission with authority identical to that provided to the Medical Boards since 1985. Each board would have the ability to automatically suspend a licensee, under circumstances determined by the respective licensing board, to be an “immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety.”

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 356/PN 350 (Tomlinson/R-Bucks) The Senior Citizens Property Tax Freeze Act provides definitions and sets the age for eligibility at 65 or older. Any person who meets the age requirements shall be eligible for a property tax freeze and shall not be liable for paying any increases in taxes. Application procedure for the tax freeze is provided and the freeze shall continue until the property is transferred, upon which time the property tax rate shall be made current. The increase upon transfer applies unless the property is transferred to a surviving spouse within six months of death and so long as the surviving spouse is at least 62 years of age. The Department of Revenue shall reimburse local authorities for the tax difference. The act shall be retroactive to tax years beginning January 1, 2016, and thereafter and take effect immediately.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 372/PN 363 (Brooks/R-Crawford) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act excluding from the act patio covers, decks that are no more than 30 inches above grade at any point and attached or accessory to a residential building, and accessory structures that are attached to a residential building that cover an entranceway and no more than one story high and not more than 200 square feet.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 376/PN 366 (Costa/D-Allegheny) Amends the Second-Class County Code further providing for tax relief and use of disbursements by modifying the property ownership requirement to make an individual eligible for the county program if the person was the owner occupier of a primary residence in the county for a period of at least twenty years, moved for a period of time and then resumed status as an owner occupier of a primary residence in the county for not less than two years.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 377/PN 367 (Costa/D-Allegheny) Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act to prohibit a landlord and tenant from entering into a lease or agreement to assign or pay any portion of any rebate, to which a tenant may be entitled, to the landlord or to the landlord's assignee or representative. The bill provides for penalties, enforcement by the Attorney General, and definitions.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 384/PN 384 (Farnese/D-Philadelphia) Amends the Assessors Certification Act repealing provisions relating to non-applicability for first class counties (Philadelphia); and providing for assessors in counties of the first class by granting them three years from the effective date of the section to become certified.

Status:  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 417/PN 412 (Rafferty/R-Berks) Exempts owners of house trailers and mobile homes from paying real estate tax.

Status:  Finance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 434/PN 473 (Argall/R-Schuylkill) Amends Title 42 (Judiciary) adding sections providing title to real property may be acquired after no less than ten years of actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, distinct and hostile possession of real property under certain situations and circumstances. Further provides for mesne profits and for reimbursement.

Status:  Judiciary

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 471/PN 467 (Blake/D-Lackawanna) Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property), in real property, adding a chapter providing for real estate foreclosure of vacant and abandoned property and for sheriff's commission and credit or attorney fees.

Status:  Banking and Insurance

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 478/PN 477 (Bartolotta/R-Beaver) The Epinephrine Auto-Injector Entity Act provides for the use and stock of epinephrine auto-injectors by recreation camps, colleges and universities, day-care facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment, and sports arenas. Requires completed training by employees of eligible institutions before administration and provides Good Samaritan protections.

Status:  Health and Human Services

Position:  No Position

                                               

SB 479/PN 468 (Dinniman/D-Chester) The Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Act requires an employer to provide up to six weeks of the same leave to an eligible employee to which the eligible employee is entitled under the Family and Medical Leave Act with respect to a spouse, son, daughter or parent, but only for the eligible employee's sibling, grandparent or grandchild, provided the sibling, grandparent or grandchild has no living spouse, child over 17 years of age or parent under 65 years of age.

Status:  Labor and Industry

Position:  No Position

                                               

SR 33/PN 481 (Yudichak/D-Carbon) Resolution establishing a two-member Senate task force on lead exposure and the hazards of lead poisoning. Provides the President pro tempore shall appoint one member and the Minority Leader shall appoint one member. Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to the task force and provides for its membership. Requires the commission, working with the advisory committee to conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of laws, regulations, policies and procedures of the Commonwealth and other states regarding an assessment of lead exposure as a public health concern. Further provides for the content of review and analysis. Also, requires the commission to issue a report of the task force's findings and recommendations to the Senate within 18 months of the adoption of the resolution.

Status:  Environmental Resources and Energy

Position:  No Position