PA House Agenda for June 4-7
The House returns to session Monday.
Here's this week's schedule for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Information and commentary has been supplied by the office of Rep. Mike Turzai, Republican Majority Leader.
Improving the Commonwealth Jobs Climate
The full House is expected to consider legislation (Senate Bill 1310, Sen. John Gordner, R - Columbia, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties) when passed from the Senate to address the solvency of the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which currently owes the federal government approximately $3.8 billion. This legislation will lead to full trust fund solvency by 2019. This legislation also addresses various needed reforms to one of the most expensive systems in the nation (eighth most expensive system for employers).
End Outrageous Buyouts: Start Performance-Based School Administrator Contracts
Six-digit school superintendent contract buyouts are not in the interests of taxpayers, yet recently a number of school districts have paid out millions of dollars in buyouts. Most notable was the buyout agreement for the former superintendent in Philadelphia, Arlene Ackerman (who later filed for unemployment compensation but was rightfully denied).
Senate Bill 1296 (Sen. Jeff Piccola, R-Dauphin and York counties) limits generous contract buyouts to departing school district superintendents and requires more contract details to be made available to the public. The legislation also links superintendent contracts to performance standards tied to student achievement and shortens the contract limit to three years for new superintendents and assistant superintendents, a change from the three- to five-year range under current state law. Additionally, the bill subjects superintendent and assistant superintendent contracts to public access under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law.
Budget Season is Upon Us…
The House and Senate have been working together to craft a state spending plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year based on sustainable revenues, no increased taxes and below-inflation growth.
Top budget funding priorities have been identified: K-12 education, higher education and county human service programs. House and Senate leaders plan to meet with the governor to discuss budget details. In June, it is a possibility that any and every weekday could be a voting session day in the House.
Pennsylvania’s Archaic, Prohibition and Communistic-Style Alcohol Sales System vs. Private, Market-Driven Enterprise
The House Republican Caucus will hold a caucus policy discussion in preparation for floor votes on House Bill 11, the privatization of alcohol sales in Pennsylvania.
The current state store system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot, who said the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.”
The PLCB’s recent modernization and expansion efforts were as follows:
- Using tax dollars to build what is, in essence, a party bar with big screen TVs, lounge furniture and top-scale accoutrements in the state Northwest Office Building.
- Paying $173,000 to an outside company (with employee ties) for courtesy training.
- Spending more than $4 million a year on advertising and millions of dollars on a “rebranding effort” – even though the PLCB has a monopoly on the market in Pennsylvania.
- Spending nearly $1 million to advertise at Eagles football games.
- Establishing and purchasing an expensive gumball machine-style “kiosk” program for wine purchases from a company with political connections. The system forced consumers who wanted to purchase wine to submit personal information and breathe into a machine monitored by state workers. Incidentally, the kiosk program lost the PLCB more than $1 million and was shut down.
The Weekly Schedule
Bill numbers will be used to identify the legislation being considered either in committee or on the House floor. Bills may be researched by bill number or topic on PAHouseGOP.com under the “Research Bills” tab. The bills, sponsors and summaries are posted below.
Monday, June 4
FINANCE, 9:30 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
- Public hearing on HB 1776 (Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks): Establishes the Property Tax Independence Act, which would replace the school property tax by increasing the state’s Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 4 percent and expanding and increasing the state’s Sales and Use Tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.
EDUCATION, 10:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
- HB 2316 (Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin): Enables school boards to enter into intergovernmental agreements with other political subdivisions regarding safety and security of the school and students.
- HB 2317 (Rep. Todd Rock): Eliminates the need for yearly formal approval of academic completion by a public school superintendent within a homeschooled student’s district.
- SB 1133 (Sen. Don White, R-Armstrong/Butler/Clearfield/Indiana/Westmoreland): Sets defined standards for establishing applied doctorate programs under the direct control and oversight of the State System of Higher Education.
- SB 1322 (Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster/York): Gives state-owned universities the ability to enter into an agreement with an entity for cooperative procurement of supplies and services.
HUMAN SERVICES, 10:30 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
- Public hearing on the impact of funding and policy changes on consumers with intellectual disabilities.
On Monday, the House will convene at 1 p.m. for legislative business. The members will vote the uncontested calendar and Rule 35 resolutions.
Votes on Second Consideration
- HB 468 (Rep. Jim Cox): Amends the eligibility requirements associated with the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to allow a family member to apply for a rebate on behalf of an individual who passes away prior to the end of a given tax year.
- HB 1803 (Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks): Permits third-class cities that have parking authorities to assign enforcement and administration of parking laws to the parking authority.
- HB 2167 (Rep. Tom Quigley, R-Montgomery): Amends the Open Space Law to authorize the local taxing option levy to be used for expenses necessary to prepare the resource, recreation or land use plan or for costs associated with the design, engineering, improvement and development of the real property consistent with the approved plan.
- HB 2191 (Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester): Creates a regulatory structure within the Department of Banking for short-term loan lenders.
- HB 2223 (Rep. Mauree Gingrich, R-Lebanon): Amends the Open Space Law to authorize a portion of the local taxing option levy to be used to maintain property acquired for open space purposes and to provide a mechanism for repealing the local option tax.
- SB 1296 (Sen. Jeff Piccola, R-Dauphin/York): Amends the Public School Code to change contract terms for school district superintendents and assistant superintendents and subject these contracts to the Right-to-Know Law.
- SB 1472 (Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre/Juniata/Mifflin/Perry/Union): Appropriation: State Employees’ Retirement System.
- SB 1473 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Public School Employees Retirement System.
- SB 1474 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.
- SB 1475 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Public Utility Commission.
- SB 1476 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Office of Small Business Advocate.
- SB 1477 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: State Gaming Fund.
- SB 1478 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Workers’ Compensation Administration.
- SB 1479 (Sen. Jake Corman): Appropriation: Office of Consumer Advocate.
Votes on Third Consideration
- HB 665 (Rep. Gordon Denlinger, R-Lancaster): Amends the Tax Reform Code to permit a surviving spouse to file a joint return in the year in which his or her spouse passes away.
- HB 1310 (Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-Montgomery): Allows privately owned ski resorts to obtain a restaurant liquor license directly from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board regardless of whether that ski resort is located within a county that has reached its limit on restaurant liquor licenses.
- HB 2018 (Rep. Sid Kavulich, D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Susquehanna/Wyoming): Bridge designation: the 109th Infantry Bridge.
- HB 2217 (Rep. Dan Truitt, R-Chester): Reduces the fee for the Gold Star Family specialty license plate from $20 to $7.50 and increases the maximum eligible gross vehicle weight limit from 10,000 to 14,000 pounds.
- HB 2319 (Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Armstrong/Westmoreland): Allows career and technical schools to be eligible for Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) programs in the same manner as other public schools.
BILLS ON CONCURRENCE:
- HB 165 (Rep. John Evans, R-Erie/Crawford): Imposes a criminal and civil penalty upon the owner or co-owner of a dog that injures a service dog used by an individual with a disability.
- HB 804 (Rep. Kurt Masser, R-Columbia/Montour/Northumberland): Amends the Judicial Code to provide an optional exemption from jury duty for any person who has already served a full term on a statewide investigating grand jury.
Tuesday, June 5
LABOR AND INDUSTRY, 9 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
- HB 81 (Rep. Curtis Thomas, D-Philadelphia): Establishes a youth council within each local workforce investment board and sets forth the membership and duties of the council.
STATE GOVERNMENT, 9 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
- HB 726 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Moves Pennsylvania toward a performance-based budgeting process by creating the Performance, Accountability and Results Act.
- HB 64 (Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Centre/Clinton): Designates the Piper J-3 Cub as the official state aircraft of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- HB 2406 (Rep. Sue Helm, R-Dauphin): Land conveyance in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.
VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, 9:15 a.m., Room 39, East Wing
- HB 2411 (Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Beaver/Lawrence): Provides death benefits to members of the Civil Air Patrol through the state’s Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act.
APPROPRIATIONS, 9:30 a.m., Room 140, Main Capitol
- Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy public hearing on SB 405 (Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton): Clarifies when a political subdivision may levy a business privilege tax.
JUDICIARY, 10 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
- HB 2400 (Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin): Updates the state’s wiretap laws to address changes in technology and unnecessary evidentiary restrictions.
- HB 2275 (Rep. Glen Grell, R-Cumberland): Updates Pennsylvania laws regarding notarizations, acknowledgements and unsworn foreign declarations to prevent fraud and facilitate electronic commerce.
- HB 583 (Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-York): Increases the grading of second or subsequent offenses involving certain acts of harassment.
- HB 1815 (Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster): Amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow the governor to appoint judges to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court, and establishes the Appellate Court Nominating Commission.
- HB 2403 (Rep. Marcia Hahn, R-Northampton): Authorizes the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to grant waivers of mandatory basic training to federal law enforcement officers who have successfully completed equivalent training.
- SB 100 (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Bucks/Montgomery): Seeks to reform the state’s Criminal Justice System by establishing the safe community re-entry program; making more nonviolent offenders eligible for alternative sentencing programs; and establishing a county probation program providing for swift, predictable and immediate sanctions on offenders who violate probation.
- SB 273 (Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Adams/Franklin/York): Removes the “duty to retreat” from the state’s Castle Doctrine law.
LIQUOR CONTROL, 10 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol Building
- HB 2410 (Rep. Jim Marshall, R-Beaver): Outlines a process for posing ballot questions regarding the granting of liquor licenses in cases where two or more municipalities have merged.
TRANSPORTATION, 10 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
- HB 2162 (Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster): Bridge designation: Captain Edward Anthony Davis Memorial Bridge.
- HB 2349 (Rep. Sam Smith, R-Jefferson/Armstrong/Indiana): Bridge designation: Purple Heart Memorial Bridge.
- HB 2398 (Rep. Neal Goodman, D-Schuylkill): Bridge designation: Cornelius McElhenny Memorial Bridge.
- SB 1147 (Sen. David Argall, R-Berks/Carbon/Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton/Schuylkill): Establishes an annual hauling permit for the movement of eggs and for the movement during the course of manufacture for the transport of cryogenic liquid on specified highways.
On Tuesday the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.
Votes on Second Consideration
- HB 645 (Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny): Ensures that a person serving prison time for second or subsequent offenses serves at least 85 percent of that time before becoming eligible for parole, and prohibits an inmate who is serving a sentence for any “crime of violence” from being eligible for prerelease status while serving a sentence in a state correctional institution.
- HB 955 (Rep. Stephen Barrar, R-Delaware/Chester): Expands funding and eligibility for the state’s Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.
- SB 1466 (Sen. Jake Corman): General Appropriations bill.
- HB 1539 (Rep. Stan Saylor): Creates the Keystone Works Program to promote the hiring of individuals on unemployment compensation.
- HB 1820 (Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland): Provides an exemption to overtime pay requirements for hospitals and other health care establishments and permits air carriers to work more than 40 hours per week, without being paid overtime, through voluntary agreement among employees.
- HB 2015 (Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny): Amends the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to permit 50/50 drawings and Major League Baseball or National Hockey League 50/50 raffles.
- HB 2135 (Rep. Marguerite Quinn, R-Bucks): Requires vendors to hold a limited lines license to sell, solicit or negotiate coverage under a policy of portable electronics insurance, requires vendors to maintain a list of the Pennsylvania locations where they offer coverage, and outlines the written materials that must be made available to customers at all of the vendors’ locations.
- HB 2203 (Rep. Lynda Culver, R-Northumberland/Snyder): Requires all candidates and political committees that file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to file the reports electronically.
- HB 2366 (Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Berks/Lehigh): Requires local government units to have their parking meters inspected and tested at least once every five years, and authorizes the Department of Agriculture to establish training and certification requirements and procedures for certified parking meter inspectors.
- HB 2371 (Rep. John Maher, R-Allegheny/Washington): Establishes that implements of husbandry and vehicles not exceeding 12 feet in width can be used to transport an agricultural commodity on highways during the day and that implements of husbandry and vehicles not exceeding 14 feet 6 inches may be used to transport or harvest an agricultural commodity at any time during the day or night.
- HB 2372 (Rep. Dave Hickernell, R-Dauphin/Lancaster): Allows implements of husbandry not exceeding 14 feet 6 inches in width to be driven between sunrise and sunset on highways between farms no more than 50 miles apart; allows implements of husbandry exceeding 14 feet 6 inches in width to be driven between farms no more than 50 miles apart or to a service mechanic or dealer no more than 150 miles from the owner’s farm, so long as enumerated requirements are met.
- HB 2373 (Rep. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Lawrence/Mercer): Amends the definition of “multipurpose agricultural vehicle” to increase the width from 60 to 62 inches and to increase the weight from 1,200 to 2,000 pounds; increases the distance any multipurpose agricultural vehicle exempt from registration can travel between farms from two to five miles.
- HB 2374 (Rep. Jim Marshall): Expands the operating radius for non-commercial implements of husbandry exempt from registration from 25 to 50 miles and clarifies farm vehicle classifications and processing fees for certificates of exemption.
- HB 2375 (Rep. Mark Keller, R-Perry/Franklin): Allows a person 14 years of age or older to drive farm equipment from their residence to an annual agricultural-related education event hosted by a school, so long as the distance between the person’s residence and the site of the event does not exceed 15 miles.
- SB 388 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York): Requires dentists to maintain medical professional liability coverage.
- SB 1049 (Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Fayette/Somerset/Washington/Westmoreland): Allows the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to make available licenses and permits that cover multiple years, licenses and permits that cover a group of individuals who meet certain criteria as established by the commission, and allows for promotional discounts.
- SB 1351 (Sen. Pat Vance): Allows certified registered nurse practitioners acting within the scope of their practice to file the medical certification for a death or fetal death registration.
- SB 1406 (Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon/Berks/Chester/Dauphin/Lancaster): Allows private, nonprofit colleges or universities to offer additional degrees and institute additional programs and majors without the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Education if the college or university has operated continuously in Pennsylvania for at least 10 years and is accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- SB 1433 (Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia/Montour/Northumberland/Snyder/Dauphin/Luzerne): Establishes the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Fund, from which no more than $12 million will be distributed annually at the following rate: 90 percent of the funds will be given to the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, 5 percent will be given to the attorney general for the purpose of funding housing consumer protection programs, and 5 percent will be given to the Access to Justice account for civil legal assistance related to housing issues.
- HR 438 (Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Philadelphia): Urges the City of Philadelphia to establish a year-round program for the safe removal and adequate disposal of illegally discarded waste tires.
- HR 462 (Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler): Honors the life and legacy of Mr. Joseph Anthony Vento, founder of Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia.
Votes on Third Consideration
HB 468 (Rep. Jim Cox)
HB 1803 (Rep. Tom Caltagirone)
HB 2167 (Rep. Tom Quigley)
HB 2191 (Rep. Chris Ross)
HB 2223 (Rep. Mauree Gingrich)
SB 1296 (Sen. Jeff Piccola)
SB 1472 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1473 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1474 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1475 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1476 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1477 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1478 (Sen. Jake Corman)
SB 1479 (Sen. Jake Corman)
Wednesday, June 6
AGING AND OLDER ADULT SERVICES, 9:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
- HB 273 (Rep. Dick Hess, R-Bedford/Fulton/Huntingdon): Authorizes school districts to create a tax reduction incentive for senior citizens age 60 and older who volunteer in the schools.
- HB 528 (Rep. Karen Boback, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming): Requires long-term care facilities, licensing agencies and local area agencies on aging (AAAs) to coordinate efforts and share information when relocating a senior citizen consumer.
- HB 2196 (Rep. Larry Curry, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia): Amends the Older Adult Protective Services Act to outline requirements of physician disclosure to a facility resident or prospective resident, responsible family member or legal representative when a physician holds financial ownership or interest in a facility. The bill also defines in the act “chronic dementia” and “cognitive impairment.”
- HB 2407 (Rep. Joe Hackett, R-Delaware): Allows the Department of Aging to use electronic fingerprinting systems for criminal background checks of prospective staff.
HEALTH, 9:30 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
- HB 1570 (former Rep. Doug Reichley): Simplifies the inspection and certification process for health care facilities in Pennsylvania by granting “deemed status” licensure to facilities accredited by the federal government or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or the American Association of Osteopathic Hospitals.
- HB 1991 (Rep. Bryan Cutler): Requires state departments with oversight of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program to verify the income eligibility of program applicants. It also requires employees, contractors, applicants and program recipients to report suspected cases of fraud to the Office of Inspector General.
TRANSPORTATION, 9:30 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
- Joint House and Senate public hearing on Act 44 and the sustainability of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s finances.
COMMERCE, 10 a.m., Room 39, East Wing
- House Bill 2421 (Rep. Dan Truitt): Allows nonprofit corporations to send written notice by electronic mail.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH, 10:15 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
- SB 449 (Sen. Pat Vance): Requires the Department of Public Welfare, in consultation with the Department of Education, to establish a child abuse recognition and reporting training program.
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.
Votes on Third Consideration
HB 645 (Rep. Tony DeLuca)
HB 955 (Rep. Stephen Barrar)
HB 1539 (Rep. Stan Saylor)
HB 1820 (Rep. Sheryl Delozier)
HB 2015 (Rep. Paul Costa)
HB 2135 (Rep. Marguerite Quinn)
HB 2203 (Rep. Lynda Culver)
HB 2371 (Rep. John Maher)
HB 2372 (Rep. David Hickernell)
HB 2373 (Rep. Michele Brooks)
HB 2374 (Rep. Jim Marshall)
HB 2375 (Rep. Mark Keller)
HB 2366 (Rep. Ryan Mackenzie)
SB 388 (Sen. Pat Vance)
SB 1049 (Sen. Richard Kasunic)
SB 1351 (Sen. Pat Vance)
SB 1406 (Sen. Mike Folmer)
SB 1433 (Sen. John Gordner)
Thursday, June 7
VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, 9:15 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
Public hearing on:
- HB 1316 (Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware): Requires the Department of General Services to establish regulations for contracting with disabled veteran-owned small businesses and sets a 3 percent annual participation-rate goal for purchasing agencies.
- SB 623 (Sen. Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks): Requires the Department of General Services to promulgate rules and regulations for contracting with veteran-owned small businesses and establishes a 5 percent annual participation-rate goal for all purchasing agencies.
COMMERCE, 10 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
- Informational meeting to discuss Banking Law modernization.
JUDCIARY, 1 p.m., PA College of Technology, Williamsport
- Joint public hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Corrections and the Senate Law and Justice Committee regarding Pennsylvania State Police funding.