News from Second and State

by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
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Tax day has come and gone, and while Will Rogers once said that “it’s a good thing we don’t get as much government as we pay for,” Pennsylvanians got their fair share this week. Both chambers were in Harrisburg for three days of voting session, and time not on the floor was spent in a number of voting meetings and public hearings held by the various standing committees.

Weekly Wrap:

On Monday, the House Insurance Committee sent H.B. 857 (Pickett, R-Bradford) to the floor for a vote. H.B. 857 would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly known as CHIP, for another two years. Also on Monday, the House passed H.B. 182 (Grove, R-York) which would allow pharmacists to administer flu shots to children over nine years of age.

Tuesday, the House Finance Committee held a public hearing on H.B. 860 (Saylor, R-York), a comprehensive property tax relief plan. You’ll remember that the governor put out his own property tax relief plan as part of his budget proposal; while Saylor’s plan is by no means the same, the hearing could be evidence of the legislature’s willingness to enact some form of property tax relief plan.

There was more about taxes on Wednesday, with the Senate Finance Committee meeting to report out a number of bills amending the Tax Reform Code and the House Finance Committee holding a hearing on the issue of “combined reporting.” Later, the Senate Finance Committee held a public hearing on pension plan design proposals. The Tax Reform Code, combined reporting and pensions are all issues thought to be on the table this budget season as well. Also on Wednesday, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee voted on S.B. 305 (McGarrigle, R-Chester), also allowing pharmacists to administer immunizations, similar to Grove’s bill passed by the House, and the House passed H.B. 423 (Simmons, R-Lehigh), which would authorize school bus drivers to administer epi-pens.

A Look Ahead:

Committees will be hoppin’ again next week. On Monday, the House Health and Insurance Committees will hold a joint informational meeting on the impact of the ACA on the biopharmaceutical industry. The House Commerce Committee will also meet to consider H.B. 837 (Brown, R-Monroe), which would allow financial institutions to conduct prize linked savings raffles. Finally on Monday, the Joint Legislative Conservation Committee will hold a forum on the Chesapeake Bay Economic Impact Study.

For more on H.B. 837, go to: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2015&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=837

For more about the Joint Legislative Conservation Commission, go to: http://jcc.legis.state.pa.us/

On Tuesday, the House State Government Committee will hold a meeting to vote on bills that would amend the constitution to reduce the size of the General Assembly. The House Finance Committee will also meet to vote on Rep. Saylor’s comprehensive property tax relief plan (H.B. 860), which was the subject of a public hearing this week. Finally, the House and Senate Urban Affairs Committees will hold a public hearing about issues facing planned communities.

On the Senate side on Tuesday, the Senate Transportation Committee will meet to consider the nomination of Leslie Richards for Secretary of Transportation and William Lieberman for Commissioner of the Turnpike.

For Richards’ biography, go to: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/

For more about Lieberman, go to: https://www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/comm/meetcomm.aspx

Finally, on Wednesday, the House Consumer Affairs Committee will hold an informational meeting on the status of the Mariner East Pipeline project. Also on Wednesday, the house Liquor Control Committee will meet to vote on H.B. 189 (Sonney, R-Erie), which would amend the Liquor Code to allow for the direct shipment of wine.

To read H.B. 189, go to: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2015&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=0189

Across the hall, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee will meet to consider the nomination of Theodore Dallas as Secretary of Human Services.For more about Dallas, check out:

http://www.pa.gov/pages/Cabinet-and-Executive-Officials-Details.aspx?officialid=53#.VTEg3KHD-kw

For a full list of committee meetings for both the House and Senate, go to: www.legis.state.pa.us

To see what’s happening on the floor, check out the Week Ahead and the Senate Calendar.

The Week Ahead: http://wallaby.telicon.com/PA/library/2015/2015041666.PDF

Senate Calendar: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/SC/SC/0/RC/CAL.PDF

In Other News:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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