News from Second and State

by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Contact

 

Weekly Wrap:

The laws of physics tell us that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and that rule held true for the Pennsylvania General Assembly this week. Carrying over from the hustle and bustle of last week, we saw plenty of action on the House and Senate floor as well as in the committees.

This week’s biggest development came in the world of pensions. The need to reform the state run pension systems has been a budget issue for what seems like eons, and it seems to have had some traction in recent years. Though an agreement on pension reform couldn’t be reached for the 2015-2016 budget cycle, the issue was front and center this week, possibly indicating that it will be a part of the discussions for 2016-2017. The House amended Sen. Browne’s S.B. 1071 to create a “stacked hybrid pension benefit” which would include a defined benefit (up to $50,000 on the first year, then would increase three percent a year) and a 401-K style defined contribution. The bill has returned to the Senate, where its fate is unclear; Sen. Browne, who serves as the Senate Appropriations Chairman, indicated that it will be subject to further review.

We’ve got other newsworthy things to report, too. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee reported out H.B. 2087 (Day, R-Berks), requiring school security drills; the full House passed the bill later that day and sent it to the Senate for consideration. Also on Monday, the House Education Committee reported out two bills that could push Pennsylvania’s educational system into the future: H.B. 1915 (Ortitay, R-Allegheny), which would require the Department of Education to establish a central repository for online courses, and H.B. 1578 (Fee, R-Lancaster), which would allow the Department of Education to use funds to increase the use of technology in classrooms.

The state’s opioid epidemic continues to draw attention, and on Monday, the House Human Services Committee met to consider two bills to begin to address the issue. H.B. 2128 (Heffley, R-Carbon) would require that recovery houses keep the opioid antidote Narcan on the premises, and H.R. 893 (Readshaw, D-Allegheny) directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on opioid dependence treatment programs. Similarly, the Senate Appropriations Committee met to consider S.B. 1202 (Yaw, R-Bradford), requiring continuing medical education in pain management and opioid prescription practices for licensed medical professionals, which was passed by the full Senate later in the week.

Tuesday turned out to be busier yet. The House passed S.B. 1077 (Vogel, R-Beaver), allowing electronic notification of the use of audio tape on school buses, which will now head to the Governor’s desk for signature, as well as S.B. 1104 (Greenleaf, R-Montgomery), modernizing the Probate Code, which will return to the Senate for concurrence in House amendments.

Tax bills get a lot of attention this time of year, and on Tuesday, the House Finance Committee reported out H.B. 1888 (Quinn, R- Bucks) which would provide a tax amnesty program, and H.B. 1871 (Taylor, R-Philadelphia), which would amend the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow the city of Philadelphia to alter its tax structure to maximize revenue collections.

Speaking of Philadelphia, the House Urban Affairs Committee also met on Tuesday; among the bills considered was H.B. 1998 (Petri, R-Bucks), modernizing the structure of the Philadelphia Parking Authority Board. The committee also reported out H.B. 1774 (Brown, R.R-Monroe) providing for the resolution of complaints in planned communities, and H.B. 2008 and H.B. 2009, both by Rep. Sonney (R-Erie), requiring that information related to the previous production of methamphetamine be disclosed to potential  homeowners or renters.

Standing committees were busy again on Wednesday. The House Gaming Oversight Committee reported out H.B. 2150 (Dunbar, R-Westmoreland), requiring that the Gaming Control Board regulate fantasy sports contests. It remains to be seen if fantasy sports or any sort of expanded gaming will be part of the budget package this year.

The House Health Committee also to consider additional legislation related to opioids: H.B. 1698 (Heffley, R-Carbon) would require insurance coverage for opioid abuse deterrent drugs, H.B. 1699 (Brown, R. R-Monroe) would  regulate the use of opioids in emergency rooms and H.B. 1805 (Masser, R-Columbia) would require licensing boards to require professional education in the treatment of addiction; the House Human Services committee held a hearing on Wednesday on the state’s opioid crisis where Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis provided an update.

Also on Wednesday, the House Appropriations committee reported out H.B. 1104 (Godshall, R-Montgomery), which allows patients with terminal illnesses the opportunity to use drugs not yet approved by the FDA, and H.B. 1619 (Topper, R-Bedford), which authorizes Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Both bills were approved by the full House on Wednesday.

The week wouldn’t be complete without at least a little bit of budget action: on Wednesday the House finally passed out H.B. 2137, H.B. 2138, H.B. 2139, H.B. 2140 and H.B. 2141. These bills, all introduced by Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) are the non-preferred appropriations bills for Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania. The bills now head to the upper chamber for consideration.

On the Senate side, two energy related bills were finally passed and are now heading to the Governor’s desk for his signature. S.B. 1195 (White, R-Indiana) extends the time the state has to comply with the EPA Clean Power Plan, and S.B. 279 (Hutchinson, R-Butler ) creates the  Penn Grade Crude Oil Advisory Council, but also abrogates recent regulations related to conventional oil and gas wells. The abrogation will send those regulations (Chapter 78) back to the drawing board, but allow the regulations for unconventional oil and gas wells (Chapter 78a) to take effect. Gov. Wolf is expected to sign the bills.

And finally on Wednesday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission welcomed its newest member: David Sweet. Sweet, a former state representative and member of the BIR team, had been confirmed by the full Senate on Tuesday.

A Look Ahead:

Next week start what we can only hope is the home stretch of the 2016-2017 budget season. The House will return for voting session on Monday; the Senate on Wednesday. Then both chambers are expected to be in Harrisburg through June 30th, including the weekend of the 25th.

As of this writing, there aren’t a lot of meetings posted. On Tuesday, the House will advance two pieces of legislation dealing with Public Private Partnerships. H.B. 2113 (Evankovich, R-Westmoreland) would amend the state Procurement Code to establish a P-3 pilot program and partnership board and is scheduled to be reported form the House State Government committee, and H.B. 2013 (Ellis, R-Butler) which would give the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources the opportunity to enter into P-3 agreements that would provide additional recreational activities in state parks, is scheduled to be reported from the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee.  Also on Tuesday, the Senate Labor and Industry Committee will hold a joint hearing with the Senate Appropriations committee on the impact of recent federal overtime regulations on businesses, non-profit entities and the state budget.

On Wednesday, the Senate and House Education Committees will hold a joint hearing on the Every Student Succeeds Act, and on Thursday, the House Human Services Committee will hold a public hearing on H.B. 1692 (Readshaw, D-Allegheny), which  would allow for involuntary treatment for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. Also on Thursday, expect a House Health Committee meeting to consider H.B. 2028 (Pickett, R-Bradford), which provides for psychiatric supervision at outpatient psychiatric clinics.

With ten straight days of session scheduled, the committee meeting schedule is likely to change at a moment’s notice. Expect the House and Senate to both hold Rules Committee and Appropriations Committee meetings daily, and follow us on twitter for updates.

A full list of committee meetings can be found here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm

We’ll post The Week Ahead on twitter later today; in the meantime, check out the House Calendar: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/SC/HC/0/RC/CAL.PDF?r=1466172550614

And in to see what’s expected in the Senate, find the Senate Calendar here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/SC/SC/0/RC/CAL.PDF?r=1466172594217

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.

© Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Contact
more
less

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.