I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the Session Week of April 24, 2017.
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Senate Acts to Protect Gun Owners’ Rights
The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that will protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Senate Bill 5 prevents local jurisdictions from imposing firearms ordinances more restrictive than laws passed by the General Assembly. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
SB 5 permits individuals and organizations to take court action to block restrictive local firearms ordinances that run counter to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as well as the protections explicitly set by Pennsylvania’s Constitution and state laws.
The Senate approved and sent to the House four additional bills this week.
Senate Bill 8 reforms state law regarding the seizure and forfeiture of property.
Senate Bill 260 addresses representation of crime victims on the Victims’ Services Advisory Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Senate Bill 399 clarifies the Second Class Township Code to stipulate that township supervisors shall not hold any other elective township office or appointed position in the township that is prohibited by the code or any other state law.
Senate Bill 554 immunizes child victims of human trafficking from criminal prosecution.
Senate Approves Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners
The Senate took a major step to improve access to quality healthcare services in rural areas by approving a bill on Wednesday that would give full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
Senate Bill 25 amends the Professional Nursing Law to permit qualified APRNs to practice in their field of specialty independent of a physician after they fulfill a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a doctor. Current law requires nurse practitioners to practice under a collaboration agreement at all times.
Several statewide and national advocacy organizations support full practice authority for nurse practitioners, including the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, the National Academy of Medicine, AARP and the National Governors’ Association. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for APRNs.
SB 25 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Measure Calling for Fire/EMS Review Receives Final Approval
A measure calling for a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations received final legislative approval on Wednesday.
The Senate unanimously concurred on House amendments to Senate Resolution 6, which calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004.
SR 6, as amended, calls for a 39-member commission made up of legislators, first responders and representatives from municipalities. The panel would follow up on the impact of SR 60 and study issues currently affecting first responders. The commission would then provide its recommendations to the Majority and Minority Chairmen of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees by June 30, 2018.
The Senate Finance Committee, which I chair, approved four bills on Wednesday. Audio
Senate Bill 300 prioritizes the allocation of public funds for family planning purposes.
Senate Bill 508 eliminates the 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products and replaces it with a 5-cents per milliliter retail tax on e-liquid.
Senate Bill 611 amends the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to require pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted, pleads guilty, or no defense to any felony offense related to his or her employment.
Senate Bill 627 ensures that all air freight companies are treated equally under Pennsylvania tax law.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved three bills on Monday.
Senate Bill 25 amends the state’s Professional Nursing Law to provide for the licensure of certified nurse practitioners by the State Board of Nursing.
Senate Bill 201 provides for “like-kind” exchange tax deferrals.
House Bill 224 provides civil immunity to trained school bus drivers who administer epinephrine auto-injectors (epi-pens) to students.
Environmental Resources & Energy
The Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee approved four measures on Tuesday.
Senate Resolution 33 establishes a task force to study lead exposure in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 144 amends Act 537 (Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act) to allow the use of “alternative systems” for planning purposes.
Senate Bill 497 eliminates the “waste” designation for steel slag when it is sold as a commodity and is not a discarded material.
Senate Bill 646 amends Act 101 of 1988, the Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act.
Banking & Insurance
The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee approved two bills on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 143 makes changes to the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board.
Senate Bill 630 reforms insurance licensure requirements for travel agents.
Health & Human Services
The Senate Health & Human Services Committee approved two bills on Tuesday.
House Bill 23 adds acute stroke-ready hospitals and comprehensive stroke centers to the provisions of the Primary Stroke Center Recognition Act.
Senate Bill 200 would include postpartum depression as an “at risk category” for early intervention tracking under Act 212 of 1990 (Early Intervention Services System Act).
The Senate State Government Committee approved five bills on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 168 provides for public notice of collective bargaining agreements prior to approval.
Senate Bill 353 is a land conveyance bill.
Senate Bill 503 removes the exemption of collective bargaining from the Sunshine Act.
Senate Bill 504 removes the exemption of collective bargaining from the Right To Know Law.
Senate Bill 539 recognizes and preserves the Pennsylvania State Area of the Medal of Honor Grove in Schuylkill Township, Chester County.
The Senate Transportation Committee approved four bills on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 332 would make it a summary offense to smoke in a vehicle in which children 12 years of age and younger are being transported.
Senate Bill 589 increases the maximum allowable gross weight for commercial vehicles powered by natural gas from 80,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds.
Senate Bill 614 designates the Diamondville Bridge in Cherryhill Township, Indiana County, as the Sgt. Robert Eugene Goodlin Memorial Bridge.
Senate Bill 648 creates a Distracted Driving Awareness Plate for passenger cars and trucks.
Labor & Industry
The Senate Labor & Industry Committee approved Senate Bill 269 on Tuesday. The bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code.
Rules & Executive Nominations
The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved Senate Resolution 6 on Tuesday. The Resolution creates a special commission to study and make recommendations on the delivery of fire and EMS services.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five bills on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 434 would reduce the allotted period of time that is necessary in order to acquire a title of a blighted or abandoned property through adverse possession under various situations and circumstances.
Senate Bill 461 would modernize and strengthen the use of DNA technology to better fight violent crime in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 496 provides additional sentencing provisions for trespassing at gaming establishments.
Senate Bill 510 increases the penalty for threatening law enforcement officers, sheriffs, or members of their family.
Senate Bill 577 bans the sale, possession, or distribution of shark fins.
Community, Economic, & Recreational Development Committee
The Senate Community, Economic, & Recreational Development Committee approved House Bill 151 on Wednesday. The bill amends Title 12 (Commerce and Trade) to define “agent.”
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