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Senator Dan Laughlin

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities during the Session Week of January 30, 2017.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatorlaughlin.com for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page.  If you would like to contact my office, please go to my web page and click the “contact” button.  Please do not “reply” directly to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Dan Laughlin


Committee Approves My Lobbyist Disclosure Bill

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On Tuesday, the Senate State Government Committee unanimously approved government reform legislation I introduced that would provide improved transparency regarding lobbyist disclosure reports.

Senate Bill 169 would require lobbyists to register and file reports electronically through a computerized system developed by the Pennsylvania Department of State. Currently, lobbyists may register and file reports on paper forms, which in some cases has delayed the posting of the information on the department's website.

SB 169 also requires the department to post on its website all lobbying registration and reporting documents it receives within seven days.

In the past, it has often taken months after lobbyist disclosure documents were completed and filed before they were posted on the department's website. Timely internet publication of all lobbying documents is an important part of improving transparency in state government.

SB 169 now goes to the full Senate for consideration. Here is Audio of my comments on the bill before the State Government Committee.

Child Abuse, Leaseholder Protection, Animal Cruelty Bills Sent to House

The Senate this week approved bills eliminating the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, increasing protections for natural gas leaseholders, and strengthening criminal penalties for abusing horses.

Senate Bill 261, approved by the Senate on Wednesday, eliminates the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes and gives victims additional time to file civil actions against their abuser. Currently, victims have until age 30 to file a civil claim. Senate Bill 261 would set the deadline at 50 years of age.

Two bills protecting natural gas leaseholders were approved by the Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 138 gives royalty interest owners the opportunity to inspect records of the gas company to verify proper payment. It also requires that proceeds from production of oil and gas be paid within 90 days unless otherwise stated in the lease.

Senate Bill 139 prohibits gas companies from retaliating against a royalty owner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development simply because the landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 69, which addresses the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws as they pertain to horses.

All of the bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves “Reboot” of SR 60

On Tuesday, the Senate approved a measure to review Pennsylvania’s progress in providing essential support to its volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations.

Senate Resolution 6 calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004. SR 6 calls for a new 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 General Assembly by June 30, 2018.

Senate Standing Committee Roundup

Appropriations

The Senate APPROPRIATIONS Committee approved three bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 170 imposes comprehensive reform measures at the Delaware River Port Authority.

Senate Bill 181 establishes a performance-based budget component.

Senate Bill 261 eliminates the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes.

State Government

1/31/17 - Consideration of Bills

The Senate STATE GOVERNMENT Committee approved four bills Tuesday.

Senate Bill 9 ensures that illegal immigrants residing in Pennsylvania do not receive public benefits such as Medicaid, welfare and unemployment compensation.

Senate Bill 166 ensures that political campaign funds are not collected by public sector unions through government-provided mechanisms funded by taxpayer resources.

Senate Bill 167 calls for a Constitutional amendment ending the practice of using taxpayer-funded payroll systems to collect money used for politics.

Senate Bill 169 requires lobbyists to register and file reports electronically with the Department of State and that information be posted on the department’s website within seven days.

Education

The Senate EDUCATION Committee approved two bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 227 gives school boards new options regarding superintendent contracts.

Senate Bill 229 eliminates mandated sick and bereavement leave benefits and makes both subject to collective bargaining negotiations.

Judiciary

The Senate JUDICIARY Committee approved six bills this week.

Senate Bill 8 reforms state law regarding the seizure and forfeiture of property.

Senate Bill 146 requires the Department of Revenue to determine whether lottery winners of $2,500 or more owe court-ordered obligations and to deduct any amounts owed before paying out the prize.

Senate Bill 176 requires those investigating and reporting child abuse or animal abuse cases to “cross-report” possible abuse cases.

Senate Bill 221 prohibits the sale of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to minors.

Senate Bill 222 adds court of common pleas judges in several counties across the state.

Senate Bill 261 eliminates the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes.

Game & Fisheries

The Senate GAME & FISHERIES Committee approved three bills on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 30 gives the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission the authority to set fees for licenses.

Senate Bill 123 adds falconry to the list of exemptions for Sunday hunting.

Senate Bill 192 gives the Game Commission the authority to set fees for hunting and fur-taking licenses.

Labor & Industry

The Senate LABOR & INDUSTRY Committee approved Senate Bill 241 on Wednesday. The bill prohibits sexual discrimination in employee pay rates.


For more information on issues of importance to Pennsylvania, please visit my website at www.senatorlaughlin.com and connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/senatorlaughlin/) and Twitter (twitter.com/senatorlaughlin).

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Offices

Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203049
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3049
Phone: 717-787-8927
TTY: 800-364-1581

District Office
1314 Griswold Plaza
Suite 100
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: 814-453-2515

 

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