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Senator Dan Laughlin

Harrisburg Happenings

A report on the Legislative Session from the week of October 2, 2017
By Senator Dan Laughlin
49th Senatorial District

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 October 2, 2017.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website 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.


Dan Laughlin

Three Measures Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law

Measures permitting patients with terminal illnesses to use certain products and devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, honoring a fallen western Pennsylvania police officer, and amending the state Uniform Construction Code all received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

House Bill 45 would allow eligible patients to request and use investigational drugs, biological products and medical devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as long as the patient has a terminal illness and passes other requirements.

The FDA approval process for investigational drugs, biological products and devices in the United States aims to protect patients from premature, ineffective and unsafe medications and treatments.  However, three rounds of clinical trials can take as long as 15 years, leaving many to die while awaiting treatment. HB 45 would allow manufacturers to make these products available to eligible patients after the products have successfully completed the first phase of clinical trials

House Bill 103 designates a bridge over the Chartiers Creek in Canonsburg Borough, Washington County, as the Officer Scott L. Bashioum Memorial Bridge. Officer Bashioum of the Canonsburg Police Department was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 10, 2016, when he responded to a domestic violence call in which the alleged shooter, who took his own life, also killed a woman and her unborn son.

House Bill 409 makes comprehensive changes to the process used by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council to evaluate and adopt building code updates. 

Senate Approves Interstate Highway Safety Measure

Legislation requiring the installation of fencing on bridges over interstate highways was unanimously approved by the Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 564, which requires PENNDOT to include protective fencing as part of new bridge projects and major renovations of existing bridges over interstate highways, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Senate also approved Senate Bill 530. The bill updates Act 136 of 1998, the Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Act. 

Committee Roundup

Law & Justice

The Senate Law & Justice Committee amended and approved House Bill 1547 on Monday. The bill amends the Liquor law and addresses “nuisance” bars.


The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 203 amends the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code to increase from $5,000 to $10,000 the amount an employer may pay directly to a surviving relative for the decedent’s final paycheck.

House Bill 352 reduces the period of time needed to acquire a title through adverse possession under specified circumstances.

Senate Bill 499 would allow the Board of Prison Inspectors in Eighth Class counties to meet less frequently.

Senate Bill 844 expands the legal standing for individuals seeking to gain custody of children where both biological parents are absent, whether due to death or for other reasons.

House Bill 1139 amends the Newborn Protection Act to expand the list of caregivers to whom a parent may surrender a newborn and provides for a program to install incubators so that newborns who are surrendered may be kept safely in a controlled environment.

For more information on issues of importance to Pennsylvania, please visit my website at and connect with me on Facebook ( and Twitter (



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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