Capitol Recap - Raise The Wage PA

Capitol Recap
A comprehensive review of the day’s events in the Pennsylvania Capitol
Volume 4 Number 90
May 5, 2015
At 4:31 p.m. on Tuesday,
May 5, 2015 the Senate
stands in recess until
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
at 11:00 a.m., unless
sooner recalled by the
President Pro Tempore.
At 5:39 p.m. on Tuesday,
May 5, 2015 the House
stands adjourned until
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
at 11:00 a.m., unless
sooner recalled by the
Speaker.
UPCOMING SESSION DAYS
House
May 6, 11, 12, 13
June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15,
16, 17, 18, 22-30
Senate
May 6, 11, 12, 13
June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15,
16, 17, 18, 22-26, 29, 30
CONTENTS
AROUND THE ROTUNDA 1
COMMITTEE NEWS
6
NEW LEGISLATION
24
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS 29
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS 42
UPCOMING MEETINGS 42
AROUND THE ROTUNDA
PLS coverage of Capitol events including press conferences, bill signings, & media availabilities
PHCA, CAREGIVERS RALLY IN SUPPORT OF ELDER CARE FUNDING, TORT
REFORM
By Elly Henry
This afternoon, hundreds gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to advocate for funding increases
in the 2015-16 budget for Pennsylvania’s elderly population. The Pennsylvania Health
Care Association (PHCA) and Center for Assisted Living Management (CALM) arrived in
Harrisburg to represent the more than 450 long-term care and senior service providers
across the state, as well as those who they assist.
Paul McGuire, Chairman of the Board of PHCA/CALM and Vice President of Mid-Atlantic
Health Care LLC, thanked the crowd for its support, and emphasized the funding challenges
current and future residents face, and the need for budgetary allowances to off-set those
challenges.
PHCA CEO, Dr. Stuart Shapiro, M.D., lauded the hundreds of participants for giving a face
and a voice before legislators, press, and the administration to each of the individuals for
whom they care. One in five Pennsylvanians is over the age of 65, he said, and soon that
statistic will increase to one in four. Dr. Shapiro argued now is the time to address the funding
crisis facing the aging population; however, in addition to budgetary concerns, the state
must also tackle the issue of tort reform and “predatory lawyers.” Frivolous lawsuits cost
facilities upwards of $91 million every year, he said, explaining that funding could instead
be put towards increasing quantity and quality of care for the state’s growing number of
elderly. Each year, he said, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain quality of care
in an increasingly complex and costly system. A national study concluded that the state
reimburses nursing centers $23 daily less per resident than represents the true cost of
care. He also reminded attendees of the number of residents receiving care with the help of
Medicaid: oftentimes, 75-90 percent of the nursing home population.
In all, PCHA and CALM are asking for a 2.4 percent increase in reimbursements to nursing
homes, which would represent a three-year average increase in actual nursing home costs.
This increase in funding and legal liability reform to help protect nursing facilities are the key
objectives of the groups’ meetings in Harrisburg.
Aaron Praetzel, Administrator of Edinboro Manor, added his thanks to the volunteers rallying
at the Capitol, noting that they were also representing the 121 residents at his own facility,
the other 81,000 seniors receiving care, and the more than 100,000 employees providing
that care. All of these people need the additional resources in order to meet the needs of
seniors, who deserve better than the state is offering, he said. “Know that your message has
been delivered,” he emphasized.
PHCA and CALM also provided another analysis of current funding.
Provided by
Pennsylvania Legislative
Services
240 N. 3rd St. 6th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717.236.6984 phone
717.236.5097 fax
www.mypls.com
ALZHEIMER’S ADVOCATES MARK DAY OF ACTION IN CAPITOL
By Mike Howells
Members from the Greater Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association today held an Action
Day in the Capitol, advocating for greater awareness of the disease that afflicts as many as 400,000 Pennsylvanians.
Delaware Chapter Board Member and Pennsylvania Public Policy Coalition Co-Chair Bob Marino discussed recent
legislative accomplishments related to the fight against Alzheimer’s, including a 2013 executive order signed by then Gov.
Tom Corbett, representing the first-ever Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s and related disease State Plan. Marino emphasized the
need to communicate the contents of the plan and its recommended next steps to new members of the legislature as well
as relevant state agencies.
“We need more help,” confessed Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks), co-chair of the House Alzheimer’s Caucus. She noted
many have heard about the disease but only those who have been impacted by it are likely to have a proper understanding
of its consequences. She said combating Alzheimer’s “is going to be a long-term fight,” requiring a great deal of resources,
particularly as the realization continues to grow that the disease is not confined to the elderly, but can strike those in their
thirties and forties.
Rep. Watson emphasized the issue is not one that can be dealt with simply by allocating a certain amount of state funds.
“It’s not going to happen that way,” she said. “We need to really be proactive.”
Rep. Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) co-chair of the House Alzheimer’s Caucus, cited the passage of HR 308, designating May 5
as a day of awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. He characterized the afflictions as the “enemy of humanity,” striking without
regard to age, gender or race. Noting his mother died as a result of Alzheimer’s, Rep. Kortz thanked the Association for its
continuing advocacy.
John Rudy, a member of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter’s Board of Directors, discussed the importance of advocacy for
the Alzheimer’s Association. “It not only raises awareness and education, but it increases funding,” he said, which is vitally
important to achieving the advances necessary “to seeing a world without Alzheimer’s.”
Rudy said sharing the story of his father’s struggle with Alzheimer’s “has never been easy,” but makes a difference.
Pen Hoover, former bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, and his wife Sharon offered comments on Sharon’s continuing
fight with Alzheimer’s. Offering advice to other caregivers dealing with loved ones suffering from the disease, Hoover
recommended the mantra “each time is the first time” when it comes to recurring questions from Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Sharon said it was not a surprise when she was diagnosed, as her mother and grandmother both had Alzheimer’s. Though
it is “a cruel disease in many ways,” she went on, there is hope in advocacy and awareness.
Rep. Tim Hennessey, chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, echoed sentiments regarding the
disease, commenting “Alzheimer’s is insidious.” He credited the work of caregivers and advocates in working to help those
afflicted by the disease and towards its eventual cure.
Stewart Putnam, chair of the National Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Association, credited the work of the state
chapters and expressed appreciation for the adoption of the state plan last year.
Representatives Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) and Steve McCarter (D-Montgomery) were also on hand to support the
Association.
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AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR REPEAL OF LOOPHOLES IN CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT
By Deborah Hannon
Members of the American Lung Association along with legislators, teachers, health care workers and students, filled the
steps of the Capitol Rotunda this morning to show support of current legislation aimed at removing exemptions and closing
loopholes in the Clean Indoor Air Act.
Prior to discussing the legislation that’s been introduced, Deborah Brown, CEO of the American Lung Association, welcomed
everyone with three questions. She asked whether there would be an interest in hearing more about helping to prevent
more than 38,000 deaths nationwide, protecting families from exposure to cancer causing chemicals and being part of
a solution that would prevent more than a billion illnesses that affect our children in the United States. She continued by
stating everyone is in the fight. Every worker in Pennsylvania should have a comprehensive Clean Indoor Air law with no
excuses or exemptions, she said, adding that an estimated 858,000 Pennsylvanians are exposed to secondhand smoke
each year. Secondhand smoke is a leading cause of preventable death killing more than 38,000 non-smokers nationwide
each year, Brown said. She lamented that the Clean Indoor Air law leaves many workers in the hospitality industry exposed,
particularly in casinos. Currently there are 2,800 exemptions that allow workers and patrons to be exposed to secondhand
smoke. She stated these exemptions exist because of the perception that there is a direct correlation between a loss in
revenue if restaurants, bars, casinos are smoke-free. She stated that this perception is unfounded, pointing out that facilities
in neighboring states are smoke-free and they have still seen a boost in revenue. She concluded by stating that their visit
today was to be the voice for all Pennsylvanian’s who deserve to have a comprehensive Clean Indoor Air law without
exemptions or excuses.
Dr. Troy Moritz, a skilled thoracic surgeon and an advocate for the American Lung Association, spoke about the irreversible
conditions he and his colleagues see in treating lung cancer. He reiterated previous remarks about the 38,000 deaths and
stated that seven to eight thousand of these deaths are from lung cancer. He stated it is imperative to change the laws in
this state. He compared the ability for smokers to expose non-smokers to secondhand smoke to drunk driving. Dr. Moritz
stated that approximately 10,000 people a year die from drunk driving which he stated “is illegal.” He then asked everyone
to get involved, get motivated and help this cause. He concluded that secondhand smoke affects “not only adults but also
the youth so if you are smoking, please quit.”
Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) spoke in support of his legislation, SB 567, stating the young people are his
encouragement and persistence in seeing this issue through. He then thanked all the people who stay the course and
continue to fight for full coverage. As he spoke of his legislation, he asked everyone to think about all the people that work
at these facilities who are exposed to secondhand smoke. According to him, the bill will close loopholes in the Clean Indoor
Act. He read through a list of establishments where exemptions exist and said the people that work at these establishments
are not able to just leave and find another job, this is where they work. He continued by providing information from countries
like Ireland and Scotland which have adopted smoke free environments. This has not put their establishments out of
business, he continued. In addition, he stated, 90 percent of people who die of lung cancer die because of smoking. He also
read from a list of multiple studies where it’s been concluded that secondhand smoke is one of the deadliest substances
that can be inhaled.
Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) pointed out the success of Sen. Greenleaf, stating it took him approximately twelve years
to get the first smoking ban passed. He stated that is where most elected officials would have given up, but Sen. Greenleaf
was tenacious and never gave in. Rep. Murt’s HB 682 is now before the Health Committee and the chairman is now willing
to consider a hearing, Rep. Murt reported. He said this is significant because there are two VFW managers who have
requested to testify in support of this bill. He also stated that although the Clean Indoor Air Act was a huge step in 2008, he
is still frustrated in the fact that many employees are left unprotected. His list of establishments included many hospitality
industries and he felt that this has lead to an imbalance among businesses. Small businesses have an exemption in that
they have an economic advantage, he indicated. HB 682 would remove all exemptions to give all employees full protection
from secondhand smoke in the commonwealth. It also gives all political subdivisions the authority that would make it their
decision to have smoke free environments that more protective than state law. He urged everyone to please contact their
legislators and ask for support.
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Brown concluded the press conference by stating these bills, when passed, will protect all Pennsylvania workers. “These
bills will close loopholes.” She remarked on the need to get the bills out of committee and onto the floor where they can be
voted.
LEGISLATORS URGE MINIMUM WAGE HIKE
By Mike Howells
Following a public hearing on the issue today, Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) hosted a rally in the Capitol in support
of raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Sen. Tartaglione’s five-bill minimum wage package includes SB 195, 196, 197, 198 and 199. Respectively, the measures
would incrementally raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016; incrementally raise the tipped wage to 70 percent of the
minimum wage by 2016; tie automatic minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation; increase enforcement and penalties;
and prohibit employers from deducting bank fees and chargers from employees’ tips when customers use a credit card.
“It’s in the air,” Sen. Tartaglione said of growing sentiment for increasing the minimum wage. “I think everybody realizes it
has to be done, but we have got to push it to get done.”
“We have to advance a minimum wage bill,” remarked Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). “It’s unconscionable
that Pennsylvania stands as an island…holding back our folks from the economic prosperity they deserve.”
Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) said that for single mothers, items like healthy food can be out of reach financially. “What are
we expecting people to do,” she questioned, citing far-reaching consequences of the current minimum wage.
“It’s not just teenagers that are working to get some spare change,” she contended. “These are individuals that are trying
to support a family.”
“We are promoting hunger here in this building, and we are promoting poverty here in this building, by allowing the minimum
wage to be less than $10.10 an hour,” Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia) said.
Sen. Tartaglione’s legislative package awaits consideration by the Senate Labor and Industry Committee.
PABCO & ICC CELEBRATE BUILDING CODE SAFETY MONTH 2015
By Trevor J. Monk
The Pennsylvania Association of Building Code Officials (PABCO) and the International Code Council (ICC) held a press
conference in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate Building Safety Month in Pennsylvania, which featured remarks from Rep.
Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), PABCO President Deborah Waller, and a keynote address by Guy Tomberlin, President of
the Board of Directors of the ICC.
Bob Buddenbohn, executive officer, PABCO welcomed the members of the audience and thanked them for coming to
recognize May 2015 as Building Safety Month in Pennsylvania.
Waller provided detailed information regarding PABCO and ICC membership. She continued that PABCO and ICC partnered
with the legislature and the media to raise awareness regarding the crucial role that building code officials play for all that
live in the Commonwealth. “When our building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings and review construction
plans to ensure code compliance they help to ensure the places where you live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” said
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Waller. “We work closely with design professionals, homebuilders, contractors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors
and other construction industry trades to provide maximum public safety,” she said. “This is true in Pennsylvania whether
enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code is performed by a municipal employee or by an employee of a certified third
party agency that has been approved by the municipality,” Waller added.
Rep. Gingrich, sponsor of HR 227, which recognizes May 2015 as Building Safety Month, was welcomed to the podium
to “kick off” Building Safety Month. Rep. Gingrich recalled her previous work as a labor and industry official and firsthand
experiences complying with new building safety codes. She asserted that building code safety is a high priority for her. Rep.
Gingrich presented Waller with a copy of HR 227.
Waller also thanked Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) for sponsoring SR 103.
Tomberlin thanked PABCO and ICC for coordinating the event, because public awareness is critical. He continued that a
sound set of building and fire code regulations is vital to communities across the Commonwealth. He stated the industry
has recognized the need to keep building codes current, and as a result there has been a noticeable amount of building
codes being kept up to date. “Building codes are known as silent defenders,” said Tomberlin. He continued that in addition
to raising the profile of the ICC, the next generation of building code officials is a high priority, and said it is important to get
people involved at a young age. Tomberlin thanked everyone for attending.
Waller explained that Building Safety Code Month is divided into four themes, one for each week in May. She explained
that this year’s theme is “Resilient Communities Start with Building Code.” She explained the weekly themes as follows:
• May 4-10, Don’t Get Burned-Build to Code
• May 11-17, Bounce Back Faster from Disaster-Build to Code
• May 18-24, Water Safe, Water Smart-Build to Code
• May 25-31 Save Energy-Build to Code
Buddenbohn thanked Rep. Gingrich for attending. He also reminded the members of the audience that PABCO would be
back at the Capitol in the coming weeks to testify against HB 782.
ADVOCATES HOLD CAPITOL RALLY FOR AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS
By Jeff Cox
The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN), advocates, public officials, school
administrators and legislators gathered today in the Capitol Rotunda for their annual Afterschool Advocacy Day to highlight
the importance of afterschool programs. In addition to PSAYDN, the rally was sponsored by the Pennsylvania School-Age
Child Care Alliance and the Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time.
PSAYDN Director Laura Saccente said her group’s vision is “that all children and youth deserve high quality out-of-school
time programs that promote youth development and support their successful transitions throughout adulthood.” She also
said that the purpose of advocacy day is to “educate our legislators about the importance of afterschool, the current unmet
need and the need for continued state funding.” According to Saccente more than 500,000 children in Pennsylvania need
but do not have afterschool programs.
Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) described himself as a “passionate supporter of quality afterschool programs in
Pennsylvania.” He said, “I have witnessed firsthand in Carbon County schools the transformational impact afterschool
programs can have in the life of a young child.” Sen. Yudichak commented, “Grades improve, self-confidence soars, school
attendance improves, and most importantly, moms and dads become more engaged in the education of their sons and
daughters.” He told the rally participants that afterschool programs are “evidence-based, data-driven programs that produce
measurable outcomes.” Sen. Yudichak announced the formation of a bicameral bipartisan Pennsylvania Afterschool
Caucus. He said the members include himself, Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Lancaster) and Rep.
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Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny). Sen. Yudichak explained that the caucus will work with PSAYDN and others on developing
legislative support for afterschool programs to address unmet demand.
Describing himself as “a strong advocate for educational excellence,” Sen. Aument commented that as a legislator he
advocates “for educational programs that work with demonstrated outcomes and make a real and meaningful difference in
the lives of our young people.” He told the rally, “High quality afterschool programs work.” Sen. Aument spoke of the need
to “find new innovative ways to inspire young people to learn.” He said, “Afterschool programs can promote a joy of learning
and discovery, bringing untapped value to young people and to their families and communities.”
Rep. Fee explained that one of the reasons she ran for public office was “to make a meaningful difference for the lives of
people in Lancaster County and across Pennsylvania.” She added, “This is why I am proud to help starting the Afterschool
Caucus.” Rep. Fee commented, “When I consider the challenges facing our families I represent, particularly the young ones,
I am reminded of the important responsibility we collectively have to provide opportunity, promote personal and professional
growth, and work together to make sure our next generation leaders are prepared to succeed.” She also emphasized the
need to create more opportunities for students to learn.
Hazleton Police Chief Frank Dandrea asked, “Why is this issue so important?” He explained, “The issue at hand is the
protection of our most valuable resource, our most precious commodity, our children.” Dandrea commented that he sees the
ugly side of the issue. According to Dandrea, 80 percent of juvenile crime occurs between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. He asserted
that afterschool programs fill that void. Dandrea also said the state could save millions by investing in afterschool programs
and not putting juveniles into the penal system.
Former Reading Mayor Tom McMahon urged participants to return home and meet with their local mayors regarding quality
afterschool programs. He also commented that “education is too important to be left to educators.”
Brian Gasper, superintendent of the Jim Thorpe Area School District, spoke about how critical and important afterschool
programs are. He asserted that they keep kids safe, inspire children to learn and help working families. He discussed the
Carbon and Schuylkill Schools and Home in Education (SHINE) program developed with the Lehigh Carbon Community
College. According to Gasper, 100 percent of the students that come to SHINE have academic needs and yearly reports
indicate 87 percent of SHINE students either improved or maintained their homework completion rate. He explained that the
program provides academic and homework support, character education, recreational activities and cultural opportunities.
Bill Bartle from the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board spoke about the importance of afterschool programs for
workforce development. He emphasized the need for students to not only have job skills but also “employability skills”.
COMMITTEE NEWS
Comprehensive coverage of House & Senate public hearings & voting meetings
House Appropriations Committee
5/5/15, 11:15 a.m., 140 Main Capitol
By Kimberly Hess
The committee met to consider bills.
HB 501 Keller, Mark - (PN 1319) Act designating the Conodoguinet Bridge on that portion of State Route 641 over the
Conodoguinet Creek, Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, as the Pfc. Harold “Sam” E. Barrick Memorial Bridge.
Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 558) - The bill was unanimously reported as committed.
HB 683 Rapp, Kathy - (PN 798) Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act, in senior citizens property tax and rent rebate assistance,
removing from the definition of “income” veterans’ disability payments. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously
reported as committed.
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HB 779 Masser, Kurt - (PN 1320) Act designating a portion of PA Route 64 in Montour County as the Staff Sergeant Thomas
Allen Baysore Memorial Highway. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 918) - The bill was unanimously reported as
committed.
HB 875 Baker, Matt - (PN 1070) Amends the Public Welfare Code, in public assistance, further providing for verification
of eligibility by adding that all applicants and recipients shall, as a condition of eligibility, cooperate with the department in
securing medical support from the noncustodial parent of any child for whom medical assistance is sought or provided.
Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as committed.
HB 153 Knowles, Jerry - (PN 1318) Joint Resolution amending the Pennsylvania Constitution reducing the number of
representatives in the House of Representatives to 151 from 203. Constitutional amendments require approval in two
consecutive legislative sessions and then approval by the voters through a referendum. (Prior Printer Number: 142) The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 27-9 with Representatives Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery), Michelle
Brownlee (D-Philadelphia), Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Maria Donatucci (D-Philadelphia), Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny),
Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia), Mike O’Brien (D-Philadelphia), Cherelle Parker (D-Philadelphia), and Mary Jo Daley
(D-Montgomery) voting in the negative.
HB 384 Keller, Fred - (PN 421) Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution reducing the
size of the State Senate from 50 members to 37 members. Constitutional amendments require approval in two consecutive
legislative sessions and then approval by the voters through a referendum. - The bill was reported as committed by a vote
of 29-7 with Representatives Brownlee, Daley, Dean, Donatucci, Gainey, Kinsey, and Parker voting in the negative.
HB 934 Christiana, Jim - (PN 1330) Amends the Public Welfare Code, in public assistance, establishing the Keystone
Education Yields Success (KEYS) program. KEYS shall be designed to enable and to assist eligible individuals receiving
TANF or SNAP benefits to enroll in and pursue a certificate or degree program within one of the Commonwealth’s community
colleges, a career or technical school registered with the Department of Education, or university within the Pennsylvania
State System of Higher Education. A KEYS recipient shall be permitted to count vocational education, including class time,
clinicals, labs and study time as set by the community college, university or school, toward the recipient’s core TANF work
requirement for 24 months, with the possibility of six-month extensions. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 1131,
1138, 1237) - The bill was unanimously reported as committed.
A00874 by Markosek, ensures the codification of KEYS does not create an entitlement program by providing that it will
continue to provide services so long as the legislature appropriates sufficient funding. The amendment failed along a party
line vote with Republicans voting in the negative.
Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) noted his support for the KEYS program, but opined the legislature should
not pass unfunded mandates without providing the means for them to be carried out.
Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) opposed the amendment. He argued federal funds are available and indicated the
amendment would change the direction of the bill. Chairman Markosek agreed federal funds are available, but argued that
does not mean they will be sufficient in perpetuity. He opined the commonwealth should not get into a situation whereby it
has to find additional funds later on. He stated the amendment is the fiscally responsible thing to do. Rep. Christiana argued
the commonwealth should address the issue of a federal cut at the time it occurs, if it occurs.
Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) asked members to oppose the amendment, which he suggested would have been
better offered before the full House. Chairman Markosek pointed out that adopting the amendment in committee means the
full House will have the chance to vote on it. Chairman Adolph clarified adoption now means the House will not have the
chance to vote on the merits of the amendment and could be forced to oppose a bill they like based on the inclusion of this
amendment.
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House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
5/5/15, 9:00 a.m., G-50 Irvis Office Building
By Kimberly Hess
The committee met to consider HB 806 Causer, Martin - (PN 951) Amends the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land
Assessment Act further providing for responsibilities of county assessor in establishing use values by adding that if a
county assessor establishes the lower use values, the county assessor shall uniformly apply the lower set of use values,
notwithstanding if the values are provided by the department or established by the county, in calculating the preferential
assessment of land in each land use category. The enrollment of land for preferential assessment under this act may not
result in assessments that are equal to or higher than if the land had not been so enrolled. Effective immediately. - The bill
was unanimously reported as amended.
A01069 by Causer, clarifies how use values are to be applied to enrolled land, including specific parameters for forest
reserve land, and establishing the lowest possible use values. The amendment was unanimously adopted.
Kerry Golden, executive director of the committee, explained the amendment addresses concerns raised by the County
Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania as well as other issues uncovered. She said the amendment, which guts the
bill, ensures values are properly applied, outlines how counties should use values, and requires counties to use the lowest
possible values for each land use.
Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington) explained his county is in the midst of a reassessment and asked how the county
will be impacted. Golden replied Washington County uses its own values now and whatever values in use as of the effective
date must be used, until a reassessment occurs at which time those new values must be used.
House Judiciary Committee
5/5/15, 9:30 a.m., Room 60 East Wing
By Mike Howells
The committee met to consider bills.
HB 65 Godshall, Robert - (PN 56) Amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates & Fiduciaries) establishing audiovisual material of
autopsies as confidential, and limiting their release, with certain exceptions. The bill lays out penalties for violations. Crimescene photographs are allowed to continue to take place. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as
amended.
A00883 by Marsico, is a technical amendment. The amendment was unanimously adopted.
Senior Counsel Karen Dalton clarified the definition of autopsy is being removed because it is not defined in other statutes
where the term is used, including the Coroners Act and the County Code.
HB 609 Baker, Matt - (PN 682) Amends Title 18 (Crimes) adding language providing if the intent of an individual is to
impersonate a doctor and, in so doing, provides medical advice or treatment to another person as a patient, regardless of
whether or not the other person suffers harm from the advice or treatment the offense shall be a first degree misdemeanor.
Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as committed.
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House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee
5/5/15, 9:30 a.m., Room 39 East Wing
By Trevor J. Monk
The committee met to consider HB 204 Murt, Thomas - (PN 194) Amends the Tax Reform Code to add an article detailing
a tax credit for tourism promotion and marketing donations made to the Pennsylvania Tourism Commission or a nonprofit
established by the commission. The tax credit shall be 100 percent for the taxable year, but a single taxpayer is limited to
taking up to 20 percent of the total credit authorized for a fiscal year. The maximum amount of credits that may be authorized
in a fiscal year is a capped at $15 million. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as amended.
A00431 by Hickernell, provides the option for revenues designated to the Pennsylvania Tourism Commission to be used by
non-profit entities designated by the Governor. The amendment was unanimously adopted.
A01191 by Kirkland, adjusts several definition and adds a sunset provision. Definitions include contributions, eligibility, and
the responsibility to provide a report to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the programs the responsibility of the
Pennsylvania Tourism Commission. It reduces the value of tax credit from 100 percent of the value of the contribution down
to 55 percent. No credits may be carried over. Establishes a sunset date of July 1, 2020. The amendment was unanimously
adopted.
Chairman David Hickernell (R-Lancaster) said he spoke with the prime sponsor of the bill, who is supportive of the
amendment.
Chairman Hickernell reminded the committee members that tomorrow there will be a committee meeting that the Harrisburg
Hilton for a presentation from the Traveling Tourism Association.
Senate Game and Fisheries Committee
5/5/15, 11:30 a.m., 8E-A East Wing
By Trevor J. Monk
The committee held a public hearing on the findings of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s 2014 Annual Report.
Chairman Scavello welcomed the panel and said he looks forward to working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission
(PGC).
Matthew Hough, executive director, Pennsylvania Game Commission, provided a detailed summary of the report’s findings.
Hough began by providing updates on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and White-nose Syndrome (WNS), which are two
of the “biggest wildlife challenges” facing the PGC. Related to CWD, Hough explained cases have been reported in Adams,
York, Blair, Bedford, and Jefferson counties, and as a result the areas known as Disease Management Areas (DMAs) One,
Two, and Three, respectively. He noted that certain activities are prohibited in DMAs. “Given the potential harm that CWD
poses in Pennsylvania, we would be glad to work with members of this Committee, the Department of Agriculture and the
Agriculture Committee, on developing tougher restrictions on deer within captive herds as that appears to be the primary
method by which the disease is being spread,” he said. Regarding WNS and its effect on cave-dwelling bats, Hough said it is
quickly becoming one of the most devastating wildlife diseases ever documented to impact a species in the Commonwealth.
He noted the PGC is working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources, and research institutes across the nation to monitor the disease and find a cure. Hough said until a cure is found
several hibernacula across the Commonwealth were closed in fall 2014.
Hough transitioned to the work and challenges facing PGC’s Wildlife Conservation Enforcement Officers (WCOs). Hough
said more than 200,00 enforcement contacts were recorded in the past fiscal year and more than 20,000 violations were
detected by WCOs. He explained WCOs would benefit greatly from legislation similar to HB 2178, which authorizes the use
of body cameras while performing their duties. He continued that another important legislative issue is the lack of retirement
benefits for WCOs. “Wildlife Conservation Officers are the only state law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth that
are not covered by the 55 years of age and 20 years of service retirement program. We believe this gross inequity needs to
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be corrected as soon as possible,” Hough said.
Hough also provided information related to PGC initiatives. He explained the State Game Land system is quickly approaching
1.5 million acres and now contains 307 separate tracts in 65 of the 67 counties. He stated a major focus at PGC is maintaining
Pennsylvania’s “proud hunting heritage,” and through a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania became
the first state to develop a marketing campaign focused on re-engaging first time and returning hunters through the use
of radio and television commercials, a streamlined hunting website, and a free Smartphone application called “GoHuntPA
Toolkit.” Regarding additional efforts to maintain Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage, Hough explained PGC is continuing to
maintain mentored youth programs and Hunter-Trapper Education programs. He noted PGC recently developed an online
Hunter Trapper Education program for those ages 16 and older, which he said is “receiving very positive feedback.” Hough
stated PGC also completed more than 1,500 environmental reviews in the past year for projects with the potential to impact
threatened or endangered wildlife. He continued that 226 of the reviews were for energy development. “For this reason, we
believe it would be appropriate for the Game Commission to be included in any legislation that creates a severance tax on
Marcellus Shale development,” Hough stated.
Transitioning to the subject of deer management, Hough said approximately 303,973 deer were harvested last year, which
represents a 14 percent decrease in the harvest totals from the prior year. He continued that PGC also lowered the antlerless
deer allocation by roughly 60,000 tags into the past season. “A lowered allocation usually means two things: fewer deer will
be harvested in the season and more deer will be available on the landscape the following year. The decline in the harvest
estimate for last year confirms the first part of that equation,” he said.
Hough explained that deer management would not be possible without the revenues from hunting licenses. He said the
cost of hunting licenses was last increased in 1999 and recommended increasing hunting license fees. He pointed out the
Pennsylvania hunting license is one of the least expensive licenses in the nation. He continued that PGC did not pursue
license increases because PGC was “poised to reap a short -term benefit from leasing Marcellus Shale rights on Game
Lands.” He said the revenues from the Marcellus Shale Impact fee were not a permanent fix to PGC’s long-term funding,
and requested an increase in the cost of a hunting license to “provide sustained funding for the agency.”
In closing, Hough thanked the committee members for the opportunity to testify, and said he looks forward to developing a
license increase proposal.
Chairman Brewster asked if CWD is spreading at a quicker rate and if the spread is caused by captive deer on deer farms.
Hough answered “we believe that is the fact.” He remarked the transportation of deer to other states and deer movements
in the Commonwealth is “unbelievable.” He recalled a recent CWD case in Ohio where the origin of the deer was traced
back to Pennsylvania. Chairman Brewster asked if deer farms are taking preventative measures to reduce the spread of
CWD. Hough explained the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is responsible for overseeing the 1,200 deer
farm operators, which is a recent change, but due to the lack of proper funding and other established responsibilities the
PDA is “trying to do the best they can.”
Chairman Brewster inquired about the total number of WCOs, how many of the WCOs would be eligible for retirement
benefits, and if there currently is legislation that establishes retirement benefits for WCOs. Hough explained the total number
of WCOs is 210. He noted that all 210 WCOs would be eligible for retirement benefits. Hough said there is no WCO
retirement benefit legislation introduced in the current legislative session.
Chairman Brewster expressed his belief that the PGC should receive a portion of proposed Marcellus Shale Severance Tax
revenues, since the projected revenues from the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee did not provide the expected return.
Sen. Wiley expressed his appreciation for PGC’s continued hard work. He said he is encouraged by PGC’s willingness
to work among other state agencies. Sen. Wiley asked what measures PGC is taking regarding the increasing cases of
Lyme Disease. Hough explained there is no specific initiative. He said PGC tries to educate Pennsylvanians on the proper
precautions to take to avoid being bitten by a tick. Hough pointed out that the spread of Lyme Disease is prevalent in the
Commonwealth and PGC is willing to work cooperatively on any initiative related reducing the spread of Lyme Disease.
Chairman Scavello asked how many acres of State Game Lands have shale mineral rights, how many shale sites are
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operating on State Game Lands, and how many of the wells have been capped. Hough answered “it is quite a bit.” He
continued there are 24 shale operations effecting 825 acres, totaling 63 well pads and 152 wells. Hough explained many of
the wells are capped, and as a result the expected royalties are “way down”. Due to the decrease in royalties, Hough said,
the need to increase hunting license fees is great.
Chairman Scavello asked if there has been any discussion related to changing the length of certain hunting seasons or
the time of year hunting is permitted. Hough explained PGC mostly makes small changes, but has not made many drastic
changes. He remarked PGC tries to make as few changes as possible. Chairman Scavello asked if the antlerless deer
season should be shortened. Hough explained the number of antlerless deer is controlled by number of antlerless deer
licenses allocated each year. He noted the number of antlerless deer licenses has been declining over the past few years.
Chairman Scavello asked about CWD and if PGC is better suited to manage the herds on deer farms. Hough said PGC
previously managed deer farm operations, but that authority was given to PDA after deer farming regulations were tightened.
He said PGC is willing to manage the deer farm operations and it would cost “quite a bit,” but is a worthwhile undertaking
because the deer population is one of the Commonwealth’s greatest assets.
Chairman Scavello asked if PGC has considered allowing Sunday hunting. Hough stated PGC drafted a resolution in favor
of Sunday hunting, but would most likely approach Sunday hunting through a phased and well researched approach.
Chairman Brewster asked how much hunting licenses should be increased. Hough said PGC has a proposal, but wanted
to the meet with the committee before moving forward. Hough pointed out that revenues would be substantial and would
sustain PGC for ten years.
Senate Judiciary Committee
5/5/15, 11:30 a.m., 8E-B East Wing
By Kimberly Hess
Video:
(click here)
The committee met to consider bills.
SB 95 Farnese, Lawrence - (PN 654) Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure), in particular rights and immunities,
providing for immunity for protected communications. The bill states a person who engages in any protected communication
shall be immune from any civil action for claims based upon such communication. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was
unanimously reported as committed.
Chairman Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) noted the committee held a hearing in Philadelphia on the proposal last
session, where these lawsuits are a particular issue. He pointed out that bill imposes penalties on both sides, opining there
is fault on both sides.
Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) said more than 20 have this type of bill and reiterated the intent is to curb and prevent
frivolous lawsuits from being filed.
Chairman Greenleaf pointed out neighborhood groups are often victims. Sen. Farnese agreed and noted the committee
learned that a wide breadth of people is affected and lives and groups were destroyed.
SB 373 Alloway, Richard - (PN 288) Amends Title 18 (Crimes) further providing for the offense of cruelty to animals by
adding an offense for tethering a dog outside and unattended to any stationary object by use of a restraint unless the tether
is placed or attached so that the dog cannot become entangled with other objects and allows the dog to roam the full range
of the tether, the tether is attached to the dog by means of a well-fitted collar or body harness that will not cause trauma or
injury to the dog, the tether is at least 12 feet long and allows the dog convenient and unfettered access to shelter and food
and water containers, the dog is provided with protection from the direct rays of the sun and at least one area of shade other
than the shelter is provided, and the dog is not tethered outside during periods of temperature below 32 degrees or above 90
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degrees or when a weather advisory or warning has been issued. A person who commits such an offense may be subject to
forfeiture of the dog. Also adds a new subsection proving a person in charge or control of a dog, shall at a minimum, provide
the dog with shelter and bedding as provided in the legislation. Provides for penalties for violations of this new subsection.
Effective immediately. - The bill was unanimously reported as committed.
Chairman Greenleaf noted the committee recently held a hearing on the bill and noted the issue has been “marinating” for a
few years. He said his initial concern was that legitimate dog owners would be unfairly punished, but said the bill addresses
those issues and only speaks to habitual problems.
Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Franklin) pointed out that the bill has been able to move forward in part due to the enactment of an
anti-tethering bill in Pittsburgh, which has been working well. He called the bill “commonsense legislation” that sets minimum
standards for the state to protect dogs. He remarked the people who should worry about this are the people who abuse and
mistreat their animal, adding that the goal is to raise awareness, not punish dog owners.
Chairman Greenleaf pointed out the bill only imposes a summary penalty.
Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair) noted his past opposition to the issue and asked how the bill would affect dog owners
who take good care of their dogs, but do leave them out on a run. Sen. Alloway did not think the bill speaks to those
circumstances and offered to work with Sen. Eichelberger to ensure those situations are addressed. He pointed out the
omission of April on page 4, lines 22-26 will require an amendment going forward.
SB 294 Eichelberger, John - (PN 443) Amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 22 (Detectives and Private Police)
adding language to section 5511 of Title 18 relating to cruelty to animals to include an equine animal. Provides for a
definition of “torture”. Also adds language to section 3715 of Title 22 relating to the Humane Society Police Officer Advisory
Board. Requires the board, on or before December 31, 2016, to develop guidelines to assist humane society police officers,
law enforcement officers, the courts and the Department of Agriculture in the implementation and enforcement of the cruelty
to animal statutes. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as amended.
A01184 by Greenleaf, addresses the definition of “torture” by making it more specific to be a loss of more than one-third of body
mass and strikes guidelines to assist law enforcement officers and the courts. The amendment was unanimously adopted.
SB 663 Vulakovich, Randy - (PN 661) Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to provide that a parent of a child conceived as
the result of enumerated sex crimes shall be liable for support. Paternity shall be established through blood, genetic or other
authorized type of paternity test. Effective in 60 days. - The bill was unanimously reported as amended.
A01087 by Greenleaf, allows paternity to be established in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth. The amendment
was unanimously adopted.
Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee
5/5/15, 12:00 p.m., Room 461 Main Capitol
By Mike Howells
The committee met to consider the nomination of Dennis Davin as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic
Development (DCED).
Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) introduced Davin, a resident in his district. He remarked on Davin’s “wide and varied” background
in the Pittsburgh region, including more than 10 years of service as director of Allegheny County Economic Development. He
cited the reclamation of brownfields in Allegheny County as one of Davin’s chief accomplishments over that time.
Davin offered his perspective of a “great learning experience” in meeting with members of the committee. He discussed
the importance of the department’s mission and efforts towards inter-agency collaboration in ensuring all regions of the
commonwealth have the resources they need.
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Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) credited the agency’s responsiveness in recent months and commented that Harrisburg has
been “very dependent” on DCED assistance in making its way through financial recovery. He credited the work of Fred
Reddig and asked that the close cooperative relationship continue.
Minority Chairman Sean Wiley (D-Erie) said that over the past few months he has noticed a significant increase in the
department’s presence, which he called “incredibly encouraging.” He asked for details on the department’s tourism and
marketing efforts. Davin said one of his goals has been to maximize efficiency within the department, and said one deputate
that had oversight of 80 programs has been split into three. He remarked discussions with the governor have raised the
objective of marketing Pennsylvania as effectively as possible. To that end, he said, they have put a focus on the issue under
the guidance of Carrie Lepore.
Further detailing the collaborative efforts of related agencies, Davin said he is “very happy” that the governor has taken an
interest in that goal. He noted two meetings have already taken place with the departments of Transportation, Agriculture,
Banking, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Environmental Protection to discuss projects and opportunities for
collaborative ventures.
Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) discussed DCED’s role in encouraging job creation and said hopefully Davin will focus
on that going forward. He also noted the film industry is a “big deal” in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and other areas of the state.
Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) said there is still some “residual friction” between the community development and economic
development factions within the department and asked how those two goals can be maximized. Davin said the dual goals
were taken very seriously during his time in Allegheny County, and recounted the varied efforts to develop brownfield sites
there. He suggested a comprehensive view can also be taken around the commonwealth with opportunities that arise.
Asked whether a rivalry exists, Davin suggested staff have simply been focused on their jobs, and what was lacking was a
cohesive, comprehensive perspective.
Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) said the film tax credit is “vital” in her area, as is the Marcellus Shale industry. She
remarked, however, that if businesses choose not to locate in the commonwealth, economic development efforts “are for
naught.” She questioned what is being done to attract manufacturing and industry to come to Pennsylvania. David said
he believes the tools exist in the budget to attract businesses. He cited the Last Mile initiative that would bring natural gas
to industrial parks, to maximize utilization of gas being produce in the state. He added there is also a need to bring more
natural gas to the Philadelphia region.
Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) requested continuing updates from the department on the retooling of Act 47, and
expressed hope that subject matter experts on the DCED team are given “enough slack” to engage with legislators. Davin
agreed on the need to provide “good, quality information” to lawmakers.
Sen. Blake credited the governor for attempting to return funds to the Small Business First and Machine and Equipment
Loan Fund. Davin said in particular the latter has been important as banks have focused on more profitable areas for lending.
Sen. Blake also expressed hope a legislative package related to the Local Government Unit Debt Act (LGUDA) passes, and
that ongoing performance and accountability measures are maintained.
Sen. Patrick Stefano (R-Fayette) said he wants to see “a bigger welcome sign” for businesses in Pennsylvania. Davin said
that is probably one of the biggest issues he has seen, whereby companies are faced with a multitude of agencies and
bureaus as part of the regulatory process. He said he hopes to establish a true “one-stop shop” in that regard, so it as easy
as possible for businesses to move and grow in the commonwealth.
Chairman Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) discussed Marcellus Shale manufacturing companies in her district who have begun
to lay people off. She asked if a downturn is underway. Davin opined it is a result of current energy prices, and said “that
is going to rebound.” He suggested the government can try to work to ensure there are appropriate transmission lines to
smooth out the opportunities for business.
The committee unanimously approved Davin’s nomination.
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Legislative Budget and Finance Committee
5/5/14, 9:00 a.m., Room 14-E East Wing
By Jeff Cox
Audio:
(click here) (Note: Depending on your audio player and the length of the hearing this could take a few minutes to load.)
The officers of the committee met to discuss and award a consulting contract pursuant to SR 250 of 2013 and to discuss
other personnel issues.
Members present included Chairman Robert Mensch (R-Montgomery), Sen. James Brewster (D-Allegheny), Rep. Robert
Godshall (R-Montgomery), and Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny).
Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) Executive Director Philip Durgin reported there are nine members
on staff which is the lowest number since the 1970s. He also noted one project manager and one analyst left earlier this
year. Durgin told the officers that his thought was to hire at least one project manager and one analyst. He pointed out that
they are looking at the project manager position first. Durgin explained the position was posted on the LBFC website and
elsewhere. Durgin said the office received 30 applications of which five applicants were interviewed. He reported there are
two candidates for the project manager position for the officers to consider. Durgin pointed out that typically LBFC has three
project managers and they currently have two. He added that he thought of hiring the one candidate now and hiring the
other later in the Spring. Durgin noted that LBFC does not have a lot of projects right now so he does not “want to staff up
too much.”
Rep. Godshall asked if LBFC has the money to hire the people. Durgin responded, “Yes.”.
Rep. Wheatley wanted to know about the process used to advertise the position. Durgin explained that they utilized monster.
com and put the word out on the LBFC website.
Chairman Mensch asked Durgin to provide an overview of the two candidates’ qualifications. Durgin reported the first
candidate has worked primarily in the Senate with the Banking and Insurance and Appropriations committees. He said the
candidate also worked in the Office of Administration for a couple of years. Durgin also indicated that the candidate has a
master’s degree in business administration and has worked with some lobbying firms. Durgin said the second candidate
worked in the Legislative Office of Research Liaison (LORL) for six years so he has experience in doing legislative reports.
He also noted the candidate has worked as an executive policy specialist at the Department of Environmental Protection
and has a master’s degree in policy analysis. Durgin commented that this candidate “is stronger in doing the kind of work
that we do” but the other candidate has a broader range of experience in state government.
Rep. Wheatley asked what the overall priorities were in selecting candidates for the positions. Durgin explained that they
were looking for individuals with experience in Pennsylvania state government. He said he likes to look for executive branch
experience because most of the work involves the executive branch. Durgin described having a master’s degree as “helpful.”
Chairman Mensch suggested considering the hiring of the first project manager. It was decided that Durgin would provide
the resumes of the two candidates to the officers and if the officers have any questions they are to contact Durgin. Also it
was decided the officers would review the resumes, make their decision and notify Durgin by Monday, May 11.
The officers then reviewed the recommended model leave policies. Durgin reported that the legislative service agencies
have been asked to change their leave policies to bring them in line with the recommended model leave policies. He noted
that the model leave policies are similar to LBFC’s current policies. Rep. Godshall wanted to know who is asking for the
changes. Durgin responded that it is being done at the request of the House and Senate leadership. According to Durgin, the
model leave policies are similar to the Senate’s leave policies. He added that the current LBFC policies reflected the leave
policies of the executive branch and LBFC will be gaining three holidays including Good Friday, Primary Election Day, and
General Election Day. The officers voted unanimously to adopt the model leave policies.
The officers then discussed the awarding of a contract pursuant to Senate Resolution 250 of 2013. Durgin explained that the
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resolution passed last year and requires LBFC to conduct a study of the feasibility of consolidating school employees into
a single statewide health plan or a regional health plan. Rep. Godshall questioned the feasibility of the study because the
plan providers operate regionally and not statewide. Durgin responded that a similar study done in 2003-2004 used state
employees as the model. He noted that the state employees are all in one statewide health plan. Durgin added that at that
time there was an estimated $500 million in savings. He said that study was contracted out. He pointed out that LBFC does
not have people with actuarial expertise or health benefit expertise.
Durgin told the officers when Senate Resolution 250 was adopted last year LBFC sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP)
and three proposals were submitted. He described all three as “good proposals.” Durgin explained that he and two other
people in the office review the submitted proposals and score them. He provided the officers with a combined assessment of
the scores. Chairman Mensch commented the LBFC did not put this contract on the agenda last year because of resource
restraints. He said LBFC has both the resources and the time to do the study. Durgin said proposals were submitted by the
Hay Group, PRM Consulting Group, and Milliman. He pointed out Milliman has a different approach then the ones submitted
by the Hay Group and PRM and Milliman’s proposal is more expensive. Durgin added that the Hay Group did the previous
study. Rep. Godshall asked if there was a major difference between PRM and Milliman. Durgin responded that the major
difference is that Milliman has its own proprietary source of data and relies less on the survey instruments.
Sen. Brewster expressed concern that this type of study leads to legislation. Chairman Mensch noted that in the scoring
Milliman comes out “way ahead.” He asked if scoring or the cost is more important. Durgin commented that he would take
the points “with a grain of salt.” He explained that his scoring and one of the other people doing the scoring was different
but he still rated Milliman first.
Rep. Godshall commented that if LBFC does a study he wants to get the best data.
Rep. Wheatley asked about the total budget to do reports. Durgin explained that there is not a set budget but LBFC receives
an annual appropriation. He indicated LBFC has some money from prior years that has not been spent which allows LBFC
to cover any one of the proposals. Durgin also said any one of the proposals could be covered by current year’s money.
Rep. Godshall pointed out that most reports are done in-house. Durgin added that LBFC may contract one or two per year.
Rep. Wheatley then asked about the role of the Department of Education in the study. Durgin responded that none of
the submitted proposals anticipate utilizing the department. He indicated the department does not have the detailed data
needed for the study. Sen. Brewster commented that “it won’t hurt to talk to the department.” He added that maybe there
would be a better response from the school districts with the department’s involvement.
A motion was made by Rep. Godshall to award the contract to the PRM Consulting Group. The motion was seconded by
Rep. Wheatley, The motion was unanimously adopted.
Sen. Brewster said that he would support the motion but added “it is an excessive amount of money.”
Rep. Godshall asked about the status of the report on the Game Commission. Durgin said that the Game Commission has
the report and he expects it will be ready for the committee’s next meeting.
Senate Labor and Industry Committee
5/5/15, 9:00 a.m., Hearing Room 1 North Office Building
By Matt Hess
The committee held a public hearing on raising the minimum wage.
Sean Ramaley, Acting Deputy Secretary for Safety and Labor-Management Relations, Department of Labor & Industry
(L&I), testified on the need to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage as a component of Gov. Tom Wolf’s pledge for “jobs that
pay, schools that teach and government that works.” He pointed out that 29 states have minimum wages higher than $7.25,
including all of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, and said Gov. Wolf’s proposal includes raising the minimum from $7.25
to $10.10 an hour. He opined raising the minimum wage helps rebuild the middle class, as workers earning just above the
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minimum wage also will see a wage increase. Ramaley stated a full-time, year-round worker earning the proposed new
minimum wage of $10.10 would earn $21,008 per year, which is above the 2014 federal poverty threshold for a family of
three. He added that increasing this amount by two percent per year to account for inflation from 2014 through 2016 (when
the $10.10 minimum would go into effect), would keep the minimum wage above the threshold.
Ramaley stated, “This change is not just good economic policy, it is commonsense.” He further explained, “When we raise
the minimum wage not only do employees see a benefit, so do employers. Businesses benefit because workers receiving
higher wages have more disposable income and business that pay higher wages attract employees.”
John Meyerson, Member of the L&I Minimum Wage Advisory Board and Consultant on Legislation and Political Action
UFCW 1776, remarked on the number of statistics relating to increasing the minimum wage and stated, “To those of us
in Labor and the most of community this is not a statistical problem but a human crisis. The PA Department of Labor and
Industry’s Minimum Wage Advisory Board is directed by statute to prepare an annual report for the General Assembly which
puts a face on Pennsylvania’s low wage workers. Every year we see the buying power of those making the minimum wage
deteriorate. Simply put PA’s Minimum Wage in 2015 will no longer keep a family of two above the federal poverty line.”
Meyerson added that the low minimum wage also damages Pennsylvania’s economic recovery. He urged Pennsylvania
to increase the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour in no more than two years, establish a cost of living escalator to
prevent wages from being degraded by inflation, eliminate the tipped minimum wage, revoke the local preemption which
prevents local jurisdictions from passing ordinances which would raise the minimum wage above the state’s minimum, and
increase enforcement and fund the increased cost by increasing fines and penalties against scofflaw employers not taxing
the general citizenry.
Sen. Scavello questioned if there is a study comparing the tax rates of other states that raised the minimum wage to
Pennsylvania. Ramaley said the department will examine if that study exists.
Sen. Wagner noted that Walmart, Target and other major corporations are raising their wage levels and asked Ramaley
why he thinks that is happening. Ramaley stated “it’s a recognition from the industrial community that these wages need to
rise.” Sen. Wagner questioned if it is a reflection of the free market working and competing for the best employees. Ramaley
acknowledged that a higher wage would attract more employees.
Sen. Wagner noted that Meyerson is in support of a wage escalator tied to inflation and questioned if it would be fair to cut
employee wages if there was a negative CPI. Meyerson argued that it would not be fair to lower wages in the event of a
negative CPI. “I understand the principal of what you are saying but I do not think it would be fair,” he stated.
Sen. Leach questioned what the administration’s position is on the tipped minimum wage. Ramaley said the administration
is examining the issue but has not taken a formal position.
Sen. Leach said he is in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and questioned why the administration
supports raising it to $10.10. Ramaley said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour benefits more than one million
workers and lifts a family of three out of poverty. “Right now the governor and Sec. Manderino are comfortable with that
number and that is what the administration is focused on,” he stated.
Chairman Baker argued that the focus should be on job training because even if the minimum wage is lifted the worker still
has the same level of training. “We need to be looking at getting workers trained to have not just a minimum wage job but
a higher level job,” she stated. “I was struck by the fact that neither of your testimony talked about how we elevate workers
to that next level.”
Sen. Folmer said more needs to be done to attract businesses to Pennsylvania and noted that a number of tire and car
manufacturers are opening up in other states. “You’re not going to buy a house on $10.10 an hour and chances are you
aren’t going to buy a new car either,” he stated. “We should be striving for the top and looking at ways we can be attracting
businesses and stop allowing these other states to eat our lunch.”
Sen. Smucker spoke about the positive benefits of working as a teenager and inquired about demographic information on
who makes the minimum wage. Ramaley said 80 percent of those workers are between the ages of 16-44, 52 percent are
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between the ages of 20-40, and 52 percent are between the ages of 16-24.
Chairman Tartaglione inquired about the job creation rate in Pennsylvania. Ramaley said the department will provide that
information to the committee.
Alex Halper, Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, opposed legislation
to impose mandatory pay increases by raising the state minimum wage rate. He explained that “following a historically
devastating economic recession and unprecedentedly sluggish recovery, it is imperative that lawmakers pursue public
policy that encourages job creation and retention and avoids impediments to economic growth. Mandating entry-level
wage increases would be contrary to these key principles and have a detrimental impact on both a significant segment
of the employer community and, in many cases, the very individuals who are intended to benefit from this policy.” Halper
reviewed the history of the minimum wage and pointed out that the minimum wage is typically a starting or training wage
for employees entering the workforce who usually earn commensurate wage increases as they gain experience and skills.
Halper referenced communications from a number of Chamber members who have said an increase in the minimum wage
would hurt their businesses and argued ignoring concerns raised by employers who will face increased labor costs “is
shortsighted and unfair to the employers and employees who will be impacted.” Halper agreed with Gov. Wolf’s premise
that someone working full-time and raising a family should not have to live in poverty, but argued “connecting this premise
to minimum wage advocacy is a logical fallacy.” He opined there are smarter, more targeted ways to help this population
that do not trigger the negative unintended consequences inherent when government imposes mandatory increases to
entry-level wages, such as effective workforce development and job training programs or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
programs to compliment the federal program.
Neal Lesher, Legislative Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Pennsylvania, testified,
“Like most government mandates on business, raising the minimum wage will have a deep and disproportionate impact on
the small-business sector because small businesses are the least able to absorb such a dramatic increase in their labor
costs.” He cited a study released last year by NFIB’s Research Foundation on the potential economic impacts of raising the
minimum wage in Pennsylvania, which forecasted the loss of as many as 28,000 to 119,000 jobs over a ten year period if
the wage is increased to $8.75 or $9.00, as those increases are tied to cost-of-living increase. Lesher further argued those
most disadvantaged by increasing the minimum wage are teenagers and the unemployed and said increasing the minimum
wage prices low skill workers out of the job market, particularly youth, robbing them of the experience of a first job where
basic job skills are often learned. He stated 60 percent of people earning the minimum wage live in a household with income
over $40,000 annually and 31 percent live in a household with income above $75,000 annually. The majority, 53 percent, are
under the age of 25 and 30 percent are under the age of 20. The vast majority, 82 percent, have no children and 77 percent
work part-time, he added. Lesher opined setting a higher wage floor is not an effective policy to combat poverty, suggesting
that it would help those who keep their job but comes at a cost to others who are unable to work and through higher prices.
As an alternative to increasing the minimum wage, Lesher suggested the legislature should ensure that appropriate
education and job training opportunities are available for those who seek better employment, consider more targeted means
of lifting the working poor out of poverty such as through an EITC, and focus on improving the small-business climate in
Pennsylvania.
John Longstreet, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, spoke against an increase in the
tip minimum wage and argued that it would negatively impact workers in the industry. “By increasing the tipped wage, the
increase in labor cost affects the ability to compensate those back of the house employees that don’t earn tips. So instead
of being able to pay our cooks/dishwashers a higher wage, we will be paying a higher wage to the servers who are already
making much more than the other employees,” he stated. “At the end of the day, our members have to find a way to survivetechnology would be the solution. We are already seeing tablets on the tables at restaurants-with this assistance-a server
can work 6 - 8 tables instead of 4. More and more we see counter-ordering and a “runner” bringing the order to the table.
These are some of the items that our industry will do to survive if an increase in the tipped wage occurs---less employees in
the long-run-just so a business can survive.”
Sen. Scavello questioned if an increase in the minimum wage in other states has impacted teen hiring. Lesher said from
2009-2013 in eight states that have a minimum wage higher than $8 an hour the labor force participation rate is four percent
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lower for teen employment and the teen unemployment rate in those states is six percent higher.
Sen. Scavello inquired about the 500,000 figure related to raising the minimum wage to $10.10. Halper said the national
figure comes from a Congressional Business Office (CBO) study which analyzed the impact of raising the minimum wage
to $10.10 and noted that figure could go as high as one million lost jobs.
Sen. Leach said the CBO study also found that 16.5 million people would receive a raise and one million would be lifted out
of poverty out of the result of raising the minimum wage. Halper said the CBO points to a number of impacts. “If we have
a goal in mind of helping those individuals and making sure that someone who is low income raising a family is not living
in poverty which is consistently stated as the goal of the minimum wage, isn’t there a better way to help those individuals
so that you are not choosing whose is getting a wage and who is on the unemployment lines,” he asked. Sen. Leach
emphasized that at a minimum 95 percent of the minimum wage workers would benefit from the minimum wage increase.
Sen. Leach noted that the average executive and CEO pay has tripled since the recession. Lesher said the average small
business owner wage has not tripled. “I’ve talked to many small business owners who forewent salary out of their business
so they could continue to pay their employees,” he stated.
Sen. Smucker questioned if there is a better way for minimum wage workers to rise out of poverty. Longstreet pointed to the
restaurant industry model. “Many people start off without college degrees. They work in our restaurants during high school,
they stay on afterward, become mangers. They earn $40, $50, $60, $70,000 a year as a manager with no college education.
Those who work hard do that,” he stated. “The stories are all over our restaurants about people starting off as dishwashers
and ending up at CEOs. One of them is sitting right here and I’ve talked to many CEOs in our industry and that’s exactly
where they started and many managers started the same way.”
Sen. Wagner questioned what the major hurdles are to hiring employees. Halper said a chamber survey found that 70
percent of members said they had trouble finding qualified applicants and 83 percent of employers said they had difficultly
finding applicants that have “soft skills” such as showing on time, working as a team, communicating, and taking direction.
Sen. Wagner asked if employers are having difficulty finding applicants who can pass a drug test. Lesher stated “it depends
on the employer” and indicated that the manufacturing sector is having difficulty with the issue.
Chairman Tartaglione asked what would be some other ways to help minimum wage workers without raising the rate. Halper
said an Earned Income Tax Credit program would help those workers. “The benefit of that approach is that you are able
to target the support,” he stated. Halper added that the state could encourage job creation and noted that the there are
proposals to do a comprehensive review of workforce development programs.
John S. Kiesendahl, Owner and CEO, Woodloch Pines, described how an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour
would affect his company, which last year had a net profit of $1.5 million. He said 320 of Woodloch Pines’ 1,133 employees
would be affected by the increase, at an estimated cost of $340,000 before taxes; however, he continued, all staff would
expect that they deserve to keep a differential between themselves and the entry level minimum wage staff and an increase
for those employees would likely cost another $820,000. Further, he said, 100 seasonal employees would cost another
$80,000 for “predominantly entry level high school and college staff,” increased overtime costs would exceed $70,000, and
the employer’s share of FICA taxes and 401K matching would be increased by $120,000. “Using our 2014 financials as a
basis, we estimate that the total increase to our mid-size company’s payroll precipitated by the proposed minimum wage
increase to $10.10/hour would have raised our annual payroll by $1,420,000,” Kiesendahl said, effectively eliminating the
net profit in 2014. He indicated there is no “wiggle room” in the industry to simply increase costs accordingly. The result is no
more new jobs, fewer opportunities, and the potential for significant lay-offs, he added. Kiesendahl also remarked there is
no need to change the tipped employee minimum wage. Instead, he recommended the legislature approve a five-year plan
to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by 2020.
Maureen Metz, Owner and Vice President of Marketing, Metz Culinary Management, “We are not opposed to a minimum
wage increase, the fact is that less than two percent of our 2,794 employees in Pennsylvania earn minimum wage and of
those, half are under the age of 20. Virtually all of our employees are hired above the current minimum wage and through
our annual performance appraisal process, quickly earn significantly more than that. What we worry about more than
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anything is the impact that an increase in the tipped minimum wage will have on our business.” She argued that a tipped
minimum wage increase would have a devastating impact on the restaurant industry and ultimately harm employees
Chairman Baker questioned what percentage of young workers could be impacted if the minimum wage is increased.
Kiesendahl said there are 200 people that are 20 years old or younger but emphasized that wages would have to be
increased for employees if the minimum wage is immediately increased. “If we have to make these increases across the
board we would not be able to stay in business. We would have to sell to a larger company who are not going to treat their
employees as we do,” he stated. “We were named the best place to work in the entire state of Pennsylvania. We take very
care of our staff and it’s a big family with 1,200 people.”
Sen. Scavello questioned if the minimum wage increase would force the resort to raise rates for hotel guests which would
lead to employee layoffs. Kiesendahl said there is “price resistance” in the tourism and hospitality industry and noted that the
resort has given increases to all of the staff and has not laid anyone off while he and his family took 30 percent decreases
in pay since 2008.
Sen. Leach noted that workers on the tipped minimum are twice as likely to live in poverty and rely on government assistance
as people on the regular minimum wage. He questioned if Kiesendahl supports an increase in the minimum wage. Kiesendahl
said he does but not at the $15 an hour that Sen. Leach supports. “I look at the minimum wage as an entry level situation. If
they dedicate themselves with their attendance, their work ethic, they have opportunities to move up,” he stated.
Sen. Leach said corporations such as McDonalds and others encourage their employees to use government assistance
and asked if it is good public policy for taxpayers to pay for those workers. Kiesendahl stated, “I disagree with passing that
on to the taxpayers.”
Sen. Wagner questioned who would buy the resort if Kiesendahl would be forced to sell it. Kiesendahl said he would have
to sell it to a much larger company that could spread the increased costs across the corporation. Sen. Wagner asked if the
large corporation would treat the same as they are being treated currently. Kiesendahl stated “it would not be the same.”
Sen. Wagner questioned if Metz raised wages for quality workers. Metz responded “absolutely.”
Simon Arias, Owner, Arias Agencies and Pennsylvania State General Agent of American Income Life, testified in favor
of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage through a phased increase to $10.10 per hour and then adjusting it annually to
increase with the rising cost of living. He said his company offers starting wages at $15 per hour, plus benefits, and stated,
“I pride myself on offering a fair wage and treating my employees as the best investment in my agency’s long-term growth.
Paying a higher wage has not hurt my business, but has been a sustaining factor in my growth. My employees know they
can grow along with my business, and over half have been with me for at least seven years, with the rest at least 2.5
years. My staff supports my agents and provides customer service to Pennsylvania policyholders and has been a critical
component of my success.” He pointed out “workers are also customers” and argued that money into the pockets workers
will boost sales at businesses across Pennsylvania. Arias suggested the minimum wage is a kind of insurance and lamented
that currently it keeps workers in poverty an undermines the economy.
Robert Fry, CEO and Co-Owner, Bar Marco and The Livermore, testified in favor of raising the minimum wage and the tipped
minimum wage, and in favor of tying future increases to the rising cost of living. He said he does not accept gratuity and
instead pays all employees a base salary of $35,000, plus benefits, and is instituting changes to those levels “with minimal
increase to menu prices.” He remarked on the cost offsets that come with better paid staff including lower turnover, reduced
waste and increased efficiency, and better employee performance and loyalty.
Maria Perez, Group Supervisor, Brightside Academy Child Care Center, said she loves her job and enjoys teaching, but is
underpaid and struggles in her daily life. She related she is paid $9.60 an hour, which is more than some of her coworkers,
and is struggling to pay for higher education and care for her child. “We struggle to take care of our children while we
educate yours,” Perez stated. “So it’s not too much to ask that we should receive a couple of extra dollars per hour. I need
it so that I have a little bit of spending money for my own child at home or to have enough money for that bill that I am
struggling to catch up on. As a young mother I would love to have trips to go on with my daughter and have extra money
for things that my child would love that I cannot give to her. I would love to be able to survive in my life without the stresses
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of the daily struggles of living paycheck to paycheck. To raise the minimum wage, in my opinion, would be a great help for
us daycare workers and of course everyone else that worked really hard, just to make ends meet,” she told the committee.
Charles Harford, a low wage earner who is a deli clerk at Mutzabaugh’s Market in Duncannon, said “Mutzabaugh’s Market
and many businesses that have positions paying minimum wage would cease to exist without the people to fill them. I am
one of those people.” He remarked low wages affect morale, work ethic and the image people have about themselves and
how they are seen by society. He pointed out that the pay is so low where he works that employees aren’t expected to stay
long and in his six months of employment he has seen at least forty people come and go in the deli area. Harford said his
wages amount to about $6.50 per hour after taxes and, due to all his monthly bills, he has little option to save.
Harford testified, “Raising the minimum wage would not only help ease some of the personal challenges I’ve mentioned,
but it would also benefit businesses and customers with more committed and motivated people. Myself and everyone
else making minimum wage would have a better quality of life, be more secure in facing unexpected expenses, and not to
mention contributing more towards growth in the economy.”
Sen. Leach asked why Arias is only supporting a $10.10 minimum wage when he pays his employees a minimum of $15
an hour. Arias said he is not against raising it to $15. “I’ve seen that investing in my people has taken care of the profit and
caused less turnover, happy employees and better performance from everybody,” he stated.
Michael Hollander, Staff Attorney, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, focused his testimony on the issue of wage
theft. “Wage theft-the failure to pay workers the wages owed to them-is a widespread problem in Pennsylvania. Although most
employers properly pay their employees, many do not. Each week, upwards of two-thirds of low-wage workers experience
wage theft,” he stated. “Raising the minimum wage alone is ineffectual if we do not also ensure that the minimum wage is
paid to workers. Wage theft directly harms workers by leaving them without pay, hurts businesses who are trying to comply
with the law, but are undercut by competitors who unfairly cut costs by not paying workers, also robs taxpayers, as taxes to
state and local governments go unpaid when workers go unpaid.”
Hollander highlighted ways to combat wage theft including the following:
• Increase monetary penalties for violations of the Pennsylvania wage laws to two times the wages owed;
• Improve laws so that it is harder for employers to misclassify their employees;
• Increase penalties for wage theft;
• Allow the Department of Labor and Industry to impose administrative penalties;
• Target key industries where wage violations are rampant.
Mark Price, Labor Economist, Keystone Research Center, spoke in support of raising the minimum wage and explained that
an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would boost the wages of 1.2 million workers of the state’s resident
workforce and in total wages in Pennsylvania would increase by $1.8 billion. He added that the higher spending that would
result from these wage increases would generate 6,000 jobs and emphasized that the majority of workers in Pennsylvania
that would get a raise as a result of a statewide minimum wage increase are adults working full-time. “The minimum wage
increase in our view certainly is going to raise the wages of millions of workers in Pennsylvania, it’s going to encourage
innovation and business practices, it’s going to tighten up management activities,” he stated.
Rick Bloomingdale, President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, spoke in support of raising the minimum wage. “The current full-time
minimum wage worker makes just $15,080 per year. That means thousands of workers are trapped in poverty, of which one
in four are supporting a child. It also means that there is such a thing in 21st century America as someone perfectly willing
to work full-time and yet still be doomed to poverty. Raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10 would impact at least
one million hardworking people. This is a tremendous number, which can have a substantial impact on our economy. To
be clear, I am not saying that one million workers earn minimum wage, but rather one million workers are currently making
between the $7.25 minimum wage and $10.10,” he stated. “What is important to take away from the fact that one million
workers in Pennsylvania will get a pay increase is that those one million workers will have more purchasing power, meaning
the demand on goods will increase, and thus encourage and promote a growing economy.”
Bloomingdale took issue with claims that teenagers are the only ones that make the minimum wage. “Raising the minimum
wage will help women and families meet the basic needs of their children. Almost six-out-of-ten Pennsylvanians who work
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at a minimum wage are women, and that includes many single income households,” he stated. “Raising the minimum wage
to $10.10 or more would help more than half a million women take a major step toward closing the wage gap between what
women and men earn for the same job. A significant majority of the states have introduced legislation the last couple of years
to increase their minimum wage. It is high time that Pennsylvania follow suit.”
Chairman Baker questioned if the Keystone Research Center examined training opportunities in other states. Price said
the organization does not have any specific studies on the issue. “I certainly would agree that training is an important public
policy issue and the more we do to encourage workforce development in this state would be excellent,” he stated. “I agree
training is important but part of the issue that the minimum wage today has less purchasing power than it did in 1968…it is
like quicksand pulling down the wages of 20 percent of the workers.”
Sen. Leach emphasized that employers don’t hire employees they don’t need and disputed that increasing the minimum
wage would result in massive layoffs. Price agreed stating, “We don’t think that employers just for the fun of it put people
on staff.”
Sen. Wagner questioned if bad employee behavior will be corrected if a minimum wage is increased. Price said employee
behavior is a management issue. “The vast majority of workers are employed at will in Pennsylvania,” he stated. “This is
really a management function, if you are seeing bad behavior managers have the responsibility to help correct that behavior
in the workplace.”
Sen. Wagner asked how many employees represented by the AFL-CIO make the minimum wage. Bloomingdale
acknowledged that very small amount of the employees make the minimum wage but emphasized that an increase would
benefit many workers in Pennsylvania. “It’s important to us that workers do well and it’s important to us because if those
people get a raise they are going to buy the goods and products we make in Pennsylvania and they are going to go to the
places that we service,” he stated. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
John Dodds, Director, Philadelphia Unemployment Project and coordinator of the Raise the Wage PA coalition, argued
wages for all workers are under attack not just the working poor fighting for a decent minimum wage, but the middle class
worker as well. “Even with strong job growth in the past five years wages have not been pushed up, as should be expected.
The unemployment rate has dropped from a peak of 10 percent in October 2009 to 5.5 percent as of March, 2015. But
hourly wage gains haven’t accelerated. They’ve plodded along at about a 2 percent annual rate, roughly matching inflation,”
Dodds stated. He pointed out that the strongest employment growth during the recovery has been in low-wage work and 44
percent of the jobs that have been created are in low wage industries. As a result, he indicated, more workers are financially
insecure today. He urged the committee to support a bill with a substantial increase in the state minimum wage, including
tipped workers and a cost of living index.
Sandra Strauss, Director of Advocacy, Pennsylvania Council of Churches, testified raising the minimum wage “is a justice
issue, plain and simple. Minimum wage earners working full time fall far below the federal poverty line.” She opined one
essential component of a campaign to end poverty is to increase wages so that they begin to approach living wage levels
and that all workers deserve a family-sustaining wage. Rev. Strauss cited a scriptural basis for the Council’s support of
increasing the minimum wage and said Bible condemns those who do not pay acceptable wages or who live in wealth while
their servants or staffers are hungry. Further, she cited US Department of Labor data that indicates that small businesses
support increasing the minimum wage. Rev. Strauss cited arguments that the faith community and other non-profits should
take care of those living in poverty, but said the faith community’s charity can only go so far. She cited an article that
estimated Walmart’s low-wage workers cost US taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance. “Despite our best efforts, the
non-profit community would be hard-pressed to make up the difference,” she remarked. Rev. Strauss called for an increase
“to an hourly rate that permits these workers to live with dignity.”
Sandra Thompson, First Vice Chair, Pennsylvania NAACP, spoke in support of the raising the minimum wage and indexing
future increases to the rising costs of living. “The NAACP recognizes that the federal minimum wage lost more than 30
percent of its value and would be $10.55 per hour today if it kept pace with the cost of living over the past four years. The
minimum wage today pays only around $15,000 per year which is $3,000 below the poverty level for a family of three,” she
stated. “To maintain a livable wage over the poverty guidelines, the wage would have to increase to at least $11.75. An
increase to only $8.75 would maintain the average working family in poverty and raise the annual income to only $18,200.”
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Chairman Baker thanked all of the panelists for participating in hearing and affirmed that the committee will continue to
examine the issue. “We had tremendous testimony that’s been offered to this committee both on what the costs are to
businesses and the cost to employees if we don’t have some type of increase,” he stated. “The committee is going to
continue to study this and continue to look at the issue of training. I appreciate everyone that has come forward today and
just want to thank the balanced approach we’ve received.”
Written testimony was also offered by the following:
• Evelyn Dodds, Operation Manager, Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Senate State Government Committee
5/5/15, 10:30 a.m., Room 156 Main Capitol Building
By Jeff Cox
The committee met to consider the nomination of Curtis Topper as secretary of the Department of General Services (DGS).
The nomination was unanimously reported.
Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) introduced the nominee to the committee and provided an overview of his experience
prior to his nomination as secretary.
Curtis Topper, nominee to be Secretary of the Department of General Services, told the committee he would forego reading
his testimony and would respond to their questions.
Sen. Stefano asked if the Commonwealth is receiving the best price service and support and overall value on its IT contracts.
Topper responded that the IT hardware contract is managed by the Office of Administration (OA). He added that he and OA
Sec. Sharon Minnich have been working closely together on procurement-related matters, including IT and IT hardware.
Toppers also said that through the GO TIME initiative and the reintroduction of strategic sourcing in Pennsylvania they will
be taking a hard look at all of those contracts. He told the committee, “I am wired to believe we can always do better when
it comes to price, service, and value.”
Sen. Dinniman raised the subject of construction projects at state-owned universities. He explained that four years ago he
along with Sen. White sent a letter to DGS asking for greater freedom for state universities in terms of contracts because
there are certain universities who are capable of supervising their own contract operations. According to Sen. Dinniman,
his office and Sen. Tomlinson’s office met with one of Topper’s deputy secretaries who Sen. Dinniman said seemed to
be resistant to change. He wanted to know how the right people are part of the discussion in the planning of construction
projects at the universities. Sen. Dinniman asked who appoints the members of the selection committee. Topper responded
that the selections committee members are appointed by the Governor. He explained that the procedures by which they
work are partly determined by statute and by policy and procedures promulgated by his office. Topper pointed out that
two months ago the department got started with a modernization effort where they are taking a hard look at how they
do business. Topper indicated the department is currently using some systems that are three decades old. He told the
committee he plans to work with the legislators and the universities on the modernization effort.
Sen. Schwank asked about improving the Commonwealth’s commitment to procurement with regard to diversity and inclusion
and what can be done to make it better. Topper explained that during the Rendell administration there was an emphasis on
minority and women owned businesses. He further explained that during the Corbett administration the emphasis changed to
veteran-owned and service disabled owned and small businesses. According to Topper, the definition of small business was
expanded to the point where 85 percent of the businesses in Pennsylvania qualified as small businesses. He said in talking
with the Governor’s office, the Department of Transportation and Department of Community and Economic Development,
they have determined there is a need to come up with a coherent strategy that is consistent regardless of which agencies is
in the driver’s seat. Topper argued that “procurement is not an overall economic driver.” He indicated that the Administration
will be soon issuing an executive order regarding diversity in procurement.
Chairman Folmer asked Topper if he has implemented new procurement strategies. Topper responded, “Yes.” He noted
that just last week DGS partnered with the Department of Corrections to run the Commonwealth’s first online reverse
22
auction since 2008. According to Topper, the projected annual savings due to this one event are well in excess of $1 million.
Chairman Folmer asked Topper if he has had the opportunity to read the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report
on strategic sourcing. Topper responded by pulling out the report and telling Chairman Folmer he has been reading it.
Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee
5/5/15, 12:30 a.m., Room 156 Main Capitol Building
By Jeff Cox
The committee met to consider the nomination of Major General James Joseph as Adjutant General of the Department of
Military & Veterans Affairs and one bill.
The nomination was unanimously reported. The committee also considered one bill.
Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) introduced the nominee to the committee and provided an overview of his experience and
military career prior to his nomination as adjutant general.
Major General James Joseph told the committee he was “honored and humbled that Gov. Wolf has nominated me to serve
as Pennsylvania’s 52nd adjutant general to lead the 20,000 soldiers and airmen of the Pennsylvania National Guard and
serve the one million veterans in this great Commonwealth.” He continued, “Let me simply say that with some 40 years of
active Army and National Guard service my record of service demonstrates my growth from an enlisted soldier in Vietnam
to the highest rank in the Pennsylvania National Guard and that journey marks command at every level with increasing
responsibility and consistent success.” Maj. Gen. Joseph said, “The opportunity to serve as your Adjutant General permits
me to work alongside the finest soldiers and airmen in any military component in the United States the privilege to serve
our million veterans.”
Chairman Vulakovich described Joseph as “extremely qualified for this position.” He asked Joseph about his efforts to
get the Commonwealth’s veterans into a type of registry so that the state can keep in contact with them regarding all of
the programs the state can offer them. Joseph responded that it his top priority. He noted Pennsylvania does not have a
database from which he can know who the veterans are and where they are located. He said the department is working
with various service organizations in an effort to locate them. Maj. Gen. Joseph also said they are working with the federal
Veterans’ Administration who has a database to try to obtain the veterans’ discharge sheets which will help locate the
veterans and help better serve them. He added that he would like to work with private and public organizations to assist
homeless veterans.
Minority Chairman Costa commented that Maj. Gen. Joseph “comes to us with an impressive background.” He said that he
met with Maj. Gen. Joseph earlier and he did not have any questions.
Sen. Baker asked Maj. Gen. Joseph if he has deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. Joseph responded, “I have not.”
Sen. Baker then spoke about “building a bench” and how Maj. Gen. Joseph sees the potential of having men and women
lined up for succession within the National Guard. Maj. Gen. Joseph responded that he wants to provide safe infrastructure
for all of the National Guardsmen and provide training opportunities so “we can build that bench.” Noting Maj. Gen. Joseph
was the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) during the St. Valentine’s Day snowstorm in
2007, Sen. Baker asked what lessons were learned from that experience. Maj. Gen. Joseph explained there were problems
involving county emergency officers not reporting to Harrisburg among other problems and breakdowns of communications.
He assured the committee new safeguards have been put into place and “it should not happen again.”
SB 490 Baker, Lisa - (PN 481) Amends Title 35 (Health and Safety), in Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency,
adding that the director of the agency shall be subject to Senate confirmation. The Governor shall nominate a person
for the position of Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency within 30 days of the effective date.
Effective immediately. - The bill was reported as amended with the committee Republicans voting “Yes” and the committee
Democrats voting “No”.
A00636 by Vulakovich, provides the act shall apply to directors who are appointed after the effective date. The amendment
23
was unanimously approved.
Chairman Costa expressed opposition to the bill. He said that it has been a long standing practice that the governor has
the discretion to appoint the appropriate director. Chairman Costa expressed concern with having the director tied up in the
confirmation process.
Sen. Baker countered that the confirmation process would give the Senate members the opportunity to ask questions and
look at the operations of an agency that is significant to the Commonwealth. She mentioned that there are several other
director positions in the Commonwealth that require Senate confirmation including the victim advocate, the small business
advocate and the consumer advocate.
Sen. Mensch argued that the confirmation process does not inhibit the director from doing his job. He asserted that “it is
critical to have additional oversight.”
Chairman Vulakovich commented that that when he was elected to the Senate that he thought the Senate voted on the
confirmation of the director because of the importance of the agency. He added that his support of the legislation was not a
reflection on the governor’s current appointee.
NEW LEGISLATION
HB 35 Regan, Mike (R)
Amends Title 18 (Crimes & Offenses) providing for criminal diversion of medical marijuana; and imposing penalties.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 38 Costa, Paul (D)
Amends the Liquor Code, in distilleries, wineries, bonded warehouses, bailees for hire and transporters for hire, further
providing for distilleries.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 39 Costa, Paul (D)
Amends the Liquor Code, in distilleries, wineries, bonded warehouses, bailees for hire and transporters for hire, further
providing for distilleries.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 40 Baker, Matt (R)
Act providing for a volunteer health care practitioner certification; and imposing powers and duties on the Department of
Health.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 930 Toohil, Tarah (R)
Amends the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act, in capital facilities, further providing for appropriation for and limitation on
redevelopment assistance capital projects.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1108 Schreiber, Kevin (D)
Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations), in protection from abuse, further providing for relief and providing for shared wireless
telephone plans.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
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HB 1109 Schreiber, Kevin (D)
(PN 1439) Amends the Public School Code further providing for enrollment by adding that upon notification of the nonrenewal
or termination of a charter, a charter school may not enroll new students unless the charter school files an appeal to the
Charter School Appeal Board. If a charter school’s appeal is denied by the Charter School Appeal Board, a charter school
must immediately stop enrolling new students. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Education
HB 1110 Schreiber, Kevin (D)
(PN 1440) Amends the Liquor Code, in general provisions applying to both liquor and malt and brewed beverages, further
providing for limiting number of retail licenses to be issued in each county. The bill reduces the food to alcohol sales ratio
from 70 percent to 50 percent for certain licenses. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Liquor Control
HB 1111 Schreiber, Kevin (D)
(PN 1441) Amends the Insurance Company Law, in fire and marine insurance, further providing for a municipal certificate
required prior to payment of fire loss claims by increasing the aggregate payment from $2,000 to $4,000. The repairs,
removal or securing of the building or other structure must be completed within one year of the receipt of proceeds by the
municipality. The bill also makes editorial changes. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Insurance
HB 1112 Brown, Rosemary (R)
(PN 1442) Amends the Public School Code, in school districts, providing for data collection reduction. The State Board, in
consultation with the advisory committee, shall: (1) Review public school entity data collection requirements existing as of
the effective date of this section in the areas of finance, human resources, food services, transportation, child accounting,
athletics, health and special education; (2) Identify those data collection requirements that are redundant, overly burdensome
or no longer necessary; and (3) Publish a list in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of the data collection requirements identified.
Within 180 days, the department shall suspend all public school entity data collection requirements identified. The state
board shall establish a committee. For all new public school entity data collection requirements instituted that are not the
result of a statute, the department shall provide: (1) a justification for the data collection; (2) an explanation of how the
department will use the data collected; (3) an explanation of how the department will share the data with public school
entities; (4) a statement affirming that the data collection will not impose any unjustified costs on public school entities or
require duplication of existing data collection requirements; and (5) a statement of the estimated costs to public school
entities for complying with the data collection requirement, including the cost of staff time, training and software. Effective
immediately.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Education
HB 1114 Dush, Cris (R)
(PN 1443) Act designating a bridge on that portion of State Route 3007 over the Redbank Creek, Summerville Borough,
Jefferson County, as the Summerville Veterans Memorial Bridge. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Transportation
HB 1115 Diamond, Russell (R)
Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibiting the taxation
of real property.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
25
HB 1116 Baker, Matt (R)
Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in special vehicles and pedestrians, further providing for pedestrians soliciting rides or business.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1117 Baker, Matt (R)
Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in fees, further providing for exemption of persons, entities and vehicles from fees.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1118 Vereb, Mike (R)
Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) providing for independent counsel; and making an editorial change.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1119 Hill, Kristin (R)
Amends the Public School Code, in preliminary provisions, providing for waiver of public school mandates.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1120 Nesbit, Tedd (R)
Amends the Tax Reform Code providing for a computer data center equipment incentive program.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1121 Kinsey, Stephen (D)
Amends the Public School Code, in safe schools, providing for parental notification of certain incidents.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1122 Kinsey, Stephen (D)
Amends the Public School Code, in school finances, further providing for distress in school districts of the 1st class; in
grounds & buildings, for public hearing; &, in pupils & attendance, for conditions for closing schools.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1154 Costa, Dom (D)
Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in registration of vehicles, further providing for display of registration plate.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1155 Christiana, Jim (R)
Amends Title 65 (Public Officers), in open meetings, further providing for public notice; and providing for notification of
agency business required.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1156 Tallman, Will (R)
Amends the Public School Code, in pupils and attendance, further defining “compulsory school age.”
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HB 1157 Tallman, Will (R)
Amends the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law, providing for the care of police animals injured in the line of duty.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HR 313 Toohil, Tarah (R)
(PN 1430) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “National Drug Court Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
26
HR 314 Sims, Brian (D)
(PN 1431) Resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Philadelphia’s South 9th Street Italian
Market.
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 315 Longietti, Mark (D)
(PN 1432) Resolution honoring and recognizing the service and sacrifice of members of the United States Armed Forces
and their families on the occasion of “Armed Forces Day,” May 16, 2015.
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 316 Schreiber, Kevin (D)
(PN 1433) Resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on the issue of expanding
the availability of natural gas to Pennsylvania homes, businesses, nonprofit organizations and units of government in the
most cost-effective manner.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced and referred to committee on House Environmental Resources and Energy
HR 317 Markosek, Joseph (D)
(PN 1434) Resolution honoring the life and service of the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, who led the University of Notre
Dame as university president, and extending condolences to those whose lives were positively impacted by him.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 318 Greiner, Keith (R)
(PN 1435) Resolution designating the week of May 17 through 23, 2015, as “CPA Week of Service” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 319 Boback, Karen (R)
(PN 1436) Resolution recognizing May 25, 2015, as “National Missing Children’s Day” in Pennsylvania and urging
participation in child protection.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 320 Taylor, John (R)
Resolution urging USA Wrestling to designate PA Wrestling Club, Inc., as the organizing committee for the election of the
City of Philadelphia as the host city for the 2017 Veterans World Wrestling Championships.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
HR 321 Baker, Matt (R)
(PN 1437) Resolution recognizing the week of May 10 through 16, 2015, as “National Hospital Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
HR 322 Baker, Matt (R)
(PN 1438) Resolution recognizing the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council and honoring the Council for working
to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
May 5, 2015 - H-Introduced as noncontroversial resolution
27
HR 323 Kinsey, Stephen (D)
Resolution commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement.
May 5, 2015 - H-Filed
SB 773 Kitchen, Shirley (D)
(PN 854) Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), in minors, adding powdered alcohol to the definition of “liquor” and defining
“powdered alcohol” as alcohol sold in powdered or molecularly encapsulated form for either direct use or reconstitution.
Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Filed
May 5, 2015 - S-Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Judiciary
SR 99 Bartolotta, Camera (R)
(PN 843) Resolution designating the week of May 11 through 15, 2015, as “Women’s Lung Health Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 100 Gordner, John (R)
(PN 844) Resolution recognizing May 7, 2015, as the “National Day of Prayer” in Pennsylvania and encouraging the
celebration of religious freedom.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 101 Farnese, Lawrence (D)
(PN 845) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month” in
Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 102 Vance, Pat (R)
(PN 846) Resolution recognizing the week of May 10 through 16, 2015, as “National Hospital Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 103 Baker, Lisa (R)
(PN 847) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “Building Safety Month” and encouraging residents to participate
in “Building Safety Week” from May 3 through May 9, 2015, in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 104 Fontana, Wayne (D)
(PN 848) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Brain Tumor Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 105 Teplitz, Rob (D)
(PN 849) Resolution commemorating the 67th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
SR 106 Vulakovich, Randy (R)
(PN 850) Resolution recognizing the week of May 3 through 9, 2015, as “National Arson Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Filed
28
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
HB 11 Grove, Seth (R)
(PN 1036) The Lean Management Practices Act establishes the Lean Government Practices Program within the Governor’s
Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency to provide training to State agencies for training
new employees in using lean government practices. Establishes a steering committee consisting of: the Secretary of
Administration, the Director of the Transformation Office, the Secretary of Policy and Planning, the Secretary of General
Services, the Secretary of the Budget, one individual appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore, one individual
appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, one individual appointed by the House Speaker, and one individual appointed
by the House Minority Leader to direct the program and coordinate with the heads of all State agencies. Requires the
Steering Committee to identify state programs and processes in need of streamlining to improve efficiency and delivery of
government services and to provide training and implement strategies to assist in the adoption of lean government practices
by State agencies. Also requires all agencies to designate certain employees to form innovation teams to receive training in
lean government practices by participating in the program. Requires the innovation teams to begin the process of adopting
the practices upon completion of the training. Provides the Transformation Office shall administer the program and provide
an annual report detailing any cost savings and improved delivery of services by State agencies from the program. Also
allows the Transformation Office to promulgate regulations to assist in the administration of the program. Effective in 60
days. (Prior Printer Number: 216)
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Over in House
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
HB 65 Godshall, Robert (R)
(PN 56) Amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates & Fiduciaries) establishing audiovisual material of autopsies as confidential,
and limiting their release, with certain exceptions. The bill lays out penalties for violations. Crime-scene photographs are
allowed to continue to take place. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as amended House Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - H-First consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid on the table
HB 74 Kauffman, Rob (R)
(PN 65) Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) regrading of the offense of endangering welfare of children. Effective in 60
days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Over in House
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
HB 122 Delozier, Sheryl (R)
(PN 1321) Amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries), in Pennsylvania Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, further
providing for court authorization of a transfer to a 529 education account. Also doubles the transfer threshold to $50,000.
Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 107)
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
29
HB 124 Delozier, Sheryl (R)
(PN 109) Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations), in protection from abuse, further providing for commencement of proceedings
by adding that if the plaintiff has knowledge of a founded or indicated report of child abuse under Chapter 63 (relating to
child protective services) involving the defendant, the petition shall include that information together with the name of the
investigative agency. The petition shall include notice to the defendant that an order issued under this chapter may have an
impact on the defendant under Chapter 63. The court shall develop procedures to implement the provisions. Effective in 60
days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Over in House
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
HB 153 Knowles, Jerry (R)
(PN 1318) Joint Resolution amending the Pennsylvania Constitution reducing the number of representatives in the House of
Representatives to 151 from 203. Constitutional amendments require approval in two consecutive legislative sessions and
then approval by the voters through a referendum. (Prior Printer Number: 142)
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-House Dush motion to recommit HB 153 to the House State Government Committee by a vote of
89 YEAS 109 NAYS
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 139 YEAS 56 NAYS
HB 157 Heffley, Doyle (R)
(PN 307) Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs), in professional and occupational licenses, providing that military service and
other related factors may be taken into consideration to determine whether a licensing or certification requirement has been
met by or can otherwise be waived by reason of that military service, education, training or experience. A veteran shall only
be required to meet a licensing or certification requirement which has not been met by or waived. Defines “veteran” as an
individual who has served in the United States armed forces, including a reserve component and National Guard who has
been discharged or released from service un conditions other than dishonorable. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number:
143)
May 5, 2015 - S-Laid on the table
HB 159 Kampf, Warren (R)
(PN 145) Amends Title 40 (Insurance) adding language authorizing a reciprocal insurance exchange that writes medical
liability insurance to convert to a stock insurance company. Provides for adoption of plan of conversion; contents of plan of
conversion; optional provisions of plan of conversion; alternative plan of conversion; and rules and regulations. Effective in
60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Signed in the House
May 5, 2015 - S-Signed in the Senate
HB 189 Sonney, Curt (R)
(PN 181) Amends the Liquor Code outlining the means for shipping wine into the commonwealth. Only licensed out-ofstate wineries can qualify for the direct shipper’s license. Requires remittance of the six percent sales tax and 18 percent
Johnstown Flood tax to the Department of Revenue on a quarterly basis; and requires that the shipper obtain proof of age
before leaving the wine shipment with a resident. The legislation adds the Achroma Corporation to the list of approved
nonprofits for special occasion permits, allows for proportional pricing not to exceed a ten percent markup, and provides
for the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement or Liquor Control Board to inspect transporter-for-hire records. Effective in 60 days
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
30
HB 192 Gillen, Mark (R)
(PN 1189) Amends Civil Service Act granting the director the power to advertise, on the commission’s website and in
all commission announcements, advertisements and examination materials, that veterans’ preference is the law of this
Commonwealth and that, to determine standing on all certified eligibility lists, an additional ten points will be applied to
the final examination score obtained by a veteran, in accordance with 51 Pa.C.S. 7103 (relating to additional points in
grading civil service examinations), and the same preferential rating given to veterans under this chapter shall be extended
to spouses, in accordance with 51 Pa.C.S. 7108 (relating to preference of spouses). Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer
Number: 184, 353)
May 5, 2015 - S-Laid on the table
HB 204 Murt, Thomas (R)
(PN 194) Amends the Tax Reform Code to add an article detailing a tax credit for tourism promotion and marketing donations
made to the Pennsylvania Tourism Commission or a nonprofit established by the commission. The tax credit shall be 100
percent for the taxable year, but a single taxpayer is limited to taking up to 20 percent of the total credit authorized for a fiscal
year. The maximum amount of credits that may be authorized in a fiscal year is a capped at $15 million. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee as amended House Tourism and Recreational Developmen
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as amended House Tourism and Recreational Development
May 5, 2015 - H-First consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid on the table
HB 384 Keller, Fred (R)
(PN 421) Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution reducing the size of the State Senate
from 50 members to 37 members. Constitutional amendments require approval in two consecutive legislative sessions and
then approval by the voters through a referendum.
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 146 YEAS 49 NAYS
HB 389 Oberlander, Donna (R)
(PN 1236) Amends Act entitled “An act creating a Department of Health, and defining its powers and duties” adding language
establishing the office of the Chief Nursing Officer of the Commonwealth within the Department of Health. The Chief Nursing
Officer shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall serve at the pleasure of
the Governor. Further provides for the powers and duties of the Chief Nursing Officer. Requires the CNO to be a practicing
bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) prepared registered nurse licensed by the Commonwealth nurse. Effective in 60 days.
(Prior Printer Number: 426)
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HB 410 Hackett, Joe (Res. 4/30/15) (R)
(PN 1322) Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to provide that a parent of a child conceived as the result of enumerated
sex crimes shall be liable for support. Paternity shall be established through blood, genetic or other authorized type of
paternity test. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 445)
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Over in House
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
31
HB 424 Simmons, Justin (R)
(PN 459) Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), in offenses against the family, increasing the grading of the offense of
concealing death of child to a felony of the third degree if the individual as a parent, individual residing in the same household
as the child or an individual responsible for the child’s welfare endeavors to conceal the death. “Parent” is defined. Effective
in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
HB 499 Emrick, Joe (R)
(PN 557) Amends the Public School Code further providing for evaluation of applications for certification by adding that
a teacher preparation program approved by the Department of Education shall not require a student to obtain a passing
score on an assessment administered pursuant to 22 Pa. Code 49.18 (relating to assessment) as a condition of graduation
or include the student’s score on the assessment as a component of a student’s grade in any course, provided that the
assessment of professional knowledge and practice may be included as a component of a student’s student teaching grade.
The legislation allows for a department-approved teacher preparation program to recommend for certification applicants
meeting the grade point average requirement. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HB 501 Keller, Mark (R)
(PN 1319) Act designating the Conodoguinet Bridge on that portion of State Route 641 over the Conodoguinet Creek,
Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, as the Pfc. Harold “Sam” E. Barrick Memorial Bridge. Effective in 60 days. (Prior
Printer Number: 558)
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 195 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 609 Baker, Matt (R)
(PN 682) Amends Title 18 (Crimes) adding language providing if the intent of an individual is to impersonate a doctor and, in
so doing, provides medical advice or treatment to another person as a patient, regardless of whether or not the other person
suffers harm from the advice or treatment the offense shall be a first degree misdemeanor. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - H-First consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid on the table
HB 619 Simmons, Justin (R)
(PN 689) Amends the Liquor Code adding that wine auction permits are available to any college or university which is a
member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HB 682 Murt, Thomas (R)
(PN 823) Amends the Clean Indoor Air Act to further provide for definitions and prohibit smoking in public places by removing
exceptions related to smoking in places used for the provision of child care services, designated quarters in enumerated
establishments, tobacco company places of employment, certain enumerated residential facilities, clubs, places where
fundraisers are conducted, and exhibition halls. The legislation provides the requirements for permissible operation of a
cigar bar, cigar lounge, or tobacco shop. The bill details required signage and warnings and makes related repeals. Effective
in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Press conference held
32
HB 683 Rapp, Kathy (R)
(PN 798) Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act, in senior citizens property tax and rent rebate assistance, removing from the
definition of “income” veterans’ disability payments. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 195 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 752 Christiana, Jim (R)
(PN 888) Amends the Tax Reform Code increasing limitations on approved tax credits to $170 million total. No more than
$102 million shall be used to provide tax credits for contributions from business firms to scholarship organizations; no
more than $51 million shall be used to provide tax credits for contributions from business firms to educational improvement
organizations; and tax credits approved for contributions from business firms to pre-kindergarten scholarship organizations
shall not exceed $17 million. The total aggregate amount of all tax credits approved for contributions from business firms to
opportunity scholarship organizations shall not exceed $80 million. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HB 770 Masser, Kurt (R)
(PN 910) Amends the Liquor Code to allow liquor licensees to offer discounts on food and malt or brewed beverages to
patrons who are part of a bona fide club or group program that the licensee offers, except between the hours of midnight
and 2 a.m. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HB 779 Masser, Kurt (R)
(PN 1320) Act designating a portion of PA Route 64 in Montour County as the Staff Sergeant Thomas Allen Baysore
Memorial Highway. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 918)
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 195 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 782 Heffley, Doyle (R)
(PN 925) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing
for administration and enforcement by requiring the retention of three or more (increased from one or more) construction
code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of this act. A
municipality administering and enforcing this act by designation of a municipal code official or through joint administration
and enforcement shall collect fees that represent their actual administrative costs of code enforcement. such municipalities
shall annually report to the department, on a schedule determined by the department, the fees that were collected and the
operating costs of their code enforcement program. The department shall have the power to order municipalities to readjust
fee schedules that it reasonably believes to be excessive. The provisions relating to the retention of two or more third party
agencies shall take effect July, 1, 2015, or immediately, whichever is later. The remainder is effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - H-Press conference held
HB 805 Bloom, Stephen (R)
(PN 962) Amends the Public School Code, in professional employees, removing provisions related to seniority-based
layoffs. Provides for performance ratings and related guidelines for using that metric as a basis for reinstatement. Provides
for review by the Secretary of Education. The amendment or addition of sections 1124(c) and 1125.1(g) of the act shall take
effect immediately, and the remainder is effective July 1, 2015.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
33
HB 806 Causer, Martin (R)
(PN 951) Amends the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act further providing for responsibilities of
county assessor in establishing use values by adding that if a county assessor establishes the lower use values, the county
assessor shall uniformly apply the lower set of use values, notwithstanding if the values are provided by the department or
established by the county, in calculating the preferential assessment of land in each land use category. The enrollment of
land for preferential assessment under this act may not result in assessments that are equal to or higher than if the land had
not been so enrolled. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee as amended House Agriculture and Rural Affairs
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as amended House Agriculture and Rural Affairs
May 5, 2015 - H-First consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid on the table
HB 863 Benninghoff, Kerry (R)
(PN 1047) Act designating a bridge on that portion of State Route 3006 over Spring Creek, Bellefonte Borough, Centre
County, as the Bellefonte Veterans Bridge. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 196 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 875 Baker, Matt (R)
(PN 1070) Amends the Public Welfare Code, in public assistance, further providing for verification of eligibility by adding that
all applicants and recipients shall, as a condition of eligibility, cooperate with the department in securing medical support
from the noncustodial parent of any child for whom medical assistance is sought or provided. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 195 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 934 Christiana, Jim (R)
(PN 1330) Amends the Public Welfare Code, in public assistance, establishing the Keystone Education Yields Success
(KEYS) program. KEYS shall be designed to enable and to assist eligible individuals receiving TANF or SNAP benefits to
enroll in and pursue a certificate or degree program within one of the Commonwealth’s community colleges, a career or
technical school registered with the Department of Education, or university within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher
Education. A KEYS recipient shall be permitted to count vocational education, including class time, clinicals, labs and
study time as set by the community college, university or school, toward the recipient’s core TANF work requirement for 24
months, with the possibility of six-month extensions. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 1131, 1138, 1237)
May 5, 2015 - H-Voted favorably from committee on House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Reported as committed from House Appropriations
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Final Passage by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HB 972 Pickett, Tina (R)
(PN 1332) Amends the Insurance Company Law, in life and endowment insurance and annuities, providing for the electronic
delivery of insurance policies and annuities. Outlines the procedure for a disputed delivery. Effective in 60 days. (Prior
Printer Number: 1228)
May 5, 2015 - H-Second consideration
May 5, 2015 - H-Rereferred to House Appropriations
34
HB 1039 O’Neill, Bernie (R)
(PN 1315) Amends the Public School Code, in certification of teachers, further providing for certificates qualifying persons to
teach by adding that an individual who does not hold a certificate shall be eligible to teach as a substitute in a school entity
provided that: (1) The uncertified individual possesses a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a
regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and satisfies the requirements set
forth in sections 111, 111.1 and 1109(a) and 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 Subch. C (relating to powers and duties of department); (2)
The school entity shall make a bona fide effort to employ a certified individual before employing an uncertified individual; (3)
The uncertified individual shall serve as a substitute for a single professional employe or temporary professional employe
for no more than 14 consecutive days in a school year, provided that the uncertified individual may serve as a substitute for
multiple professional employes or temporary professional employes; (4) The individual shall receive a salary fixed by the
governing board of the school entity; and (5) The individual shall not have the right to elect membership in the Public School
Employees’ Retirement System, nor shall service as a substitute under this subsection be eligible for credit in the Public
School Employees’ Retirement System. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
HR 72 Murt, Thomas (R)
(PN 374) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Cancer Caregivers Recognition Month” in Pennsylvania and
honoring the vital role caregivers play in the lives of cancer patients.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 168 Evankovich, Eli (R)
(PN 1200) Resolution urging the Department of Transportation to update its regulation on the documentation required for a
name change to a driver’s license or identification card. (Prior Printer Number: 922)
May 5, 2015 - H-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - H-1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 196 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 201 Costa, Dom (D)
(PN 1020) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 221 Caltagirone, Thomas (D)
(PN 1139) Resolution recognizing May 7, 2015, as the “National Day of Prayer” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 262 Donatucci, Maria (D)
(PN 1252) Resolution recognizing the week of May 10 through 16, 2015, as “National Nursing Home Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 268 Schlossberg, Mike (D)
(PN 1258) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 274 Hickernell, David (R)
(PN 1264) Resolution recognizing the week of May 2 through 10, 2015, as “National Travel and Tourism Week” and May 5,
2015, as “Tourism Day” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 278 Cohen, Mark (D)
(PN 1323) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
35
HR 280 Cohen, Mark (D)
(PN 1325) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Jewish American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 284 Ross, Chris (R)
(PN 1334) Resolution honoring Michael P. Gasbarre for his decades of service to the Pennsylvania Local Government
Commission and to the residents of the Commonwealth.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 288 Readshaw, Harry (D)
(PN 1337) Resolution recognizing the week of May 4 through May 8, 2015, as “Small Business Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 289 Killion, Thomas (R)
(PN 1338) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “Blue Star Mothers of America Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 293 Barbin, Bryan (D)
(PN 1353) Resolution designating May 8, 2015, as “Military Spouse Appreciation Day” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 296 Pashinski, Eddie Day (D)
(PN 1356) Resolution designating April 28, 2015, as “Workers’ Memorial Day” in Pennsylvania in memory of workers killed,
injured and disabled in the workplace and in recognition of the efforts of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 298 Oberlander, Donna (R)
(PN 1358) Resolution designating the week of May 11 through 15, 2015, as “Women’s Lung Health Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 302 Culver, Lynda (R)
(PN 1387) Resolution designating the week of May 10 through 16, 2015, as “Women’s Lung Health Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 308 Kortz, Bill (D)
(PN 1397) Resolution designating May 5, 2015, as “Alzheimer’s Awareness Action Day” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Press conference held
HR 309 Farry, Frank (R)
(PN 1401) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month”
in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 311 Watson, Katharine (R)
(PN 1403) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Healthy Babies Month” in Pennsylvania. Printer Number(s):P1403
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
HR 312 Watson, Katharine (R)
(PN 1404) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “Global Youth Traffic Safety Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 5, 2015 - H-Adopted by a vote of 198 YEAS 0 NAYS
36
SB 3 Folmer, Mike (R)
(PN 793) The Medical Cannabis Act provides for the medical use of cannabis (marijuana) in Pennsylvania for the treatment
of certain medical conditions, including glaucoma and HIV/AIDS among others. The State Board of Medical Cannabis
Licensing is established in the Department of State to regulate and oversee the industry. The bill provides for the licensure
of growers, processors, and dispensers. Medical cannabis mixed into food or drinks in order to assist with ingestion does not
violate the ban on edible products, however any food mixed with medical cannabis may not be sold. Establishes a registry
to ensure adequate availability of different medical cannabis strains and concentrations. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer
Number: 224)
May 5, 2015 - S-Second consideration
SB 79 Stefano, Patrick (R)
(PN 55) Amends the act designating several roads and bridges further providing for the Officer Robb McCray Memorial
Bridge in Fayette County. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - H-Signed in the House
May 5, 2015 - S-Signed in the Senate
SB 95 Farnese, Lawrence (D)
(PN 654) Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure), in particular rights and immunities, providing for immunity for
protected communications. The bill states a person who engages in any protected communication shall be immune from
any civil action for claims based upon such communication. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Voted favorably from committee on Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-Reported as committed from Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-First consideration
SB 195 Tartaglione, Christine (D)
(PN 242) Amends the Minimum Wage Act increasing the minimum wage to $8.67 an hour beginning July 1, 2015; $10.10 an
hour beginning January 1, 2016; and beginning January 1, 2017, and each succeeding January 1 thereafter, the minimum
wage shall be increased by an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The bill stipulates that the Minimum Wage Advisory Board
shall report annually on April 1 instead of March 1. The department shall collect quarterly certain data relating to wages and
complaints and the secretary shall investigate high-violation industries. The bill provides for recordkeeping and penalties.
The Wage Enforcement Fund is established in the State Treasury, which shall consist of the fines and penalties collected.
Moneys in the fund are appropriated to the department for inspections and investigations. The department shall report
annually regarding the Wage Enforcement Fund. The bill provides for related repeals. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
SB 196 Tartaglione, Christine (D)
(PN 243) Amends the Minimum Wage Act further providing for definitions and increasing the minimum wage for a tipped
employee to $3.95 an hour in cash wages beginning July 1, 2015; and 70 percent of the rate otherwise applicable, whichever
is greater, an hour in cash wages beginning January 1, 2016. The department shall collect information of the number of
employers who violate the provisions of this act, including the amount of fines imposed for violations, and shall publish the
information on the department’s website. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
SB 197 Tartaglione, Christine (D)
(PN 244) Amends the Minimum Wage Act stipulating that beginning January 1, 2016, and each succeeding January 1
thereafter, the minimum wage shall be increased by an annual cost-of-living adjustment calculated by applying the percentage
change in the most recent officially reported CPI-U. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
37
SB 198 Tartaglione, Christine (D)
(PN 245) Amends the Minimum Wage Act adding that “employer” includes the Commonwealth, any of its political subdivisions,
any authority created by the General Assembly and any instrumentality or agency of the Commonwealth. The department
shall report quarterly data regarding violations and complaints and the secretary shall investigate high-violation industries.
The bill provides for penalties. All fines and penalties collected under act shall be deposited into the Wage Enforcement
Fund and shall be used by the department for inspections and investigations. The department shall report annually to the
governor and legislature regarding the act. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
SB 199 Tartaglione, Christine (D)
(PN 246) Amends the Minimum Wage Act adding language requiring an employer that permits a customer to pay a gratuity
by credit card to pay the employee the full amount of the gratuity that the customer indicated on the credit card slip. Prohibits
the employer from deducting any credit card payment processing fee or cost that may be charged to the employer by a credit
card company. Also requires payment of the gratuity made by a customer to be made to the employee not later than the next
regular payday following the date the customer authorized the payment. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
SB 266 Eichelberger, John (R)
(PN 146) Act authorizing the Department of General Services, with the Governor and the Pennsylvania Historical and
Museum Commission, to grant and convey to the Bear Valley Franklin County Pennsylvania Joint Authority, two permanent
easements from lands at the Fort Loudon Historical Site for purpose of groundwater withdrawal. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - H-Removed from the table
SB 294 Eichelberger, John (R)
(PN 443) Amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 22 (Detectives and Private Police) adding language to section 5511
of Title 18 relating to cruelty to animals to include an equine animal. Provides for a definition of “torture”. Also adds language
to section 3715 of Title 22 relating to the Humane Society Police Officer Advisory Board. Requires the board, on or before
December 31, 2016, to develop guidelines to assist humane society police officers, law enforcement officers, the courts and
the Department of Agriculture in the implementation and enforcement of the cruelty to animal statutes. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Voted favorably from committee as amended Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-Reported as amended Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-First consideration
SB 329 Ward, Kim (R)
(PN 220) Amends the Public School Code adding a new article establishing the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program
within the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Requires the agency to use funds appropriated for this purpose
from the General Fund and it may accept donations from public and private sources including the Federal Government. The
program shall provide scholarships to eligible students to defray the cost of attending a State grant-approved institution of
higher education that is located in the Commonwealth. Provides for eligibility requirements. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Rereferred to Senate Appropriations
SB 330 Ward, Kim (R)
(PN 775) Amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally), in neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization, providing for
failure to comply with a code requirement. The bill outlines what constitutes noncompliance and grades a second offense as
a second-degree misdemeanor and three or more as a first-degree misdemeanor. Repeals the offense of municipal housing
code avoidance. Lays out penalties. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 221, 750)
May 5, 2015 - S-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - S-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - S-Final Passage by a vote of 48 YEAS 0 NAYS
38
SB 373 Alloway, Richard (R)
(PN 288) Amends Title 18 (Crimes) further providing for the offense of cruelty to animals by adding an offense for tethering
a dog outside and unattended to any stationary object by use of a restraint unless the tether is placed or attached so that
the dog cannot become entangled with other objects and allows the dog to roam the full range of the tether, the tether is
attached to the dog by means of a well-fitted collar or body harness that will not cause trauma or injury to the dog, the tether
is at least 12 feet long and allows the dog convenient and unfettered access to shelter and food and water containers,
the dog is provided with protection from the direct rays of the sun and at least one area of shade other than the shelter
is provided, and the dog is not tethered outside during periods of temperature below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees or
when a weather advisory or warning has been issued. A person who commits such an offense may be subject to forfeiture
of the dog. Also adds a new subsection proving a person in charge or control of a dog, shall at a minimum, provide the dog
with shelter and bedding as provided in the legislation. Provides for penalties for violations of this new subsection. Effective
immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Voted favorably from committee on Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-Reported as committed from Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-First consideration
SB 442 Folmer, Mike (R)
(PN 391) The Taxpayer-Funded Advertising Transparency Act requires notification in advertising. No expenditures for paid
media advertising shall be made by a Commonwealth agency from money appropriated, executively authorized or otherwise
made available from the General Fund or a special fund that is comprised of money collected by a tax imposed by the
Commonwealth or other revenues or receipts received by the Commonwealth unless the paid media advertising includes
a statement that it is funded, in whole or in part, by the fund and includes the following specific statement: “Paid for with
Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars.” Effective in 30 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Second consideration
SB 490 Baker, Lisa (R)
(PN 481) Amends Title 35 (Health and Safety), in Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, adding that the director
of the agency shall be subject to Senate confirmation. The Governor shall nominate a person for the position of Director of
the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency within 30 days of the effective date. Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Voted favorably from committee as amended Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Prepa
May 5, 2015 - S-Reported as amended Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Prepared.
May 5, 2015 - S-First consideration
SB 524 Scarnati, Joseph (R)
(PN 786) Amends Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) establishing the Non-narcotic Medication Assisted Substance Abuse
Treatment Grant Program in the department to increase opportunities for counties to provide long acting non-narcotic,
nonaddictive medication combined with comprehensive substance abuse treatment to eligible offenders upon release from
county correctional institutions. Grants shall be awarded to counties eligible to participate in the program within six months
of the effective date. The bill imposes powers and duties on the Department of Corrections and provides for county eligibility
for grant funding. Clarifies naltrexone will be approved as part of any prior approval process by any Medicaid managed care
program under contract with the commonwealth. The department shall report by June 30, 2016, evaluating the effectiveness
of the program. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 471)
May 5, 2015 - S-Rereferred to Senate Appropriations
SB 567 Greenleaf, Stewart (R)
(PN 540) Amends the Clean Indoor Air Act further prohibiting smoking in public places; providing extensively for definitions;
providing for local ordinances; and repealing certain provisions of the Fire and Panic Act. Exceptions for designated quarters,
tobacco workplaces, certain residential facilities, certain private clubs, certain fundraisers locations, facilities with tobaccorelated events, certain cigar bars, drinking establishments, and gaming floors are removed. New specifications to allow
smoking in cigar bars or cigar lounges are outlined. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Press conference held
39
SB 622 Mensch, Bob (R)
(PN 644) Act providing stipulating that the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee shall no longer: (1) Undertake studies
and prepare reports of the studies for the General Assembly under section 635.1(d) of The Insurance Company Law; (2)
Issue reports to the General Assembly under 4 Pa.C.S. 1211(b) (relating to reports of board); and (3) Perform performance
audits, make written reports of the audits and submit copies of the reports to the General Assembly under 75 Pa.C.S.
9701(c) (relating to legislative oversight). Effective immediately.
May 5, 2015 - S-Laid out for discussion
May 5, 2015 - S-Third consideration
May 5, 2015 - S-Final Passage by a vote of 48 YEAS 0 NAYS
SB 644 Folmer, Mike (R)
(PN 801) Amends Title 71 (State Government) adding language requiring the Independent Fiscal Office to provide a cost
analysis for the current and five subsequent fiscal years of the impact of each proposed collective bargaining agreement
under the jurisdiction of the Governor prior to execution. The analysis shall include the costs to cover public employee
wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions that have been reduced to writing under section 701 of the Public
Employe Relations Act. Also adds language authorizing the director of the Independent Fiscal Office to obtain information,
data, estimates, statistics and last best offers negotiated on all collective bargaining agreements under the jurisdiction of the
Governor. Requires the Office of Administration and the Office of the Budget to submit to the Independent Fiscal Office at
least two weeks in advance of their execution copies of the proposed agreements so the office is able to fulfill its obligations
prior to the execution of the agreements. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 758)
May 5, 2015 - S-Second consideration
SB 645 Stefano, Patrick (R)
(PN 759) The Public Employer Collective Bargaining Transparency Act requires a public employer to provide notice prior
to signing a proposed collective bargaining agreement. The notice shall include a statement of the terms of the proposed
agreement and an estimate of the costs to the public employer associated with the proposed agreement. Requires the
notice to be posted on the public employer’s website at least two weeks prior to the signing of the proposed agreement
and continuing at least 30 days after the signing of the agreement. Further provides for the records subject to the Rightto-Know Law. Applies to the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, school districts and any officer, board, commission,
agency, authority or other instrumentality and to nonprofit organizations or institution and any charitable, religious, scientific,
literacy, recreational, health, educational or welfare institution receiving grants or appropriations from Federal, State or local
government, Effective in 30 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Second consideration
SB 663 Vulakovich, Randy (R)
(PN 661) Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) to provide that a parent of a child conceived as the result of enumerated sex
crimes shall be liable for support. Paternity shall be established through blood, genetic or other authorized type of paternity
test. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Voted favorably from committee as amended Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-Reported as amended Senate Judiciary
May 5, 2015 - S-First consideration
SB 678 Smucker, Lloyd (R)
(PN 785) Amends the Public School Code, in the State System of Higher Education, by amending the definition of “grounds”
to include highways, roadways and trafficways that traverse or abut such lands and buildings. Effective in 60 days (Prior
Printer Number: 711)
May 5, 2015 - S-Second consideration
40
SB 683 Pileggi, Dominic (R)
(PN 672) Amends Title 44 (Law and Justice), in DNA data and testing, further providing for policy, for definitions, for powers
and duties of State Police, for State DNA Data Base, for State DNA Data Bank, for State Police recommendation of additional
offenses, for procedural compatibility with FBI and for DNA sample required upon conviction, delinquency adjudication and
certain ARD cases; providing for collection from persons accepted from other jurisdictions; further providing for procedures
for withdrawal, collection and transmission of DNA samples, for procedures for conduct, disposition and use of DNA analysis;
providing for request for modified DNA search; and further providing for DNA data base exchange, for expungement and for
mandatory cost. Effective in 60 days.
May 5, 2015 - S-Rereferred to Senate Appropriations
SR 99 Bartolotta, Camera (R)
(PN 843) Resolution designating the week of May 11 through 15, 2015, as “Women’s Lung Health Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 100 Gordner, John (R)
(PN 844) Resolution recognizing May 7, 2015, as the “National Day of Prayer” in Pennsylvania and encouraging the
celebration of religious freedom.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 101 Farnese, Lawrence (D)
(PN 845) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month” in
Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 102 Vance, Pat (R)
(PN 846) Resolution recognizing the week of May 10 through 16, 2015, as “National Hospital Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 103 Baker, Lisa (R)
(PN 847) Resolution recognizing the month of May 2015 as “Building Safety Month” and encouraging residents to participate
in “Building Safety Week” from May 3 through May 9, 2015, in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 104 Fontana, Wayne (D)
(PN 848) Resolution designating the month of May 2015 as “Brain Tumor Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 105 Teplitz, Rob (D)
(PN 849) Resolution commemorating the 67th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
SR 106 Vulakovich, Randy (R)
(PN 850) Resolution recognizing the week of May 3 through 9, 2015, as “National Arson Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania.
May 4, 2015 - S-Introduced and adopted
41
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS
HB 152 Tallman, Will (R)
(PN 1181) Amends the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act providing for additional time
to submit the death certificate in the event an emergency responder, law enforcement officer, HazMat, National Guard
members or any other law enforcement officer employed by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision dies as a result
of performing his duty. Death certificate submission, from the date of death, shall be within three years instead of 90 days.
This amendment shall apply to an individual whose date of death occurs before, on or after the effective date. Effective
immediately. (Prior Printer Number: 141, 232, 566)
May 5, 2015 - H-In the hands of the Governor
May 15, 2015 - H-Last day for Governor’s action
HB 178 Snyder, Pam (D)
(PN 1213) Act designating the interchange of State Route 43 at the Mon-Fayette Expressway Interchange with State Route
88, known as Exit 28, in Washington County as the Marine Cpl. Thomas R. Matty Memorial Interchange; designating a bridge
on that portion of State Route 1013, known as Knupp Road, over the Hypocrite Creek, Fairfield Township, Westmoreland
County, as the PFC LeRoy D. “Whitey” Schaller Bridge; designating a portion of State Route 711 in New Florence Borough
through St. Clair Township, Westmoreland County, as the Veterans Highway; designating a bridge on that portion of State
Route 88 over Muddy Creek, Cumberland Township, Greene County, as the Army Corporal Richard W. Kowalewski, Jr.,
Memorial Bridge; and designating the bridge carrying U.S. Route 322 over the east branch of the Brandywine Creek in West
Bradford and East Caln Townships, Chester County, as the Robbie and Ryan Miller Memorial Bridge; designating the bridge
located on State Route 34 that connects the banks of the Juniata River in Newport, Perry County, as the Paul Reider bridge;
and designating a portion of State Route 2029 and 2049, also known as Bath Road, in Bristol Township, Bucks County, as
the Sergeant George Stuckey Memorial Road. Effective in 60 days. (Prior Printer Number: 172, 308, 663, 694)
May 5, 2015 - H-In the hands of the Governor
May 15, 2015 - H-Last day for Governor’s action
UPCOMING MEETINGS
WEDNESDAY - 5/6/15
House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
9:15 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
To consider: HB 602 Barrar, Stephen Amends Title 51 re PA National Guard pay HB 175 Goodman, Neal Amends Persian
Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Benefit HB 824 Petri, Scott Amends Title 2 re public safety officials HB 138 Farry, Frank Amends Title
35 re coin/toss boot drive
House Aging and Older Adult Services
9:30 a.m., Room 39, East Wing
Informational meeting to hear presentation by PA AARP on their organization and legislative priorities
House Gaming Oversight
9:30 a.m., Room B31 Main Capitol
Public hearing on statutory and regulatory changes to casino gaming in PA
House Local Government
9:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
To consider: HR 212 Ross, Chris Concurrent Resolution re retirement programs HB 823 Greiner, Keith Amends Local Tax
Collection Law re updates HB 859 Staats, Craig Amends Tax Reform Code re imposition of tax
42
Senate Public Health and Welfare
9:30 a.m., Room 156 Main Capitol
Public hearing to consider the nomination of Garold Tennis as Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
and voting meeting to consider: SB 396 Vance, Pat Amends Health Care Cost Containment Act SB 472 Rafferty, John
Amends Controlled Substance Act re forms
Senate Republican Policy Committee
9:30 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Public hearing to consider Pennsylvania wastewater and storm water issues, specifically: SB 724 Vogel, Jr., Elde Act re
TMDL parameter credit program
House Consumer Affairs
10:00 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
To consider: HB 579 Saccone, Rick Amends Precious Metal Sale Regulation Law HB 844 Godshall, Robert Amends Title
66 re variable rate contracts
House State Government
10:00 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
Informational meeting on municipal pension crisis
House Tourism and Recreational Development
10:00 a.m., Harrisburg Hilton, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1 N. 2nd Street, Harrisburg
Informational meeting with presentation by the PA Association of Travel and Tourism
Senate Finance
10:00 a.m., Room 8E-A, East Wing
To consider: SB 73 Alloway, Richard Amends Tax Reform Code re small brewer credit SB 556 McIlhinney, Char Amends Tax
Reform Code re realty transfer tax SB 691 Mensch, Bob Amends Fiscal Code re cost of cigarettes
***House Appropriations (Agenda updated)
Off the Floor, Room 140 Main Capitol
To consider: HB 11 Grove, Seth Act re Lean Management Practices HB 74 Kauffman, Rob Amends Title 18 re endangering
a child HB 122 Delozier, Sheryl Amends Title 20 re transfer limit to minors HB 124 Delozier, Sheryl Amends Title 23 re
protection from abuse HB 410 Hackett, Joe (Resigned) Amends Title 23 re child custody and support HB 424 Simmons,
Justin Amends Title 18 re concealing death of child HB 972 Pickett, Tina Amends Insurance Company Law re delivery
THURSDAY - 5/7/15
House Labor and Industry
9:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
Public hearing on: HB 782 Heffley, Doyle Amends PA Construction Code Act re enforcement
***House Republican Policy Committee (New)
1:00 p.m., Spooky Nook Sports Complex, 2913 Spooky Nook Road, Manheim
Public hearing to discuss challenges facing Pennsylvania’s economy and business climate
Senate Finance
1:00 p.m., Point Park University, Lawrence Hall Ballroom, 212 Wood Street, Pittsburgh
Public hearing on tax credits for waterfront development and data center investment
43
MONDAY - 5/11/15
House Liquor Control and House Gaming Oversight
11:00 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
Joint public hearing on separate casino liquor licenses
Joint Legislative Conservation Committee
12:00 p.m., Room 8E-A, East Wing
Environmental Issues Forum: PA Council of Trout Unlimited
***Senate Finance (New)
12:00 p.m., Room 8E-B, East Wing
To consider: SB 356 Folmer, Mike Amends Local Tax Enabling Act re farming
TUESDAY - 5/12/15
House Game and Fisheries
9:00 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
Public hearing on: HB 231 Mullery, Gerald Amends Title 34 re antlerless deer licenses
House Consumer Affairs
9:15 a.m., Room B31 Main Capitol
Public hearing on: HB 48 Godshall, Robert Amends Title 27 re water well standards
***House Finance (New)
9:45 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
To consider: HB 437 Caltagirone, Tho Amends Tax Reform Code re traffic signals HB 1071 Warner, Ryan Amends
Development Permit Extension Act
Senate Judiciary
10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Public hearing to discuss collateral consequences of criminal convictions
House Professional Licensure
10:30 a.m., Room 39, East Wing
To consider: HB 31 Grell, Glen Amends Real Estate Appraisers Act re licensure HB 321 Thomas, Curtis Amends Assessors
Certification Act HB 854 DeLuca, Anthony Amends Pharmacy Act re pharmacy technicians
***Senate Aging and Youth (New)
11:15 a.m., Room 461 Main Capitol
To consider the nomination of Acting Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and: HB 753 Culver, Lynda Act re PA Long-term
Care Council
Senate Game and Fisheries
11:30 a.m., Room 8E-B, East Wing
Public hearing to receive the 2014 Annual Report from the PA Fish and Boat Commission
Senate State Government
11:30 a.m., Room 156 Main Capitol
To consider the executive nomination of Pedro Cortes for appointment as Secretary of the Department of State
Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs
12:00 p.m., Room 8E-A, East Wing
To consider the nomination of Russell Redding as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture
44
***House Human Services (New)
Off the Floor, Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
To consider: HB 337 Snyder, Pam Amends Act re minor consent to health services HB 662 Pashinski, Eddie Act re Kinship
Caregiver Navigator Program HR 305 DiGirolamo, Gene Resolution re person-first language
WEDNESDAY – 5/13/15
***Senate Education (New)
9:00 a.m., Room 8E-B, East Wing
Public hearing on The Educational Opportunity and Accountability Act
House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs
9:30 a.m., Room 156 Main Capitol
Joint informational meeting on industrial hemp, specifically: SB 50 Schwank, Judy Act re industrial hemp industry HB 967
Diamond, Russell Amends Title 3 re industrial hemp research
***House Tourism and Recreational Development (New)
9:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
To consider: HB 794 Gillespie, Keith Amends County Code re hotel tax
***House Transportation
9:30 a.m., Room 60, East Wing
To consider: HB 441 Knowles, Jerry Act re Captain Jason B. Jones Highway HB 582 Causer, Martin Amends Title 75 re
discounted registration HB 817 Sankey, Thomas Act re Wendell Elbert Ross Memorial Bridge HB 834 Knowles, Jerry Act re
Cpl. David Heiser Memorial Highway HB 870 Sankey, Thomas Act re Austin M. Harrier Memorial Highway HB 898 Boyle,
Kevin Amends Title 75 re prisoner transport units HB 987 Diamond, Russell Act re Officer Michael Wise Memorial Highway
***Senate Banking and Insurance
9:30 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
To consider the nomination of Robin Wiessmann for the Secretary of Banking and Securities; and a public hearing on the
competitiveness of the banking industry in PA
***House Health
Off the Floor, Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
To consider: HB 1038 Reese, Mike Amends Public Welfare Code re EBT cards HB 222 Regan, Mike Amends Public Welfare
Code re prohibitions HR 82 Murt, Thomas Resolution re honoring John Patrick Stanton
Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
1:30 p.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Public hearing on E-911
THURSDAY - 5/14/15
House Gaming Oversight
9:00 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building
Public hearing on race horse industry in Pennsylvania
House Commerce
11:00 a.m., Union Station, 1 Progress Circle, Pottsville
Public hearing on: HB 726 Tobash, Mike Amends Contractor & Subcontractor Payment Act
45
WEDNESDAY - 5/20/15
House Gaming Oversight
2:00 p.m., Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, 777 Casino Drive, Pittsburgh
Public hearing on keeping PA’s casinos competitive
THURSDAY - 5/21/15
House Human Services
10:00 a.m., SPIN, Inc., Norcom Community Center, 10980 Norcom Road, Philadelphia
Public hearing on services and issues for individuals with autism
House Gaming Oversight
2:00 p.m., The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, 210 Racetrack Road, Washington
Public hearing on keeping PA’s casinos competitive
THURSDAY – 5/28/15
Independent Regulatory Review Commission
10:00 a.m., 14th Floor Conference Room, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg
To consider the following regulations: 3051 Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs #16A-5212: Schedule of Civil
Penalties - Optometrists (Deemed Approved) 3086 PA Liquor Control Board #54-81: Economic Development Licenses
3015 Dept. of Agriculture #2-159: Preferential Assessment of Farmland and Forest Land under the Clean and Green Act
3046 State Board of Nursing #16A-5126: Continuing Education; Reporting of Crimes and Discipline 3033 PA Public Utility
Commission #57-296: Motor Carrier Vehicle List and Vehicle Age Requirements (Previously Disapproved)
MONDAY – 6/1/15
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Senate Finance
10:30 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Joint public hearing on proposals regarding the imposition of a severance tax
TUESDAY - 6/2/15
House Gaming Oversight
9:30 a.m., Room 39, East Wing
Public hearing with a briefing by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on outstanding licenses and summary of previous
hearings
46
Volume 4 Number 90
May 5, 2015
Provided by
Pennsylvania Legislative
Services
240 N. 3rd St. 6th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717.236.6984 phone
717.236.5097 fax
www.mypls.com
Capitol Recap is a daily report on legislative and executive actions and is compiled and
edited by Kimberly Hess. For subscription information, questions or more information
contact PLS at [email protected] or 717-236-6984.
Thank you, Lynn, Kim, Steve, Eric, Jeff, Mike, Matt Hess, Jason, Virginia, Nina, Margaret,
Alanna, Matt Hykes, Trevor, Deb, and Elly.
Copyright © 2015. All materials contained in Capitol Recap are protected by US copyright
law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published, broadcast, or
modified, in whole or in part, without prior written permission from Pennsylvania Legislative
Services.
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