Thursday, April 28, 2005

HB 1223: Education Technology Fund Creation

H.B. 1223, P.N. 1436 (STAIRS) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would create the Pennsylvania Education Technology Fund. This Fund would provide grants to public schools, and to nonpublic schools partnered with a public school, to enhance their connections to the educational technology services of the Pennsylvania Education Network.

HB 488: Clearinghouse of Prototypes of School Buiding Designs

H.B. 488, P.N. 527 (MACKERETH) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
The Education Department would create a clearinghouse of prototypes of school building designs along with evaluations of each design according to health, safety, accessibility, environmental protection, and energy efficiency standards. These designs would be used by school districts when considering construction designs for their schools. Ownership of each design should be retained by the original professional who designed it.

HB 178: Bullying in Schools

H.B. 178, P.N. 183 (DiGIROLAMO) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
The Office for Safe Schools would develop programs addressing the problems of bullying, harassment, and intimidation within schools. The Education Department would create a clearinghouse of information, including training materials, and a website on handling these problem behaviors. A school would be encouraged to create policies to prohibit bullying, harassment, and intimidation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

HB 1052: Pharmacy Program Procedures and Policies

H.B. 1052, P.N. 1208 (S.H. SMITH) This would create the Commonwealth Pharmacy Program Procedures and Policies Act,
This would create uniform and clearly defined remittance procedures for pharmacies or preferred pharmacy programs that require manufacture rebate remittances. An online claims adjudication system would be established. A generic drug equivalent when less expensive than its equivalent would be dispensed. A 15% per year surcharge could be placed on the principal of rebates that are over one year past due. No liability would be placed upon a pharmaceutical manufacturer for transferring drugs under this program.

HR 131: Guardianship Law

H.R. 131, P.N. 895 (GRELL) This would direct the Joint State Government Commission to review, and make recommendations, concerning guardianship law and the availability of long term care facilities.

SB 124: Repeal Equitable Distributions in Divorces Law

S.B. 124, P.N. 703 (GREENLEAF) This would amend the Act Amending Titles 20 and 23, Act 175 of 2004, P.L. 1357.
This would repeal current law on equitable distributions in divorce actions.

SB 69: Employer Immunity when Disclosing Employee Information

S.B. 69, P.N. 650 (VANCE) This would amend Title 42 (Judiciary),
This would create an immunity from liability for an employer when disclosing information about an employee or former employee that is provided in good faith to a prospective employer. Such an employer would not be so immune if the information provided was knowingly false, materially misleading, was provided with reckless disregard to whether it was true or false, or if providing such information violated a law, a contract, or a statutory right.

HB 959: Injury from Providing Alcohol to an Underaged Drinker

H.B. 959, P.N. 1094 (EACHUS) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This create a second degree misdemeanor for providing alcohol to a person under age 21 whose alcoholic ingestion leads to another person suffering bodily injury. Such an offense would be a first degree misdemeanor if serious bodily injury results and a third degree felony if death results.

HB 1108: Home Water and Wastewater Connection Loans

H.B. 1108, P.N. 1270 (RUBLEY) This would amend the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Authority Act 16 of 1988, P.L. 82.
This would create the Water and Wastewater System Connection Funding Program. This program would provide grants and low interest loans (for 90% of eligible costs with a $10,000 limit) to homes, where household income of the home is 200% or less than the statewide median household income, connecting to upgraded or reconstructed water distribution or wastewater collection systems. $5 million from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Bond Authorization Fund would be used for these purposes with additional funds available as approved by the Authority Board.

HB 965: Extending Main Street Act Grants

H.B. 965, P.N. 1100 (HICKERNELL) This would amend the Main Street Act 39 of 2002, P.L. 298.
This would allow awarding grants for marketing and promoting residential opportunities within a Main Street area. This would allow awarding grants for downtown infrastructure and structural improvement reinvestments, as opposed to current law that limits such grants for commercial downtown reinvestments.

HB 740: Municipal Retirement Credit for Military Service

H.B. 740, P.N. 831 (DALLY) This would amend the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Law, Act 15 of 1974, P.L. 34.
This would extend crediting and purchasing municipal retirement benefits, which under current law are limited to members of the military service during war, armed conflict, and National emergencies, for all military service.

HB 691: Receiverships for Blighted Residential Buildings

H.B. 691, P.N. 784 (WALKO) This would create the Blighted Property Receivership Act.
This would allow a residential building determined by court to violate municipal or housing codes or is determined to be a public nuisance and the violations are not corrected after 90 days, or is an immediate safety or health threats to tenants or adjoining neighbors, to be ordered by a court to be placed into receivership to a party requesting to be the receiver. The receiver could obtain court approval to reduce a first lien held by the same mortgagor to reflect a property value that is less than the amount of the first lien. A court may rescind a receivership.

HB 249: Water Connections for Nearby Buildings in Second Class Townships

H.B. 249, P.N. 275 (R. MILLER) This would amend the Second Class Township Code, Act 69 of 1933, P.L. 103.
This would allow the Board of Supervisors in a second class township to require property, with a principal building existing within 150 feet of a water system, to connect with and use that water system. Current law allows such a Board to require only property abutting a water system to connect with and use that water system.
The connection, tapping, customer facilities, and similar fees would be according to the actual costs fee schedule under Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) rather than the Municipalities Authorities Act, as under current law.

HR 92: Urge Repeal of Excise Tax on Telecommunications

H.R. 92, P.N. 624 (METCALFE) This would urge Congress to repeal the Federal excise tax on telecommunication services. President Clinton vetoed such a repeal in 2000.

HB 1312: Reduce Capital Stock Franchise Tax

H.B. 1312, P.N. 1560 (MUSTIO) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would reduce the capital stock franchise tax, which under current law ranges from 7.24 mills in 2002 with annual reductions, including being set at 5.99 mills in 2005, reaching .99 mills in 2010 and then expiring in 2011, to a range from 6.99 mills in 2003 with annual reductions, including being set at 3.99 mills in 2005, reaching .99 mills in 2008 and then expiring in 2009.

HB 797: Reducing the Corporate Net Income Tax

H.B. 797, P.N. 959 (REED) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would reduce the corporate net income tax, rate, which under current law is set at 9.99%, to 8.99% in 2005, 7.99% in 2006, and 6.99% afterwards.

HB 273: Retired Postal Employee Property/Rental Tax Rebates

H.B. 273, P.N. 296 (FRANKEL) This would amend the Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Law, Act 3 of 1971, P.L. 104.
This would add to the definition of “income”, as applied to this act, half the U.S. Postal Service retirement benefits.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

HB 503: Managed Care Plan Contracts with Health Care Providers

H.B. 503, P.N. 541 (GANNON) This would create the Managed Care Plan-Provider Contracting Act.
A contract between a managed plan and a health care provider would be required to be negotiated in good faith. Such a provider would have 60 days after receiving a contract to review it. A managed care plan would be required to provide any missing documents within seven business days of receiving such a request. A plan would not be required to provide any proprietary information or information that would harm its financial position.
Such a contract would be required to indicate the diagnostic and therapeutic services as well as the prescription drug formularies commonly used by the plan. The contract would be required to be in plain English with the responsibilities of both parties explicitly defined.
Within ten days from a contract’s execution a managed care plan would provide a health care provider with a copy of all its administrative policies and procedures including coverage policies and dispute resolution mechanisms. A manager care plan could not compel a provider to accept arbitration as the only means of resolving disputes.
A managed care plan would be prohibited from making a provider indemnify a plan due to a liability claim, could not represent the provider as a member of a network other than as committed to in the agreement, could not compel a provider to enter into an exclusive agreement, could not be for more than one year (although they could provide for automatic renewal), and would provide for an appeal process should a plan decide to terminate the contract for cause.
A managed care plan would be required to quickly and efficiently determine an enrollee’s eligibility for services. Medically necessary services or products that a prudent physician would provide would be required to be provided in such a plan. A managed care plan would be required to reimburse a provider for services provided on the basis of an erroneous statement of eligibility.
A managed care plan would be required to determine whether to credential a health care provider or a health care facility within 45 days of receiving a complete application for credentials. Claims that occur during the credentialing process where the credentialing is approved would be reimbursed retroactively.
A managed care plan that claims it has made an erroneous payment would be required to complete procedures for challenging the payment. Such a plan would be prohibited from withholding future reimbursements in attempting to recoup alleged erroneous payments. An erroneous payment over $10,000 would allow a provider to make payments in installments over three years or less. This, though, would not pertain to cases of suspected fraud, illegality, or malfeasance.
A managed care plan would be required to disclose its actuarial assumptions used for capitated payments to primary health care providers including per-member-per-month reimbursements for any member so requested by the provider.
A managed care plan would be required to disclose to a health care provider its payments range for the 100 most commonly submitted CPT codes within the provider’s field of practice. Such plans would be required to abide by definitions and CPT codes as established by the American Medical Association or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Insurance Department could assess administrative penalties, in addition to other remedies available at law, for violating this Act of $5,000 or less per violation.

HR 237: Study Revenue Impact of NASCAR Races

H.R. 237, P.N. 1579 (PAYNE) This would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study and report on revenues produced by the Pocono 500 and Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR races.

HB 1361: Community Block Grant Extension

H.B. 1361, P.N. 1636 (HASAY) This would amend the Community Services Block Grant Act 46 of 2002, P.L. 315 by extending the expiration of this Act from December 21, 2006 to December 31, 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

HB 1200: Delinquent Taxes

H.B. 1200, P.N. 1615 (D. EVANS) This would amend the Municipal Claim and Tax Law, Act 153 of 1923, P.L. 207.
Property that is donated by joint agreement to a county, local government, school district, or redevelopment authority would be exempt from tax claims during the period the property remains in ownership of the recipient public entity. Such a donation could not be made after a notice has been received stating that the property is to be sold to collect back taxes.
Philadelphia, Allegheny County, and other counties using this law, would be required to develop delinquent tax lists to be maintained as public record and to include the last known address of the property owners and would be able to notify consumer reporting agencies of these non-payments.

Monday, April 18, 2005

HB 1069: Public Employee Paid National Guard Leave

H.B. 1069, P.N. 1228 (BELFANTI) This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would create 30 days or less per year of paid leave for a state or local government employee for being engaged in active Pennsylvania National Guard duty.

HB 929: Tax Exemption for Manufacturer's General Environmental System

H.B. 929, P.N. 1050 (YUDICHAK) This would amend the Tax Reform Colde, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would exempt, from the Sales and Use Tax, a general environmental system clean room and component systems in a manufacturing operation.

HB 628: School Budgets

H.B. 628, P.N. 701 (SCHRODER) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 30 of 1949, P.L. 14.
This would require School Directors in second, third, and fourth class school districts to propose school budgets that list proposed expenditures by line item as well as listing classes of expenditures with the types of expenditures within each class. Duplication fees for providing a copy of the budget would be required to be comparable to fees charged by local duplicating services. A School Director or school official or agency violating this could be fined $300 or less for each incidence of offense plus be charged for the costs of prosecution.

HB 176: Realty Transfer Tax

H.B. 176, P.N. 1586 (SCAVELLO) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
A person who underpays a realty transfer tax by 25% or more may be assessed for that tax at any time over a six year period. Any underpayments of this tax due to fraud or intentional disregard of rules and regulations may be assessed the full amount at any time.
The Revenue Department would able to divulge information regarding information regarding the collection of a realty transfer tax to the proper officer of the political subdivision impose this tax.
The ability of a political subdivision to impose a Local Tax Enabling Act local real estate transfer tax upon additional classes or transaction types would be repealed. Rate limitations on the local real estate transfer tax would be eliminated for Pittsburgh. The Philadelphia School District would be able to collect a local realty transfer tax.
A documentary stamp indicating payment of the realty transfer tax would be affixed to realty transfer documents. No document requiring this stamp that does not have this stamp could be used in any legal proceeding.
The Recorder of Deeds would collect local realty transfer taxes. The nonpayment of this tax could result in a lien against the property.
An unpaid realty transfer tax would receive priority over other liens, claims, obligations, or judgments when funds are raised through selling a property owing such tax at a judicial sale.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

HB 957: Prevent Overworking Nurses

H.B. 957, P.N. 1092 (HASAY) This would create the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime for Nurses Act.
A health care facility would be prohibited from requiring a nurse from work more than 12 hours per workday and from working more than 60 hours per week. Exceptions to this would be the on-call hours would not be considered towards this limit and if additional hours are required due to an unforeseen emergency circumstance where the facility has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain other nurses. This bill states that this does not preclude a nurse from voluntarily agreeing to work additional hours. It would make it illegal to retaliate, discriminate against, dismiss, or discharge a nurse for refusing to work any hours more than these stated limits.
A nurse required or who volunteers to work more than 12 consecutive hours would be eligible for at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time following these work hours. A nurse may waive acceptance of this eligible time off.
A health care facility violating this would be fined at least $100 to $1,000 or less per violation and could face a Labor and Industry Department administrative order to correct a violation.

HB 130: Early Retirement

H.B. 130, P.N. 631 (DALEY) This would amend Title 24 (Education) and Title 71 (State Government).
Special early retirement would be available to a qualified education employee who, from March 1, 2006 through June 1, 2006, has either 30 retirement eligibility points or a combination of age plus points equal to 80 or more points and who retires and files an annuity application by July 1, 2006. Such a retiree would be eligible for the maximum single life annuity without any reduction for early retirement. A subsequent window for this special early retirement option would occur from March 1, 2007 through June 1. 2007. Special early retirement would be offered to certain state employees from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2008.

HB 670: Civil Liability from Weight Gain Suits

H.B. 670, P.N. 763 (REICHLEY) This would amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
A food purveyor or association of food purveyors would have civil liability from any claim of weight gain or any health condition associated with weight gain due to the long term consumption of food. An exception to this liability exemption would occur if the food was illegally misbranded or adulterated or if food laws were willfully violated and the injury was proximately caused by this illegal action or violation.

HB 1202: Long Term Care and Disability Insurance Multistate Compact

H.B. 1202, P.N. 1415 (MICOZZIE) This would create the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact Establishment Act.
Pennsylvania would be a member of this Commission which is attempting to create uniform long term care and disability income insurance product filings and standards amongst the member states. A state would retain the ability to opt out of this compact. Each state would have one Commission member and Commission actions would require the approval of two-thirds of Commission members.

HB 1178: Repeal County State Police Law

H.B. 1178, P.N. 1384 (MARSICO) This would repeal Act 1109 of 1872, P.L. 1061.
This would repeal an act incorporating the Crawford County and Erie County State Police.

HB 856: Legalize Concealing Hunting Licenses

H.B. 856, P.N. 979 (GILLESPIE) This would amend the Title 34 (Game).
This would delete, as being as an unlawful act, the current illegal act of removing any hunting or futaking license from where it is required to be displaced with the purpose of concealing the name of the licensee.

HB 218: Downtown Law Definitions

H.B. 218, P.N. 244 (REED) This would amend the Downtown Law, Act 32 of 2000, P.L. 318.
This would change the definition of “downtown area” to a recognized place of distinct pedestrian orientation with central streets and intersecting cross streets, or in a city with multiple business districts, the center of economic, social, and civic activity. This would replace the current definition of a downtown city being the central business district or, in the case of Philadelphia, the entire city.
This would create the definition of “pedestrian orientation” as also designed with an emphasis on pedestrian access with sidewalks, widows or display cases along facing building facades, lots primarily covered by buildings, and generally limited parking areas.
This would create the definition of “sense of place” as a unique location different from its surroundings that could include open space, public squares, village commons, plazas, gezebos, courtyards, and historic main streets.
This would create the definition of “rectilinear street grid pattern” as one that is regularly squared, rectangular, or trapezoidal blocks and four way intersections.

HR 243: Urge More Funds to Crime Victims Fund

H.R. 243, P.N. 1585 (BROWNE) This would urge Congress to remove the cap on the maximum amount of funds available to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. This Fund pays for medical care, counseling, lost wages, and funerals for victims of rape, child abuse, domestic violence, and homicide. This Fund has been capped for six years.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

HB 616: Independent Higher Education Bonds

H.B. 616, P.N. 689 (ZUG) This would create the Independent Higher Education and Community Financing Act.
The Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority would be created and would issue $50 million of bonds over five years to independent higher education institutions. A Board of Review would be created that would receive, review and award applications for issuing bonds from higher education institutions. Half of the annual debt service would be reimbursed to the institution from the Community and Economic Development Department.

Monday, April 11, 2005

HB 26: Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

H.B. 26, P.N. 29 (FRANKEL) This would create the Historic Rehabilitation and Economic Revitalization Tax Credit Act.
The Community and Economic Development Department would be able to award tax credits for 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenses to a historic commercial site. A maximum of $20 million annually in tax credits would be awarded. If the total amount of credits awarded exceeds this maximum amount, the excess award would be carried over into the next year with these funds made available in addition to another $20 million of maximum funds being made available. No more than $4 million would be awarded to any one applicant. No more than 20% of the total annual allocation of credits could be made within the same political subdivision. The Pennsylvania Commission Historical and Museum Commission would certify and prioritize properties eligible for the tax credit and would determine if any covenants are violated. This tax credit could be carried forward for 15 taxable years. The penalty for a covenant breach would be equal to the recapture percentage of the awarded credit.

HB 1224: Ambulance Service Insurance

H.B. 1224, P.N. 1437 (SATHER) This would amend the Insurance Company Law, Act 284 of 1921, P.L. 682.
An insurer would be required to contract as a participating provider any willing provider of ambulance services so long as the ambulance service agrees to negotiated payment levels and adheres to the insurer’s quality standards.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

HB 1180: Military Family Relief Fund Contributions on Tax Forms

HB 1180, PN 1386 (R. MILLER) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would create a place on individual income tax returns where an individual may contribute to the Military Family Relief Fund.

HB 983: Film Production Tax Credits

H.B. 983, P.N. 1118 (T. STEVENSON) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
The Community and Economic Development Department would review and determine whether to approve applications for tax credits for up to 20% of film production costs. Nor more than $10 million in such credit could be awarded per fiscal year.
The definition of “film” under this law would be amended to include a film intended for national audience programming, rather than a television show of 15 or more minutes in length as under current law, and would exclude a political film. The definition of “Pennsylvania production expense” would be defined to include only wages and salaries applicable to state taxes. The definition of a “production expense” for wages and salaries would apply only to an individual whose wages and salaries for a film were under $1 million nor would it include development costs or purchasing story rights.

HB 734: Employee Health Saving Account Tax Credit

H.B. 734, P.N. 825 (BOYD) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
A tax credit would be provided for contributions made to an employee health saving account to pay for a qualified high deductible health insurance policy. The tax credit would be half the aggregate contribution made to such an account that benefits the employee, spouse, and dependents or 25% the aggregate contribution to such an account that benefits solely the employee. An unused tax credit could be carried forth for no more than 15 taxable years.

HB 504: Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits

H.B. 504, P.N. 542 (KILLION) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would exempt from sales and use tax tangible personal property or services purchased for the rehabilitation or restoration of a historic homesite. This exemption would not apply towards the net gain on the sale of such a site. A tax credit for 20% of the amount spent on such rehabilitation or restoration, where the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission determines the work has been satisfactorily completed, would be provided. An unused tax credit could be carried forth for no more than five taxable years. A total of $5 million of tax credits per year would be offered, and these would be awarded on a pro rata basis should the amount of credits allocated exceed $5 million in one year. A person who breaches the term of this tax credit covenant would be penalized by the amount of the tax credit provided.
A tax credit for 20% of the amount of rehabilitation expenses spent on certified rehabilitation of a historic commercial site would be provided. An unused tax credit could be carried forth for no more than 15 taxable years. No more than $20 million per year of such tax credit would be provided, and these would be awarded on a pro rata basis should the amount of credits allocated exceed $20 million in one year. No single application for such a tax credit could receive more than $4 million in tax credit. No more than one fifth of these credits may be awarded within any single political subdivision during the same year. The breach of a tax credit covenant would result in a penalty equal to the recapture percentage of the awarded tax credit.
The denial of a tax credit could be appealed for judicial review.

HB 153: Business Tax Credit for Paid Organ Donation Leave

H.B. 153, P.N. 153 (GODSHALL) This would create the Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Act.
The Health Department would create a public information and education program concerning the need and benefits of bone marrow donation.
A business firm may offer a paid leave of absence for donating an organ or bone marrow, with no loss of rights with respect to such leave. A business firm that provides such leave would receive a tax credit equal to the amount of employee leave paid during such leave. An unused such tax credit may be carried forth for three taxable years.

HR 177: Select Committee on Academic Environment

H.R. 177, P.N. 1280 (ARMSTRONG) This would create a Select Committee to study whether state college and university faculty are competent and have knowledge of their subject matters and whether tenure and promotions reflect this, if students have an academic environment conducive to the expression of independent thought and that students are evaluated on their subject knowledge or ability to defend their perspective, and whether there is academic freedom to explore, express and practice independent thought. Committee members would be composed of four selected by the Speaker and three by the Minority Leader.

HB 586: School Extracurricular Activities

H.B. 586, P.N. 659 (O’NEILL) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would define “extracurricular activity” as one that is sponsored or approved by the School Directors, offers no credit towards graduation, is conducted at least in part outside of the regular instructional day schedule, and is available to any students who volunteers to join, subject to eligibility requirements of the activity. Interscholastic athletics, including varsity sports, would be considered extracurricular in nature.

HB 546: Public School Retirement Credit for County Employment

H.B. 546, P.N. 594 (HUTCHINSON) This would amend Title 24 (Education).
An active public school employee may purchase credit towards public school employee retirement credit for up to five creditable years of prior full-time county employment (other than county school nurse employment, which has a credit purchase system under current law), where the county employee was a member of and contributed towards the county retirement system, at the rate of one year of credit purchased for every three years (or fraction over one half year that may be counted as a full year) of such county employment.

HB 191: School District Health and Wellness Plans

H.B. 191, P.N. 194 (STAIRS) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
Advisory Health Councils would be required to help plan, develop, implement, and maintain their School Districts’ health and wellness plans. School Directors would be required to adopt a health and wellness plan for their School District and to review this plan at least once every five years.

HB 189: Physicial Education Requirements

H.B. 189, P.N. 192 (STAIRS) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
All School District pupils would be required to be enrolled in physical education of at least a moderate intensity lasting long enough to provide a significant health benefit. A minimum of 15 minutes of physical education for every 2 ½ hours of instruction time must be provided to elementary students. Exemptions from this requirement would be provided to a student with a disability, medical illness, or who participates in extracurricular athletic activities.

HB 185: Nutritious School Food/Product Advertising at Schools

H.B. 185, P.N. 189 (STAIRS) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
A School District governing body would be prohibited from entering into a contract where students would be provided with non-nutritious food and beverages, unless it hold a public hearing on this, adopts internal controls to protect public funds, contracts that a school district employee would be prohibited from disparaging such goods or services, and holds an annual public hearing that would review and discus the nutritional value of food and beverages sold at school. A contract for an electronic product or electronic service would require a prior public hearing before the governing board and, if approved, would provide written notice to parents of the advertising on such electronic product or service and would provide parents with the right to request their child not be exposed to such advertising. A School District government board would be permitted to sell non-exclusive advertising, services, and products and would be permitted to post public signs indicating their appreciation of a business’s or of a person’s support of the district’s education program.

HB 100: Increased School Meal Reimbursements

H.B. 100, P.N. 237 (CORNELL) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would increase the reimbursements provided to school lunch and breakfast programs from the current 10 cents per each breakfast and lunch served to 11 cents per breakfast served and 12 cents per lunch served.

HB 1282: Emergency Medical Services Agency Creation

H.B. 1282, P.N. 1526 (CAUSER) This would amend the Emergency Medical Services Act 45 of 1985, P.L. 164.
This would create the Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services Agency. The development of a stratified system of trauma care, which current law places such responsibility to the Health Secretary, would be the responsibility of the Emergency Medical Services Agency Director. An unpaid (but expenses reimbursed) Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services Council would be created to create overall policy and direction of statewide emergency medical services.

HB 1022: Long Term Care Patient Access to External Source Drugs

H.B. 1022, P.N. 1168 (BOYD) This would create the Long-Term Care Patient Access to Pharmaceuticals Act.
This would state that a pharmacist employed or contracted by a long-term care facility may dispense to the facility’s patient a drug acquired from a drug source external to the long-term care facility so long as there is a prescription for such drug and both the prescriber and the patient have authorized this. This pharmacist could charge the patient a fee for repackaging and re-labeling the drug and would have civil immunity for properly dispensing the drug upon so notifying the patient of this. The dispenser of the drug and the long-term care facility would be required to maintain records of these drug dispensations and keep them for at least two years.

HB 801: Cervical Cancer Task Force Creation

H.B. 801, P.N. 963 (HARHART) This would create the Cervical Cancer Education, Prevention, and Detection Act.
This would create an unpaid (but expenses reimbursed) Cervical Cancer Task Force to develop public awareness strategies for cervical cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment. The Task Force would expire on November 30, 2009, or earlier upon submission of a final report to the General Assembly.

HB 471: Stroke Care Information

H.B. 471, P.N. 510 (REICHLEY) This would amend the Administrative Code, Act 175 of 1929, P.L. 177.
The Health Department would notify each emergency service provider and each ambulance company of the location of all nationally certified primary stroke treatment hospitals. The Department would also maintain a database of statistics regarding stroke care.

HR 75: Economic Competitiveness Commission

H.R. 75, P.N. 450 (ARGALL) This proposes a Concurrent Resolution to establish a Commission to study and recommend ways to improve the economic competitiveness of the various local communities throughout the Commonwealth. This Commission would review state funding decisions and list ways to promote private sector redevelopment opportunities. The Commission would be composed of four people appointed by the Governor (with one from a municipal governing body, one from the business community, and one from a nonprofit organization with related expertise) and with two appointments each provided to the Senate President Pro Tempore, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker, House Majority Leader, and House Minority Leader, with limitations on only one of each such appointment could be a state official or employee, and would also consist of the Chairmen and Minority Chairmen of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of the House Appropriations Committee or their designees, and as ex official nonvoting members, the Secretaries of Community and Economic Development, Environmental Protection, Transportation, Budget, as well as the Work Force Investment Director and the Housing and Community Development Director, or their designees.

HB 1257: Philadelphia Port Background Checks

H.B. 1257, P.N. 1483 (TIGUE) This would amend the Philadelphia Regional Authority Port Authority Act 50 of 1989, P.L. 291.
This would require the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority to implement fingerprint-based criminal history background checks on all personnel who work, or may be expected to work, loading or offloading military equipment. Such personnel would be provided with special identification cards. A criminal history check would be conducted again on each such person at least once every five years. A person who, over the past seven years, has been convicted of a felony involving force, an act of terrorism, a crime involving a weapon of mass destruction, drug trafficking, selling or delivering or manufacturing a controlled substance, using a firearm during a felony, theft, robbery, receiving stolen property, or any crime involving the possession of a firearm would be prohibited from employment with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

HB 1144: Repeal Archaic Regulating Act

H.B. 1144 (J. TAYLOR) This would repeal Act 415 of 1867, P.L. 440. This is an archaic act regulating public halls and amusements places in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the cities of Allegheny.

HB 1139: Repeal Archaic Assessment Law

H.B. 1139, P.N. 1345 (J. TAYLOR) This would repeal the Second Class County Assessment Law, Act 294 of 1939, P.L. 626. This is an archaic act concerning Allegheny County assessments.

HB 1137: Repeal Archiac County Commissioner Act

H.B. 1137, P.N. 1343 (J. TAYLOR) This would repeal Act 472 of 1927, P.L. 982, which is an archaic act setting the compensation for Allegheny County Commissioners.

HB 484: Landlord Disposal of Tenant Property

H.B. 484, P.N. 523 (PALLONE) This would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 20 of 1951, P.L. 69.
A landlord would be able to dispose of any real property left behind by a tenant after ten days have passed since the tenant relinquished possession to the landlord for any reason. The landlord is to exercise ordinary care for the personal property for ten days. After ten days, the landlord would have no further responsibility for such personal property.

HB 139: Optional County Affordable Housing Funds Codification

H.B. 139, P.N. 1313 (J. TAYLOR) This would amend Title 53 (Municipalities).
This would codify the laws concerning the Optional County Affordable Housing Funds Act.

HR 98: Create Legislative Committee on Elections

H.R. 98, P.N. 629 (BARRAR) This proposes a Concurrent Resolution to establish a Select Committee of the General Assembly to investigate issues concerning the administration of the November 2, 2004 election as well as election laws, practices, and procedures. Among issues to be explored would be the litigation concerning Ralph Nader’s attempt to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot and the difficulties of military and oversea ballots being counted as well as other difficulties with absentee ballots, the authority of election monitors, and the integrity of provisional balloting. The composition of this committee would be three members appointed by the House Speaker, two members appointed by the House Minority Leader, three members appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore, and two members appointed by the Senate Minority Leader. (Thus, there would likely be six Republican members and four Democratic members.) Co-chairs of the committee would be selected by the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore (and thus most likely both would be Republican). This committee would have subpoena power.

HB 1266: Inspecting Voter Registration Information

H.B. 1266, P.N. 1491 (RAPP) This would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code, Act 320 of 1937, P.L.1333.
A person wishing to inspect voter registration information at the County Board of Elections would be required to sign a prepared form asking for the requester’s name and address.
A County Board of Elections would be required to maintain a master elector list, as opposed to current law requiring that this list be posted in a conspicuous public place.
A Judge of Elections would have a duplicate list of registered voters for inspection on the election or primary day available for inspection to a requestor who fills a prepared identification form.

HB 271: Fish and Boat Commission Land Transfers

H.B. 271, P.N. 294 (GABIG) This would create an act authorizing land transfers to the Fish and Boat Commission. The lands are situated in North Newton, Cumberland County and in West Pennsboro, Cumberland County.

HB 1273: Military Firearm Exception/Transport Unloaded Firearm/Licensed Hunter Carry Firearm

H.B. 1273 (CREIGHTON). This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This would extend the exceptions to law of people who are allowed to carry a firearm without a license to include members of the Air Force or the Coast Guard. Current law provides for exceptions to members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, or organized on-duty reserves.
This would amend the law concerning target shoots to permit the transporting of an unloaded firearm, rather than referencing rifle, pistol, or revolver as under current law.
The law permitting a hunter to carry a firearm would be changed to permit only a person licensed to hunt, fish, or take forbears to carry a firearm.

Friday, April 08, 2005

HB 1264: Fireams Applications/Armor Piercing Bullet Offense

H.B. 1264, P.N. 1490 (CREIGHTON) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
An applicant for a fireman would be required to be sign a statement that includes stating the applicant has never been convicted of a crime punishable by over one year imprisonment or of a firearms offense.
It would be an offense for a person to posses, use, or attempt to use a KTW Teflon coated bullet or similar armor piercing bullet when committing a firearms offense.

HB 1241: Marriage Licenses to Active Military Personnel

H.B. 1241, P.N. 1468 (PAYNE) This would amend Title 23 (Domestic Relations).
This would create an exception to the requirement that an applicant for a marriage license appear in person when so applying to permit a notarized statement from an active member of the military, reserves, or Pennsylvania National Guard deployed in an active military operation or a national emergency.

HB 1198: Repeat Violent/Drug Offenders with Firearms

H.B. 1198, P.N. 1404 (D. EVANS) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
A person with two prior convictions for a violent crime and/or for drug trafficking who is then convicted of possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, selling, or transferring an illegal firearm would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of five years imprisonment and could be sentenced to ten years or less imprisonment and fined $25,000 or less. A court could impose a greater sentence.
A person with three prior convictions for a violent crime and/or for drug trafficking who is then convicted of possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, selling, or transferring an illegal fireman would be sentencde to a mandatory minimum term of ten years imprisonment and could be sentenced to 20 years or less imprisonment and fined $50,000 or less. A court impose a greater sentence,
A failure of a sentencing court to apply these sentencing provisions could resolve in the Commonwealth Court vacating the sentence and remanding the case for sentencing in accordance with this law.

HB 1025: Theft

H.B. 1025, P.N. 1181 (MAITLAND) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
A theft of $500,000 in value or more would be a first degree felony.
A theft of $100,000 in value or more but less than $500,000 in value, of a firearm, of anhydrous ammonia, or is committed during a period of a disaster would be a second degree felony.
A theft of $500 in value or more but less than $100,000 in value, of an automobile, airplane, motorcycle, motorboat, or motor-propelled vehicle, is an organized theft, or is a third or subsequent theft would be a third degree felony.
A theft of $150 in value or more would be a first degree misdemeanor.
A theft of less than $150 in value would be a summary offense for a first offense and a second degree misdemeanor for a second offense.
A felony theft from a political subdivision, local authority, or a charitable organization would result in an additional sentence of five years or less imprisonment.
A person age 16 and above accused of a summary theft would be ordered to submit to fingerprinting. A trial or plea could not proceed until the State Police determines if the accused is a repeat theft offender.
The crime of theft would be expanded to include failing to disclose a known lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to a property when transferring such property.
The crime of inflicting harm during theft by extortion would be expanded to include bodily injury.
A person who is convicted of theft of motor fuel may in addition to other penalties be fined from $100 or more to $250 for a first offense, from $250 or more to $500 for a second offense, a fined $500 or less and lose drivers operating privileges for 30 days for subsequent offenses.
Theft crimes may be aggregated when determining the degree of offense.

HB 954: Illegal Firearms

H.B. 954, P.N. 1089 (WILLIAMS) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
A person convicted of carrying an illegal firearm would be prohibited from possessing, using, selling, or manufacturing a firearm in Pennsylvania. Illegally carrying a firearm within Philadelphia would be a third degree felony.

HB 1277: Deployed Military Child Care Assistance

H.B. 1277, P.N. 1521 (MARSICO) This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would create the Pennsylvania Military Child-Care Assistance Program. This would pay for child care for a resident child with at least one parent in the military, reserves, or National Guard deployed for wartime service. A resident who received child care prior to deployment would be eligible for this assistance only for the costs of any additional amount of child care.

HB 1261: Reinstating Deferred Military Auto Insurance

H.B. 1261, P.N. 1487 (O’NEILL) This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would prohibit an insurer from canceling motor vehicle insurance, as well as prohibiting an insurer from imposing a surcharge or rate penalty or removing a discount when reinstating such coverage, due to coverage being deferred due to military service.

HB 1259: Academic Grants and Active Duty Military/Emergency Personnel

H.B. 1259, P.N. 1485 (TIGUE) This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would extend the current maximum period of eligibility for a student assistance grant of five academic years to at least an addition year of eligibility to an active duty member of the armed forces who served in a combat zone. This time period would be extended an additional month for each month or part of a month of such service.
The period for making grant payments would be extended to a person called to active Federal or state emergency service for one month (from September 11, 2001 on) for each month, or part of a month, of such service.

HB 1179: Military Family Relief Fund

H.B. 1179, P.N. 1385 (R. MILLER) This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would create the Military Family Relief Fund.
This Fund would receive voluntary contributions and state appropriations. Money from this Fund would be provided to a resident military service person, or resident family member of such a person, who has a demonstrable need for food, shelter, clothing, required medical care, or other necessity of life and who has applied for existing relief assistance and been turned down.

HB 1173: Loan Deferred Interest for Armed Forces Members

H.B 1173, P.N. 1379 (STERN). This would amend Title 51 (Military Affairs).
This would defer interest on a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) loans to an active duty armed forces member during an emergency active-duty call-up through six months after return to inactive duty or reserve duty. Such deferred interest would be paid for by PHEAA.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

HB 1110: Ricky Hafer Highway

H.B. 1110, P.N. 1317 (STAIRS) This would create an act naming State Route 56 in Seward, Westmoreland County as the Ricky Hafer Highway. Ricky Hafer was killed while serving in the Army in Iraq.

HB 1014: Electronic Titling Program

H.B. 1014, P.N. 1160 (GEIST) This would amend Title 75 (Vehhicles).
This would create an electronic titling program. Lienholders would be required to participate in electronic titling from 2007 on.

HB 654: Dispute Over License Suspension/Revocation Credit

H.B. 654, P.N. 747 (McCALL) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would allow a person with a suspended or revoked vehicle operating privileges who believe the suspension or revocation has not been properly credited may request a Transportation Department hearing regarding this alleged discrepancy. The Transportation Department would issue a final ruling within 60 days following the hearing or submission of any posthearing filings.

HB 489: Special Registration Plates for Veterans

H.B. 489, P.N. 528 (R. STEVENSON) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would create special registration plates for armed forces veterans, for Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, and for Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, available to such veterans for a $20 fee.

HB 137: Motorcycle Lighted Head Lamp Requirements

H.B. 137, P.N. 138 (FLEAGLE) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would change the requirement that an operator of a motorcycle display lighted head lamps and other illuminating devices as required by law would pertain to motorcycles manufactured during or after 1986 rather than during or after 1973 as under current law.

HB 121: Vehicles Passing Streetcars

H.B. 121, P.N. 126 (ROEBUCK) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would prohibit a driver of a vehicle from passing a streetcar, going in the same direction as the vehicle, to the left of the streetcar onto a lane meant for opposite direction traffic. A driver of a vehicle would be prohibited from passing a streetcar that has stopped for passengers to get on or off the streetcar until the streetcar’s doors and closed and discharged passengers have reached the side of the highway. This would not apply where streetcars have their own median sections separated from traffic.

HB 1077: Free Fishing Licenses for National Guard Members

H.B. 1077, P.N. 1236 (STABACK) This would amend Title 30 (Fish).
This would allow an active duty Pennsylvania National Guard member to receive a free resident fishing license for up through one year after discharge from active duty.

HB 1076: Free Hunting and Furtaking Licenses for National Guard Members

H.B. 1076, P.N. 1235 (STABACK) This would amend Title 34 (Game).
This would allow an active duty Pennsylvania National Guard member to receive a free resident hunting or adult resident furtaking license for up through one year after discharge from active duty.

HB 887: Free Hunting Licenses for Former Prisoners of War

H.B. 887, P.N. 1010 (PICKETT) This would amend Title 34 (Game).
This would allow a former prisoner of war to obtain a free resident hunting license.

HB 742: Allow Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Decoys

H.B. 742, P.N. 833 (GOOD) This would amend Title 34 (Game).
This would create an exception to prohibited hunting device, and thus would make it legal to use any furbearer trapping or hunting decoy.

HB 720: Hunting with a Spotlight

H.B. 720, P.N. 811 (HALUSKA) This would amend Title 34 (Game).
A person on foot would be able to use a spotlight or flashlight to hunt coyotes and bobcats as well as for raccoons, skunks, opossum, and foxes where such hunting with the aid of artificial light is currently permitted.
This would also change the fifth degree summary offense of applicable violations for hunting endangered or threatened species and improper deer, bobcat, otter, turkey, beaver, bird, and animal offenses by deleting the current section pertaining to possessing a firearm or killing implement and creating a new standard of any person hunting game or wildlife.

HB 603: Game Warden and Wildlife Conservation Officer Retirement

H.B. 603, P.N. 676 (B. SMITH) This would amend Title 71 (State Government).
This would expand the definition of a Game Commission “enforcement officer” to include other commissioned enforcement Game Commission personnel who have and exercise the same law enforcement powers as Game Commission officers, but who are not Deputy Game Commission officers. This would allow game wardens and wildlife conservation officers to be under the same retirement as Game Commission officers.

HB 679: Adult Basic Coverage Insurance Wait List Continuation

H.B. 679, P.N. 772 (HARPER) This would amend the Tobacco Settlement Act 77 of 2001, P.L. 755.
This would allow a person on the waiting list for adult basic coverage insurance who purchases a limited benefits health insurance policy that is available only to a person who is below 200% of the poverty level would remain eligible for adult basic insurance once the funds exist to include this wait listed person. Such a person may immediately enroll for adult basic insurance coverage and coverage under the adult basic insurance will begin when coverage under the limited benefit health insurance policy ends.

HB 561: Eligibility Check on Wait Listed for Adult Basic Insurance

H.B. 561, P.N. 609 (SCHRODER) This would amend the Tobacco Settlement Act 77 of 2001, P.L. 755.
This would require the Commonwealth conduct a semiannual review of people on the waiting list for adult basic coverage insurance to ascertain that they remain eligible for coverage.

HB 1071: National Guard Preference for Job Training Programs

H.B. 1071, P.N. 1230 (RAMALEY) This would amend the Workforce Development Act 114 of 2001, P.L. 949.
Preferences for placement in a workforce job training program would be provided to a spouse of an active duty Pennsylvania National Guard member and to a discharged member of the Pennsylvania National Guard for one year after discharge.

HB 590: Failure to Properly Pay Workers' Compensation Benefits

H.B. 590, P.N. 663 (BARRAR) This would amend the Workers’ Compensation Act 338 of 1915, P.L. 736.
A payer of workers’ compensation benefits would be required to make benefits payments within seven days of recognized payment dates, unless the payer has sought a suspension or termination of benefits appeal that permits such non-payment. Workers’ compensation medical payments and compensation payments ordered by a Workers’ Compensation Referee’s final order would be paid within 30 days of the order, unless the decision is appealed and a supersedeas is requested. Should the supersedeas be denied, the compensation and medical payments would be required to paid within ten days from the denial date.
The Labor and Industry Department would investigate and provide staff to assist workers’ compensation claimants with complaints about non-payments of benefits. The Department would be able to impose administrative penalties of not less than $25 and not more than $100 for each day of violation of payments provisions if the Department determines the violation was flagrant, the violator has a history of past violations on the same claim, if the violation was an attempt to pressure a claimant into a settlement, or if the payer acted in bad faith.

HB 163: Eliminate Social Security Offset to Unemployment Compensation Benefits

H.B. 163, P.N. 163 (ADOLPH) This would amend the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act 1 of the Second Special Session of 1937, P.L. 2897.
This would eliminate the current deduction from unemployment compensation benefits that is taken for one-half of social security benefits received.