Wednesday, May 25, 2005

HB 658: Pocket Bike Seller Notice

H.B. 658, P.N. 751 (McCALL) This would create an Act concerning Mini-Motorcycle Sales.
This would require a seller of a mini-motorcycle (a.k.a. pocket bike) to conspicuously post notice that it is illegal to operate this product on a public road, road shoulder, and sidewalk. Violating this could require in a fine of $1,000 for each day this law is violated.

HB 920: Magazine Solicitation Unfair Practices

H.B. 920, P.N. 1041 (MARKOSEK) This would amend the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, Act 387 of 1968, P.L. 1224.
This would add to list of prohibited unfair or deceptive practices the failure of a magazine solicitor to provide, to a magazine subscription purchaser, the terms of an automatic subscription renewal, terms of an automatic subscription acceptance from a trial subscription, the cancellation policy, and whether postage and handing costs are included in billing charges.

HB 1042: Renewal of Maintenance Service Contracts

H.B. 1042, P.N. 1198 (TANGRETTI) This would amend the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, Act 387 of 1968, P.L. 1224.
This would prohibit the renewal of a maintenance service contract without the written approval of the consumer. It would specify that a consumer’s failure to reject an offer to renew such a contract may not be considered as approving such renewal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

HB 1348: Restitution for Collateral Injury

H.B. 1348, P.N. 1606 (BAKER) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This would require a court to order restitution, ordered upon conviction for stealing or causing personal injury, to include being ordered for a collateral injury. A collateral injury would be defined as money a victim pays to any professional (i.e. attorney, psychologist, accountant, etc.) required for dealing with adverse consequences directly resulting from the criminal act, including defending against false charges, counseling, contesting unwarranted debt collection actions, and correcting credit reports.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

HB 1291: Background Checks of Prospective School Employees

H.B. 1291, P.N. 1535 (CURRY) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would require background checks of prospective school employees to include applicants to be teachers, substitutes, janitors, cafeteria employees, and bus drivers.
This would require all applicants for school administrators to submit to a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check. Under current law, only such an applicant who has lived in Pennsylvania for less than two years may be subject to such a background check.

HB 143: Prohibition of Being a School Director with a Criminal Conviction

H.B. 143, P.N. 143 (SOLOBAY) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would prohibit a person from serving as a School Director who, within the past five years, has been convicted of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, incest, concealing death of a child endangering the welfare of children, prostitution, obscenity, corruption of a minor, sexual abuse of a child, or violation of drug laws.
This would require the Education Department to conduct criminal history background checks on all current and prospective School Directors.

HB 1530: Creation of Criminal History Review Office

H.B. 1530, P.N. 1879 (CURRY) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would create the Office of Criminal History Review within the Education Department. This office would coordinate background checks of applicants for school employment with the State Police, create notification processes of background check results to applicants and to school entities, and maintain criminal history record information.

Friday, May 13, 2005

HB 904: Allow Hunting on Sundays

H.B. 904, P.N. 1026 (STABACH) This would amend Title 34 (Game).
This would repeal the prohibition against hunting on a Sunday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

HB 1489: Prohibitions Against Smoking

H.B. 1489, P.N. 1806 (CORNELL) This would amend an Act to Provide Safety of Persons Employed, Housed, or Assembled in Certain Buildings, Act 299 of 1927, P.L. 465.
This would prohibit smoking in a commercial establishment, retail store, grocery store, bingo hall,, waiting room or area, hallway, polling place, public restroom, sports arena, convention hall, elevator, public transit, public food assistance program facility, public meeting not covered by the Sunshine Act, rotunda, lobby, exhibition hall, bar, tavern, and restaurant.
A “smoking area” would be required to ensure air is directed back into the smoking room and not into the rest of the building and is directed outside the building and not into general ventilation of the building.
The definition of “workplace” would be expanded to include area for volunteer activity.
The Health Department or local health department or board would be able to institute court actions to enjoin a violator of this Act. A violator could be fined $100 or less for a first offense, $200 or less for a second offense within one year,, and $500 or less for subsequent violations.

HB 617: Crane Operator Licensure

H.B. 617, P.N. 690 (CIVERA) This would create the Crane Operator Licensure Act.
A State Board of Crane Operators would be established within the Labor and Industry Department. This Board would adopt standards consistent with recognized nationally certification programs to certify a person to be employed as a crane operator, issue such a license, and be able to renew, suspend, or revoke such a license. The Governor would appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, the Board members.
In order to become a license crane operator, a person would need at least 1,000 hours of certain crane-related experiences, be at least age 18, receive national certification as a care operator, and be medically and physically capable to perform such duties.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

HB 1012: Display of Motto "In God We Trust" in Public Schools

H.B. 1012, P.N. 1158 (CREIGHTON) This would create the National Motto Display Act.
This would permit the display of the motto “In God We Trust” in a public school classroom, cafeteria, and auditorium.

HB 193: Separating Contracted Work on School Projects

H.B. 193, P.N. 196 (FLICK) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would allow a School Directors Board to provide that plumbing, heating and ventilation, and electrical work on the same project be done under separate contracts..

Monday, May 09, 2005

SB 1: Lobbying Accountability

S.B. 1, P.N. 718 (JUBELIRER) This would create the Lobbying Accountability Act.
A principal lobbyist, association, or similar entity would be required to register and provide the names and nature of business represented as well as any affiliated political action committees
A lobbyist would be required to register contact information and a recent photograph.
A principal would be required to file quarterly expense reports upon reaching a threshold of $2,500 of lobbying expenses. These reports would include listing spending on salaries, compensation, benefits, vehicles, bonuses, and reimbursable expenses to a person who lobbies. These reports would not require listing spending on lobbyists, lobbying staff, research and monitoring staff, attorneys at law, technical staff, publications and public relations staff, clerical and administrative staff who are exempt from registration and reporting.
The expense report would list the name of every official or employee to whom an expense was made and the value of each expense.
A lobbyist would be prohibited from serving as an officer or treasurer of a candidate’s political committee or political action committee.
A registered lobbyist would be prohibited from lobbying in conflict to the interests of another interest represented by the principal, unless this conflict is disclosed in writing to both parties and both parties provide informed consent they waives this conflict. Violating this conflict could result in a fine of $2,000 or less and prohibiting the principal or the lobbyist from lobbying for five years or less.
It would be a crime for a lobbying to create the introduction of legislation designed for the lobbyist to become employed to lobby against.
It would be a crime for a lobbyist to make a loan to an official or employee
A lobbyist who internationally fails to register or file a report or who knowingly files a false statement on a report would commit a second degree misdemeanor and could be banned from lobbying for five years or less.

HB 737: Exempt Realty Transfer Tax between Municipality and Volunteer Fire Company

H.B. 737, P.N. 828 (BOYD) This would amend the Tax Reform Code, Act 2 of 1971, P.L. 6.
This would exempt a realty transfer between a municipality and a volunteer fire company from the realty transfer tax.
This would change the installment sales method of reporting to reporting a gain on a selling property to when such sale qualifies as being so treated under the Internal Revenue Code.

HB 49: Student Loan Forgiveness for Mental Health/Retardation Employment

H.B. 49, P.N. 51 (PETRONE) This would create the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Staff Member and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor Loan Forgiveness Programs Act.
This would create a student loan forgiveness for a person employed by a county mental health or mental retardation service agency, private company contracted with county government to provide mental services, or a licensed alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility. Such a person would receive $5,000 or less loan forgiveness for a year of qualified employment, with up to a total of $20,000 forgiveness available.

HB 1168: Twice a Year Inspections of Nursing Facilities

H.B. 1168, P.N. 1873 (HABAY) This would amend the Public Welfare Code, Act 21 of 1967, P.L. 21.
This would require that each nursing facility be inspected at least twice a year for compliance with state laws and regulations.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

S.R. 44: Maintain All Pennsylvania Military Bases

S.R 44, P.N. 626 (PUNT) This would urge that all Pennsylvania military bases be protected against closure.

HR 260: Urge Maintaining Letterkenny Army Depot

H.R. 260, P.N. 1711 (KAUFFMAN) This would urge Congress and the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to keep the Letterkenny Army Depot operating. This depot provides unique tactical missile repairs and is important to the economy of Franklin County.

HB 1488: Prenatal and Postpartum Counseling

H.B. 1488, P.N. 1831 (KENNEY) This would create the Prenatal and Postpartum Counseling Act.
A hospital, birthing center, physician, nurse-midwife, or midwife providing prenatal care to a pregnant woman would be required to provide the woman with a fact sheet on prenatal depression, postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, and emotional traumas related with pregnancy and parenting that include a list of resources for counseling and applicable professional organizations. The Health Department would regulated and enforce this Act as well as place a list of counselors and applicable professional organizations on the Department’s Internet site.

HB 1182: Defective Product Civil Action Time Limit

H.B. 1182, P.N. 1388 (DENLINGER) This would amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
This would require a civil action to recover damagers resulting from a defective product to commence within 15 years from when the product was delivered or from when a replacement or new component or other part was added. Exceptions to this would be for actions enforceable under a written warranty and for a physical illness that did not appear within this time.

HB 735: Manufacturer Exemption from Product Liaiblity / Product Renter Exemption from Tort

H.B. 735, P.N. 826 (BOYD) This would amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
This would exempt a manufacturer from liability in a product liability action for damages if the manufacturer can establish that the seller of the product failed to exercise reasonable care and that this failure was a proximate cause to the harm caused; or, that the seller made an express warranty and the product failed to conform to this warranty when causing the harm; or, that the seller exercised significant control over the product which created the alleged defect that caused the harm; or, that the seller knew or reasonably should have known of the defect that caused the harm; or, that the seller engaged in intentional wrongdoing that was a proximate cause of the harm; or, that the seller claimed to the purchaser that the seller was the manufacturer.
This would exempt a product seller, who rents or leases a product, from a tortuous act of another.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

HB 1083: Legal Representation in Unemployment Compensation Disputes

H.B. 1083, P.N. 1241 (ALLEN) This would amend the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act 1 of the Second Special Session of 1937, P.L. 2897.
This would allow that any party involved in an unemployment compensation proceeding before a Referee, Appeal Board, or the Labor and Industry Department may be represented by legal counsel with the fee for representation determined by the Board. Under current law, an individual claiming compensation may be so represented.

HB 1507: Building Certificate of Occupancy

H.B. 1507, P.N. 1841 (WILT) This would amend the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act 45 of 1999, P.L. 491.
A building which did not have a certificate of occupancy prior to April 10, 2004 would be issued such a certificate if it meets the fire protection requirements and is safe and sanitary. A code administrator would be prohibited from requiring changes designed to meet egress requirements that are technically infeasible and would liberally construe that such a building should remain occupied.

HB 24: Domestic Violence Victim Leave from Public Employment

H.B. 24, P.N. 28 (YOUNGBLOOD) This would create the Victims of Domestic Violence Employment Leave Act.
This would allow a full-time local or state employee who is a victim or who has a child who is a victim of domestic violence to take an unpaid leave from employment with the right to return to the same or equivalent employment. Group health insurance benefits would be maintained during such leave.

HR 15: Leasing Naming Rights of Transit Stations

H.R. 15, P.N. 15 (YOUNGBLOOD) This would urge mass transit agencies to consider leasing naming rights of transit stations and other property owned by such agencies.

HB 1285: Creating PennDOT Administrative Law Judges

H.B. 1285, P.N. 1529 (McCALL) This would amend Title 74 (Transportation).
This would create Administrative Law Judges within the Transportation Department.

HB 1183: Naming a Bridge for Sgt. Michael Strank

H.B. 1183, P.N. 1734 (WOJNAROSKI) This would create an Act Re-designating a Bridge on State Route 27 Over the Conemaugh River as the Sergeant Michael Strank Memorial Bridge.
Sergeant Michael Strank was a squad leader in Iwo Jima during World War II.

HB 1118: Concurrent Minor Driver's License Suspensions for Excessive Speeding

H.B. 1118, P.N. 1324 (BALDWIN) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would create that a driver’s license suspension for a 16 or 17 year old for driving over 25 miles per hour above the posted speed limit would be concurrent, rather than possibly consecutive, with a suspension for driving over 30 miles per hour above the posted speed limit that applies to all drivers.

HB 1050: Radar Detection of Speeders

H.B. 1050, P.N. 1206 (LEH) This would amend Title 75 (Vehicles).
This would not assign points against a driver’s license for speeding if the speeding offense was detected by radar enforcement and the radar recorded the speed at less than 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
Seven police forces would be in a pilot program of local police radar enforcement of speed limits. The Local Government Commission and the Transportation Secretary would select the seven police forces representing a range of categories of local police departments. A warning but no file would be authorized during the first 120 days of operating this pilot system.

HR 161: Health Premium Assistance to Surviving Spouse of a Retired State Employee

H.R. 161, P.N. 1179 (WANSACZ) This would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the practicability of providing premium assistance to a surviving spouse of a member of the State Employees’ Retirement System who participated in the Retired Employee Health Program that equals the amount of premium assistance provided while said member was alive.

HB 1062: Tax Credit for Business Contributions to Community-Based Mental Retardation Services

H.B. 1062, P.N. 1218 (BOYD) This would create a Tax Credit Program to Support Community-Based Mental Retardation Services Act.
A business firm would be eligible for a tax credit for half the amount (up to $100,000 annually per business firm and not greater than the amount of tax liability) of a contribution to a provider of community-based services for individuals with metal retardation. This credit would increase to 75% of the amount contributed in a second and successive years to such a provider. A total of $20 million in tax credit per fiscal year would be available.

HB 1135: Excluding Veterans Benefits when Calculating PACE Eligibility

H.B 1135, P.N. 1341 (GOODMAN) This was amend the State Lottery Law, Act 91 of 1971, P.L. 351.
This would exclude veterans’ benefits when calculating income for determining eligibility for pharmaceutical assistance for the elderly.

HB 692: Increasing the Compulsory School Age

H.B. 692, P.N. 785 (E.Z. TAYLOR) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would increase the compulsory school age until reaching age 18, an increase from current law setting this age at upon reaching age 17. The compulsory school age requirement would not apply to a student in a home education program who has completed graduation requirements as demonstrated to the School District Superintendent.

HB 349: Certification Test for Teachers

H.B. 349, P.N. 370 (GRUCELA) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would authorize the Education Department to contract with Pennsylvania State University to develop and administer the qualification test to teachers that would determine if they are certified to teach as required by the No Child Left Behind Act., as well as developing and administering an alternative program for teachers who do not pass the certification test.

HB 994: Special Education Funding

H.B. 994, P.N. 1140 (STAIRS) This would require the Commonwealth to pay each school district for special education either the same amount as the previous year, or an amount equal to:
The district’s market value divided by either a.) the personal income aid ratio or b.) .5, whichever is the larger denominator; the product of which would be multiplied by the district’s expenditures on special education programs (including related costs such as salaries, maintenance services, books, and supplies related to special education, but not including administrative instructional support, pupil personnel, appraisal services, psychological testing, speech pathology and audio services, supervision speech pathology and audio services, social work services, computer assisted instruction services, instruction and curriculum development services, instruction staff development services, legal services, principal office services, medical services, nursing services, transportation services, and staff development) three years prior to the year in which expenditures are to be made.

HB 256: Diabetes Screening for School Children

H.B. 256, P.N. 279 (CRAHALLA) This would amend the Public School Code, Act 14 of 1949, P.L. 30.
This would add to the list of health services provided to every school child a screening test for diabetes.

HB 1521: Executive Official Salary Limitation

H.B. 1521, P.N. 1865 (BUNT) This would create the Executive Branch Official Compensation Act.
This would prohibit any annual salary for any Executive official as being larger than the Governor’s annual salary.

HB 1338: Conveyance of State Property to Columbia Borough

H.B. 1338, P.N. 1596 (HICKERNELL) This would create an act for a Conveyance in Columbia Borough, Lancaster County.
This would authorize the conveyance of Military and Veterans’ Affairs property and buildings for fair market value to the Borough of Columbia. If this conveyance is not executed within a three month period, the General Services Department may dispose of the property.

HB 1318: Affidavit of Candidates Not for Incumbents Whose Terms Are Not Expiring

H.B. 1318, P.N. 1566 (GERGELY) This would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code, Act 320 of 1937, P.L. 1333.
This would add to the list of items a political candidate must attest to in an affidavit of candidates that the candidate is not an incumbent running for an office whose term does not expire in the year of the affidavit.

Friday, May 06, 2005

HB 1317: Require Government Purchase of American-Made Flags

H.B. 1317, P.N. 1565 (CLYMER) This would create the Flag Procurement Act.
This would require all government agencies to purchases only flags which have a substantial majority of principal components assembled within the United States. An exception would be provided if the head of such an agency states in writing that such a purchase is inconsistent with the public interest or that the cost is unreasonable. A payment to a supplier in violation of this Act would be recoverable directly from such a supplier. A person who willfully violates this Act would be prohibited from participating in government contracts for five years.

HB 1064: Military Absentee Ballots During War

H.B. 1064, P.N. 1223 (BARRAR) This would amend the Election Code, Act 320 of 1937, P.L. 1333.
This would allow for a qualified military absentee ballot, cast during a declared war, to arrive to the County Board of Elections within 5 pm on the seventh day after the election. The Election Districts receiving such ballots would reconvene to canvass such ballots on the eighth day following the election to count such ballots.

HB 759: Displaying Flags Within Condominiums

H.B. 759, P.N. 921 (MUSTIO) This would create the American, Commonwealth, and Military Flag Act.
This would disallow a homeowners association, unit owners association, or a master association from prohibiting the outdoor display of,and use of wall brackets to display, one American flag, Commonwealth flag, or military flag per unit if on the unit owner’s property and not on common property. Such an association may regulate the size of such a flag if larger than five feet by three feet.

HB 1478: Payday Loans

H.B. 1478, P.N. 1796 (ROSS) This would amend Title 7 (Banks and Banking) and Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This would amend the manner in which the Banking Department regulates payday loans, which are short term loans or money advances where the lender charges a fee or other consideration. A person must obtain a license from the Banking Department to provide payday loans. A person must have a minimum tangible net worth of $250,000 and a surety bond of $100,000.
The interest on finance charges for a payday loan could not be larger than 17.5%. A payday loan could not be larger than $500 or one-quarter of a borrower’s gross monthly income, whichever is less. A borrower could rescind a loan before the close of business on the following business day. A payday loan could only be renewed once. A payday lender could not issues a loan to the same borrower within seven days from repayment for a previous loan, nor could such a lender issue a payday loan if the borrower would become indebted to two or more payday lenders for over 60 consecutive days. Violating this Act would be a felony punishable by $2,000 or less per offense plus subject to a $2,000 civil penalty from the Banking Department.

HB 2400: Indecent Assault

H.B. 1400, P.N. 1688 (O’BRIEN) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This would expand the crime of “indecent assault” to include intentionally causing a complainant to come into contact with bodily fluids for purposes of sexual arousal.
This would increase the crime of indecent assault by forcible compulsion, by threat, when a person is unconscious, when a person is substantially impaired, or when a person has a mental disability rendering the complainant incapable of consent, from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor. Indecent assault that is a second or subsequent offense or that includes touching sexual or intimate parts would be a third degree felony.

HB 1365: Foreign Adoptions

H.B. 1365, P.N. 1653 (BIRMELIN) This would amend Title 23 (Domestic Relations).
The final adoption decree of a child adopted in another state or a foreign country who is adopted by a Pennsylvania resident would be filed with the Clerk of Orphans
Court in the county where the adopting parent resides. This file would be withheld from inspection except from a court order. The identity of the birth parents would not be required to be so filed.
The Clerk would issue a certification of adoption to the adopting parent(s) after a properly authenticated foreign adoption decree has been filed. The Clerk would file an adoption certificate with the Vital Statistics Bureau.
The name of an adopted child would be permitted to be changed from the name listed on the foreign adoption decree.

HB 1113: Homicide by Child Abuse

H.B. 1113, P.N. 1320 (TRUE) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
This would create the crime of homicide by child abuse.
The crime of homicide by child abuse would occur if a person, by any act, manifest omission, or extreme indifference to human life, causes the death of a child age 12 or less by abuse or neglect, or aids or abets another is such a crime.
The crime of homicide by child abuse would be punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment and a minimum of 20 years imprisonment. The crime of aiding or abetting in such a crime would be punishable by 40 years or less imprisonment and a minimum of 10 years imprisonment.
A person who convicted of murdering a child age 12 or less would receive a minimum of ten years imprisonment. A person convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of a child age 12 or less would receive a minimum of five years imprisonment.

HB 1055: Complaints About Health Care Pracitioners in Custody Cases

H.B. 1055, P.N. 1211 (J. EVANS) This would amend Title 23 (Domestic Relations).
This would prohibit a contestant in a child custody proceeding from filing a complaint against a licensed health care practitioner, who has been appointed by a court to evaluate the child custody case, without first petitioning the appointing court to approve the filing of such a complaint. The appointing court would grant permission to file the complaint if the court finds the licensed health care practitioner failed to act in good faith.

HB 746: Attempting to Lure a Child Into a Vehicle

H.B. 746, P.N. 837 (O’BRIEN) This would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
This would create the crime of attempting to lure a child into motor vehicle without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian or without a reasonable indication that the child requires assistance. Under current law, it is crime only to lure a child into a vehicle.

HB 511: Rights of a Foster Child

H.B. 511, P.N. 549 (MUNDY) This would create the Foster Children Rights Act.
A foster child would have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, to be free from discrimination, harassment, corporal punishment, unreasonable restraint, and abuse (be it physical, sexual, emotional, or other), to live in a safe, healthy and comfortable home, to be properly nourished, to be provided clean and appropriate clothing, to receive medical, dental, behavioral, mental health, and abuse and addiction services as needed, to be free from unreasonable searches of belongings and mail (including electronic mail), to contact and visit family members consistent with the family service plan (if not prohibited by court order), to participate in religious services of the child’s preference if this can be reasonably accommodated, to have the child’s culture maintained and reflected if this can be reasonably accommodated, to receive appropriate education, to receive age-appropriate work and job skills to prepare for independent living if this can be reasonably accommodated, to attend court hearings relevant to the child’s case, to be allowed to receive and contribute to the family service plan if the child is 14 years old or older, to have confidentiality as consistent with law, to receive preferred placement with kin or a previous foster parent if this in the child’s best interest and needs, to exercise appropriate parental decision making over a foster child’s own child if the foster child has a child, and to confidentially contact the Public Welfare Department with complaints about alleged violations of these rights. Each foster child and foster parent would be provided with a copy of these rights by the agency providing foster services.

HB 1049: Barber Shop Management

H.B. 1049, P.N. 1959 (YEWCIC) This would amend the Barbers’ License Law, Act 202 of 1931, P.L. 589.
This would require a barber shop to always be under the supervision of a manager-barber or a designated licensee, as opposed to current law requiring supervision of a manager-barber. This would allow a licensed individual designated by a barber shop owner to be in charge of the shop. Such a designated person, the manager-barber, and the shop owner would be required to be readily available for board inspectors during regular business hours.

As amended in committee, the above bill replaced the following:

H.B. 1049, P.N. 1205 (YEWCIC) This would amend the Barbers’ License Law, Act 202 of 1931, P.L. 589.
This would allow an individual designated by a barber shop owner to be in charge of the shop. (Thus, such a designated person need not be a barber.) Current law requires a barber shop manager-barber to be in charge of a barber shop at all times. Such a designated person and the shop owner would be required to be readily available for board inspectors during regular business hours.

HB 1446: Home-Based Care

H.B. 1446, P.N. 1744 (GINGRICH) This would create the Home-Based and Community-Based Services Accountability Act.
A home-based and community-based services manager would be required to privately meet a consumer at least once a month, without the presence of the provider or any other person, although a registered nurse would be permitted to be present.
A care manager would at least annually review and determine such a customer’s services and care plan.
The Area Agency on Aging would have overall responsibility for such a customer’s care management and would coordinate supportive customer services.
A provider would be required to obtain a criminal history record and a communicable disease screening of an employee. Both types of record would be required to be updated every five years.
No provider or employee would be allowed to be appointed a guardian of a consumer, act under a power of attorney for a consumer, be a beneficiary of a consumer’s insurance policy or annuity, or serve as executor a consumer’s estate.

HB 1370: Cognitive Impairment Support Services

H.B. 1370, P.N. 1658 (WOJNAROSKI) This would create the Cognitive Impairment Support Services Certification Act.
The Aging Department would certify a qualified person with a cognitive impairment services certificate. To become a qualified, a person would complete a court on caring for a person with cognitive impairment within an adult daily living center in addition to required training and staff orientation.
The Aging Department and the Public Welfare Department would create rules and regulations to providing a facility with a cognitive impairment support services certificate. The procedures such rules and regulations would cover would include admission, discharge, and transfer of clients with cognitive impairment, availability of wandering space, provision of therapeutic activities, physical design, safety requirements, electronic monitoring, staffing, and notification procedures when a resident with cognitive impairment wanders away from the facility. In order for a facility to receive a cognitive impairment support services certificate, the facility administrators would have to be so certified. An administrator would be required to demonstrate proficiency in diagnosing dementia and related disorder, communication techniques, knowledge of behavioral symptoms of dementia, conflict avoidance and conflict resolution techniques, dementia care, and knowledge of resources for people with dementia and their families.
Before a certified facility discharges or transfer a client with cognitive impairment, the facility would be required to provide a responsible family member or legal representative with at least 30 days notice of such intent. Such discharge or transfer would require the approval of said family member or legal representative as well as a physician.

HB 1313: Researching Unemployment Compensation Data

H.B. 1313, P.N. 1561 (BOYD) This would amend the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act 1 of the Second Special Session of 1937, P.L. 2897.
This would add to the list of data analyzed by the State Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council to include data on the number of claimants for unemployment compensation who were unavailable for work, received improper payments when newly hired, who received improper payments, and who appealed and a breakdown of how these appeals were decided, as well as the amount of funds spent by the Commonwealth on employment services, the number of claimants for unemployment compensation referred to CareerLink, and how many claimants referred to CareerLink used CareerLink. The Council would also study the number of hew hires within Pennsylvania each year, the number of positions posted with CareerLink, the average time to fill these positions, the number of job referrals made by CareerLink, and the number of employers who approach CareerLink seeking job referrals and interviews. The Council would also review the number of errors and intentional misreports by employers and the total outstanding back unemployment taxes owed by employers, the average time it takes to complete a field investigation into wage reports, the number of times employers were charged with fraud, and the number of times a claimant’s primary language was not English. The Council would also study the procedures for identifying unlawful underpayments of unemployment insurance.

SB 149: Creating and Funding the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund

S.B. 149, P.N. 217 (M. WHITE) This would create the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.
An amount equal to one-quarter mill of the capital stock franchise tax would be allocated from the General Fund to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund. The Environmental Protection Department would use these funds to cleanup hazardous sites. This would be a continuing provision.

HB 1114: Waste Tire Site Remediation

H.B. 1114, P.N. 1946 (YUDICHAK) This would amend the Act Relating to the Recycling and Reuse of Waste Tires, Act. 190 of 1996, P.L. 1478.
Only a person with a valid waste tire hauler authorization would be permitted to haul waste tires.
The Environmental Protection Department, after completion of a remediation of a waste tire site, would itemize the costs and require the site owner to pay the costs within 30 days or less. The owner may place this amount in escrow or post an appeal bond in this amount and challenge it. A refusal to pay for the remediation costs shall be deemed a judgment in favor of the Commonwealth and, upon entering and docketing this record with the Prothonotary, the Commonwealth would have a lien against this property. This lien would be priority second to any lien for real estate taxes.
The Environmental Quality Board would encourage the beneficial use of recycled tire products.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

HB 86: Hold Harmless for U.S. Corps of Engineers

H.B. 86, P.N. 80 (STEIL) This would create an Act authorizing a Hold Harmless.
This would hold the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers harmless from state liability actions, from damages resulting from building, operating, and maintaining projects along the Delaware Canal State Park as well as within Stockertown, Tatamy, and Palmer. This would exclude any damages that are due to negligence or are the fault of the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

HB 63: Student Loan Forgiveness for Urban Teachers

H.B. 63, P.N. 125 (ROEBUCK) This would create the Urban Teacher Loan Forgiveness Act.
This would allow a state certified teacher in a designated urban public school (so designated by the Education Secretary as having difficulty attracting qualified teachers) to receive forgiveness for a Federally insured student loan from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Such a teacher would have up to $2,000 of loan forgiveness for employment for one academic year, up to $3,000 such forgiveness for a second academic year of employment, $4,000 for a third academic year of employment, and up to $6,000 for a fourth academic year of employment (for a potential total of $15,000 of loan forgiveness).