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Public Hearing on Transit Revitalization Investment Districts Scheduled in Upper Darby Township 4/17/14
An upcoming public hearing will examine how Pennsylvania law can be improved to better encourage development near mass transit stations and stops, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-44) announced today.

Senator Hutchinson offers bill to help small businesses 4/16/14
Speaking at an April 15 press conference in the state Capitol, Senator Scott Hutchinson announced plans to introduce legislation intended to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses expand and grow.

Local Lawmakers to Host Medical Cannabis Listening Session 4/15/14
Senator Richard Alloway II (R-33), Representative Dan Moul (R-91) and Representative Will Tallman (R-193) will host an educational forum on Thursday, May 1, in Hanover regarding the potential use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. 

Baker and Wiley Introduce a Bill to Reward and Recruit Volunteer Firefighters 4/14/14
Responding to a growing shortage of volunteer firefighters, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) and Senator Sean Wiley (D-49) have joined forces to introduce a bill to give municipalities the power to waive their local earned income tax for volunteer first responders.

Senate Local Government Meeting 4/10/14
Financially Distressed Municipalities; SB 1157

Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Approves Lyme Disease Education Resolution 4/10/14
The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee approved a resolution Tuesday that would encourage the PA Game Commission to add Lyme Disease education to the state’s mandatory Hunter-Trapper Education courses.

Corman Case Wins Decision over NCAA in Commonwealth Court 4/9/14
The Commonwealth Court ruled today in favor of Senator Jake Corman’s court case against the NCAA distributing Penn State University sanction fine money outside of Pennsylvania, according to Senator Corman (R-Bellefonte).

Senate Bans Cash Gifts 4/9/14
The state Senate today unanimously approved two measures sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) to ban cash gifts.

Ward Mandated Reporter Bill Readied for Governor’s Signature; Passes Senate Unanimously 4/9/14
State Senator Kim Ward (R-39) applauded the General Assembly today for the unanimous passage of her legislation, Senate Bill 21, which clarifies who is a mandated reporter under the PA Child Protective Services (CPS) law and when and how they are required to report suspected child abuse. 

Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee Meeting 4/8/14
(DCED) Budget (FY 2014-2015) Initiatives

Senate approves “Kelsey Smith Act” 4/8/14
The Senate today approved a measure introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny/Butler) intended to save lives by speeding up a process for using technology to locate missing people.

Legislators Announce Plans to Improve Eating Disorder Awareness, Education 4/8/14
Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-10), Senator Daylin Leach (D-17) and Representative Steven Santarsiero (D-31) unveiled a proposal today that would improve education, identification and treatment of eating disorders.

Mensch Bill to Provide Whistleblower Protection to Child Abuse Reporters Heads for Enactment 4/8/14
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) to provide "whistleblower" protection individuals who report child abuse received final legislative approval this week and will be sent to the governor for enactment.

Senate Panel Approves Cash Gift Ban 4/7/14
The Senate State Government Committee approved legislation today that would ban cash gifts to legislators and public officials, according to Committee Chairman Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-13).

State Senate Approves Sen. Yaw Landowner Protection Bills 4/7/14
Three bills expanding the rights of landowners who are currently leased with natural gas companies were approved today with strong bipartisan support by the full state Senate, according to prime sponsor, Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).

Senate News Brief 4/7/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Scott Wagner Sworn In As State Senator 4/2/14
Scott Wagner was sworn into office as the state senator representing the 28th Senatorial District in York County during a ceremony today in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

Senate Republican Standing Committee Memberships 4/2/14
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) today announced the chairmanships and Republican members for each of the 22 Senate Standing Committees for the remainder of the 2013-2014 legislative session.

Senate Approves Bill Restoring Farm Vehicle Exemption 4/2/14
The Senate unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday (April 2) designed to eliminate an unnecessary regulatory burden on Pennsylvania’s farmers, according to Senator Elder Vogel, prime sponsor of the measure.

Senate Passes Alloway’s Pet Protection Bill 4/2/14
The state Senate passed legislation today to strengthen the state’s Dog Law by preventing irresponsible kennel owners from operating under false pretenses.

Senate Local Government Committee to Hold Hearing on Pennsylvania’s Distressed Municipalities Program 4/2/14
Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair) announced that the Senate Local Government Committee will hold a hearing at the State Capitol on April 10th to receive testimony on proposed improvements to Pennsylvania’s Municipal Financial Recovery Act, commonly known as Act 47 of 1987.

Senate Banking & Insurance Committee 4/2/14
SB 1268 (PPACA Healthcare Exchange Navigators)

Senator Vulakovich’s child protection bill heads to Governor’s desk 4/1/14
A measure introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich intended to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to respond to suspected child abuse cases is headed to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee 4/1/14
Variable Electric Rates
Senate Judiciary Committee 4/1/14
SB 979 (Indigent Criminal Defense Representation)
Senate Judiciary Committee 4/1/14
HB 1154

Senate News Brief 3/31/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senator Scarnati Announces Pennsylvania Elk Drawing Moved to Elk County 3/28/14
Pennsylvania’s annual Elk License Drawing will be held at the Elk County Visitor’s Center this summer, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25). 

Senators Vulakovich and Costa Introduce Legislation to Resolve UPMC-Highmark Contract Dispute 3/24/14
State Senators Randy Vulakovich (R-40) and Jay Costa (D-43) announced today (March 24) during a press conference in the Allegheny County Courthouse that they have introduced legislation intended to resolve the ongoing contractual dispute between UPMC and Highmark.

Senator Vulakovich Introduces Legislative Reform Measure 3/24/14
State Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny and Butler counties) today introduced legislation requiring elected officials to provide receipts in order to receive reimbursement from the Commonwealth.

Senators Baker & Smucker to Introduce Cash Gift Ban 3/24/14
Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) and Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-13) today announced plans to introduce legislation to impose an absolute ban on legislators accepting cash gifts from lobbyists, principals, consultants and others who seek to influence the legislative process.

Senate Passes Scarnati’s Rural Regional Community College Legislation 3/19/14
The State Senate today by a vote of 42 to 4, approved legislation introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) to create a Rural Regional Community College in Pennsylvania.

Corman Bill on School Snow Day Flexibility Passes Senate 3/19/14
The state Senate today unanimously approved a bill that would give schools greater flexibility to make up time missed as a result of weather emergencies, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34), the bill’s sponsor. 

Senate Approves Bill Ending “Summer” Gasoline Mandate 3/19/14
The Senate today (March 19) unanimously approved legislation designed to end a “hidden” tax that drives up the costs of gasoline for western Pennsylvanians, according to Senator Elder Vogel, prime sponsor of the measure.

Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee 3/19/14
Act 90 of 2010

Finance Chairmen to Unveil Margin Relief Proposal Impacting PA Lottery 3/19/14
Senators Mike Brubaker (R-36) and John Blake (D-22), Majority and Minority Chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee, have announced plans to introduce legislation that would provide additional flexibility to the Pennsylvania Lottery in how games are managed and marketed and, ultimately, generate more revenue for the Commonwealth.

Greenleaf’s Legislation to Protect Victims of Sexual Assault Sent to Governor 3/19/14
On Tuesday evening, (March 18, 2014), the Pennsylvania Senate concurred on House amendments to State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s SB 681 that would provide court ordered protection for victims of sexual assault.

Senate Aging & Youth Committee 3/18/14
HB 162 (Adoptions and Birth Records)

Senate News Brief 3/17/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Donetta M. D’Innocenzo Confirmed as Pennsylvania Senate Chief Clerk 3/17/14
Donetta M. D’Innocenzo was unanimously confirmed today as the Chief Clerk for the Pennsylvania State Senate.  D’Innocenzo is the first woman to be sworn-in as Chief Clerk of the Pennsylvania State Senate, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

Senate Approves Local Veteran’s Proposal for New License Plate 3/12/14
The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday that would establish a specialty license plate for veterans who earned the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), according to the bill’s sponsor Senator David G. Argall (R-29).

Alloway Proposal to Honor Merchant Marines Clears Senate 3/12/14
The Senate approved legislation Monday that would allow Merchant Marines to display their military service on specialty license plates, according to Senator Richard Alloway II (R-33). 

Senate Transportation Committee 3/11/14
Emergency Response to Vehicle Accidents
Senators Propose Legislation to Provide Greater Flexibility to PASSHE Universities 3/11/14
Senators Tommy Tomlinson (R-6) and Andy Dinniman (D-19) today proposed bipartisan legislation that would enable universities that meet certain criteria to transfer out of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Senate News Brief 3/10/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senators Scarnati and Pileggi Comment on the Passing of Senator Hal Mowery 3/4/14
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) today remembered Senator Hal Mowery as a good friend and a Senator who worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents.

Baker Announces New Veterans Designation on PA Driver’s Licenses 3/4/14
Beginning March 1, Pennsylvania veterans can apply for a special designation on their driver’s license to honor their service as one of the Commonwealth’s 950,000 military veterans, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) announced.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jake Corman details the events leading up to Pennsylvania’s public pension problem. 2/18/14  
On the first day of budget hearings, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Senator Jake Corman explains three of the primary “cost drivers” of the state budget. 2/10/14

Pennsylvania Legislative Leaders Encourage Museums & Historical Societies to Apply for State Grants 2/27/14
Legislative leaders from the state Senate and House today reminded museums across Pennsylvania to apply for Cultural and Historical Support grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Senator Scarnati: 110 Pennsylvania Schools Receive $2.6 Million in Safe School Targeted Grants 2/21/14
A total of 110 school districts in Pennsylvania have been selected to receive Pennsylvania school safety grants totaling $2.6 million, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

Rafferty Legislation to Toughen Arson Penalties Goes to Governor 2/6/14
Legislation sponsored by Senator John Rafferty (R-44) to significantly strengthen Pennsylvania’s arson laws and create the new crime of “aggravated arson” has been sent to the Governor to be signed into law.

Statement by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman on the Governor’s Proposed Budget for 2014-15 2/4/14
Today marks the beginning of the Commonwealth’s annual appropriations process. The Governor’s Budget address represents the initial step in the timeline to meet the Constitutional requirement of a balanced budget by June 30.

Agriculture Panel Advances Brubaker’s Bill Addressing Fertilizer Usage on Turf 2/4/14
The Senate Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously approved today legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Brubaker (R-36) that would enhance water quality by providing a statewide standard for the application of turf fertilizer, ultimately improving the health and future of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters.

Senate News Brief 2/4/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senate Finance Committee 1/29/14
Lottery Expansion
Joint Meeting of Economy, Business & Jobs Caucus and Manufacturing Caucus 1/29/14
SEWN (Strategic Early Warning Network)
Senate Law & Justice Committee 1/28/14
SB 1182 (Medical Cannabis Act)
Joint Senate Banking & Insurance and Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committees 1/28/14
Federal Flood Insurance
Senator Mike Folmer (R-48) discusses Tuesday’s hearing on Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Act. 1/28/14

Pennsylvania Senators Hear Support for Federal Flood Insurance Fix 1/28/14
The Pennsylvania Senate Banking & Insurance Committee and the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met today to hear testimony from statewide organizations, county officials and residents concerning the implementation of the federal flood insurance law, known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12).

Senator Gordner Elected Majority Caucus Chair 1/27/14
Senator John R. Gordner (R-27) today was unanimously elected Majority Caucus Chair for the remainder of the 2013-2014 session by state Senate Republicans.

Senate News Brief 1/27/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi discusses legislative issues for the upcoming year, including updates to the Open Records law, government transparency initiatives and healthcare. 1/22/14

Baker’s Bill Will Improve Disaster Response through Interstate Cooperation 1/21/14
When a major snowstorm or other natural disaster strikes, Pennsylvania will have a streamlined system for accepting help from neighboring states under a bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20).

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi discusses legislative issues for the upcoming year, including charter school legislation, proposed changes to the special education funding formula and property taxes 1/17/14

Sen. Yaw Previews Pennsylvania Senate Flood Insurance Hearing 1/16/14
Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) discusses changes to the federal flood insurance program, and provides a preview of the upcoming joint PA Senate Committee hearing.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi discusses legislative issues for the upcoming year, including the state budget, jobs and public pensions 1/15/14 

Senate News Brief 1/13/14
A preview of what's ahead in the Senate and a review of recent legislative action.

Senator Waugh Announces Resignation from Senate 1/13/14
Senator Mike Waugh (R-28) announced today that he has resigned his position in the Senate to accept a position at the Department of Agriculture.

Senate Committees Hold Public Hearing on Endangered and Threatened Species 1/10/14
The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee and Senate Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing to examine Pennsylvania laws pertaining to endangered and threatened species. 

Public Assistance Programs Need More Integrity, Senators Say 1/7/14
Senators David G. Argall (R-29) and Joe Scarnati (R-25) are crafting a proposal that would strengthen the integrity of several areas within the state’s welfare department.

Scarnati Re-Elected to Serve as Senate President Pro Tempore 1/7/14
Today State Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate for 2014.

Report Recommends Measures to Prevent Violence1/2/14
Today, The Joint State Government Commission released the report, Violence Prevention in Pennsylvania.  The report, commissioned by a 2013 Senate Resolution introduced by State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf (R, Montgomery, Bucks), makes 44 recommendations to help prevent violence, addressing school safety, mental health, responsible gun ownership, and violence in media.

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