Senate Republican News Brief

“The people have a right to know who is lobbying, what they are spending to impact public policy, and the issues at which those lobbying efforts are being directed. Timely internet publication of all lobbying documents is an important part of improving transparency in state government.”

Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) on Senate passage of his legislation that would require lobbyists to register and file reports electronically through a computerized system developed by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Preview 

Senate Session Today at 1 p.m.Bills expected to be considered this week include:

Senate Bill 30 authorizes the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to establish the fees charged by the agency. Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair)

Senate Bill 171  requires Senate confirmation of the PA Turnpike Commission CEO. Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery)

Senate Bill 192 authorizes the Pennsylvania Game Commission to establish the fees for hunting and fur-taking licenses. Sen. Pat Stefano (R-Fayette)

Senate Bill 227 alters the deadline for school boards to make renewal decisions regarding superintendent contracts from 150 to 90 days prior to expiration of the contract. Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair)

Senate Bill 222 adds judges to the courts of common pleas in Bucks, Cumberland, Delaware, Montgomery, Washington and Wayne counties. Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)

News Conferences and Committee Hearings Streamed Live at PASenateGOP.com: 

Monday 10 a.m. East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B

Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
Senate Bill 400 and the investigation of police-involved shootings

Monday 11 a.m. Capitol Media Center

News Conference – Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny)
Video Gaming Terminals

Tuesday 10 a.m. East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B
Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) Hearing
PennDOT Budget and Program Priorities

Tuesday 12 p.m. Capitol Media Center

News Conference – Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware), Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington), Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-Delaware), Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)
Strengthening Protection from Abuse Laws

Wednesday 9 a.m. North Office Building, Hearing Room 1

Senate Labor and Industry Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny)
State Workers Insurance Fund and Impact of the Cancer Presumption Act

Wednesday 1 p.m. North Office Building, Hearing Room 1

Senate Aging and Youth Committee, chaired by Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Mercer), Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), Senate Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington)
Consolidation of Departments of Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug & Alcohol Programs 

Full Senate Committee Schedule

Review 

Senate Approves Lobbyist Disclosure Bill 

The Senate on Wednesday approved government reform legislation introduced by Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) that would provide improved transparency regarding lobbyist disclosure reports.

Senate Bill 169 would require lobbyists to register and file reports electronically through a computerized system developed by the Pennsylvania Department of State. Currently, lobbyists may register and file reports on paper forms, which in some cases has delayed the posting of the information on the department’s website.

SB 169 requires the department to post on its website all lobbying registration and reporting documents it receives within seven days. The measure also bars lobbyists from charging a contingency fee for grants awarded to their clients. More  

Senate Approves Scavello Bill Allowing Falconry on Sundays

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) to allow Pennsylvanians to engage in falconry on Sundays was approved by the Senate on Monday.

Currently, Pennsylvania law prohibits hunting on Sunday, with the exception of the hunting of foxes and coyotes. Senate Bill 123 will add an exception for falconry, the sport of hunting small game species with birds of prey. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. More 

Firm Tells Committee State Could Save Millions Annually in Health Costs 

An experienced health care management firm told members of the Senate Majority Policy Committee on Tuesday that the state could see an 8 to 15 percent reduction in all medical costs through the use of new technology and evidence-based medicine.

During the hearing, representatives from MedExpert touted the results of its Medicaid coordinated care initiative in Alaska. The program uses technology and health care management tools to directly assist patients in getting the care they need.

The hearing, which was held at the request of Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) and hosted by Committee Chairman Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill), focused on how a similar system could be applied to Pennsylvania’s healthcare market. More

Committee Round-Up 

Appropriations 

The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), approved three bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 30 gives the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for licenses.

Senate Bill 192 gives the Game Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for hunting and fur-taking licenses.

Senate Bill 274 officially recognizes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists under Pennsylvania statute.

Education 

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), held a public hearing on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Hearing Video & Testimony

Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), approved seven bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 95 addresses lawsuits filed against a person or organization for statements made or positions taken in connection with a matter of public interest or regulation.

Senate Bill 222 adds court of common pleas judges in several counties across the state.

Senate Bill 260 addresses representation of crime victims on the Victims’ Services Advisory Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Senate Bill 298 increases the penalties for animal abuse (Libre’s Law).

Senate Bill 421 addresses the pay disparity between state corrections managers and officers.

Senate Bill 522 amends Title 42 and Title 61 to merge the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole as the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Senate Bill 523 amends the Crime Victims Act to merge the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole as the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Labor & Industry 

The Senate Labor and Industry Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), approved Senate Bill 250 on Tuesday. The bill authorizes a $15 million transfer from the Unemployment Compensation Fund to the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund.

State Government 

The Senate State Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), approved two bills and a resolution on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 178 updates and modernizes the state History Code.

Senate Bill 303 addresses Project 70 restrictions on lands owned by the Borough of Topton.

Senate Resolution 36 urges Congress to renew the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to prevent the Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

Transportation

The Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery), held a public hearing Tuesday on Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) and legislation that would authorize autonomous vehicle testing in Pennsylvania.

Hearing Video & Testimony