2013 – 2014 Accomplishments

Senate Action

2013 – 2014


Legislation of Note Passed by the Senate

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | STATE BUDGET | JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | CHILDREN & FAMILIESTRANSPORTATION | HEALTHCARE | MILITARY & VETERANS | EDUCATIONPUBLIC SAFETYGOVERNMENT REFORM & TRANSPARENCY | CONSUMER PROTECTIONAGRICULTURE | HUNTING, FISHING & SECOND AMENDMENT | ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY | STATE LOTTERY | COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT | ANIMALS


Executive Summary

The 2013-14 session of the General Assembly resulted in the enactment of major new laws to bolster the state’s economy, improve transportation infrastructure, and strengthen child protection laws – among many other accomplishments. Pennsylvania is in a much better position today because of the laws enacted during this session.

The state budgets for FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15 ensured appropriate funding for education, public safety and social services while making important economic improvements such as eliminating the death tax on family-owned businesses, establishing important new tax credits, and continuing the phase-out of the job-crushing Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has fallen dramatically over the past four years, from 8.2% in January 2011 to just 5.7% today, better than the national average.

Among the economic development measures authorized during the past two years were the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone program and the Innovate in Pennsylvania program, which will have long-term positive impacts for our state. Eliminating the death tax on small, family-owned businesses was a logical next step after we eliminated the death tax on family farms in the previous session.

Likewise, our communities will be improved by the new transportation funding plan that provides crucial funding to help rebuild Pennsylvania’s aging infrastructure in order to make the state’s highways and bridges safer and our economy more competitive. Having a good infrastructure is key to attracting businesses, and this plan ensures that our roads and bridges will help our state’s economic growth.

One of the most notable packages of legislation to be enacted in decades dealt with the issue of child protection. In December 2011, the General Assembly created the Task Force on Child Protection. After months of public hearings, the Task Force issued a final report in November 2012. During the 2013-14 legislative session, more than 20 new laws were enacted as a result of recommendations made by the task force, including updating the definition of child abuse, expanding the list of those required to report suspected child abuse, and increasing the penalties for causing bodily injury to children under the age of 13.

Another new law ensures that the NCAA’s $60 million fine of Penn State will be used for child protection programs in Pennsylvania.

The state budget for FY 2013-14 included a $3 million increase for the Attorney General’s Child Predator Interceptor Unit and $2.5 million to create a new Mobile Street Crimes Unit to combat gang-related activity. Similar amounts were included in the FY 2014-15 budget.

Efforts to end the scourge of human trafficking in Pennsylvania took a big step forward with the enactment of a comprehensive new law which provides clear definitions of sexual and labor trafficking, tough penalties for traffickers, including forfeiture of assets,  protection of victims of human trafficking, and victim services.

Work done by two statewide commissions – the Special Education Funding Commission, which issued its recommendations in December 2013, and the Basic Education Funding Commission, which has a report due by June 2015 – will help shape Pennsylvania’s education funding policy decisions for many years to come.

Pennsylvania students will also benefit from a law ending the practice known as “passing the trash” – in which teachers who have been investigated and even dismissed for abuse or sexual misconduct find jobs in new schools. New laws made Safe Schools grants available to address school violence and established a requirement that school nurses be certified in CPR.

Improving healthcare in Pennsylvania was another strong focus in the legislative session. A new law will fight prescription drug abuse by expanding the state’s prescription drug database to include more controlled substances, while the Community-Based Healthcare Program is already providing funding for local clinics, including nurse-managed clinics, volunteer clinics and hospital-based clinics, all of which play a vital role in our healthcare system.

Laws were enacted to allow doctors to apologize for errors without fear of reprisal, to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for elective abortions under the federal Affordable Care Act, to better fight Lyme disease in Pennsylvania, and to require facilities offering mammograms to provide patients with information about breast density.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program was extended and improved to eliminate the six-month waiting period for eligibility, and newborns in Pennsylvania will now be screened for Krabbe disease and five other Lysosomal Storage Disorders.

Bystanders who call for help in the case of a drug overdose will be immune from prosecution for certain drug crimes under a new Good Samaritan Law, which also included provisions making the anti-overdose drug Narcan more widely available.

Other public safety measures included the Revictimization Relief Act, giving crime victims a new tool against criminals who perpetuate the effects of their crime, and laws which created the crime of aggravated arson with enhanced penalties, increased the penalty for hit-and-run accidents resulting in death, allowed crime victims or their families to testify before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole when a perpetrator is up for parole, and upgraded the crime of torturing or killing a K-9 police officer to a felony of the second degree.

The scandal-plagued Philadelphia Traffic Court was eliminated early in the legislative session, setting a tone that led to additional government reforms. Important whistleblower protections were extended to employees of the General Assembly, as well as to employees of nonprofits and private companies that receive public funds.

A new Senate rule prohibits Senators and Senate staff from accepting cash gifts – including gift cards and gift certificates – from those seeking to influence official action, while new laws ended the practice of “triple-dipping” (state employees collecting unemployment after leaving work to preserve pension benefits), restructured the Allegheny County Port Authority Board to provide better oversight, and allowed counties to abolish the office of jury commissioner.

Recognizing the importance of our veterans, those currently serving in the military, and their families, the eligibility guidelines for grants from the state’s Military Family Relief Assistance Program were expanded, the Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension program was updated to include amputees, the Military Physician Incentive Program was created to help the Pennsylvania National Guard recruit and train military resident physicians, hunting and fishing licenses are now available at a nominal fee for disabled Pennsylvania veterans, and veterans in personal care homes will benefit from a law allowing medicine from the Veterans’ Administration to be repackaged into single doses.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission was authorized to expand its successful Mentored Youth Hunting Program to all ages, private landowners who allow hunting on their property now benefit from limited liability, wild boar preserves are being regulated effectively, hunters can use crossbows during archery deer, bear and turkey seasons, and Game Commission officers are now authorized to use body cameras – a change that will benefit both the officers and the public.

New laws ensure that high tunnels and hoop houses, temporary structures used in agriculture, are not considered permanent structures and categorized as real estate for tax purposes, allow animal shelters to petition a court to require defendants to pay for the costs of care in cases involving animal abuse, create the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act to help prevent unnecessary deaths, and update Act 47, the law governing fiscally distressed municipalities.

In total, more than 300 laws have been enacted in the 2013-14 legislative session, with many more awaiting Governor Corbett’s signature.

The Senate also confirmed more than 450 gubernatorial nominees to various positions, including a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior Court Judge, eleven Common Pleas Judges, two Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges, four cabinet secretaries, and two members of the Public Utility Commission.

State Budget

Act 1A of 2014, the FY 2014-15 state budget, provides funding for education, public safety and essential social and health services while improving Pennsylvania’s tax climate.

Act 1A of 2013, the FY 2013-14 state budget, holds the line on spending and taxes while providing key investments in areas like education, public safety, economic development and job creation.

Jobs and Economic Development

Act 1A of 2013 (Budget) increases funding for the Department of Community and Economic Development by $7 million to $236.3 million with a focus on promoting business development and job creation in Pennsylvania.

Act 52 of 2013 (Tax Code) eliminates the Death Tax on small businesses as proposed in Senate Bill 303 (Pileggi).

Act 52 of 2013 (Tax Code) creates City Revitalization & Improvement Zones as proposed in Senate Bill 947 (Smucker).

Act 52 of 2013 (Tax Code) creates the Innovate in PA Tax Credit program, which provides a predictable source of funding for early-stage venture capital investment through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Program, the Venture Investment Program and the Life Sciences Greenhouses (Gordner).

Act 44 of 2013 (Eichelberger) amends the Economic Development Financing Law to increase the dollar amount requiring full advertising and bidding of contracts from $10,000 to $18,500.

Act 34 of 2013 (Gordner) directs a portion of the Unemployment Compensation Employee Tax to the newly created Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund to improve the efficiency of the Unemployment Compensation Service Centers.

Act 67 of 2013 (Greenleaf) updates and finishes the codification of the state Nonprofit Corporation Law and makes it consistent with the Business Corporation Law.

Act 172 of 2014 creates a framework for business entities to change business models to reflect business growth and change and to improve the integration of various Pennsylvania entity laws into a more coherent code.

Children and Families

Child Protection Package

  • Act 105 of 2013 directs the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to provide for a sentencing enhancement for child pornography, based upon the age of the child victimized, the number of images possessed, and the nature and character of the abuse.
  • Act 107 of 2013 requires the court, in a custody proceeding, to consider factors related to child abuse and involvement with child protective services.
  • Act 108 of 2013 amends the definitions of “child abuse” and related terms in the Child Protective Services Law.
  • Act 109 of 2013 provides that a person who is under 18 years of age when they are victims of physical or sexual abuse may have his or her name withheld from the public domain even if the person is an adult at the time of prosecution.
  • Act 116 of 2013 makes luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, up from a first-degree misdemeanor and five years.
  • Act 117 of 2013 (Baker) updates the definition of “perpetrator” and expands the definition of “person responsible for a child’s welfare.”
  • Act 118 of 2013 (Browne) lowers the age of a perpetrator for simple assault from 21 to 18, expands the definition of aggravated assault, and creates the new offenses of “intimidation or retaliation in child abuse cases” and “false reports of child abuse” to help further protect the victims, witnesses and reporters of child abuse.
  • Act 119 of 2013 (Erickson) establishes accountability and due process protections for individuals working with delinquent children, and provides for penalties for making false reports of child abuse.
  • Act 120 of 2013 (Smucker) establishes a comprehensive system for professional educators who are investigated and disciplined for misconduct in Pennsylvania.
  • Act 123 of 2013 provides for multidisciplinary investigative teams to coordinate child-abuse investigations between county agencies and law enforcement.
  • Act 4 of 2014 (Vance) requires healthcare providers to immediately report if a newborn is identified as being affected by prenatal exposure to illegal substances.
  • Act 27 of 2014 funds Child Advocacy Centers with unused money in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) vehicle license plate fund.
  • Act 28 of 2014 provides for Child Advocacy Centers and creates a grant program to fund those agencies.
  • Act 31 of 2014 requires licensing boards to ensure that mandated reporters receive child abuse recognition and reporting training.
  • Act 29 of 2014 (Vulakovich) requires the Department of Public Welfare to establish a secure, statewide database to include reports of child abuse and children in need of protective services.
  • Act 33 of 2014 (Ward) makes critical improvements to the list of individuals who are required to report child abuse.
  • Act 34 of 2014 (Mensch) provides employee whistleblower protection for anyone who properly and in good faith reports suspected child abuse.
  • Act 44 of 2014 closes a loophole in current law in which there is no requirement to report suspected child abuse when the alleged perpetrator is a school employee unless it rises to the level of a “serious bodily injury.”
  • Act 56 of 2014 increases penalties for crimes against child-athletes and sets a minimum of 15 years in prison for murder of a child who is under the age of 13.
  • Act 153 of 2014 extends current clearance requirements for professionals who work with children to include anyone applying for a paid or unpaid volunteer position in which they would be responsible for the welfare of a child.
  • Act 168 of 2014 prevents teachers, coaches and staff who have been investigated for abuse or sexual misconduct from moving to another school without disclosure.
  • Act 176 of 2014 (Mensch) improves the exchange of information among medical practitioners and county agencies by requiring immediate reports and by allowing for follow-up reports.
  • Act 32 of 2014 increases the penalty for failure to report child abuse by a mandatory reporter to a second-degree misdemeanor. Senate version: Senate Bill 22 (Ward)

Act 1 of 2013 (Corman) ensures that all proceeds from Penn State University’s $60 million NCAA fine are used to fund programs within Pennsylvania.

Act 74 of 2013 extends the life of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and removes the requirement for children to go six months without insurance before becoming eligible.

Act 95 of 2014 changes Pennsylvania’s powers of attorney law to help protect against elder abuse. Senate version: Senate Bill 620 (Greenleaf)

Act 138 of 2014 (Greenleaf) amends the Juvenile Act so that juveniles receive the same protections in courts of common pleas as juveniles who appear in juvenile court.

Act 156 of 2014 provides that persons who were eligible for the property tax or rent rebate as of December 31, 2012 will remain eligible if their household income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

Senate Resolution 62 (McIlhinney) directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study state programs targeted to help working families achieve self-sufficiency and develop a strategic plan to reduce the number of families living in poverty.

Transportation

Act 89 of 2013 (Rafferty) establishes a transportation funding plan that provides a critical $2.3 billion investment in Pennsylvania’s aging infrastructure system.

Act 50 of 2014 (Vogel) eliminates statutory requirements for expensive low Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties during the summer months.

Act 177 of 2014 (Greenleaf) permits low-speed electric vehicles on certain state roadways and provides for the operation of electric assist pedal cycles.

Senate Bill 1210 (Pileggi) reforms and modernizes Pennsylvania’s Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Act to encourage private development at mass transit stations.

Healthcare

Act 10 of 2013 (Erickson) creates the Community-Based Healthcare Program to provide grants to community-based healthcare clinics.

Act 191 of 2014 (Vance) expands the state’s prescription drug monitoring program to include Schedule II through V controlled substances.

Act 13 of 2013 (White) prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for elective abortions under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Act 79 of 2013 (Vance) allows healthcare professionals to apologize for an error without fear of reprisal as an effective way to avoid conflict and prevent litigation.

Act 86 of 2013 (Mensch) requires facilities offering mammograms to provide patients with the notification of breast density to improve the early detection of breast cancer.

Act 83 of 2014 (Greenleaf) creates a task force to inform the public about Lyme disease and conduct a tick surveillance program across Pennsylvania.

Act 106 of 2014 (Gordner) ensures that all audiologists and those performing the functions of the profession are properly licensed by the state.

Act 94 of 2014 requires the Department of Health to ensure that all birthing facilities and births occurring outside a birthing facility that are attended by midwives utilize pulse oximetry to screen newborns for congenital heart defects.

Act 130 of 2014 ensures that expectant mothers who receive a prenatal diagnosis for Down Syndrome receive the support and education they need to care for and enhance the quality of life for their child. Senate version Senate Bill 1339 (Vulakovich).

Act 158 of 2014 requires health insurance policies to cover the cost of amino acid-based elemental medical formula for infants and children.

Act 163 of 2014 allows a healthcare facility to provide educational information on pertussis disease (whooping cough) and to note the availability of a vaccine.

Act 7 of 2014 allows out-of-state dentists to receive temporary dentistry licenses to volunteer their services in underserved Pennsylvania communities.

Act 169 of 2014 requires hospitals to provide oral and written notice to a patient of their outpatient status in certain circumstances.

Senate Bill 405 (Vance) amends the Generic Equivalent Drug Law to provide for the substitution of an interchangeable biosimilar product for a brand name biologic.

Senate Bill 1182 (Folmer) provides access to regulated medical cannabis for patients with certain qualified medical conditions and establishes the State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing.

Senate Bill 819 (Erickson) increases access to immunizations by allowing pharmacists to immunize children over the age of 7 with parental consent and permitting trained pharmacy interns to administer immunizations under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

Senate Bill 850 (Greenleaf) creates a public education program to encourage more organ donation including programs in secondary schools, medical schools, and nursing schools.

Senate Bill 1268 (Eichelberger) requires Healthcare Exchange Navigators be certified by the Department of Insurance and pass a criminal background check.

Act 193 of 2014 amends the Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Act by retroactively removing the 2010 expiration date of the act.

Act 198 of 2014  creates the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council to advise the Department of Human Services on increasing the quality of care while containing costs in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program.

Military & Veterans

Act 5 of 2013 (Baker) sets standards and provides uniformity across the commonwealth for county Directors of Veterans Affairs.

Act 82 of 2013 (Vogel) expands job opportunities for military veterans with commercial driving skills.

Act 45 of 2013 (Brubaker) requires Pennsylvania to recognize a service member’s wishes for disposition of their remains in the event they die while on duty.

Act 66 of 2014 (Baker) expands the eligibility guidelines for grants from the state Military Family Relief Assistance Program to include more service members and their families in need.

Act 82 of 2014 (Robbins) clarifies that state grants under the Pennsylvania National Guard Educational Assistance Program will be applied after federal assistance programs such as the GI Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance.

Act 78 of 2014 (Hutchinson) creates the Military Physician Incentive Program to help the Pennsylvania National Guard recruit and retain military resident physicians.

Act 80 of 2014 & Act 81 of 2014 (Baker, Scarnati) offers disabled Pennsylvania veterans reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses.

Act 86 of 2014 allows volunteer doctors to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families. Senate version Senate Bill 81 (Greenleaf)

Act 109 of 2014 (Argall) establishes several specialty license plates for veterans who earned the Combat Infantry Badge, served in the Merchant Marines after World War II, or received a Combat Action Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Combat Action Medal or Combat Medical Badge.

Act 147 of 2014 (Vance) allows pharmacists associated with assisted living residences and personal care homes to repackage medications received from the Veterans’ Administration into single doses so veterans can utilize their full pharmacy benefit.

Act 180 of 2014 changes the name of the “Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension” program to “Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension” and clarifies the definition of “amputee and paralyzed veteran.”

Act 188 of 2014 provides priority preference for veterans and their families under the Housing Authorities Law.

Senate Bill 803 (Baker) reinstates the local tax exemption for Pennsylvanians serving in the active-duty military.

Senate Bill 1405 (Baker) makes it a summary offense to falsely claim to be a veteran on a Pennsylvania driver’s license application.

Education

Act 1A of 2013 (Budget) adds $130 million to Basic Education, $5 million to Pre-K Counts, $2 million to Head Start and $6.5 million to Safe Schools Initiatives.

Act 3 of 2013 (Browne) establishes the Special Education Funding Commission, which issued its report and recommendations on December 11.

Act 70 of 2013 (Scarnati) provides Safe Schools Initiatives grants to Pennsylvania schools to address the issue of school violence and improve school safety.

Act 59 of 2013 (Public School Code) expands the use of PHEAA grants to help students pay for online education. Introduced as Senate Bill 78 (Greenleaf)

Act 120 of 2013 (Smucker) protects students by expanding mandatory reporting requirements for schools to include reports of child abuse and “grooming” behaviors by educators, such as the use of sexually explicit text messages.

Act 9 of 2014 (Alloway) allows video recordings on school buses to include audio to improve safety and allow school districts to resolve disciplinary incidents on school buses faster and with more certainty.

Act 51 of 2014 establishes a bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission to study and make recommendations for a new funding formula.

Act 85 of 2014 (Vogel) allows schools to transport students on a bus up to 45 feet in length, up from 40 feet, allowing districts to choose vehicles based on their needs.

Act 107 of 2014 (Vance) requires all school nurses be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Act 122 of 2014 (White) gives public and private school districts in communities covered solely by State Police the option to contract with municipal police from nearby jurisdictions to provide security.

Act 168 of 2014 prevents teachers, coaches and staff who have been investigated for abuse or sexual misconduct from moving to another school without disclosure.

Act 194 of 2014 makes public career and technical schools in Pennsylvania eligible for Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC).

Act 195 of 2014 allows public and nonpublic schools to authorize trained school employees to maintain and provide physician-prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors to students.

Act 196 of 2014 updates the requirements for homeschooled students.

Senate Bill 1085 (Smucker) reforms the state charter school law by requiring additional accountability, transparency, and better measurement of student performance.

Public Safety

Senate Resolution 6 (Greenleaf) directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to study the underlying causes of mass shootings and other violent crimes.

Act 1A of 2013 (Budget) includes a $3 million increase for the Child Predator Interceptor Unit and $2.5 million for a new Mobile Street Crimes Unit to combat gang-related activity.

Act 14 of 2013 (Baker) allows crime victims or their families to testify before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole when a perpetrator is being considered for parole.

Act 16 of 2014 (Rafferty) significantly strengthens Pennsylvania’s arson laws and creates the new crime of aggravated arson.

Act 139 of 2014 (Pileggi) provides immunity from prosecution for certain crimes to those who call for help in the case of a drug overdose.

Act 150 of 2014, the Revictimization Relief Act, allows victims of certain crimes to bring a civil action against the offender to obtain injunctive and other relief for conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.

Act 85 of 2014 (Baker) increases the penalty for a hit-and-run accident resulting in death to a minimum of three years in prison.

Act 181 of 2014 (Vulakovich) requires wireless providers to “ping” the cell phone of a missing person at the request of law enforcement officials when there is risk or threat of death or serious physical harm.

Act 189 of 2014 (Rafferty) allows prosecutors to charge DUI suspects as repeat offenders if they are re-arrested for additional DUIs before a conviction for the original offense takes place.

Act 187 of 2014 (Baker) provides state grants to public entities to cope with uninsured losses caused by flash floods, fires, snowstorms, tornadoes, landslides, hazardous material spills and other emergencies that fall below the state’s $17.5 million threshold for federal aid.

Act 178 of 2014 (Gordner) improves coordination of geospatial information systems to assist the commonwealth in working with the federal government on floodplain management issues.

Act 43 of 2013 (Rafferty) clarifies that troopers assigned to the Delaware River Toll Bridge Commission, Gaming Enforcement and Liquor Control Enforcement are not counted against the overall State Police complement.

Act 68 of 2013 (Erickson) permits the establishment of municipal stormwater authorities for improved stormwater management and flood prevention.

Act 91 of 2013 increases the punishment for the offense of harassment where the offender has previously violated a Protection from Abuse Order involving the same victim or the victim’s family or household member.

Act 121 of 2013 (Browne) establishes the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act.

Act 129 of 2013 doubles the amount of money fire companies are permitted to borrow for equipment and apparatus under the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program.

Act 131 of 2013 (Rafferty) closes a loophole in current law that enables repeat retail theft offenders to avoid more serious penalties.

Act 25 of 2014 (Greenleaf) authorizes a sexual assault victim to petition the court requesting protection from the defendant regardless of whether the victim seeks criminal prosecution.

Act 79 of 2014 (Argall) adds several railroad materials to the list of items that a scrap processor or recycling facility may purchase strictly from a commercial entity, not an individual.

Act 105 0f 2014 (Greenleaf) provides clear definitions of sexual and labor trafficking, tough penalties for traffickers, including forfeiture of assets, protection of victims of human trafficking, and victim services.

Act 200 of 2014 prohibits municipal ordinances from penalizing a resident or landlord for requesting police or emergency assistance at their property.

Senate Bill 150 (Pileggi) strengthens and modernizes the laws governing the collection and use of DNA technology to fight violent crime in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 476 (Argall) establishes a Corrections Officers Bill of Rights to protect the rights of state correctional officers during certain investigations by the Department of Corrections.

Senate Bill 1266 extends the time to apply for Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits from 90 days to three years.

Senate Bill 1341 (Greenleaf) consolidates several statutes of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes into Title 44, to be known as the Law and Justice Code.

Senate Bill 1367 (Gordner) bans the practice of persons sentenced to community service being able to purchase gift cards in lieu of performing the service.

Senate Bill 1423 (Mensch) increases the maximum loan to Volunteer Fire and EMS departments for heavy duty rescue trucks from $150,000 to $300,000 to reflect inflation.

House Bill 1357 (Rafferty amendment) requires ignition interlocks for first-time drunk driving offenders with higher blood alcohol levels.

Government Reform & Transparency

Senate Resolution 339 (Baker) changes Senate Ethical Conduct Rules by implementing an immediate ban on cash gifts to Senators and Senate employees. Senate Bill 1327 (Baker) prevents the acceptance of cash gifts for all state and local public officials and employees and sets penalties.

Act 4 of 2013 (Smucker) gives county commissioners the option of abolishing the jury commissioner row officer position.

Act 17 of 2013 (Pileggi) abolishes the scandal-plagued Philadelphia Traffic Court. Senate Bill 333 (Pileggi), approved by both chambers, eliminates Traffic Court in the state constitution.

Act 75 of 2013 prohibits “triple dipping” so that individuals cannot collect unemployment compensation if they leave employment to preserve pension benefits (similar to Vance’s SB 297).

Act 77 of 2013 reforms the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project program and reduces debt.

Act 87 of 2014 extends whistleblower protections to employees of nonprofits and private companies that receive public money to perform services.

Act 88 of 2014 extends whistleblower protections to employees of the General Assembly and its agencies.

Act 72 of 2013 (Scarnati) restructures the composition of the Allegheny County Port Authority Board to provide state government oversight.

Act 2 of 2013 (Gordner) moves the State Tax Equalization Board from an independent board to a division within the Department of Community and Economic Development, improving oversight.

Act 23 of 2013 (Brubaker) encourages the state’s four remaining savings and loan institutions to convert into state-chartered savings banks, eliminating the need for a separate state regulatory program.

Act 132 of 2014 (w/ Scarnati amendment) establishes a toll-free telephone number and email address to report suspected fraud and abuse of public assistance programs, renames Department of Public Welfare as Department of Human Services.

Senate Bill 37 (Smucker) allows Pennsylvania residents to register to vote online.

Senate Bill 922 (Brubaker) creates a 401(k)-style pension plan for current legislators, the Governor, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, and Treasurer upon re-election and the judiciary upon retention.

Senate Bill 444 (Pileggi) dramatically expands how Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law applies to the four state-related universities – Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University.

Senate Bill 99 (Greenleaf) consolidates Pennsylvania’s administrative procedure laws to make them more accessible and readable for the public.

Senate Bill 308 (Scarnati) requires lobbyists and principals to register and report expenditures electronically, and the reports to be posted on the Department of State website within a week.

Senate Bill 120 (Pileggi) requires all campaign finance reports filed with the Department of State to be submitted electronically.

Senate Bill 1302 (Folmer) amends the Uniform Planned Community Act to create more transparency for Homeowner’s Associations.

Senate Bill 1358 & Senate Bill 1373 (Rafferty) bring greater transparency and accountability to the Delaware River Port Authority.

Senate Bill 114 (Pileggi) requires state agencies to provide notice of data breaches involving personal information within one week.

Consumer Protection

Act 155 of 2014 (Tomlinson amendment) gives families facing financial hardship more time, options and flexibility to make payments before their utilities are turned off.

Senate Bill 145 (Ward) eliminates mechanics’ lien rights for subcontractors who performed work on residential property if the property owner has already paid the prime contractor in full.

Agriculture

Act 124 of 2013 (Argall) would allow Pennsylvania potato packagers to package potatoes without any weight restrictions.

Act 130 of 2013 (Vogel) ensures that high tunnels and hoop houses are not considered permanent structures and categorized as real estate for tax purposes.

Act 162 of 2014 amends the Clean Streams Law to clarify that riparian buffer and riparian forest buffers shall not be required under the act, but may be used as a choice among best management practices or design standards to minimize pollution from erosion and sedimentation.

Senate Bill 995 (Vogel) creates the Pennsylvania Livery Providers Fair Lien Act as a way to ensure stable owners are properly compensated for the costs of caring for horses placed in their care.

Senate Bill 1010 (Yaw) helps Pennsylvania dairy farmers compete with surrounding states by authorizing overload permits for trucks hauling up to 95,000 pounds of bulk milk, including condensed and evaporated milk.

Senate Bill 1188 (Vogel) makes substantial regulatory changes necessary to bolster Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry.

Senate Bill 1301 (Vogel) restores the exemption to registration-exempt farm vehicles from intrastate motor carrier safety regulations.

Hunting, Fishing & Second Amendment

Act 7 of 2013 (Corman) authorizes the Pennsylvania Game Commission to expand its successful Mentored Youth Hunting Program to all ages.

Act 25 of 2013 (Scarnati) provides commonsense regulation of wild boar preserves.

Act 83 of 2013 (Alloway) limits the liability of land owners who allow hunting on their property.

Act 92 of 2014 allows the use of crossbows in archery deer, bear and turkey seasons.

Act 202 of 2014  authorizes Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officers and Waterways Conservation Officers to use body cameras.

Act 192 of 2014 (Alloway amendment) protects Second Amendment rights by preventing local jurisdictions from imposing firearms ordinances that are more restrictive than state laws.

Environment & Energy

Act 66 of 2013 (Yaw) requires natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania to standardize all deductions on royalty check payment stubs.

Act 137 of 2014 (Scarnati) establishes the Aggregate Advisory Board to advise the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on surface mining.

Act 175 of 2014 establishes the Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act, requiring a state-specific carbon reduction plan.

Senate Bill 738 (Yaw) requires every natural gas distribution utility operating in Pennsylvania to submit a plan to the Public Utility Commission outlining plans to make natural gas service available to more Pennsylvanians.

Senate Bill 739 (Yaw) amends the Alternative Energy Investment Act to provide grants to schools, hospitals and small businesses to help them obtain access to natural gas service.

Senate Bill 1236 (Yaw) allows royalty interest owners to inspect records of natural gas companies and requires royalty payments to be made within 60 days.

Senate Bill 1237 (Yaw) prohibits gas companies from retaliating against royalty interest owners by terminating lease agreements or ceasing development because the owner questions royalty payment accuracy.

Senate Bill 1238 (Yaw) requires a gas company to record a surrender document in the county Recorder of Deeds office within 30 days upon expiration, termination or forfeiture of an oil and gas lease.

Senate Bill 1310 (Hutchinson) protects the conventional oil production industry from state regulations intended for companies extracting Marcellus Shale gas.

State Lottery

Act 201 of 2014 (Pileggi amendment) allows the State Lottery to continue offering a diverse portfolio of Lottery games to generate additional revenue; and prohibits internet instant games and keno, as well as Internet-based or monitor-based Lottery games including video poker, video roulette, slot machines or video blackjack.

Community Development

Senate Bill 4 (Brubaker) approved by both chambers, amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to clarify that the Legislature has the exclusive role in determining what constitutes institutions of purely public charity.

Act 71 of 2013 (Vulakovich) increases the amounts municipalities can borrow through the Local Government Capital Project loan program for equipment purchases and facility upgrades.

Act 90 of 2013 & Act 92 of 2013 expand the type of small games of chance that private clubs and organizations such as fire companies can use to raise funds and legalizes tavern games.

Act 120 of 2014 (White) reduces the cost of public infrastructure projects by limiting reimbursement rates for services associated with right of way acquisitions and easements related to underground piping for water or sewer infrastructure.

Act 171 of 2014 amends the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act to clarify who is held responsible for code enforcement violations under the act and to provide where violation notices shall be sent.

Act 199 of 2014 makes substantive updates to Act 47 of 1987, the law governing fiscally distressed municipalities.

Animals

Act 110 of 2014 increases the offense for torturing or killing a K-9 officer to a felony of the second degree, allowing for a prison term of up 10 years and a fine of $25,000.

Act 50 of 2013 helps shelters care for abused animals by permitting shelters to petition the court for an order requiring defendants in animal abuse cases to pay the cost of care pending prosecution.

Act 65 of 2013 (Greenleaf) exempts dogs and cats from rabies vaccines in cases where it would be detrimental to the health of the animal.

Senate Bill 82 (Greenleaf) amends Pennsylvania’s “Puppy Lemon Law” to extend the time period in which a congenital condition may be certified by a vet in order to recover any losses from a seller, and extends the time frame for a veterinarian to certify an illness.

Senate Bill 1107 (Alloway) prevents kennel owners who lose their license due to violations of the Dog Law from continuing to operate a kennel by having a license issued to an immediate family member.