Pennsylvania Senate Republicans E-Newsletter

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March 25, 2019

“Passing this bill today is a significant step forward for government reform. We are sending a clear message to the people of Pennsylvania that we are serious about restoring public trust in government.”

Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin)on Senate passage Wednesday of his legislation to ensure that public employees who commit job-related felonies are stripped of their taxpayer-funded pension

In this Update:

  • This Week in the PA Senate
  • Senate Bill Stripping Public Pensions for Felonies Set for Enactment
  • Senate Acts to Boost Standing of Civil Air Patrol
  • Transportation Chair Ward to Spearhead Action on PA Transportation Risks
  • Bartolotta Bill Would Expand Job Training Availability
  • Senate Passes Martin’s Down Syndrome Awareness Day Resolution
  • Committee Roundup

This Week in the PA Senate

Senate Session Convenes Today at 1 p.m.

Bills expected to be considered by the Senate this week include:

Senate Bill 49 – extends Good Samaritan civil liability to a person who, in an effort to save the child, breaks a window or forcibly enters a parked, locked vehicle. Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware)

Senate Bill 86 – Amends Pennsylvania’s Newborn Protection Act to add urgent care centers to the list of “safe havens” where a parent may surrender a newborn. Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Mercer)

Senate Bill 115) – requires the Department of Education, in consultation with experts, to design model curriculum, age-appropriate materials, and guidelines for integrating CPR instruction into existing curriculum. Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware)

Senate Bill 127 – reauthorizes the 911 Law for two years.  Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland)

Senate Bill 298 – transfers fines imposed under the Stolen Valor Law to the Veterans’ Trust Fund. Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne)

Committee Hearings Streamed at PASenateGOP.com 

Monday 10 a.m. East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A
Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland) Chair
Conversion of Military Credentials into Professional Certifications (Act 23 of 2015)

Tuesday 10 a.m. East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A
Senate State Government Committee, Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) Chair
Senate Bill 48 Voting Machine Decertification & Replacement

Tuesday 11 a.m. North Office Building, Hearing Room #1
Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland) Chair
Confirmation of Adjutant General Anthony Carrelli and Military Officer Promotions

Wednesday 9 a.m. East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A
The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) Chair
Release of the Performance Audit of the PA Fish & Boat Commission and Report on the Impact of Tavern Gaming on the Pennsylvania State Lottery 

Senate Committee Schedule

Review

Senate Bill Stripping Public Pensions for Felonies Set for Enactment

Legislation sponsored by Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) to ensure that public employees who commit job-related felonies are stripped of their taxpayer-funded pension was approved Wednesday by the Senate with House amendments and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk. The Governor has 10 days from passage to act on the bill and has said previously that he supports the legislation.

Senate Bill 113 would require pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to any felony offense or other criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding five years that is related to his or her employment.

The bill also closes the “Mellow Loophole,” through which former State Senator Bob Mellow of Lackawanna County had his $245,000 a year pension restored despite pleading guilty and being sent to prison on federal conspiracy charges. More

Senate Acts to Boost Standing of Civil Air Patrol 

A measure intended to better secure state funding for the Civil Air Patrol received final Senate approval and was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 128, sponsored by Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland), codifies the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations in Title 51 under the leadership of the Adjutant General.

The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and has three core missions – Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services (Search & Rescue, Disaster Relief, and Counter-Drug Support). The 55 Civil Air Patrol units in Pennsylvania work alongside state police, fire, and other emergency personnel to help save lives.

Transportation Chair Ward to Spearhead Action on PA Transportation Risks

Senate Transportation Committee Chair Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) said Wednesday she will spearhead efforts to confront the major challenges facing Pennsylvania’s transportation system.

Senator Ward announced that she will put together a legislative working group to draft legislation to end Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission transfer payments to PennDOT and to develop a legislative plan to empower public transportation.

When this is completed, she will form another legislative working group to accelerate the provisions from the 2016 Fiscal Code that reduces PennDOT’s transfer payments to the State Police. More

Bartolotta Bill Would Expand Job Training Availability

Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) announced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to expand job training programs to a broader number of Pennsylvanians by allowing Private Licensed Schools to create branch campuses in different counties.

Under current law, technical schools can only establish branch campuses within the same county as the primary site. Senate Bill 456 would eliminate this restriction and allow counties to create branch campuses in other counties within 60 miles of the primary location. More

Senate Passes Martin’s Down Syndrome Awareness Day Resolution

In recognition of the incredible accomplishments of individuals living with Down syndrome, Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) led passage of a Senate resolution designating Wednesday, March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day.

The resolution, which passed the Senate unanimously, adds Pennsylvania to the considerable number of states and nations that participate in the annual event advocating greater advocacy for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome. More

Committee Roundup

Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) Chair

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees held a public hearing Wednesday to examine the Wolf Administration’s comprehensive “PA Farm Bill.”

The proposal includes 17 separate initiatives to address issues such as business development and succession planning, processing capabilities, regulatory burdens, workforce needs, rapid response capabilities to address threats such as spotted lanternfly, agriculture infrastructure and market opportunities. Hearing Video

Appropriations
Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) Chair

Senate Bill 128 codifies the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations under the leadership of the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.

Senate Bill 234 is the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Senate Bill 235 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs.

Senate Bill 236 Workers’ Compensation Act and Pennsylvania Occupation Disease Act funding for Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Senate Bill 237 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Senate Bill 238 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Office of the Consumer Advocate.

Senate Bill 239 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board.

Senate Bill 240 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the State Employees’ Retirement Board.

Senate Bill 241 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Senate Bill 242 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Senate Bill 243 State Gaming Fund appropriations funding for Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Senate Bill 244 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for Penn State.

Senate Bill 245 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the University of Pittsburgh.

Senate Bill 246 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for Temple University.

Senate Bill 247 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for Lincoln University.

Senate Bill 248 provides Fiscal Year 2019-20 funding for the University of Pennsylvania for veterinary activities and for the Center for Infectious Diseases.

Education
Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) Chair

Senate Resolution 34 establishes a Global Education Task Force.

Senate Bill 89 updates the Public School Code to replace “vocational-technical schools” with “career and technical schools.”

Senate Bill 115 integrates CPR instruction into existing curriculum for grades 9-12.

Senate Bill 144 creates the Keystone Telepresence Education Grant program.

Senate Bill 440 provides for flexible instruction days.

State Government
Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) Chair

House Bill 18 authorizes the release of Project 70 restrictions on land owned by the Borough of Topton, Berks County, in exchange for the imposition of the restrictions on other land to be acquired by the borough. The bill also provides for land conveyances in Chester, Lehigh and Monroe counties.

Senate Bill 372 updates the state History Code.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland) Chair

Senate Bill 139 amends the Pennsylvania Price Gouging Act to ensure that a Governor’s emergency declaration does not place an undue and unnecessary burden on operations and businesses outside of and unrelated to the disaster.

Senate Bill 146 makes online training more available to current and prospective first responders. 

Senate Bill 298 transfers “Stolen Valor” fines to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund. 

Senate Bill 439 expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this coverage.

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