Pennsylvania Senate Republican News Brief

“There is widespread interest in seeing locally produced natural gas used locally to benefit our area businesses and homeowners.”

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) introducing legislation with Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) to make natural gas service available to more Pennsylvanians.


Senate Session, Child Protection, Agriculture, Gaming

The Senate session will convene at 1 p.m. on Monday. Measures that could be considered include Senate Bill 196, sponsored by Sen. Don White (R-Indiana), enabling the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to more effectively utilize federal monies provided by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), will hold an informational Dairy Summit. (9 a.m. Senate Majority Caucus Room)

The Senate Aging and Youth Committee, chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland), will hold a joint hearing Tuesday to discuss legislative recommendations by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection. (9:30 a.m. Room 8E-A) Please see Fast Facts, below, for the Bipartisan Package to Overhaul PA Child Protection Laws.

The Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), will hold a public hearing Tuesday for a comprehensive review of the provisions in the PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act relating to Category 3 slot machine licenses. (9:30 a.m. N. Office Bldg. Room 1)

On Thursday, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), will hold a joint meeting with the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to discuss the impact of the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). (9:30 a.m. Rooms 8E-A and 8E-B)

Senate Committee Schedule


2012 Marcellus Shale Impact Fee Revenue Tops $198 Million

The Marcellus Shale Impact Fee has generated more than $198,000,000 in revenue for 2012, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). Over the past 8 months, more than $400 million in revenue has been generated by the impact fee.

The fee revenue for 2012 was due to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) by April 1st, 2013. Under the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee, Act 13 of 2012, the PUC is responsible for the collection and distribution of impact fees.

Senator Scarnati: “The passage of Act 13 last year was a major achievement for Pennsylvania residents. The Marcellus Shale Impact Fee legislation is the result of great collaboration between Governor Corbett, members of the House of Representatives and my colleagues in the Senate.”

For more on the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee, please see In the Spotlight, below.

Senators Yaw and Pileggi Unveil Natural Gas Service Legislation

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) unveiled legislation March 26 designed to make natural gas service available to more Pennsylvanians.

Senate Bill 738, the Natural Gas Consumer Access Act, will require every natural gas distribution utility operating in Pennsylvania to submit a three-year plan to the Public Utility Commission (PUC), outlining the utility’s plans for extension and expansion projects. The first such plan would be due by January 1, 2014, with additional plans required every two years thereafter. The PUC will have the option to reject, revise or order the utility to submit a revised plan for adequacy and completeness and do periodic reviews.

Senate Bill 738 will also create a system providing for expedited extension or expansion projects if an economic development agency or a large number of residential, commercial or industrial entities want to seek to obtain natural gas service.

Senate Bill 739 will amend the Alternative Energy Investment Act to provide for $15 million for grants to schools, hospitals and small businesses to obtain access to natural gas service. The funding will come from existing, under-utilized programs. Grants made under Senate Bill 739 may provide up to half of the cost of a project.
News Conference

Senators Gordner and Yaw Support CSVT Funding Plan

Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) joined PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and other area legislators Wednesday to endorse a plan dedicating over half-billion dollars towards the completion of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway (CSVT) project.

Schoch announced that the Corbett Administration, as part of its proposed 2013-14 Transportation Funding Plan, will allocate $558 million dollars for the Valley’s 12.4 mile project over the next 10 years.

The CSVT represents the single largest economic development project in the Susquehanna Valley spanning two Senatorial Districts.

Senator Yaw
News Conference

In the Spotlight

Senator Scarnati noted that the natural gas industry is a tremendous economic driver for the Commonwealth and has proven that they are here to stay – responsible for over 125,000 jobs in PA directly related to the industry, huge economic benefits and the potential for energy independence.

The impact fee legislation requires that approximately $25.5 million of the annual revenue go to state agencies to offset the statewide impact of drilling. These agencies include the State Conservation Commission, County Conservation Districts, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Emergency Management Agency, Office of State Fire Commissioner, PA Department of Transportation, Natural Gas Energy Development, Housing Affordability & Rehab Enforcement Fund, PUC and DEP.

The residual revenue will be distributed with 60 percent of the remaining funds being sent to counties and municipalities where drilling takes place. Counties and municipalities may utilize the funds in several ways, including for roadways, public safety, environmental programs, agriculture preservation and career and technical job training.

The remaining 40 percent is placed into the Marcellus Legacy Fund which serves as funding for statewide initiatives with local impacts. The Marcellus Legacy Fund includes the Commonwealth Financing Authority, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Highway Bridge Improvement Fund, PennVEST and H2O Program and the Department of Community & Economic Development.

Fast Facts

Bipartisan Package to Overhaul PA Child Protection Laws

  • Senate Bill 20 Updates the definition of “child abuse” and provides exclusions.
  • Senate Bill 21 Clarifies who is a “mandatory reporter” of child abuse.
  • Senate Bill 22 Increases penalties for failure to report child abuse.
  • Senate Bill 23 Updates the definition of “perpetrator” and expands definition of “person responsible for a child’s welfare.”
  • Senate Bill 24 Requires the Department of Public Welfare to establish a Statewide Database of Protective Services.
  • Senate Bill 25 Updates procedures used to report child abuse and neglect.
  • Senate Bill 26 Requires DPW to establish a three-digit statewide number for reporting child abuse or for children in need of protective services.
  • Senate Bill 27 Improves the exchange of information among medical practitioners and county agencies.
  • Senate Bill 28 Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to comprehensively strengthen Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws.
  • Senate Bill 29 Requires health care providers to immediately report if a newborn is identified as being affected by prenatal exposure to illegal substances.
  • Senate Bill 30 Establishes accountability and due process protections for individuals working with delinquent children in juvenile detention facilities and residential rehabilitative institutions.
  • Senate Bill 31 Eliminates the separate system for reporting abuse by school employees.
  • Senate Bill 32 Requires a school district to notify the county agency when a child is enrolled in a home-school or cyber-school program, only when the household has been the subject of a founded or indicated child abuse report.
  • Senate Bill 33 Provides employee whistleblower protection for child abuse reporting.
  • Senate Bill 34 Establishes a comprehensive system for professional educators who are investigated and disciplined for misconduct in Pennsylvania.
  • Senate Bill 46 Prevents “passing the trash” — hiring educators who have been investigated, dismissed or disciplined for abuse or sexual misconduct.