Senate-Passed Legislation 2019


Reform

Act 1 of 2019 (DiSanto) requires pension forfeiture after a public employee or official is convicted of — or pleads guilty or no contest to — any felony offense related to his or her employment.

Act 15 of 2019 expands the powers of the Pennsylvania Inspector General to investigate crimes related to misuse of public benefits, and to review all contracts associated with the Pennsylvania Statewide Radio Network (PA-STARNet).

Act 77 of 2019 brings the most comprehensive changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws in more than eight decades and provides funding to counties to replace outdated voting machines.

Senate Bill 48 (Gordner) helps counties pay for mandated, new voting machines, eliminates straight party voting and implemented other changes. (Vetoed by Governor)

Senate Bill 133 (Argall) amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow gubernatorial candidates to select their own running mate.

Senate Bill 300 (Scarnati) allows voters who are registered as Independents to vote in primary elections.

Senate Bill 372 (Scavello) updates and modernizes the state History Code. 

Senate Bill 398 (Gordner) strengthens the review process for government regulations and provide for better oversight by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 750 (Scarnati) repurposes the Lieutenant Governor’s Residence at Fort Indiantown Gap to support veterans and active duty military personnel.

Senate Bill 779 (Gordner) moves Pennsylvania’s Presidential primary election day from April or May to the third Tuesday of March.

Criminal Justice Reform

Act 114 of 2019 (Baker) creates a County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee to help counties better assess the unique risks and needs of probationers to reduce incarceration and cut costs to taxpayers.

Act 115 of 2019  (Killion) streamlines the placement of offenders in drug treatment programs and other intermediate punishment programs, and improves and expedites the parole process for non-violent offenders.

Senate Bill 502 (Bartolotta) improves communications with crime victims and ensures they receive any compensation they are owed. 

Vehicle Emissions Testing Reform

Senate Bill 742 (K. Ward) exempts vehicles newer than eight years from emissions testing. 

Senate Bill 743 (K. Ward) changes the annual emissions testing to a two-year testing requirement for subject vehicles older than eight years.

Senate Bill 744 (Langerholc) exempts Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, and Westmoreland Counties from emissions testing. 

Senate Bill 745 (Stefano) replaces the outdated tests in the regions of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for vehicles with model year 1992-95 and subject light-duty trucks with model year 1996 or newer. 

Senate Bill 746 (Vogel) extends the date for existing emissions inspection stations to obtain new emissions testing equipment from November 1, 2019 to July 1, 2021.

Public Safety 

Act 83 of 2019 provides security grants to faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Act 1 of 2020 (Phillips-Hill) sets significant penalties for the solicitation or advertisement of the sexual services of victims of human trafficking.

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

Senate Bill 275 (J. Ward) allows cases of strangulation to be considered in sentencing for subsequent domestic violence and other crimes and in child custody proceedings.

Senate Bill 607 (Scavello) allows all municipal police to use radar for traffic speed enforcement.

Senate Bill 773 (Killion) increases jail time for those convicted of three or more DUIs, doubles the required period for anti-DUI interlock devices on any vehicle operated by a person with three or more DUI convictions, and requires offenders arrested for a third or subsequent DUI to wear continuous alcohol monitoring devices.

Crime Victims Package

Senate Bill 123 limits the number of times that victims of sexually violent crimes are forced to testify at parole hearings (Karen’s Law).

Act 21 of 2019 criminalizes female genital mutilation by making it a first-degree felony. 

Act 23 of 2019 allows the victim to be present in any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses. (Senate version, SB 425, Langerholc)

Act 24 of 2019 prevents prosecutors bringing up the victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes. (Senate versions, SB 431, Langerholc)

Act 29 of 2019 (Langerholc) enacts a comprehensive bill of rights in Pennsylvania for survivors of sexual assault.

Act 30 of 2019 (Laughlin) establishes procedures protecting victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder, including allowing for testimony and questioning to take place outside of a courtroom. 

Act 31 of 2019 (Baker) expands the list of crimes for which an out-of-court statement made by a child under 12 can be used.

Emergency Responders

Act 15 of 2019 requires the Pennsylvania Inspector General to review all contracts associated with the Pennsylvania Statewide Radio Network (PA-STARNet).

Act 60 of 2019 (Regan) codifies the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations in Title 51 under the leadership of the Adjutant General to better secure state funding.

Act 106 of 2019 (Brooks) makes online training more readily available to current and prospective first responders, helping Pennsylvania volunteer fire companies recruit and retain members.

Senate Bill 94 (Martin) ensures coverage for all active volunteers and integral members of a volunteer fire, ambulance or rescue company insured through the State Workers Insurance Fund.

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

Senate Bill 908 (Regan) creates a voter referendum to expand the Volunteer Fire Company, Ambulance Service and Rescue Squad Assistance Program to include paid fire and EMS companies and increases maximum loan amounts.

Senate Bill 910 (Mastriano) extends the life of the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program to June 2024 and expands the use of grants to include recruitment and retention programs.

Children & Families

Act 5 of 2019 provides civil immunity when there is damage to a vehicle when forceful entry is necessary to rescue an individual, helping to prevent child hot car deaths. (Senate version, Senate Bill 49, Killion.)

Act 100 of 2019 establishes sexual extortion as a crime, up to a third-degree felony if the offender is an adult and the victim is under 18.

Act 111 of 2019 (Scavello) increases the legal age for purchasing tobacco products in Pennsylvania from age 18 to 21.

Act 7 of 2020 licenses and regulates donor human milk banks in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 81 eliminates all legal exceptions that allow for the marriages of children under the age of 18.

Senate Bill 86 (Brooks) amends the Newborn Protection Act to add urgent care centers to the list of “safe havens” where a parent may surrender a newborn.

Senate Bill 309 (Mensch) creates First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 320 (Killion) allows Pennsylvanians to transfer digital assets and property in the same manner as tangible property.

 Senate Bill 669 (DiSanto) reinstates programs to promote the placement of children who haven’t found permanent adoptive homes.

Senate Bill 819 (Mensch) better protects Pennsylvania’s senior population by overhauling the Older Adult Protective Services Act.

Opioid Crisis

Act 112 of 2019 (Aument) requires patients prescribed opioids to enter into treatment agreements with a prescriber to ensure they understand the risks of addiction and overdose.

Senate Bill 93 (Bartolotta) creates a new statute establishing a second degree felony for the delivery or distribution of an illicit drug that results in “serious bodily injury” to the user.

Senate Bill 112 (Yaw) limits the prescription for a controlled substance containing an opioid to seven days unless there is a medical emergency that puts the patients’ health or safety at risk.

Senate Bill 118 (Langerholc) creates a “Recovery to Work” pilot program to connect individuals in recovery with occupations through local workforce development boards.

Senate Bill 223 (Phillips-Hill) allows providers to leave a dose of naloxone with an on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids.

Senate Bill 675 (Brooks) requires certification of office-based prescribers of the addiction treatment drug buprenorphine, and limits the drug’s use.

Health Care

Act 7 of 2019 (Killion) strengthens academic guidelines in schools for CPR training in grades nine through 12 and adds hands-only CPR instruction to Pennsylvania’s education curriculum.

Act 42 of 2019 creates an authority to operate a state-based health insurance exchange for Affordable Care Act individual market plans.

Act 108 of 2019 (Baker) creates the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund.

Act 111 of 2019 (Scavello) increases the legal age for purchasing tobacco products in Pennsylvania from age 18 to 21.

Act 6 of 2020 prohibits health plans covering treatments for Stage IV, metastatic cancers from excluding or limiting drugs for patients if the drugs are FDA approved and consistent with best practices.

Senate Bill 25 (Bartolotta) gives full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners.

Senate Bill 351 (J. Ward) strengthens penalties for assaults against health care practitioners and technicians.

Senate Bill 595 would amend the state Insurance Company Law to extend mandated insurance coverage to ultrasound screening and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if a mammogram demonstrates extremely dense breast tissue.

Senate Bill 857 (Vogel) expands the use of telemedicine in Pennsylvania as a way to overcome barriers to quality patient care created by distance and reduce the costs of those services.

Senate Resolution 20 (Baker) urges the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to delay action on its proposed change to medical malpractice reform.

Education

Act 7 of 2019 (Killion) strengthens academic guidelines in schools for CPR training in grades nine through 12 and adds hands-only CPR instruction to Pennsylvania’s education curriculum.

Act 16 of 2019 increases the amount of tax credits available for scholarship organizations under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program to $185 million and increases the maximum annual household income allowed for scholarship eligibility from $85,000 to $90,000. (Includes SB 230, Killion)

Act 18 of 2019 (Martin) amends the Public School Code to provide for $60 million for the School Safety and Security Grant Program, adds new school safety measures, and helps schools purchase telepresence equipment to support homebound students.

Act 64 of 2019 (Phillips-Hill) gives school districts the option to implement flexible instructional days in the event of an emergency school closure.

Act 67 of 2019  (Regan) provides direct authority for school security guards to be armed, establishes a baseline of training for all school security personnel, and adds sheriffs and deputy sheriffs to the definition of “School Resource Officer.”

Act 70 of 2019 (Browne) amends the Public School Code to create the Public Higher Education Funding Commission and implement recommendations from the Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction (PlanCon) Advisory Committee.

Act 91 of 2019 allows students to apply personal finance credits towards to satisfying graduation requirements (Senate Bill 723, Laughlin), and clarifies the powers of school police officers.

Act 110 of 2019 (Bartolotta) allows private licensed schools to create branch campuses in counties outside the county that houses the primary site.

Senate Bill 836 (Regan) informs student athletes and parents about the importance of electrocardiogram (EKG) testing to detect underlying heart conditions that can lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Senate Bill 850 (Langerholc) creates the “Community Engaged Schools for Success” Pilot Program to encourage community partners to work with designated schools to provide student support services.

House Bill 265 makes it easier for students to pursue career and technical education by modernizing the system, streamlining the process for students to receive and transfer credits, and removing barriers to different training options and career paths.

House Bill 800 expands Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program with $100 million in additional tax credits for scholarship organizations. (Vetoed by Governor.)

Agriculture and Outdoor Recreation

Includes *Farming First Bills 

Act 28 of 2019 (Langerholc) increases the size of farm equipment permitted to be transported on roadways.

Act 33 of 2019 gives farmers more discretion regarding the construction and subdivision of residences on farmland to make it easier to pass farmland on to the next generation at a lower cost. (Senate version SB 145, Yaw)

Act 34 of 2019 revise the Healthy Farms Healthy Schools program into the PA Farm-to-School Program, to provide grants for improving childhood nutrition while increasing exposure to agriculture for children in grades Pre-k through 5.

Act 35 of 2019 creates the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to facilitate a quick response to agricultural disasters.

Act 36 of 2019 creates a grant program to reimburse federal meat inspection costs for small or new processors and subsidize the first-time purchase of equipment needed for federal compliance.

Act 37 of 2019 revises a low-interest loan program administered by the State Conservation Commission in conjunction with lending institutions for the implementation of agricultural and conservation best management practices.

Act 38 of 2019 establishes the Dairy Investment Program and Dairy Investment Program Account to support the Commonwealth’s dairy industry.

Act 39 of 2019 (Yaw) creates a “Conservation Excellence Grant Program” to provide financial and technical assistance to farmers to install and implement best management practices.

Act 40 of 2019 (J. Ward) creates the Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund to help PA farmers compete in the market of high-priority specialty crops, such as hemp, hops and hardwoods.

Act 65 of 2019 (Vogel) creates a tax credit program for landowners to lease or sell farmland to future generations of farmers.

Act 66 of 2019 (Corman) creates the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission to review the status of the PA dairy industry and make recommendations to support the industry’s future.

Act 103 of 2019 allows landowners to identify property as no trespassing by painting purple stripes on trees or posts.

Act 107 of 2019 (Laughlin) empowers the Pennsylvania Game Commission to allow hunting on up to three Sundays.

Senate Bill 453 (J. Ward) sets commonsense safety standards and removes costly requirements for barn weddings and other social events on farms.

Senate Bill 575 (Yaw) institutes a nutrient procurement program to help Pennsylvania meet the federal Chesapeake Bay mandate by incentivizing nitrogen pollution reduction.

Senate Bill 583 (Aument) eases restrictions on the use of farmland for farm-related tourism and entertainment activities.

House Bill 915  allows milk haulers to travel on highways during a declaration of disaster emergency. (Senate version, SB 588, J. Ward) (Vetoed by Governor)

Veterans

Act 32 of 2019 provides free college education to the spouse or child of Pennsylvania National Guard members who re-enlist. (Senate version, SB 589, Regan)

Act 55 of 2019 requires the compensation of Pennsylvania National Guard general officers to be commensurate with the federal military pay scale.

Act 62 of 2019 (Baker) transfers “Stolen Valor” fines to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund, which issues grants to organizations that assist veterans.

Senate Bill 750 (Scarnati) repurposes the Lieutenant Governor’s Residence at Fort Indiantown Gap to support veterans and active duty military personnel.

Communities

Act 63 of 2019 (Martin) gives municipalities the option to ban gaming establishments.

Environment

Act 3 of 2019 (Yaw) designates the Eastern Hellbender as Pennsylvania’s state amphibian. 

Act 78 of 2019 allows citizens to make a voluntary $3 contribution on driver’s license applications to fund programs that use trees to help filter pollutants from waterways.

Act 101 of 2019 establishes a Military Installation Remediation Program providing funding to remediate areas affected by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and related substances.

Senate Bill 575 (Yaw) institutes a nutrient procurement program to help Pennsylvania meet the federal Chesapeake Bay mandate by incentivizing nitrogen pollution reduction.

Senate Bill 919 (Yaw) restricts the use of firefighting foams containing added PFAS for training, while allowing continued use against real-world fires.

Consumer Protection

House Bill 318 makes Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list permanent and requires opt-out option during robocalls.

Illegal Immigration

House Bill 1170 require employers in the construction industry to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the United States.