Senate-Approved Legislation 2019-2020

Jump to Bills

Like the lives of all Pennsylvanians, the work of the Senate was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Senate Republicans shifted our agenda to mobilize a response aimed at saving lives and maintaining essential government services.

The Senate approved legislation to provide immediate assistance to keep hospitals running and make more Personal Protective Equipment available to health care workers. We voted to provide more accessible unemployment compensation for workers who lost hours or jobs due to the statewide shutdown of employers, and enacted legislation allocating federal funding for county governments, community service providers, first responders and food banks that have been impacted by the virus.

When Governor Wolf overreached, the Senate passed measures allowing counties to implement plans enabling citizens to return to work, requiring the governor to set clear guidelines for employers to operate, and, ultimately, to terminate the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Order. Unfortunately, the governor enacted none of these measures.

As May ended, the Senate approved a five-month interim state budget to fund critical state services until the long-term impacts of Governor Wolf’s shutdown of the economy are fully known and more accurate fiscal projections can be made. Full-year funding was provided for select line items, notably education and food security programs.

The rest of the 2019-20 legislative session has been equally productive. The first law enacted, Act 1 of 2019, was Senate Republican reform legislation closing the loophole that allowed public officials to receive a state pension even after pleading guilty to a job-related felony. Other Senate Republican reform initiatives include a new law expanding the powers of the Pennsylvania Inspector General to investigate crimes related to misuse of public benefits.

Efforts to improve public safety include new laws providing security grants to faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations and setting significant penalties for the solicitation or advertisement of the sexual services of victims of human trafficking. To ensure that combatting crime and rehabilitating criminals are done properly, the Senate passed important policing reforms and criminal justice reforms.

Education changed when COVID-19 closed schools in 2020. The Senate responded by approving legislation setting standards ensuring students continue to learn during the emergency. Other new laws championed by Senate Republicans provided $60 million in school security grants, increased the amount of tax credits available for scholarship organizations under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, and created the Public Higher Education Funding Commission to make college more accessible and affordable.

In addition to responding to COVID-19, Senate Republicans enacted several health care initiatives, including better access to supplemental screenings for women at high risk for breast cancer, and expanding access to medications for Stage IV, metastatic cancers.

Senate Republicans continued to work to target Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis, support our military veterans and give emergency responders the help they need to keep communities safe during the pandemic and beyond.

This year has illustrated how much state government can achieve when the branches work together, as well as the danger of ceding too much power to any individual. Serious challenges remain for the final months of the 2019-2020 legislative session and beyond, as the commonwealth attempts to rebound from the health and fiscal crisis created by the pandemic. 

Senate Republicans stand ready to confront these challenges in the same manner as we have this year, with a commitment to protecting public health and preserving civil liberties.


 


State Budget

Act 1A of 2020 establishes an interim spending plan providing five months of funding for most state agencies and services for FY 2020-21. The appropriations were based primarily on current funding for agencies and services in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget, but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding was provided for select line items, notably education and food security programs.

Pandemic Response

Act 2A of 2020 appropriates Pennsylvania’s federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding for critical needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including funding for county governments, community service providers, first responders and food banks that have been impacted by the virus.

Act 9 of 2020 provides more accessible unemployment compensation for workers who lost hours or jobs due to the statewide shutdown of employers. 

Act 10 of 2020 provides immediate assistance to keep hospitals running and more masks, gloves and Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers.

Act 12 of 2020 (Vogel) postpones the Pennsylvania primary election from April 28, 2020 to June 2, 2020.

Act 15 of 2020 (Martin) ensures local governments can continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, permitting remote meetings, providing greater flexibility on property tax deadlines, and giving notaries emergency authorization to notarize documents remotely.

Act 17 of 2020 ensures law enforcement, first responders and active duty National Guard members who contract COVID-19 can receive compensation while quarantined or receiving treatment for the virus. 

Act 18 of 2020 extends the amount of time employees have to recertify background checks until December 31 and creates different criteria for initial applicants to work on a temporary basis.

Act 20 of 2020 expedites payments from the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

Act 26 of 2020 (Pittman) appropriates $507 million from Pennsylvania’s share of federal CARES funding to support a variety of programs and services for senior citizens, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and $31 million for a one-time grant program for volunteer fire and EMS companies.

Act 70 of 2020 requires the governor to submit to the General Assembly the plan for COVID-19 testing — including any amendments — that was submitted to the federal government.

Act 75 of 2020 (Martin) gives school districts the option to extend real estate tax discount periods and base periods and removes penalties for payments through June 30, 2021. 

Act 77 of 2020 requires state agencies to respond to requests for public information during an emergency declaration.

Senate Bill 327 (Argall) gives county governments the option to implement plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, following federal health guidelines, allowing employers to bring back workers. (Vetoed by governor.)

Senate Bill 613 (Mensch) requires the governor to create clear guidelines for employers to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Vetoed by governor.)

Senate Bill 857 (Vogel) helps more patients access health care during the COVID-19 pandemic by promoting the use of telemedicine. (Vetoed by governor.)

Senate Bill 1110 (K. Ward) requires that first responders be notified of COVID-19 cases in their communities.

Senate Bill 1119 Senate Bill 1120 (Baker) provides guidance for the legal system to operate during public emergencies. 

Senate Bill 1166 (K. Ward) provides a voter referendum to amend the state Constitution to require legislative approval of future emergency disaster proclamations beyond 21 days.

Senate Bill 1216 (Langerholc) provides more flexibility in Pennsylvania’s teacher certification process to address issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Resolution 836 terminates the governor’s COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Order and ends the statewide shutdown of employers. (Passed by General Assembly, not enacted by governor.)

House Bill 2388 exempts from the Governor’s Business Closure Order manufacturing, lawn and garden centers, cosmetology salons, barber shops, messenger services, agent services, and animal grooming services. (Vetoed by governor.)

House Bill 2412 allows real estate activities to continue with proper safety measures in place. (Vetoed by governor.)

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.

Act 118 of 2019 (Scarnati) repurposes the Lieutenant Governor’s Residence at Fort Indiantown Gap to support veterans and active duty military personnel.

Act 35 of 2020 mandates an extensive review of the 2020 Primary Election to ensure election integrity under Pennsylvania’s new election laws.

Senate Bill 48 (Gordner) helps counties pay for mandated, new voting machines, eliminates straight-party voting and implements 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 provides for better oversight by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 413 (Martin) proposes to amend the state Constitution to remove the costly and confusing requirement for a separate ballot or column on voting machines for the retention of justices, judges, and justices of the peace. (Adopted by General Assembly.)

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

House Bill 196 allows voters to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to divide the Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court into judicial districts, ensuring a broader range of regional interests are represented in elections for Pennsylvania’s highest courts. (Senate version, Senate Bill 1231,  Aument)

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.

Act 53 of 2020 (DiSanto) requires state licensing boards and commissions to complete individualized reviews to determine if an applicant’s criminal conviction is a disqualification for licensure.

Act 63 of 2020 expands Pennsylvania’s definition of institutional sexual assault to include law enforcement officers and any person in the officer’s custody and sets tougher penalties on inmates who assault prison staff.

Senate Bill 14 reforms Pennsylvania’s probation to ensure periods of incarceration are limited to individuals who commit new crimes or serious violations and creates incentives for probationers to succeed through credits for good behavior.

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

Policing Reform

Act 57 of 2020 requires thorough background reporting and investigations for prospective law enforcement applicants. It requires law enforcement agencies to keep records of the reason for a police officer’s separation from service, including criminal records, civil suits and any other ethical complaints against the officer.

Act 59 of 2020 requires the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission to provide instruction on interacting with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Senate Bill 459 sets record keeping and reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies regarding the use of force and deadly force.

Senate Bill 1205  prohibits the use of chokeholds except in situations when the use of deadly force is permitted.

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 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.

Act 32 of 2020 (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 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 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.

Senate Bill 798 (Killion) better protects the public from dogs that have severely injured a person or a domestic animal.

Crime Victims Package

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, Senate Bill 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 version, Senate Bill 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.

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

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.

Act 17 of 2020 ensures law enforcement, first responders and active duty National Guard members who contract COVID-19 can receive compensation while quarantined or receiving treatment for the virus. 

Act 26 of 2020 (Pittman) appropriates $507 million from Pennsylvania’s share of federal CARES funding to support a variety of programs and services for senior citizens, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and $50 million for a one-time grant program for volunteer fire and EMS companies.

Act 69 of 2020 creates a mental wellness and stress management program for emergency responders.

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 331 (Brooks) creates a pilot program to establish fire training programs for high school students.

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.

Senate Bill 987 (Hutchinson) elevates the Office of the State Fire Commissioner to a cabinet-level agency and creates a new advisory board to make recommendations on issues that directly affect fire companies.

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

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

Act 26 of 2020 (Pittman) appropriates $507 million from Pennsylvania’s share of federal CARES funding to support a variety of programs and services for senior citizens, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and $31 million for a one-time grant program for volunteer fire and EMS companies.

Act 62 of 2020 (Laughlin) requires a fire detection device or system in all child care centers and family child care homes.

Act 72 of 2020 (Killion) allows Pennsylvanians to transfer digital assets and property in the same manner as tangible property.

Senate Bill 30 (Killion) creates a state housing tax credit to incentivize private investment to create new and preserve existing affordable rental housing.

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 935 (Laughlin) requires smoke detectors in child care facilities on each floor and in the basement with a system that is interconnected so if one alarm is triggered, all of the alarms go off.

 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.

Act 8 of 2020 (Phillips-Hill) authorizes Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to improve oversight of prescriptions and reduce the risk of opioid abuse.

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 patient 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.

Act 10 of 2020 provides immediate assistance to keep hospitals running and more masks, gloves and Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers.

Act 15 of 2020 (Martin) modernizes and reauthorizes the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent agency that collects and reports health care cost data.

Act 51 of 2020 (J. Ward) stiffens penalties for assaults against a broad range of health care practitioners and technicians.

Act 52 of 2020 (Mensch) requires insurers to cover supplemental screenings for women at high risk for breast cancer, including women with extremely dense breast tissue.

Act 54 of 2020 (Phillips-Hill) improves security for health care workers by eliminating the requirement for employee badges to include an employee’s last name.

Act 67 of 2020 allows pharmacists to provide information about the cost of a prescription drug to consumers, including the individual’s share of costs.

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

Senate Bill 273 (J. Ward) makes improvements to the Community-Based Health Care Program.

Senate Bill 959 (Bartolotta) dedicates additional Medicaid funding to facilities that serve a substantial number of patients who require ventilator or tracheostomy care.

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. (Vetoed by governor.)

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

Jobs

Act 9 of 2020 provides more accessible unemployment compensation for workers who lost hours or jobs due to the governor’s statewide shutdown of employers. 

Act 66 of 2020 creates thousands of family-sustaining jobs by providing tax credits to facilities that use dry natural gas to produce fertilizer and other petrochemical products.

Senate Bill 327 (Argall) gives county governments the option to implement plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, following federal health guidelines, allowing employers to bring back workers. (Vetoed by governor.)

Senate Bill 613 (Mensch) requires the governor to create clear guidelines for employers to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Vetoed by governor.)

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 implements recommendations from the Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction (PlanCon) Advisory Committee.

Act 91 of 2019 allows students to apply personal finance credits toward satisfying graduation requirements (Senate version, 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.

Act 13 of 2020 (Aument) sets standards ensuring students continue to learn during the COVID-19 emergency reforms the teacher evaluation system.

Act 18 of 2020 extends the amount of time employees have to recertify background checks until December 31 and creates different criteria for initial applicants to work on a temporary basis.

Act 50 of 2020 helps the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education transform its system and take advantage of opportunities to create, expand, consolidate, transfer or affiliate member schools.

Act 73 of 2020 (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.

Senate Bill 1216 (Langerholc) provides more flexibility in Pennsylvania’s teacher certification process to address issues created by COVID-19 pandemic.

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 moves 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, Senate Bill 588, J. Ward) (Vetoed by Governor)

Military and Veterans

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

Act 118 of 2019 (Scarnati) repurposes the Lieutenant Governor’s Residence at Fort Indiantown Gap to support veterans and active duty military personnel.

Act 17 of 2020 ensures law enforcement, first responders and active duty National Guard members who contract COVID-19 can receive compensation while quarantined or receiving treatment for the virus.

Act 74 of 2020 (Mastriano) streamlines the verification process for a “Veteran” designation on driver’s licenses.

Senate Bill 276 (J. Ward) increases monthly payments by the Blind Veterans Pension Program and the Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension Program from $150 to $180.

Senate Bill 952 (Regan) makes several changes to the Veterans Preference Law, such as clarifying the transfer of the Veterans Preference to spouses and allowing those transitioning from military service or in the Reserves or National Guard to receive the Veterans Preference.

Senate Bill 957 (Bartolotta) directs the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs to create logos to promote veteran-owned businesses.

Communities

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

Act 61 of 2020 (J. Ward) provides local taxing authorities with the option to designate deteriorated areas and offer incentives to developers and property owners to rebuild or improve blighted properties.

Senate Bill 940 (DiSanto) enables municipalities to issue condemnation orders on properties that are unfit for human habitation and structurally dangerous to adjacent properties and neighboring residents. 

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

Act 73 of 2020 makes Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list permanent and requires opt-out option during robocalls.

Illegal Immigration

House Bill 1170 requires 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.