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Legislative Summary Archive

Industrial Exemption


 

Summary of Legislation | June 2017

House Passes Registration Law Update Bill

The state House advanced HB 1106, Rep. Joe Emrick’s legislation to update definitions of the practices engineering and land surveying, in the PA registration law. This bill addresses issues raised in the “DRG” case, in which Commonwealth court sided with an out of state company determining that its activities that did not specifically include design did not require a PA-licensed professional to be involved. The PA Society of Professional Engineers and PA Society of Land Surveyors developed the language last session, but time ran out before it could be included in a bill that was moving through the General Assembly addressing continuing education. The definition language was added to the CE bill earlier this year, and introduced. Since its introduction, there have been some concerns raised by outside organizations, including the PA Rural Electric Association (PREA), which sought a similar exemption to the utility language that is in existing law. After significant back and forth with PREA, language was agreed to, and the bill was amended and moved through the House, and now awaits consideration by the Senate. It is unlikely that the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee will meet before the summer recess, but your lobbyists plan to push for prompt action when the Senate returns in late September. This gives all members ample time to contact their local Senators to ask that the bill be approved and sent to the Governor this fall. To contact your Senator, click here: https://www.nspe.org/resources/issues-and-advocacy/voter-voice-legislative-action-center?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f51500%2frespond

Legislature Passes Spending Part of Budget, Pension Bill Passes; Leaders Meet to Discuss Funding Mechanisms

As the “mythical” June 30 budget deadline approached, things were beginning to heat up at the Capitol. You will recall that the House passed the “starter” budget, HB 218, way back on April 6, just two months after the Governor made his budget presentation in February, which took a severe ax to the governor’s proposed budget, and it has sat in the Senate since. Since the House passage seemingly precious little has been done in an effort to meet the goal of passing a new spending plan prior to the close of the current fiscal year. There have been some hearings on certain components, particularly the Governor’s proposed consolidation of four health-related agencies, and two corrections related ones, and a slew of budget-related bills introduced, some even moving through the process. As those readers who subscribe to Capitolwire and other news websites are probably aware, the state’s Independent Fiscal Office have determined that Pennsylvania stands to finish the fiscal year nearly $1.2 billion short of the revenues that the IFO had projected, and even more than the legislative budgeteers had counted on. The IFO’s revenue estimate for the coming 2017-18 fiscal year, currently is $32.5 billion, or $880 million (2.8 percent) more in General Fund revenue than the current year. The House Republican budget contained in HB 218 proposed to spend $31.52 billion in FY2017-18, about $800 million less than Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal. The Senate, working with a slightly different set of numbers than what was available when the House voted, nudged the spending package just shy of $32 Billion.

The House of Representatives then concurred in the Senate amendments to the bill by a vote of 173-72. For a more complete view of the 2017-18 spending plan, click here.

As noted above, HB 218 is just the spending plan for the FY 2017-18 budget. Still to be enacted is legislation generating the revenue needed to make up for the more than $1 billion deficit in the current budget year, and provide enough funding to balance the budget for 2017-18, from sources like expanded gaming and liquor sales proposals, which will provide additional money without raising the Personal Income or Sales taxes, for this coming year and subsequent budgets. These mechanisms won’t fill the holes completely, and so the caucus leaders, who have been huddling together for much of the past two weeks, and shuttling back and forth between meeting with each other, and the governor, and with their respective party caucuses in search of solutions, will be back at it over the 4th of July holiday, and then their agreements will be taken up by the General Assembly the following week. Indications are that the Governor will sign the bill only after the revenue generating measures and some other budget related legislation are passed. Should there be a glitch, and some of the pieces not fall into place within the 10 day window that ends July 10, then the Governor may have to use his blue pencil and reduce some funding lines.

The Senate did get one major tangential issue off the table this past month by passing SB 1 – which overhauls the state pension system. Although it does not affect this budget much in terms of savings, passage of the plan removed that sticky talking point from the conversation, and allowed the focus to be more directly on passage of the budget.

Legislative Activity

The following bills of interest to PSPE have been introduced and/or acted upon in the past month.

Bidding / Contracting

HB 566  RE: Prompt Pay (by Rep. James Santora, et al)

Amends the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act further providing for owner’s payment obligations and for contractors’ and subcontractors’ payment obligations. If payment is not received by a contractor or subcontractor as required, the contractor shall have the right to suspend performance of any work, without penalty, until payment is received in full. Stipulates that the provisions of the act cannot be waived in a contract. Requires a written explanation of a good-faith reason to be given when the payment is retained for a deficiency item. Provides that a contractor or subcontractor to facilitate the release of retainage on its contract before final completion of the project by posting a maintenance bond with approved surety for 120 percent of the amount of retainage being held; and provides that if the withholding of retainage is longer than 30 days after the acceptance of the work, a written explanation must be provided.

Reported as amended from House Commerce Committee, read first time, and rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/6/2017
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/19/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/20/2017 (168-26)

HB 1582  RE: Public Works Contracting (by Rep. Sheyl Delozier, et al)

Amends Title 62 (Procurement), in contracts for public works, providing for specifications for contracts by adding that no specification for a contract awarded under this chapter shall be written in such a manner as to contain proprietary, exclusionary or discriminatory requirements other than those based upon performance unless such requirements are necessary to test or demonstrate a specific feature or to provide for necessary interchangeability of parts or equipment. For each part or piece of equipment, the specifications shall include a listing of at least two brand names or trade names of comparable quality or utility and a statement that equivalent parts or equipment will be given equal consideration.

Introduced and referred to House State Government Committee, 6/20/2017

SB 799 RE: Pennsylvania Clean Water Procurement Program Act (by Sen. Richard Alloway, et al)

Establishes the Pennsylvania Clean Water Procurement Program to provide for the purchase of verified TMDL nutrient credits from certified nutrient credit generators through a competitive bidding process consistent with 62 Pa.C.S. Pt. I (relating to Commonwealth Procurement Code) and any other competitive process determined to be appropriate by the Department of Environmental Protection and the State Conservation Commission; provides for powers and duties of the State Conservation Commission; and establishes the Watershed Improvement Fund. The department shall transfer the nutrient reduction mandates of a permittee to a competitive bidding program to enable all certified nutrient credit entities that can generate verified TMDL nutrient credits to participate in an RFP on a voluntary basis. In return for being absolved from the TMDL nutrient reduction mandate, the aggregate number of permittees shall pay into the program $50,000,000 annually for 10 years, subject to annual adjustment. Transfer payments shall be paid into the Watershed Improvement Fund, to be used by the commission for the purchase of verified TMDL nutrient credits. Winning bids will offer 20 percent of total nutrient reduction allotment to be available for participation for 30 days by small sources that did not participate in the bidding process so that a small producer who installs a BMP can subscribe to sell their credits into this pool and receive the winning bid price absent the need to participate in the bidding process.

Introduced and referred to Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 6/23/2017

Cosponsor memos filed 

HCO2163  (Bernstine) – Creates Project Labor Agreement Transparency Act that requires a public body post notice of a PLA on its website within 5 business days after the project labor agreement was executed.

Filed, 6/2/2017 

Budget Related Bills

HB 218  RE: General Appropriation Act of 2017 (by Rep. Stan Saylor, et al)

Provides from the General Fund for the expenses of the Executive and Judicial Departments, the State Government Support Agencies and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth, the public debt and the public schools for the fiscal year July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, read first time, 6/26/2017
Read second time, and recommitted to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017
Reported as amended from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/29/2017
Read third time and passed Senate, amended, 6/30/2017 (43-7)
Received as amended in House and rereferred House Rules Committee, re-reported on concurrence as committed from House Rules Committee, and House concurred in Senate amendments, 6/30/2017 (173-27) Signed in the House and in the Senate, 6/30/2017

SB 1  RE: Pension Reform Legislation (by Sen. Jake Corman, et al)

Provides for changes to the state employees pension funds.

Passed Senate, 6/5/2017 (40-9)
Passed House, 6/8/2017 (143-53)
Approved by the Governor 6/12/2017 (Act No. 5 of 2017) 

SB 651  RE: Capital Budget Project Itemization Act of 2017-2018 (by Sen. Pat Browne, et al)

Provides for the capital budget for fiscal year 2017-2018; itemizing public improvement projects, furniture and equipment projects, transportation assistance projects, redevelopment assistance, flood control projects, Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund projects, Environmental Stewardship Fund projects, State forestry bridge projects, park and forest management projects, State ATV/ Snowmobile Fund projects, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission projects, Oil and Gas Lease Fund projects and Motor License Fund projects to be constructed, acquired or assisted by the Department of General Services, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation or the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, together with their estimated financial costs; authorizing the incurring of debt without the approval of the electors for the purpose of financing the projects to be constructed, acquired or assisted by the Department of General Services, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation or the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; authorizing the use of current revenue for the purpose of financing the projects to be constructed, acquired or assisted by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Transportation stating the estimated useful life of the projects; making a related repeal; and making appropriations.

Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read first time, and laid on the table, 6/21/2017
Removed from the table, 6/22/2017
Read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/26/2017
Reported as amended from House Appropriations Committee, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017 

SB 697  RE: Capital Budget Act of 2017-2018 (by Sen. Patrick Browne, et al)

Appropriates $1,615,000,000 for the capital budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Effective July 1, 2017, or immediately, whichever is later.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, and read first time, 6/12/2017
Read second time and recommitted to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/13/2017
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017

Environmental Building Standards

HB 409  RE: UCC Council (by Rep. Eli Evankovich, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions and for Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council and providing for review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code; requires council members to be Pennsylvania residents; regulations promulgated as a result of council decisions shall remain in effect until September 30, 2018, and afterwards supersede any previous inconsistent council decisions or departmental regulations; in Uniform Construction Code, further providing for revised or successor codes; in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement; in training and certification of inspectors, further providing for education and training programs by establishing a $4 fee on each construction or building permit issued, with 47.5 percent of the fee going to both the Municipal Code Official Training Account and Construction Contractor Training Account, and five percent to the Review and Advisory Council Administration Account; no money from the fee shall be transmitted to DCED for administrative expenses; and, in exemptions, applicability and penalties, further providing for applicability to certain buildings.

Reported as amended from Senate Labor and Industry Committee, and read first time, 6/26/2017
Read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017

HB 913  RE: Amend Town Code/Storm Water Fee (by Rep. Garth Everett, et al)

Amends Title 8 (Boroughs & Incorporated Towns) adding language allowing an incorporated town council to assess fees for storm water management activities and facilities without the need to establish a municipal authority.

Removed from the table, 6/6/2017
Amended on House floor, read second time, and Rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/7/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/2/2017 (144-46)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Local Government Committee, 6/16/2017

HB 914  RE: Fees for Storm Water Management (by Rep. Garth Everett, et al)

Amends Title 8 (Boroughs & Incorporated Towns) adding language allowing a borough to assess fees for storm water management activities and facilities without the need to establish a municipal authority.

Removed from the table, 6/6/2017
Amended on House floor, read second time, and Rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/7/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/2/2017 (138-52)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Local Government Committee, 6/16/2017 

HB 915  RE: Fees for Storm Water Management (by Rep. Garth Everett, et al)

Amends the First Class Township Code adding language allowing the board of commissioners to assess fees for storm water management activities and facilities without the need to establish a municipal authority.

Removed from the table, 6/6/2017
Amended on House floor, read second time, and Rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/7/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/2/2017 (142-49)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Local Government Committee, 6/16/2017

HB 916  RE: Fees for Storm Water Management (by Rep. Garth Everett, et al)

Amends Title 11 (Cities) adding language allowing a city to assess fees for storm water management activities and facilities without the need to establish a municipal authority.

Removed from the table, 6/6/2017
Amended on House floor, read second time, and Rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/7/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/2/2017 (139-52)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Local Government Committee, 6/16/2017

HB 1469  RE: Training of Inspectors (by Rep. Doyle Heffley, et al)

(PN 2186) Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement by third party agencies by establishing duties for the municipality related to notification of applicants if the municipality contracts with one or more third party agencies for the administration and enforcement of the act. Also requires the Department of Labor and Industry to have a complaint form on its website. In training and certification of inspectors, further provides for training of inspectors by establishing the department shall accept and review a complaint submitted by a building permit applicant about a code administrator and the secretary shall have the discretion to enforce remedial actions if necessary. Also allows municipalities to utilize and enter into contracts with third-party agencies to perform plan review and inspection services and supplement the municipal code enforcement program’s plan review and inspection services.

Reported as amended from House Labor and Industry Committee, read first time, and rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/14/2017
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, 6/21/2017
Amended on House floor, read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/28/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/29/2017 

HB 1486  RE: High Tunnels (by Rep. David Zimmerman, et al)

Amends the Storm Water Management Act, further providing for definitions and for effect of watershed storm water plans. The bill defines “high tunnel” and establishes when a high tunnel shall be exempt from provisions. It also states that any municipality that has adopted a local ordinance or regulations that regulates high tunnels following a watershed storm water plan prior to the effective date shall amend the ordinance or regulation to comply with the subsection.

Introduced and referred to House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 6/2/2017

SB 144  RE: Alternative Systems (by Sen. Gene Yaw, et al)

Amends Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act authorizing the inclusion of alternative systems in the site planning process. Requires that within 180 days of the effective date, the department, in consultation with the Sewage Advisory Committee, shall develop standards upon which every alternate sewage system shall be based. Requires the department to review data for each individual and community onlot sewage system classified as an alternate system, and if it determines there is sufficient data to reclassify an alternate system as conventional, shall do so. Similarly the department may undertake a rulemaking to remove a system’s classification as an alternate system if warranted.

Read third time, and passed Senate, 6/19/2017 (50-0)
Received in the House and referred to House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, 6/21/2017
Reported as amended from House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, read first time, and Laid on the table, 6/29/2017
Removed from the table, 6/30/2017

SB 242  RE: Updates to the Pennsylvania One Call Law (by Sen. Lisa Baker, et al)

Amends the Underground Utility Line Protection Law further providing extensively for definitions, for duties of facility owners, for duties of the One Call System, for duties of excavators, for duties of designers, for duties of project owners and for penalties; providing for enforcement, for underground utility line protection fund and for compliance; and further providing for One Call System authority and for expiration. Among the many changes, facility owners shall maintain existing records of main lines abandoned on or after the effective date and to mark, locate or identify the main lines if possible, based upon the existing records. A damage prevention committee is established to review reports of violations, issue warnings and determinations and require persons to attend damage prevention educational programs. The Act expires December 31, 2024, (changed from 2017). Portions are effective immediately and the remainder is effective in 180 days.

Amended on Senate floor, read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/20/2017
Read third time and passed Senate, 6/21/2017 (50-0)
Received in the House and referred to House Consumer Affairs Committee, 6/22/2017
 

SB 561  RE: Legislative Approval of Economically Significant Regulations (by Sen. John DiSanto, et al)

Amends the Regulatory Review Act further providing for definitions, for proposed regulations and procedures for review and for final-form regulations and final-omitted regulations and procedures for review; and providing for concurrent resolution required for economically significant regulations. Estimates of the cost of a proposed regulation shall be verified by the Independent Fiscal Office prior to the agency submitting them to the commission. Further, the legislature shall adopt a concurrent resolution for economically significant regulations. If the General Assembly does not adopt the concurrent resolution in the time prescribed, the final-form regulation or final-omitted regulation shall be deemed not approved and such regulation shall not take effect. This shall not apply to emergency-certified regulations.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/5/2017
Read third time and passed Senate, 6/13/2017 (29-20)
Received in the House and referred to House State Government Committee, 6/14/2017 

SB 663  RE: Third Party Municipal Contracts (by Sen. Dan Laughlin, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Act, in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement by requiring the retention of three (increased from one) or more construction code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of the act. Further, the bill provides for fee limitations by stipulating that a municipality administering and enforcing this act shall collect fees that represent the actual administrative costs of code enforcement and annually report to the department regarding the fees collected and costs of the program.

Reported as committed from Senate Labor and Industry Committee, and read first time, 6/13/2017
Read second time and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/26/2017
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/30/2017

Local/State Government/Regulations

HB 1269  RE: Extension for Construct of Infrastructure (by Rep. Tom Quigley, et al)

Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally), in municipal authorities, further providing for purposes and powers adding that the facilities have not been placed into service within seven years, or, for an authority which provides service to five or more municipalities, the facilities have not been placed into service within 20 years (increased from 15), after adoption of a resolution which imposes tapping fees which are based upon facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future. Any refund of fees held for 20 years (increased form 15) shall include interest for the period the money was held.

Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/5/2017 (195-0)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Local Government Committee, 6/9/2017
Reported as committed from Senate Local Government Committee, and read first time, 6/13/2017
Read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/20/2017
Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/26/2017
Read third time, and passed Senate, 6/27/2017 (50-0)
Signed in the House and Senate, 6/28/2017
In the hands of the Governor, 6/28/2017. Last day for Governor’s action, 7/8/2017

HB 1567  RE: Municipal Concurrence on DEP Planning Waiver And Non-Building Declaration Forms (by Rep. Dave Maloney, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act further providing for official plans by requiring the department to develop and make available for public use an application form that waives the requirement of a municipality to revise its official plan to accommodate non-building subdivisions where there is no present need for sewage disposal facilities on a given parcel of land. The municipal secretary or chairperson of the municipality shall sign a request for planning waiver and non-building declaration that has been completed and signed by the subdivider and buyer or recipient provided that the proposed subdivision meets certain requirements. The departmental form shall only require a municipality to perform those functions within the scope of this act; this requirement is intended to protect the choice of a landowner to subdivide the landowner’s property when the landowner has no intention of developing the property. In the event that the owner or recipient of a subdivided parcel that has been granted a nonbuilding waiver subsequently desires to build upon or develop the property, the owner or recipient shall comply with all applicable statutes, regulations or ordinances in effect at the time of the desired construction or development.

Introduced and referred to House Local Government Committee, 6/16/2017

SB 242  RE: Updates to the Pennsylvania One Call Law (by Sen. Lisa Baker, et al)

Amends the Underground Utility Line Protection Law further providing extensively for definitions, for duties of facility owners, for duties of the One Call System, for duties of excavators, for duties of designers, for duties of project owners and for penalties; providing for enforcement, for underground utility line protection fund and for compliance; and further providing for One Call System authority and for expiration. Among the many changes, facility owners shall maintain existing records of main lines abandoned on or after the effective date and to mark, locate or identify the main lines if possible, based upon the existing records. A damage prevention committee is established to review reports of violations, issue warnings and determinations and require persons to attend damage prevention educational programs. The act expires December 31, 2024, (changed from 2017). Portions are effective immediately and the remainder is effective in 180 days.

Laid on the table, removed from the table, 5/24/2017

SB 269  RE: Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council (by Sen. Lisa Baker, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions, adding that the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council shall also gather information from construction trades and consumer representatives; repealing provisions providing for review; reconstituting the membership of the council and providing for removal of members; requiring members to participate in person, via teleconference, or via video conference; establishing technical advisory committees; providing for review of updated sections and adoption of updated sections into Uniform Construction Code; in Uniform Construction Code, further providing for revised or successor codes; in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement; in training and certification of inspectors, further providing for education and training programs; and, in exemptions, applicability and penalties, further providing for applicability to certain buildings. Additionally, the fee collected shall be allocated as follows: 40 percent in the Municipal Code Official Training Account, 40 percent in the Construction Contractor Training Account, and 20 percent in the Review and Advisory Council Administration Account to be used by the Department of Labor and Industry.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/8/2017
Amended on Senate floor, 5/23/2017
Read third time and passed Senate, 5/24/2017 (40-10)
Received in the House and referred to House Labor and Industry Committee, 5/25/2017 

SB 561  RE: Legislative Approval of Economically Significant Regulations (by Sen. John DiSanto, et al)

Amends the Regulatory Review Act further providing for definitions, for proposed regulations and procedures for review and for final-form regulations and final-omitted regulations and procedures for review; and providing for concurrent resolution required for economically significant regulations. Estimates of the cost of a proposed regulation shall be verified by the Independent Fiscal Office prior to the agency submitting them to the commission. Further, the legislature shall adopt a concurrent resolution for economically significant regulations. If the General Assembly does not adopt the concurrent resolution in the time prescribed, the final-form regulation or final-omitted regulation shall be deemed not approved and such regulation shall not take effect. This shall not apply to emergency-certified regulations.

Reported as committed from Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, and read first time, 5/8/2017
Amended on Senate floor, read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/24/2017 

SB 663  RE: Third Party Municipal Contracts (by Sen. Dan Laughlin, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Act, in adoption and enforcement by municipalities, further providing for administration and enforcement by requiring the retention of three (increased from one) or more construction code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of the act. Further, the bill provides for fee limitations by stipulating that a municipality administering and enforcing this act shall collect fees that represent the actual administrative costs of code enforcement and annually report to the department regarding the fees collected and costs of the program.

Introduced and referred to Senate Labor and Industry Committee, 5/2/2017

Local/Property Tax Reform

SB 76  RE: Property Tax Independence Act (by Sen. David Argall, et al)

Provides for tax levies and information related to taxes; authorizing the imposition of a personal income tax or an earned income tax by a school district subject to voter approval; providing for imposition of and exclusions from a sales and use tax for the stabilization of education funding, for increase to the personal income tax, for certain licenses, for hotel occupancy tax, for procedure and administration of the tax, for expiration of authority to issue certain debt and for reporting by local government units of debt outstanding; establishing the Education Stabilization Fund; providing for disbursements from the Education Stabilization Fund and for senior citizen property tax rent rebate assistance; and making repeals.

Introduced and referred to Senate Finance Committee, 6/6/2017 

Permitting

SB 692  RE: Permit-Exempt Septic System inspection Fees (by Sen. John Blake, et al)

Amends the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act further providing for permits by establishing the local agency may charge a fee, not to exceed $100 (changed from $25), to verify the system is located in accordance with the siting requirements.

Reported as committed from Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and read first time, 6/19/2017 

Professional Licensure

HB 1001  RE: Home Inspector Licensing Act (by Rep. Susan Helm, et al)

Regulates home inspectors; provides for funds, for licensure, for disciplinary action, for remedies and for penalties; and repeals provisions relating to home inspections. Also modifies provisions relating to manufactured housing liability and disclosure. Portions are effective immediately, portions are effective in two years, and the remainder is effective in 60 days.

Reported as amended House Professional Licensure Committee, read first time, and rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/21/2017
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/29/2017 

HB 1106 RE: Registration Law Amendments (by Rep. Joe Emrick, et al)

Amends the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law, further providing for definitions, for continuing professional competency requirements and for exemption from licensure and registration. The bill establishes a competency requirement for the completion of distance learning courses if the course relates to professional practice, and if it is verifiable and measurable by hours of instruction. Further, the act shall not be construed to require the licensure and registration of the practice of engineering or land surveying by a regular employe or agent of an electric cooperative corporation in connection with the facilities of the electric cooperative, provided that the electric cooperative corporation or agent thereof either shall employ at least one professional engineer or professional land surveyor or belongs to a Pennsylvania electric cooperative association that employs a professional engineer or professional land surveyor. The exemption is removed for the practice of engineering, land surveying or geology by any person or by any employe of any copartnership, association or corporation upon property owned by such person or such copartnership, association or corporation, unless such practice affects the public safety or health or the property of some other person or entity.

Reported as amended from House Professional Licensure Committee, read first time, and rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/7/2017
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, read second time, and Rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/12/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/13/2017 (188-1)
Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Consumer Protection & Prof. Licensure Committee, 6/16/2017

SB 354  RE: Strengthening Licensee Reporting Requirements and Suspensions (by Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, et al)

Amends “An act empowering the General Counsel or his designee to issue subpoenas for certain licensing board activities; providing for hearing examiners in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs; providing additional powers to the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs; and further providing for civil penalties and license suspension,” further providing for definitions; providing for reporting of sanctions and criminal proceedings and for temporary and automatic suspension; and further providing for civil penalties. The bill requires all persons licensed, certified, or registered with the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to report any disciplinary conduct in another jurisdiction by a licensing board or an arrest, indictment or conviction. The legislation would provide penalties for failure to report within 30 days. The legislation also provides for license suspension and hearing process and procedure.

Reported as amended from House Professional Licensure Committee, read first time, and laid on the table, 6/21/2017
Removed from the table, 6/26/2017

Read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 6/28/2017 (198-0)
Received as amended in Senate and rereferred Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, 6/28/2017 

School Construction

HB 1586  RE: PlanCon (by Rep. Jason Ortitay, et al)

Amends the Fiscal Code, in school district debt refinancing bonds and relating to PlanCon, further providing for sinking fund charges for school building projects changing the deadline under section 1706-E.2 (1) from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2022.

Introduced and referred to House Education Committee, 6/20/2017

Worker’s Comp

HB 18  RE: Worker’s Comp Utilization Review (by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, et al)

Amends the Workers’ Compensation Act, in liability and compensation, requiring the Department of Labor and Industry to select a prescription drug formulary for resolving issues related to drugs prescribed for or related to the treatment of work-related injuries, and establishes a process for the department to annually review updates issued by the formulary publisher to the selected formulary and enforce such a formulary. Further provides for utilization review.

Reported as amended from House Labor and Industry Committee, read first time, and rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/14/2017
Reported as committed from House Rules Committee, and rereferred to House Human Services Committee,
6/20/2017
Re-reported from House Human Services Committee with request to re-refer to House Rules Committee, and Rereferred to House Rules Committee, 6/21/2017

SB 676  RE: Workers’ Compensation Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund (by Sen. John Gordner, et al)

Amends Workers’ Compensation Act relating to the Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund. Provides if an employee alleges an injury that is incurred with an employer which is domiciled in another state and which has not secured the payment of compensate as required by the act, the employee is required to provide the fund and to any worker’s compensation judge hearing a petition against the fund, a written notice, denial, citation of law or court or administrative ruling from such other state or an insurer licensed to write insurance in that state as to that employer, indicating that the employee is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in that state. No compensation shall be payable from the fund until the employee submits the required information. Requires a claim petition to be filed within 180 days after notice of the claim is made to the fund. Requires an employee to provide proof of wages before filing a claim of lost wages under the act. Adds language allowing the fund to establish lists of at least six designated health care providers that are accessible in each county in specialties relevant to the treatment of work injuries in the Commonwealth. Transfers $4 million from the Workers’ Compensation Administrative Fund to the Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund. Also provides for uninsured employer obligations and for administrative penalties and stop-work orders. Requires the Department of Labor and Industry to annually submit a report to the House and Senate Labor Industry Committees outlining the department’s efforts to identify and prosecute uninsured employers, any penalties resulting from that activity, the status of claims and operations, including the number of claims filed, pending and paid in the past year and an analysis of the administrative expenses of the fund.

Reported as amended from Senate Labor and Industry Committee, and read first time, 6/26/2017
Read second time, and Rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/27/2017

Workforce Development  

HB 25  RE: CareerBound Act (by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, et al)

Provides for the creation and implementation of up to seven school-to-work pilot programs in the Department of Labor and Industry, to be known as CareerBound, and provides a tax credit to businesses that participate in the program. A school-to-work pilot program shall expire at the end of the fourth school year of operation and the department shall issue a report on the programs following their expiration. Requires program partners to set objectives and measurable goals; requires Department of Labor and Industry to set outcome-based metrics used to evaluate all programs in annual and final reports; allows contributing businesses to designate which program their contributions would support; enumerates and allows Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning to participate in CareerBound; includes “soft skills” in curriculum requirements; gives priority to programs targeting middle school and early high school students; and clarifies that the Department of Labor and Industry and the Pennsylvania Department of Education must provide program partners with informational resources. Requires additional consideration be given to a pilot program which is integrated into a school partner’s curriculum as a credit course.

Read second time, and rereferred to House Appropriations Committee, 6/5/2017

Upcoming Meetings of Interest

Some House Committee meetings and session can be viewed online at: http://www.pahousegop.com/

Senate Committee meetings and session can be streamed at: http://www.pasenategop.com/

2017 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

July 8

2017 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

July 7

July dates will be added, but have not been announced.

Fall session days have not been announced.

State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists Meeting Schedule 

2017 Meeting Dates (Subject to Change)

July 12, September 13, November 8

The public is welcome to attend.

All Board meetings are held at Penn Center, 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA, at 9:30 a.m.

Other meeting dates may be scheduled as needed.

 

Copies of all bills of interest can be accessed here.

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