Summary of Legislative Activity | May 2024

Summary Legislation

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, Harrisburg turns its thoughts to June, and the annual budget slog. Just a month from the now mythical June “deadline” for passing the state spending plan for the Fiscal Year 2024-25, the House and Senate played some “peekaboo” with budget vehicles, with the Senate reporting out General Appropriations bill, reading it a second time, and sending it back to Appropriations, where it will sit until the budget is worked out, if not longer. Budget discussions have not yet begun in earnest between the caucuses, with some informal discussions between the House and Senate here and there, but nothing of substance truly began moving this past month. Office pools have begun over what date the budget will actually be completed this year, with a wide variety of dates being discussed, all the way up to November 30.

 

The Senate did fire a shot across the bow this past month, passing SB 269, which would reduce the personal income tax and abolish utility gross receipts taxes and make some other tax changes that would spend over $3 Billion in tax “relief”, in the face of Democrats’ including Gov. Shapiro’s desire to spend down some or all of the state reserves on a wide variety of programs. With other big ticket items already passed the House, like a minimum wage raise and others, it should be an interesting month ahead.

State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, and state Rep. Aerion Abney, D-Allegheny, introduced legislation advancing the Shapiro administration’s Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS) and Pennsylvania Climate Emission Reduction (PACER) Program plans for Pennsylvania, respectively, on May 8. The plans were first announced by Gov. Josh Shapiro in March. A companion PRESS bill was filed in the Senate by state Sen. Steven Santarsiero, D-Bucks, while state Sen. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, introduced the Senate version of the PACER legislation.

 

“Right now in our commonwealth, we must take action to catch up in the race to create clean and reliable energy – to be more competitive, ensure consumers pay less for their electricity bills, and create more jobs and opportunities for our businesses to grow and our workers to get ahead,” Shapiro said. “I have made clear that any energy policy supported by my administration must meet the three-part test of protecting and creating energy jobs, taking real action to address climate change pollution, and ensuring reliable, affordable power for consumers in the long term – and my energy plan is built to do all three. Together with the support of leaders like Representative Abney and Representative Otten in the General Assembly, we’re going to ensure Pennsylvania will continue to be a national energy leader for decades to come.”

 

Enacting the PRESS legislation, now introduced as H.B. 2277, would significantly increase the amount of renewable energy that utilities use, saving Pennsylvanians money on energy bills, creating thousands of clean energy jobs, and reducing the harmful emissions that result in air pollution and global warming. PRESS would require Pennsylvania to get 50% of its electricity from a diverse range of energy resources by 2035, including 35% from the cleanest sources, such as solar, wind, and small modular reactors.

“With the language now introduced, the next step is for the General Assembly to hold public hearings on this legislation and make the strong case for why, after nearly two decades of inaction, it’s time to move forward on energy policy that advances our climate goals and economic goals,” Otten said.

“If enacted, PRESS and PACER together would be the most substantive and ambitious clean energy policy in Pennsylvania history and the biggest step our commonwealth has ever taken to reduce air pollution and mitigate climate change. We are at a point where inaction on climate is not an option. Only 4% of Pennsylvania's energy comes from renewable sources, and we are ranked 45th in the country for the amount of clean energy that’s used to power our homes and businesses.”

 

The PACER program, introduced as H.B. 2275, would complement PRESS by mandating that large carbon-emitting entities pay their fair share. Of the total revenues collected, 70% would be returned to PA electricity consumers in the form of a rebate. The remaining 30%, acquired from out-of-state users, would go toward projects focused on decreasing air pollution and benefiting environmental justice communities.

 

“PACER and PRESS are essential cogs in the machine that is our commonwealth’s environmental prosperity and posterity,” Abney said. “We must fully invest in these programs not just for a greener PA but also for the economic stimulus they would help provide. Thank you to Rep. Otten and senators Comitta and Santarsiero for their collaboration on bringing this component of a budget for all Pennsylvanians closer to fruition.”

 

In the Senate, Comitta filed SB 1191 to reflect the PACER plan. That bill has not yet been introduced.

“Pennsylvania accounts for about 1% of global emissions. As a major energy-producing state, we have a responsibility to lead the way in addressing climate change. PACER and PRESS can work together to bring Pennsylvanians cleaner air, more job opportunities, and lower electricity bills,” said Comitta, minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

Santarsiero filed PRESS legislation in the Senate as SB 1190.

 

“I have long said that it’s a false premise to say we must choose between creating jobs or saving our planet,” Santarsiero said.  “I applaud Gov. Shapiro for leading the way and bringing together the interests of consumers, labor and the environment to find a solution that works for all of us. To that end, I am proud to introduce legislation to create the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard, the next generation of alternative energy portfolio standards for the commonwealth.”

 

Otten, who chairs the House Climate Caucus and serves on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, added that by updating Pennsylvania’s outdated clean-energy targets under PRESS, the commonwealth can both advance climate goals and help Pennsylvania compete for renewable energy projects and clean-energy jobs.

“In 2004, Pennsylvania led the nation by establishing Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) that successfully promoted cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy generation in our commonwealth,” Otten said. “But 20 years later, we have fallen behind our neighboring states in the race to diversify energy sources and create clean, reliable, and affordable energy. PRESS has the potential to secure Pennsylvania’s place as one of the world’s top energy producers while delivering net improvements in our emissions, grid reliability, and energy resilience.”

 

According to the Shapiro administration, if passed by the legislature, in their first five years, PACER and PRESS are projected to save ratepayers an estimated $252 million, create nearly 15,000 energy jobs, and generate $5.1 billion in investment in clean, reliable energy sources.

The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists met on May 29, via hybrid meeting format. Following are the highlights.

Board President Joe McNally, PG, presided, and welcomed the members, including new Board members John Luciani, PE, PLS, and G. Windsor Tracy, PLS. He had no further report.  

Board member reports: Lisa Peterson, PE, reported that she had attended the NE regional meeting of NCEES. It was reported that 20% of US Engineering graduates become PEs. NSPE provides scholarships to each state to encourage taking the test. There was discussion about reciprocity with other countries. A committee was formed to investigate. Public Member Dan Hartman also attended, and mentioned “pathways”. There was discussion of “decoupling” the exam from licensure. Member Jim Szalankiewicz, PLS, attended the PLS portion.

Board Prosecution Liaison Ray Michalowski, Esq. reported that prosecutor Glenn Masser, Esq., had left the Department for DEP. He presented two Consent Agreements, which the Board had discussed in Executive Session and the consent agreement were approved.

∙ The Board heard a presentation from John Wanner, Legislative Consultant for PSPE. Wanner discussed a grant program to be administered by PSPE to confer encourage engineering students to take the FE exam as well as defray the costs associated with it.  The program dovetails with similar efforts by NCEES. Wanner said he would appreciate the Board’s support of the program. More details will be presented as the program develops.

∙ The Board then heard a presentation from Ben Brierley, on behalf of the British Consulate-General. Brierley reported that the UK is working with NCEES on a cooperation agreement to lead to reciprocity.

Board Counsel Ashley Goshert, reported on the status of SB 403. She also presented two other cases for the board to consider. She had no regulatory report.

Acting Commissioner Arion Claggett reported that a new functionality of the Board’s website, “E-licensure”, whereby licensees can download their license from the dashboard, will come online May 31.

Board Administrator Kristel Hennessey Hemler presented about 30 Act 41 applications, which the Board reviewed and approved.

The Board discussed Active-Retired status, asking for clarification. FAQs will be posted on the website. They also discussed NCEES’ Emeritus status for past Board members desiring the status. Mike Brinkash, PLS, had asked for this status. The Board unanimously approved it going forward. Seven Board members and staff were approved to attend the NCEES annual conference, August 14-17 in Chicago.

 

The next meeting is July 24, 2024, with both in-person and virtual options for attendees, at the new location, 2525 N. 7th Street, Harrisburg. Public Session begins at 11 AM

Remaining 2024 dates: July 24, September 25, and November 13.

2025 dates: January 30, March 27, May 15, July 24, September 18, November 13

Legislation that makes changes to the Registration Act for Professional Engineers has advanced through the House Professional Licensure committee by a unanimous vote held on May 7. Senate Bill 403 updates a number of areas of the licensing law and is supported by PSPE.  The bill has already passed the Senate but still needs a trip through the House Appropriations Committee and a final floor vote by the full House.  That action is expected in June.


This Month in the PA Bulletin:

The Department of Environmental Protection issues this Request for Information (RFI) to those interested in submitting concept papers for DEP’s consideration on behalf of the commonwealth to satisfy a need for the Design, Development, Commercialization and Maintenance of Clean Energy Campus (CEC) Projects on Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) controlled by the commonwealth. DEP seeks concept papers submitted by a single project sponsor or a consortium led by a single project sponsor willing to co-invest with the commonwealth to transform these sites into CEC projects. DEP owns 13 properties greater than 50 acres in size, with an aggregate total of approximately 1,850 acres of land eligible for conversion. Each property represents a campus available to the project sponsor to host an individual CEC project. The purpose is to assist in meeting its mission to protect air, land and water in this commonwealth from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment, the department is issuing an RFI soliciting concept papers from clean energy project developers, asset owners, financial institutions and other relevant parties. RFI responses must be submitted no later than Monday, July 1, 2024, by e-mail to RAEPCleanEngCampAML@pa.gov . The subject line of the e-mail should state: CEC Project RFI Response— (Respondent Name). Questions concerning this RFI should be directed to Louie Krak at lkrak@pa.gov. The subject line of the email should state: CEC Project RFI Questions. Additional information is available on the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

https://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol54/54-22/766.html


Legislative Activity

The following bills and co-sponsorship memos for bills to be introduced of interest to PSPE were acted on by the General Assembly this past month. 

HB 624 RE: Capital Budget For Fiscal Year 2023-2024

An Act providing for the capital budget for fiscal year 2023-2024; itemizing public improvement projects, furniture and equipment projects, transportation assistance, redevelopment assistance projects, flood control projects and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission projects leased or assisted by the Department of General Services and other State agencies, 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 and other State agencies; authorizing the use of current revenue for the purpose of financing the projects to be constructed, acquired or assisted by the Department of General Services and other State agencies stating the estimated useful life of the projects; and making appropriations

Introduced and referred to House Appropriations Committee, 5/2/2024

 

H.B. 2275 RE: Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act (PACER) (by Rep. Aerion Abney, et al)

Establishes the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Program (PACER) within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the purpose of implementing a Pennsylvania-run CO2 Budget Training Program; imposes powers and duties on the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and DEP; and establishes the Consumer Protection Account in the General Fund, the Pennsylvania Energy Transformation Account in the General Fund, the Workforce Enhancement Fund as a non-lapsing fund in the State Treasury for energy projects, the Workforce Enhancement Fund Board to administer the Workforce Enhancement Fund and the Low-income Support Account in the General Fund. Provides for General Assembly findings. Specifies the purpose of this act is to establish this commonwealth as an energy leader by authorizing a Pennsylvania-run cap-and-invest program, and upon establishment, this commonwealth shall not participate in any other carbon auction addressing emissions from the electric generation section unless specifically authorized by act of the General Assembly. Provides definitions. Directs DEP to conduct a Pennsylvania-run auction. Provides for implementation and administrative support. Provides provisions for compliance, detailing what DEP shall do. Outlines auction participation and monitoring. Provides provisions for the PACER emissions budget, including review, revisions, final omitted regulation and set-aside allocations. Prohibits DEP from joining or participating in a CO2 allowance auction addressing emissions from the electric generation sector other than the Pennsylvania-run program established by this act after the effective date of the regulation adopting a PACER emissions budget, unless an act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date specifically authorizes such joinder or participation. Provides for the deposit of auction proceeds from PACER, establishing a general rule that auction proceeds authorized and collected under the section relating to PACER shall be deposited into the State Treasury. Provides that auction proceeds shall be deposited as follows: 70 percent into the Consumer Protection Account, 10 percent to the Pennsylvania Energy Transformation Account, 10 percent to the Workforce Enhancement Fund and the balance of auction proceeds shall be deposited into the Low-Income Support Account. Outlines provisions and guidelines for each respective account and fund. Provides for the Workforce Enhancement Fund Board, stipulating who the board shall consist of, detailing board meetings and reimbursement and specifying the board’s powers and duties.

Referred to House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee, 5/8/2024

 

SB 1001 RE: General Appropriation Act of 2024 (by Sen. Scott Martin, et al)

Provides appropriations from the General Fund for the expenses of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Departments of the Commonwealth, the public debt and the public schools for the fiscal year July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025, and for the payment of bills incurred and remaining unpaid at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024; to provide appropriations from special funds and accounts to the Executive and Judicial Departments for the fiscal year July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025, and for the payment of bills remaining unpaid at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024; to provide for the appropriation of Federal funds to the Executive and Judicial Departments for the fiscal year July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025, and for the payment of bills remaining unpaid at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024. Effective July 1, 2024, or immediately, whichever is later.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, and read first time, 5/7/2024 

Read second time, and re-committed to Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/8/2024


SB 1002
RE: Professional Licensure Augmentation Account Appropriation (by Sen. Scott Martin, et al)

An Act making appropriations from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account and from restricted revenue accounts within the General Fund to the Department of State (DOS) for use by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in support of the professional licensure boards assigned thereto. Appropriates $74,480,000 from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account within the General Fund to DOS for the operation of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Appropriates $11,240,000 from the restricted receipts account of the State Board of Medicine for the operation of the board for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Appropriates $3,194,000 from the restricted receipts account of the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine for the operation of the board for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Appropriates $442,000 from the restricted receipts account of the State Board of Podiatry for the operation of the board for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Appropriates $908,000 from the Athletic Commission Augmentation Account for the State Athletic Commission for the support and operation of the commission for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Directs the listed appropriations to be treated and accounted for as separate appropriations from DOS, general government or other appropriations. Effective July 1, 2024, or immediately, whichever is later.

Reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, and read first time, 5/7/2024 

Read second time, and re-committed to Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/8/2024


SB 1191
RE: Governor's Energy Plan: Pennsylvania Climate Emission Reduction (PACER) Program (by Sen. Carolyn T. Comitta, et al)

(PN 1632) The Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act establishes the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Program (PACER) within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement a Pennsylvania-run CO2 Budget Training Program; imposes powers and duties on the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and DEP; and establishes the Consumer Protection Account in the General Fund with money appropriated continuingly to PUC to pay rebates to electric ratepayers calculated on a per-kilowatt-hour basis, the Pennsylvania Energy Transformation Account within the General Fund with money appropriated continuingly to DEP for administering PACER and for grant programs to support projects that eliminate air pollution and for other authorized purposes, the Workforce Enhancement Fund as a non-lapsing fund in the State Treasury for energy projects, the Workforce Enhancement Fund Board to administer the fund and the Low-Income Support Account in the General Fund to supplement Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants and other grants that provide cooling assistance for eligible customers who seek financial resources to cover cooling expenses. Provides for General Assembly findings and purpose. Provides definitions. Directs DEP to conduct a Pennsylvania-run auction. Allows DEP to delegate implementation and administrative support functions for any CO2 allowance auction conducted to an agent qualified to conduct auctions provided that the agent performs all functions under the direction and oversight of DEP. Provides for compliance, outlining what the department shall do. Provides provisions for other states. Details auction participation and monitoring. Provides for the PACER emissions budget, including review, revisions, final omitted regulation and set-aside allocations. Prohibits DEP from joining or participating in a CO2 allowance auction addressing emissions from the electric generation sector other than the Pennsylvania-run program established by this act, unless an act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date of this section specifically authorizes such joinder or participation. Outlines how the authorized and collected auction proceeds shall be deposited into the State Treasury. Provides provisions for the Consumer Protection Account, the Pennsylvania Energy Transformation Account, the Workforce Enhancement Fund and the Low-Income Support Account. Details members of the Workforce Enhancement Fund Board, imposing duties on the board. Effective immediately.

Referred to Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 5/28/2024

H.B. 2277 RE: Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standards (PRESS) Act (by Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, et al)

Amends the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, renaming it as the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standards (PRESS) Act and further providing for definitions; adding a section to provide for force majeure; further providing for alternative energy portfolio standards, for portfolio requirements in other states, for health and safety standards and for interagency responsibilities; adding a section to provide for zero emission credits (ZECs); and making editorial changes. Imposes duties on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) relating to force majeure, providing provisions for determination of commission and modifications of obligations. Renames section 3 as Pennsylvania reliable energy sustainability standards and makes editorial changes to provide for PRESS, Tier I PRESS, Tier II PRESS and Tier III PRESS. Provides provisions for reliable energy and replaces language providing for alternative energy.  Allows a nuclear reactor that provides benefits to this commonwealth to apply to the commission for ZECs. Directs PUC to approve or disapprove an application submitted under the subsection relating to beneficial nuclear facility within nine months after the application is filed, provided that approval may be in whole or in part and may be subject to limitations and qualifications as may be deemed necessary and in the public interest. Stipulates that the limitations shall include, but are not limited to, a cap of 75,000,000 megawatt-hours of ZECs approved each year. Provides for the price of ZEC. Specifies that PUC shall promulgate regulations to implement the requirements of the section relating to ZEC within 365 days prior to the expiration of the availability of zero-emission nuclear power production credits, outlining what the regulations shall include. Asserts that a beneficial nuclear facility shall not be eligible to receive ZECs during any period in which they are not receiving zero-emission nuclear power production credits. Directs PUC to allow the public utility to recover all prudent and reasonable costs associated with the credits if the commission has approved ZECs, provided that all the prudent and reasonable costs must be recovered in accordance with appropriate accounting principles. Provides that section 8.1 shall expire 10 years after the effective date of the regulations promulgated by the commission under subsection (d). The addition of section 3 (e)(16)(ii) and (18) shall be effective immediately. Section 6 shall be effective immediately. The remainder of this act shall be effective June 1, 2025.

Introduced and referred to House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 5/8/2024 

 

SB 1190 RE: Governor’s Energy Plan: Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS) (by Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero, et al)

(PN 1631) Amends the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, further providing for definitions; providing for force majeure; further providing for alternative energy portfolio standards, for portfolio requirements in other states, for health and safety standards and for interagency responsibilities; providing for zero emission credits; and making editorial changes. Renames the act to the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standards (PRESS) Act. Provides, eliminates and amends definitions. Requires the commission to determine if PRESS energy resources are reasonably available in the marketplace in sufficient quantities for an electric distribution company or electric generation supplier upon request for the entity to meet reporting obligations. Requires the commission to consider whether the entity has made a good faith effort to acquire sufficient PRESS energy to comply with obligations. Requires the commission to assess the availability of reliable energy credits in the Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS) or its successor and generally in the commonwealth. Allows the commission to modify the underlying obligation of an electric distribution company or electric generation supplier if PRESS energy resources are not reasonably available in sufficient quantities in the marketplace. Allows the commission, in such instance, to require the entity to acquire additional reliable energy credits in subsequent years equivalent to the obligation reduced due to a force majeure declaration if the commission determines that sufficient reliable energy credits exist in the marketplace. Makes relevant technical changes. Eliminates language relating to specific payments to be recovered on a full and current basis and replaces it with language to allow the recuperation of “reasonable or prudent” costs. Requires that beginning June 1, 2025, at least 10.7 percent of electric energy sold by an electric distribution company or electric generation supplier to retail electric customers in the commonwealth must be generated from Tier I PRESS energy sources. Requires that beginning June 1, 2026, and through May 31, 2035, the Tier I PRESS energy source requirement shall increase by at least 2.7 percent each year so that at least 35 percent of such energy sold will derive from Tier I PRESS energy resources by May 31, 2035. Makes relevant technical changes. Requires that beginning June 1, 2025, through May 31, 2026, the electrical energy required to be sold from PRESS Tier II energy sources shall be six percent. Requires that beginning June 1, 2026, through May 31, 2034, the Tier II PRESS energy requirement shall increase by 0.5 percent each year so that by May 31, 2034, at least 10 percent of such electric energy is sold from Tier II PRESS energy resources. Requires 3.8 percent of electrical energy required to be sold from Tier III PRESS energy sources from June 1, 2025, through May 31, 2028; 4.4 percent from June 1, 2028, through May 31, 2031; and 5 percent from June 1, 2031, and thereafter. Eliminates exemptions for cost-recovery periods and related language for bankable credits. Amends language to replace “alternative” with “reliable” and “PRESS.” Prohibits PRESS energy systems from selling reliable energy credits to facilities that generate or produce virtual currency. Requires an individual generating unit with a nameplate capacity over 150 megawatts to be located in the commonwealth to be eligible for reliable energy credits. Prohibits PRESS energy sources from being offered to meet compliance requirements of more than one tier, unless the source is owned or leased by and located on the grounds of a school district. Provides requirements to be met for a PRESS energy source to be eligible for compliance requirements in Tier II, Tier III and solar photovoltaic technologies. Requires 10 percent of Tier I electric energy sold by an electric distribution company or electric generation supplier to retail electric customers in the commonwealth to be generated from Tier I PRESS energy sources that meet one of the requirements of subparagraph (i). Asserts that the percentage shall increase by one percent in each subsequent compliance year through June 1, 2050. Makes energy from a geothermal heating and cooling system eligible to sell reliable energy credits associated with or created by the production of energy of the system. For binding written contracts for the sale and purchase of alternative energy credits derived from alternative energy sources entered into prior to the effective date, a Tier I alternative energy source may be offered for compliance purposes as a Tier I PRESS energy source and a Tier II alternative energy source may be offered for compliance purposes as a Tier II PRESS energy source until June 1, 2028. Makes changes to certain timelines to provide for changes from alternative energy sources to PRESS energy sources. Asserts the alternative compliance payment, excepting the solar photovoltaic share compliance requirement, shall be $45 times the number of reliable energy credits needed for subsection (b) compliance, beginning June 1, 2025. Asserts the alternative compliance payment shall be $35 times the number of reliable energy credits needed for subsection (c) compliance, beginning June 1, 2025. Asserts the alternative compliance payment shall be $15 times the number of reliable energy credits needed for subsection (c.1) compliance, beginning June 1, 2025. Allows the commission, beginning June 1, 2030, to increase the alternative compliance payment amount applicable by up to 15 percent of the amount from the prior year if the commission finds that an increased alternative compliance payment amount would promote the installation of more PRESS energy systems. Asserts the alternative compliance payments shall be utilized solely for reliability projects to increase the amount of electric energy generated from geothermal energy; storage resources co-located with a Tier I PRESS energy source with 10 percent nameplate capacity available every hour for a 24-hour period; or a Tier I PRESS energy source owned or leased by and located on the grounds of a school district. Asserts no less than 40 percent of funds shall be dedicated to reliability projects located in environmental justice areas under paragraph (2). Allows for a nuclear reactor that provides benefits to the commonwealth to apply to the commission for zero emissions credits (ZECs). Requires the commission to approve or disapprove such applications within nine months of the application’s filing, provided the approval may be in whole or in part and may be subject to public interest limitations and qualifications that may include a cap of 75,000,000 megawatt-hours (Mwh) of ZECs approved each year. Determines the price of a ZEC shall be the amount by which $9 per Mwh exceeds 80 percent of the difference of the gross receipts of the nuclear reactor for the previous year expressed as a dollar per Mwh, and $31 per MWh. Allows for annual adjustments to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) after 2032, with publication in the next available issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Requires the commission to promulgate certain regulations to implement section requirements. Asserts that a beneficial nuclear facility shall not be eligible for ZECs during any period in which they are receiving zero-emission nuclear power production credits. Allows public utilities to recover all prudent and reasonable costs associated with the credits where the commission has approved ZECs under subsection (a). Asserts Section 4 shall expire 10 years after the effective date of the commission’s promulgated regulations. The addition of section 3(e)(16)(ii) and (18) of the act shall take effect immediately. Section 6 shall take effect immediately. The remainder of the act shall take effect June 1, 2025.

Referred to Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 5/28/2024

SB 1216 RE: DEP Permitting Appeals (by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, et al)

Amends the Environmental Hearing Board Act, further providing for jurisdiction. Establishes jurisdiction for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit over any civil action or other appeal, challenge or petition for review of a department decision issued under 15 U.S.C. Ch. 15B (relating to natural gas). Allows any person aggrieved by a department decision to file civil action or other appeal, challenge or petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Effective in 60 days.

Referred to Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 5/29/2024

HB1295 RE: State Licensing Board Reforms (By Rep. Kyle J. Mullins, et al)

Amends Title 63 (Professions and Occupations (State Licensed)), in powers and duties, providing a hearing in a disciplinary matter may require a respondent to appear in person or remotely via the use of communication technology for a hearing before a hearing examiner, licensing board or commission. Provides for if the respondent fails to appear in person or remotely. Provides for a person who has suffered an adverse effect stemming from the conduct alleged. Further provides for the definition of "communication technology" as used in this section.

Read third time and passed Senate, 4/8/2024 (48-0)

Signed in House and Senate, 4/9/2024

Approved by the Governor, 4/15/2024 Act No. 5 of 2024


SB 403
RE: Registration Act (by Sen. Lisa Baker, et al)

Amends the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law, further providing for definitions, for general powers of board, for procedure for licensing as professional engineer, for continuing professional competency requirements. Amends language, changing "engineer in training" to "engineer intern." Inserts and amends provisions relating to procedure for licensing as professional land surveyor to update language. Requires continuing professional competency requirements, including completion of distance learning courses if the courses relate to professional practice and units are verifiable and measurable by the actual hours of instruction.

Reported as committed House Professional Licensure Committee, read first time, and laid on the table, 5/7/2024

SB 269 RE: Tax Reforms (by Sen. Chris Gebhard, et al)

An Act amending the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, in personal income tax, further providing for imposition of tax; in gross receipts tax, further providing for imposition of tax, providing for transfers to Alternative Fuels Incentive Fund and further providing for establishment of revenue-neutral reconciliation; in tax credit and tax benefit administration, further providing for definitions; providing for volunteer certified emergency medical technician tax credit; imposing duties on the Department of Revenue; eliminating the tax imposed upon each dollar of the gross receipts received from the sales of electric energy; providing for the benefit of consumers and for a civil penalty; and making a repeal.

Reported as amended from Senate Finance Committee, and read first time, 5/1/2024

Read second time, and re-referred to Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, 5/6/2024 

Re-reported as amended from Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, and re-referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/6/2024 

Re-reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed Senate, 5/7/2024 (36-14)

Referred to House Finance Committee, 5/9/2024 


Upcoming Meetings of Interest

Some House Committee meetings and sessions can be viewed online at: https://www.pahouse.net/LegisTrak/CommitteeMeetings

June                       3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

June  3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Fall session schedules have not been announced

PUBLIC WELCOME 

All Board meetings are held in person and remotely via Teams. In-person meetings will be held at a new location: 2525 N. 7th Street, Harrisburg, PA

https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/EngineersLandSurveyorsandGeologists/Pages/General-Board-Information.aspx#.VHNkfFZOk5s

2024 meeting dates: July 24, September 25, November 13

2025 dates: January 30, March 27, May 15, July 24, September 18, November 13

1 Technology Park, Commonwealth Technology Center (CTC), Harrisburg, PA 17110

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

2024 Meeting Schedule: June 13

https://www.oa.pa.gov/Programs/Information%20Technology/Pages/geoboard.aspx

https://www.dli.pa.gov/ucc/Pages/UCC-Review-and-Advisory-Council.aspx

The first deliberation for the 2021 code cycle occ​​urred on Thursday, May 2. Agenda: https://www.dli.pa.gov/ucc/Documents/Meeting%20Minutes/5-2-24-RAC-Agenda.pdf

Future meeting dates can be found below, and agenda topics will be added once available. All Council meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

https://zoom.us/j/3611316502?pwd=U0N1QVdQRFJjVE1YT20wdGZiVDVsQT09

Meeting ID: 361 131 6502

Passcode: 259161

Dial by your location:
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Find your local number:
https://zoom.us/u/adX66zPHZ

 

Next meeting dates (all meetings start at 9 AM: June 13, June 27, July 25, September 12, 2024

Take Action

PSPE PAC

Your personal donation to PSPE PAC is vital in ensuring that public policymakers hear our voice.
Download the PAC contribution form to support the PSPE Political Action Committee.


Contact Your State Rep and Ask them to Support Senate Bill 403

Senate Bill 403, formerly House Bill 1801, amends the Registration Act for Professional Engineers to address several cumbersome provisions that impede licensing.  Currently, an applicant to be granted licensure as a professional engineer must hold an engineer-in-training certificate and show proof of four or more years of experience in engineering work performed after the issuance of their engineer-in-training certificate.  In some cases, an individual may have the years of required experience and training, but it may have occurred prior to them obtaining their engineer-in-training certificate in Pennsylvania.  This bill allows for the experience earned prior to the passage of the EIT to apply as well as some other updates to the Act that more closely align with the national model law adopted by NCEES.  It also clarifies that the “practice of engineering” is not limited to only those projects that involve a “design”.  Take Action Now.


Advocate to End Licensing Exemptions

Call your members of Congress and support ending licensing exemptions on public utility pipelines. The National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the deadly pipeline explosion in Massachusetts in September 2018 calls for a significant legislative change that NSPE has strongly advocated for years: elimination of professional engineer licensure exemptions. Take action now.


Legislative Summary Archive

Industrial Exemption