HB 2101 Still Waiting for Final Senate Vote
Although the hoped-for final vote in the Senate did not take place, the bill has been moved to third and final reading in the Senate, and can still be passed by the Senate when they return on November 10, and sent to the Governor. All members are encouraged to contact their Senators to request that they support the bill without amendments, so that it can go straight to Gov. Wolf. As there has been throughout this legislative process, there have been some late-arriving calls to stall the bill. Your leaders and lobbyists have worked diligently to address legitimate concerns raised by utilities, counties, and others as the bill has moved through the process. Your voices need to be heard to keep this bill on its rightful track. Access a letter which you can customize or send as written to your state senator supporting these changes.
Legislation of Interest Passes in Whirlwind October Session
Three bills that touch upon the construction industry were signed by the Governor this week. The first is an attempt to address the problem of misclassification of employees as independent contractors. HB 716 sets up a task force that is charged with making recommendations on how to crack down on that illegal practice. Read the article below for more information on that new law.
The other two bills signed by the Governor are bills that our lobbyists worked to amend before they became law. HB 885 adds bonding as a form of financial security to the requirements a municipality must have when undertaking a construction project. A previous version of the bill raised the threshold of when financial security is required to $50,000. A companion Senate bill raised it even higher, to half a million dollars. Raising the threshold would create a larger universe of projects that have no performance or payment bonds (or financial security of any kind). After our objections, the threshold increase was dropped, and the bill passed.
The third bill, HB 2073, is a complete rewrite of the First Class Township code. Before this 452 page bill made it out of committee, our lobbyists spotted a section that repealed the separate primes requirement for First Class Townships (page 275 if you’re interested in looking it up). The committee voted to keep the separate primes mandate in the bill. After that, the bill passed both chambers and is now law. Our lobbyists routinely follow bills like these to ensure that our amendments aren’t reversed before final passage.
Personal Delivery Device Bill Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature
Legislation that would set operating rules for autonomous robots or “Personal Delivery Devices (PDDs)” delivering packages and other items has passed both Chambers and awaits action by the Governor, that remains in question. Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, sponsor of SB 1199, said the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted more thought about technological advancement, such as PDDs, that can help businesses and residents of the state overcome the challenges presented by the virus. The bill passed both the Senate and the House on largely partisan majorities. Opponents, including local government groups, insurers and PENNDOT, say the bill does not provide the state Department of Transportation and local governments with proper oversight of PDDs, and concerns have been expressed by Teamsters and others that PDDs could replace workers. Given the opposition from these entities, and the Democratic votes against the bill, SB1199 appeared to be facing a rough go from Gov. Tom Wolf. However, Wolf decided to let the 10 days pass without taking action, and it became law on October 31.
This Month in the PA Bulletin:
IRRC Issues Comments on State Board “Seals” Regulation
The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has issued comments on the state Registration Board’s proposed Digital Signature and Seal regulation. The comments centered around clarity of some terms, and suggests the removal of a reference to pending federal legislation, that has not been enacted. The comments can be found in the PA Bulletin, at:
Governor’s Office Publishes Regulatory Agenda
In the Saturday, October 3, 2020 issue of the PA Bulletin, Governor Tom Wolf provided a glimpse into upcoming regulations from various agencies. Executive Order 1996-1 requires all agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor to submit for publication semi-annually an agenda of regulations under development or consideration. The agendas are compiled to provide members of the regulated community advanced notice of regulatory activity, for the intended purpose to increase public participation in the regulatory process. Below is a list of regulations of interest.
The information provided is current as of September 21, 2020, and subject to change.
|Regulation Being Considered||Proposed Date of Promulgation||Need and Legal Basis for Action||Agency Contact|
|State Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists|
|Electronic Seals and Signatures
49 Pa. Code Chapter 37
|The proposed regulations would update existing regulations on seals and set forth standard requirements for electronic seals and electronic signing of design documents. The goal of this proposal is to be consistent with proposed regulations of the State Architects Licensure Board and the State Board of Landscape Architects to provide all design professionals with standards that are as consistent as possible with respect to both traditional seals and electronic seals to benefit both the design professionals and their clients.||Jeannie Bronshtein
|Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs|
|Act 41 Regulations
(Boards and Commissions have not yet assigned specific regulation numbers.)
|Act 41 was signed by the Governor on July 1, 2019, and requires all licensing boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to draft regulations for the implementation of Act 41 to include methods of determining competency and terms of provisional licenses.||Jacqueline A. Wolfgang
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 1737 RE: Environmental Liability Exemption for Land Banks (by Rep. Austin Davis, et al)
Amends the Economic Development Agency, Fiduciary and Lender Environmental Liability Protection Act establishing environmental liability exemption for land banks.
Laid on the table pursuant to Senate Rule 9, 10/21/2020
HB 2073 RE: First Class Township Code Recodification (by Rep. Dan Moul, et al)
Amends the First Class Township Code, in preliminary provisions, modernizing and recodifying numerous provisions. Among numerous changes to the First Class Township Code, the legislation replaces obsolete provisions; incorporates language to reflect current case law and current practices, standards and requirements; replaces and updates certain language, including language in conflict with other statutes; consolidates common subject; and provides language included in previous recodifications, including Act 43 of 2012 (Borough Code), Act 22 of 2014 (Third Class City Code) and Act 60 of 1995 (the Second Class Township Code, reenacted). This legislation may be referred to as the First Class Township Code recodification bill.
Read third time, and passed Senate, 10/21/2020 (49-0)
Signed in the House and in the Senate, 10/21/2020
Approved by the Governor, 10/29/2020 (Act No. 96 of 2020)
Effective date, 12/28/2020
SB 810 RE: Strengthening State Government Cybersecurity and Consolidation of IT Services (by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, et al)
Amends Title 71 (State Government), in boards and offices, establishing Chapter 43 for Information Technology; establishing the Office of Information Technology and the Information Technology Fund; establishing administrative procedures and procurement regarding information technology and for the Joint Cybersecurity Oversight Committee; imposing duties on the Office of Information Technology; and imposing penalties. The legislation establishes the Office of Information Technology (OIT) within the Governor’s Office of Administration to oversee and achieve information technology consolidation. The legislation allows OIT to consolidate and oversee all IT systems and contracts within the executive branch and requires that each agency’s chief information technology employee work under OIT in their respective agency. The legislation further requires each agency to adopt new cybersecurity standards and establishes a committee on cybersecurity to be comprised of members of both chambers and their IT staff. The legislation establishes civil penalties for violation of the act. Effective immediately.
Read third time, and passed Senate, 10/6/20 (29-21)
Received in the House and referred to House State Government Committee, 10/8/2020
Cosponsor memos filed
HCO4097 (Fritz) – Transparent Framework for DEP Permit Decisions, Predictability Provides Department of Environmental Protection permit applications are complete with a professional engineer’s affidavit attesting to the sufficiency of the application.
HB 1032 RE: Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator (by Rep. R. Lee James, et al)
Amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act, further providing for definitions and for the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers. The legislation provides definitions for the terms certified Pennsylvania evaluator and professional member and expands the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers to include two qualified home inspectors. Effective in 60 days.
Removed from the table, 10/19/2020
Read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, and re-reported as committed from Senate Appropriations Committee, 10/20/2020
Read third time, and passed Senate, 10/21/2020 (49-0)
Signed in the House and in the Senate, 10/21/2020
Approved by the Governor, 10/29/2020 (Act No. 87 of 2020)
HB 2101 RE: Registration Law (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. Provides an exemption for the practice of engineering, land surveying or geology work by the employees, contractors or agents of cable service, VOIP, broadband internet or other service delivered over a cable system, a provider of enhanced telecommunications system, or a provider of telecommunications services if those services are in connection with or incidental to products of, or non-engineering, land surveying or geology services rendered by the company.
Read second time, 10/21/2020
SB 1199 RE: Highly Automated Vehicles (by Sen. Ryan Aument, et al)
Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in general provisions, further providing for definitions; and, in highly automated vehicles, further providing for Highly Automated Vehicle Advisory Committee and providing for personal delivery devices. Authorizes the use of a personal delivery device for a business entity or an agent of a business entity that exercises physical control over the navigation and operation of the personal delivery device and is within 30 feet of the personal delivery device, or has remote support of the personal delivery device and the agent possesses a valid driver’s license from a licensed authority in the United States.
Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 10/19/2020 (105-97)
Received as amended in Senate and rereferred Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, Re-reported on concurrence as committed from Senate Rules and Executive Nominations, and Senate concurred in House amendments, 10/20/2020 (29-19)
In the hands of the Governor, 10/21/2020. Became law without Governor’s signature, 10/31/2020 (Act No. 106 of 2020)
Copies of all bills of interest can be accessed via the Internet at: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm
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/
UPDATED 2020 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE
UPDATED 2020 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE
NOTE: Some days MAY be added to do budget legislation
State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists Meeting Schedule
All Board meetings are held at Penn Center, 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA, at 9:30 a.m.
Remaining 2020 Meeting Dates (Subject to change): November 10
State Geospatial Coordinating Board
NEW Location: 1 Technology Park, Commonwealth Technology Center (CTC), Harrisburg, PA 17110 • 2020
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Remaining 2020 Board Meetings: November 16, 2020 / 1:30-3:00 PM Via Skype