Summary Legislation

Senate Bill 403 makes a variety of changes to the Registration Act for Professional Engineers that deal mostly with licensing procedural issues.  It was unanimously voted out of the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee on October 25th.  The bill received Second Reading in the Senate and then referred to the Senate Appropriations committee.  That is the normal process prior to the Third Reading and Final Passage by the Senate.  While Senate Bill 403 is not controversial, there remains special interest groups that are attempting amend into the bill matters that relate to a long-standing issue separating land surveying and GIS work.  Presently, the bill does not address that issue.  After the Senate passes the legislation, it still must go through the House.  PSPE supports Senate Bill 403 in its current form. 

Both the House and Senate are expected to return December 11th working to finalize several legislative issues, namely the unfinished Budget Code Bills. The continued impasse has seen an impact to Community Colleges, Libraries as well as tax programs, such as the Corporate Net Income Tax reduction, changes to Combined Reporting and Childcare and Film Production Tax credits.  In addition, due to the resignation of Rep John Galloway (D-Bucks) effective December 15th, the House will also see a return to an even amount of Republican and Democrats until the seat is filled via a special election in early 2024.


Despite this gridlock, Governor Josh Shapiro seemingly has an aggressive agenda going into 2024. During a recent speech to the PA Press Club said unfinished business from his first year in office include increasing the minimum wage, increasing school funding, private school voucher program and statute of limitation reform for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse.  During the same speech, Shapiro also highlighted the Commonwealth’s investment into the economy such as permitting reform, broadband access, agriculture, and energy infrastructure around hydrogen hubs.

On November 21st, the Shapiro announced it would appeal the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s November 1st decision which ruled against Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a multi-state compact to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. The earlier filing from the Commonwealth Court stated the initiative was and invalid tax and constitutionally the state’s participation in RGGI can only be reached through legislation enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.


In a statement, Shapiro’s administration said the Commonwealth Court decisions on RGGI were “limited to questions of executive authority, and our Administration must appeal in order to protect that important authority for this Administration and all future governors.”


In addition, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on November 13th to discuss hydrogen hubs and climate change. Committee Chairman Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) began the hearing by stating climate change is the most important long-term threat to the planet, and referenced concerns that hydrogen production could perpetuate the use of fossil fuels without sufficient carbon dioxide (C02) reductions. However, Republican Minority Chairman Martin Causer (R-Cameron) said hydrogen was a huge opportunity for Pennsylvania in terms of jobs and energy production. Chairman Causer said Pennsylvania has abundant natural resources that can be used in the hydrogen production process, including natural gas. The Committee heard testimony from Illinois state Senator David Koehler, Colorado state Representative Brianna Titone and several environmental organizations.


During questioning, Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten (D-Chester) stated that when the community impacts of hydrogen hubs and pilot programs to measure them were discussed at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) meetings she attended, often only positive aspects such as job creation were emphasized over public safety concerns. Rep. Friel-Otten also noted her first job was in the newspaper industry, saying she was a victim of industry change and can appreciate concerns about workforce transition. She asked whether Pennsylvania would have to import workers from another state or country to participate in a cleaner energy economy. She expressed concerns about the lack of labor standards at the ARCH2 hub, saying that as legislators they must always encourage prevailing wages.

State Representative John Galloway (D-Bucks) announced his intent to resign from the House on December 15th, following the final three scheduled session days left in the calendar year (December 11th -13th). Galloway recently won his race for Magisterial District Judge, and his resignation will bring the House balance back to a dead even 101-101 until his seat is filled by the voters. The earliest a special election can be called by the Speaker of the House is 60 days from the official vacancy.

The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists met on November 8, via hybrid meeting format. Following are the highlights.

Board President Joe McNally, PG, presided, and welcomed the members. He had no further report.

∙ Board member Martin Helmke, PG, reported on the ASBOG meeting.

Board Prosecutor Glenn Masser, Esq., presented one Consent Agreement, which the Board had discussed in Executive Session and the consent agreement was approved.

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

Acting Commissioner Arion Claggett reported that an RFP was out for a replacement to PALS. More information to follow.

Board Administrator Kristel Hennessey Hemler noted that 2023 CE audits have begun.

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

2024 dates: January 24, March 13, May 29, July 24, September 25, and November 13.

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

This Month in the PA Bulletin:


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 842
  RE: Clawback Act (by Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, et al)

Provides for mandatory contract provisions to prevent the misuse of state grants or loans. Inserts definitions for use in the act. Provides that a contract executed for a state grant or loan between an awarding agency and recipient on or after the effective date of this section shall include, at a minimum, notification to the recipient in writing upon determining if the awarded agency improperly awarded the state grant or loan to the recipient, further providing for appeals and repayment. Applicable to a state grant or loan agreement between an awarding agency and a recipient on or after the effective date and the act shall not apply to a state grant or loan if it conflicts with the act.

Reported as committed from House Appropriations Committee, read third time, and passed House, 11/13/2023 (102-101)

HB 1751
  RE: Strengthening the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (by Rep. Kyle Donahue, et al)

Amends the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, further providing for definitions, for improper classification of employees and for criminal penalties; providing for private right of action and for fines and penalties; further providing for administrative penalties, for retaliation for action prohibited, for availability of information and for funding; and imposing penalties. Adds a definition for "debar" and "public work." Strikes language pertaining to enforcement and adds that if the secretary finds that an employer has failed to properly classify an individual as an employee for the purposes of this act, the secretary may impose administrative penalties. Adds that the secretary may also refer the matter to the Attorney General for criminal investigation. Replaces language related to grading of criminal penalties, adding that an employer or officer or agent of an employer, who knowingly violates section 4(a) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree for first offense and a felony of the third degree for one or more prior offenses. Adds additional definitions. Establishes private right to action of an employee who has been misclassified in violation of the act and outlines the time and relief requirements. Adds a financial audit or tax audit to administrative penalties. Adds debarment for a period of at least three years for an intentional violation of the act. Provides for additional protection against retaliation. Requires the publication and availability of the information in the act to be available to employees. Adds that the department, Office of Attorney General or a district attorney's office shall be entitled to recover attorney fees and costs associated with the investigation of employers who violate the provisions of the act.

Removed from table, 11/14/2023

Amended on House floor, read second time, and Re-committed to House Appropriations Committee, 11/15/2023

HB 623
  RE: Capital Budget Act of 2023-2024  (by Rep. Jordan Harris, et al)

Provides for overall limitations on debt to be incurred for capital projects. Provides the maximum principal amount of additional debt to be incurred during the 2023-2024 fiscal year for capital projects shall be capped at $600,000 for building and structure public improvement projects, $10,000,000 for furniture and equipment, $350,000,000 for transportation assistance projects, $375,000,000 for redevelopment assistance projects and $1,335,000,000 for flood control projects. Effective July 1, 2023, or immediately, whichever is later.

Read third time, and passed Senate, 11/13/2023 (48-2)

Signed in the House and Senate, 11/13/2023

Approved by the Governor, 11/13/2023 Act No. 28 of 2023

HB1842 RE: Community Solar Energy (by Rep. Peter Schweyer, et al)

provides for community solar facilities; imposes duties on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, electric distribution companies and subscriber organizations; and provides for prevailing wage for construction of community solar facilities.

Introduced, 11/9/2023

Referred to House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee, 11/13/2023


HR185 RE: Study of Geothermal Energy (by Rep. Joe Webster, et al)

A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the feasibility of using geothermal energy technologies that utilize abandoned mining locations and operations in this Commonwealth and issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives.

Adopted, 11/14/2023

SB 689
  RE: Stream Maintenance Package (by Sen. Gene Yaw, et al)

Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, providing for the issuance of and conditions for municipal continuous maintenance permits. Provides that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shall develop a continuous maintenance permit for which the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) or a municipality may apply. Further provides the permit shall allow permittees to maintain, inspect and monitor watercourses, water obstructions, appurtenant works and encroachments as specified within the permit. Directs DEP to approve an application for a permit to an application if the applicant meets all of the requirements. Provides a permittee shall provide a compilation of maintenance projects undertaken between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year that were permitted under this section by January 15. Further provides that a permit shall be in effect for no less than 10 years, providing DEP can extend a permit to a permittee for 10 years following 10 years of operation without a permit violation.

Read third time, and passed Senate, 11/13/2023 (31-19)

Referred to House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 11/14/2023

SB 690  RE: Stream Maintenance Package (by Sen. Gene Yaw, et al)

Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act amending definitions to provide definitions for drainage area and regional curve and amend the definition for the department. Provides county programs for removing obstructions and flood-related hazards on streams. Provides a county may develop a program to provide two regional curves for the watershed to cover the entire county, the first curve for rural areas and the second curve for portions of streams located in municipalities. Provides the county shall submit a written notification to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that describes the program it developed. Provides DEP shall conduct at least one annual follow-up review of the county's program to determine effectiveness and compliance. DEP shall develop a training program for conducting channel maintenance for the purpose of a program, upon completion of the training program. Provides a county conservation district may authorize emergency permits to persons operating within a developed program. The Environmental Quality Board shall promulgate regulations for the removal of obstructions and flood-related hazards on streams by counties, municipal equipment workers, and contractors operating as agents of the counties and the board may consider existing county programs for the same or similar purpose.

Read third time, and passed Senate, 11/13/2023  (33-17)

Referred to House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, 11/14/2023

SB 403
  RE: Licensing Updates of Professional Engineers (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.

Read second time, and rereferred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 11/13/2023


SB 910  RE: Expungement of Disciplinary Records (by Sen. Jarrett Coleman, et al)

Amends Title 63 (Professions and Occupations (State Licensed)), in powers and duties, to provide for violations otherwise specified in the schedule of civil penalties under paragraph (1) and to require the licensee, registrant, certificate holder or permit holder to make written application to the commissioner for expungement no earlier than five years following the final disposition of the disciplinary record.

Received in the House and referred to House Professional Licensure Committee, 11/15/2023

HB1833 RE: Design Build Best Value (by Rep. Ed Neilson, et al)

Amends Title 74 (Transportation), in transportation infrastructure, providing for design build best value. Defines agency, alternative technical concept (ATC), design build best value, offeror, request for proposals, request for qualifications, responsible offeror, responsive proposal and state of qualifications. Provides rules and conditions for the use of the design build best value process. Details the steps to request the use of the design build best value process. Requires a preproposal after issuing a request for two-step procurement. Details the guidelines for requests for technical and price proposals in a one-step procurement. Provides a statement of qualifications and a short-list process for a responsible offeror to receive a stipend in a two-step procurement. Provides agency guidelines to request proposals from responsible offerors in a two-step procurement. Provides guidelines for the submission and approval of ATCs. Lists guidelines for records of requests for ATCs and the use of intellectual property. Provides for agencies offering stipends in a one-step or two-step procurement. Provides due dates for technical and price proposals and how business will be conducted before or after the set dates. Requires the agency to select the most advantageous responsible offeror for contract negotiations. Provides for incorporation of an unsuccessful offeror’s ATC into the agreement. Requires the request for a proposal to state the validity period. Adds language to provide for evaluation committee. Provides rules for the applicability of the agreement between the agency and contractor to other laws. Provides a list of provisions in the Procurement Code which apply to this chapter and asserts only the provisions listed shall apply. Provides rules and exceptions for limiting powers of an agency in existing contracts.

Introduced and referred to House Transportation Committee, 11/8/2023

Reported as amended from House Transportation Committee, read first time, and laid on the table, 11/14/2023

Removed from table, 11/15/2023

HB689 RE: Clean Slate (by Rep. Jordan Harris, et al)

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in criminal history record information, further providing for definitions, for general regulations, for expungement, for petition for limited access, for clean slate limited access, for exceptions, for effects of expunged records and records subject to limited access and for employer immunity from liability. Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), in criminal history record information, to define qualifying offense. Further provides for general regulations, to detail dissemination to noncriminal justice agencies and individuals. Further provides that the additional exceptions in the act shall not apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for verification of information as required by law. Provides for expungement, specifying when criminal history record information in a specific criminal proceeding shall be expunged. Further provides for automatic expungement pursuant to pardon. Further providing for petition for limited access to reduce the time a person must be free from conviction to seven years. Adds language to provide for additional criteria, exceptions and consolidation. Further providing for clean slate limited access to indicate criminal history pertaining to a conviction of an offense if a person has been free for seven years from conviction shall have limited access. Provides for criminal history record information pertaining to a conviction for which a conditional pardon was granted. Adds language to further provide for exceptions, detailing limited access not applicable, consolidation, limited access to same case and filing. Further providing for effects of expunged records and records subject to limited access to stipulate that criminal history records not expunged or provided limited access shall not be used by any individual or noncriminal justice agency for employment, housing or school matriculation purposes. Further providing for employer immunity from liability to outline voluntary disclosure of criminal history.

Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 11/15/2023

Upcoming Meetings of Interest

Some House Committee meetings and session can be viewed online at:
Senate Committee meetings and session can be streamed at:

Senate Democratic Policy Committee

11:00 AM East Vincent Township Bldg. 262 Ridge Rd. Spring City, PA

Public hearing with Senators Muth and Comitta on the impacts of hydrogen energy in Pennsylvania. Register in advance for this meeting:

December          11, 12, 13

December          11, 12, 13


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

2024 meeting dates: January 24, March 13, May 29, 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: March 14, June 13

The Department of Labor and Industry’s Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council will hold a meeting at 9 am on January 4, 2024. Individuals may join the meeting by dialing Zoom’s local number, using meeting ID: 361 131 6502, and passcode 259161. Questions concerning this meeting may be directed to Kristen Gardner at (717) 346-1497. Pennsylvania Bulletin (

Future meeting dates: February 1, 2024 @ 9 am (RAC Public Hearing – East) • February 29, 2024 @ 9 am (RAC Public Hearing – Harrisburg) • March 28, 2024 @ 9 am (RAC Public Hearing – West)