United States: News From Second & State: September 20, 2019

Last Updated: September 30 2019
Article by Buchanan Government Relations

Weekly Wrap

The House of Representatives were back in session this week after a summer recess that lasted more than two months.

Session kicked off on Tuesday, with the House and State Government Committee holding a joint public hearing on election-related issues such as absentee ballots and voter registration. Then on Wednesday, the House State Government Committee held another public hearing, this time on redistricting.

Just one floor vote took place on Tuesday: H.B. 1671 (Peifer, R-Pike), which allow distributions from Tuition Account Program (TAP) 529 accounts for payment of qualified education expenses for attendance at eligible elementary and secondary educational institutions, passed unanimously.

On Wednesday, the House State Government Committee reported out two bills that are part of the House Republican's "Energize PA" package: H.B. 1106 (Puskaric, R-Allegheny), which would overhaul the permitting process for all general and individual environmental permits, as well as general plan approvals; and H.B. 1107 (O'Neal, R-Washington), which would create a permitting commission, tasked with enforcing regulations and issuing permits. Another component of "Energize PA," H.B. 1100 (Kaufer, R-Luzerne), passed finally on the House floor. The bill would establish a tax credit equal to $0.05 per gallon of methane that is purchased and used by a qualified taxpayer in the manufacturing of petrochemicals or fertilizers.

The House Transportation Committee held a public hearing on the usage of asphalt and concrete for road construction and maintenance. Also, the full House passed H.B. 365 (White, R-Philadelphia), which would allow law enforcement to remove a person from a residential property if there is probable cause to believe the person has no lawful right of occupancy or is trespassing.

Wrapping up the week on Thursday, the House Health Committee reported out H.B. 533 (Owlett, R-Tioga), which would address the credentialing process of health insurers for applicants included in their networks. In addition, the House Human Services Committee reported out H.B. 730 (Cruz, D-Philadelphia), which would ensure babies are screened for every recommended disorder. Lastly for committees, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee reported out one bill of note: H.B. 1347 (Masser, R-Northumberland), which would require insurance carriers to reimburse ambulance companies regardless of whether the EMS agency is part of the carrier's network.

The House finally passed three bills of note that will make their way to the Senate for consideration:

  • H.B. 17 (Ryan, R-Lebanon), which would require the Department of Revenue to collect assessed personal income taxes within 10 years the return was first due;
  • H.B. 342 (Cruz, R-Philadelphia), which would authorize the City of Philadelphia to increase the penalty for improper disposal of waste tires; and
  • H.B. 847 (Walsh, R-Westmoreland), which would prohibit the purchase of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia with public assistance funds.

The Week Ahead

Both the House and Senate are in session next week, so expect some more action in committees and on the floor.

Monday, the House Commerce Committee will consider H.B. 1102 (Kail, R-Beaver), which would authorize up to 20 Keystone Energy Enhancement Zones across the state where natural gas, manufacturing, petrochemical, and other downstream businesses operating within a zone will be eligible for state and local tax exemptions, deductions, abatements, and credits for a 10-year period. The House Health Committee will consider two bills of note: H.B. 419 (Donatucci, D-Philadelphia), which would expand the age of eligibility for low-income uninsured and underinsured women under the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Screening Program from 40-49 to 30-65 years of age; and S.B. 314 (Baker, R-Luzerne), which would establish the Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and Fund to protect and promote access by residents of rural counties to high-quality health care and to encourage innovation in health care delivery.

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss improving access to high-speed broadband internet in the Commonwealth.

On Tuesday, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold an informational meeting on H.B. 1808 (Mackenzie, R-Lehigh), which would ensure that advanced recycling and recovery technologies that convert post-use plastics into valuable raw materials are regulated as manufacturers, and that the post-use plastics they recycle are not misclassified as solid waste. Also, the House State Government Committee will consider H.B. 472 (Everett, R-Lycoming), which would require school districts, upon request, to conduct a ballot referendum prior to undertaking any construction exceeding thirty percent of the budget.

Wednesday, the House Transportation Committee will consider H.B. 916 (Stephens, R-Montgomery), which would authorize courts to require an alcohol monitoring device as a condition of bail for repeat offenders. Furthermore, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on S.B. 74 (Martin, R-Lancaster), which would allow companies to apply for a tax credit after making an eligible donation to a Pennsylvania pediatric cancer research hospital.

See here for a full list of committee meetings:

House

Senate

In Other News

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