The House of Representatives were in session for the third straight week.
Even though full Senate wasn't in Harrisburg, on Monday, the Senate Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee held a joint public hearing with the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on consumer and economic impacts of failing to invest in natural gas infrastructure. Another joint public hearing was held in the House, with the House Education Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education discussing higher education funding.
The House Transportation Committee reported out H.B. 1922 (Carroll, D-Luzerne), which would lower the threshold needed to trigger a registration suspension for unpaid tolls violations and raises the statute of limitations from three years to five years.
Two bills were reported from the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee: H.B. 598 (Oberlander, R-Clarion), which would clarify the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act so that only public entities can pursue prescriptive easements for the benefit of the public; and H.B. 1842 (Zimmerman, R-Lancaster), which would provide notice requirements when a person spills, discharges or releases a substance into water.
The House Professional Licensure Committee reported out: H.B. 889 (Miller, R-Lancaster), which would allow the State Board of Nursing to approve graduates of international professional nursing education programs to sit for the RN licensure examination, provided such programs are determined to be equivalent to that which is required in Pennsylvania; and H.R. 142 (Heffley, R-Carbon), which would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a comprehensive study and review of the State Board of Nursing.
Then on the House floor, H.B. 1893 (Staats, R-Bucks) passed finally and will go to the Senate for consideration. The bill would make disease report information a matter of public record and subject to the Right-to Know Law.
Tuesday was a rather quiet day, with just two bills passing in the House, which are now in the Senate: H.B. 291 (Labs, R-Bucks), which would extend the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) moratorium for an additional two years, until December 31, 2023; and H.B. 1642 (White, R-Philadelphia), which would make changes to the Economically Disadvantaged Schools program, which is part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program.
The pace slightly picked back up on Wednesday, as the House sent S.B. 859 (Langerholc, R-Cambria) to the Governor's desk. The bill would extend the temporary regulations for the school bus stop arm camera enforcement program from three to five years or upon the promulgation of final regulations. H.B. 1332 (Lewis, R-Dauphin), which would require a school to post all curriculum offered by the school on its website, also passed and will now be considered by the Senate.
Before recessing for the week, the following public and informational meetings were held:
- The House Consumer Affairs Committee held a public hearing on H.B. 1594 (Tomlinson, R-Bucks), which would require third-party sellers to disclose certain information to the online marketplace and consumers;
- The House Professional Licensure Committee held an informational meeting on H.B. 1440 (Millard, R-Lancaster), which would provide for the regulation and licensure of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals;
- The House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee held a joint informational meeting with the House Game and Fisheries Committee on the increase in outdoor activities during the pandemic and ways to help maintain this increase;
- The House Education Subcommittee on Special Education held a public hearing on the delivery of special education services to students; and
- The House Finance Committee held an informational meeting on the revitalization of Pennsylvania's business tax climate.
The Week Ahead
The Senate is in recess until October 18 and the House is back in session on October 25.
While there's no session next week, on Tuesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet to hold a public hearing on S.B. 698 (Baker, R-Luzerne), which would give counties the option to create county-wide Public Safety Authorities for firefighting and/or EMS.
Then on Wednesday, the House Labor and Industry Committee will hold a public hearing on the status of a variety of issues related to the unemployment compensation system.
A full list of committee meetings can be found here:
In Other News
- Governor Wolf announced the recipients of more than $12 million in federal grant funding for services and supports designed to improve outcomes for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder.
- Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid reminded Pennsylvanians that they can vote now in person by mail ballot at their county election office or satellite election office, one of three voting options available to them for the Nov. 2 municipal election.
- The Governor signed bills that improve the processional licensure process, role of physician assistants in patient care.
- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced the election of Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr. to serve as the next Vice Chairman of the PUC, serving in that position through 2022.
- The Wolf Administration will briefly extend a window to accept new Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) applications. The window will open on Monday, October 18, 2021 and will close on Monday, November 1, 2021.
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