It was the House of Representatives' first week back in Harrisburg since the budget passed in early July. Unlike July, which was full of activity, this week the legislator's eased their way back into session with a rather light agenda.
On Monday, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee reported out S.B. 1237 (Vogel, R-Beaver), which would extend the sunset of temporary horse racing regulations by three years. Furthermore, the House Human Services Committee reported out H.B. 2686 (Thomas, R-Bucks), which would establish a Collaborative Care Model in order to deliver timely psychiatric care in the primary care setting, and H.B. 2806 (Thomas, R-Bucks), which would establish a public awareness campaign regarding the programs and services available for first responders, healthcare workers, and other frontline workers.
The House Insurance Committee reported out H.B. 2499 (Pickett, R-Bradford), which would establish data security standards for insurance companies, and S.B. 1201 (Pittman, R-Indiana), which would provide coverage for prescription eye drop refills at 70 percent of the prescribed duration. Then two bills were also reported out of the House Professional Licensure Committee: H.B. 2800 (Hickernell, R-Lancaster), which would update the licensure qualifications for prosthetists, orthotists, pedorthists, and orthotic fitters; and S.B. 1173 (Martin, R-Lancaster), which would update continuing education requirements for dentists, dental hygienists and expanded function dental assistants.
The following bills passed finally and will now be considered by the Senate: H.B. 1630 (Fritz, R-Susquehanna), which would authorize the Auditor General to conduct audits and reviews of pharmacy benefits managers that subcontract with Medical Assistance (MA) Managed Care Organizations; and H.B. 2331 (Gleim, R-Cumberland), which would require active water quality testing of surface waters within watershed storm water plans and provide for conditions for permit waivers.
Tuesday, the House Commerce Committee reported out H.B. 2682 (Roae, R-Crawford), which would provide that a veteran-owned business would not be required to seek a separate verification in order to be considered a small diverse business. They also reported out H.R. 222 (Cook, R-Washington), which would establish an advisory committee on preventing and countering inflation and supply chain challenges.
The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met to adopt a letter to send to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) to disapprove of Environmental Quality Board (EQB) regulation #7-553: Water Quality Standard for Manganese and Implementation. On Thursday, IRRC disapproved of the regulation.
On Wednesday, the House Urban Affairs Committee reported out S.B. 811 (Fontana, D-Allegheny), which would make changes to the Municipal Claims and Tax Lien Law for Pittsburgh.
There were also two public hearings to note. First, the House State Government Committee held a public hearing on election administration considerations for the general election. Second, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a public hearing on hydrogen's potential as an energy source.
Then, the House finally passed the following bills that were sent over to the Senate for consideration: H.B. 1693 (Bonner, R-Mercer), which would require a nursing facility to provide notice to a resident advising them of their right to hire an attorney to assist with applying for MA long-term care benefits; and H.B. 2632 (Delozier, R-Cumberland), which would establish a private vendor specialty license plate program.
The Week Ahead
The Senate joins the House at the Capitol next week for three session days.
Monday, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold an informational meeting on carbon capture utilization, storage technology, and collaborative efforts to create a clean energy hub.
The House State Government Committee will hold a public hearing with the Department of General Services and Department of Health on emergency procurement. Additionally, the House Transportation Committee will consider H.R. 130 (Ortitay, R-Allegheny), which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study comparing PennDOT infrastructure projects process to other states and counties.
On Tuesday, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a public hearing on "wellhead to stovetop – conveying energy in Pennsylvania". The House Insurance Committee will consider S.B. 225 (Phillips-Hill, R-York), which would streamline and standardize the process for prior authorization of medical services. Moreover, the House Judiciary Committee will consider two bills: S.B. 1152 (Mastriano, R-Franklin), which would establish a procedure for reporting drug overdose incidents and entering incidents into a mapping system; and S.B. 1208 (Browne, R-Lehigh), which would allow a court to turn a defendant's delinquent account over to a private collection agency if they fail to appear at a financial determination hearing.
The Senate Finance Committee has the largest agenda of any committee, as they will consider the following bills:
- H.B. 1059 (Hickernell, R-Lancaster), which would provide a phase-in schedule for increasing the threshold for making required quarterly estimated payments under the personal income tax;
- H.B. 1377 (Boback, R-Luzerne), which would prohibit an entity from "hopping" from Keystone Opportunity Zone to another to receive multiple tax breaks;
- H.B. 2057 (Roae, R-Mercer), which would make omnibus changes to corporation laws;
- H.B. 2277 (Topper, R-Bedford), which would repeal the requirement for businesses to remit prepayments for their sales tax collections;
- H.B. 2667 (Mercuri, R-Allegheny), which would provide for the regulation of remote mortgage brokers;
- S.B. 1170 (Browne, R-Lehigh), which would establish a delinquent debt intercept program to provide the Commonwealth, its agencies, political subdivisions and municipal authorities with a clearinghouse for collecting all delinquent taxes and debts with no cost to the governmental entity;
- S.B. 1315 (Phillips-Hill, R-York), which would codify the temporary regulation pertaining to the imposition of the corporate net income tax for employees who work from home in Pennsylvania, but work for an out-of-state corporation; and
- S.B. 1320 (Aument, R-Lancaster), which would provide an option for partnerships or S-corporations to be taxed on income generated at the entity-level rather than the existing pass-through methodology.
As of now, Wednesday's schedule only includes two public hearings:
- The House Gaming Oversight Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss H.B. 2743 (Grove, R-York), which would eliminate the diesel gallonage requirement under the video gaming terminal (VGT) law.
- The House Urban Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the limited market for attainable and affordable housing.
A full list of committee meetings can be found here:
In Other News
- Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania was awarded $25.4 million to invest in clean transportation through the state's plan for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure deployment.
- Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania has awarded $246.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding, through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, to local economic development partners to make direct equity investments and loans to small businesses to spur success and job creation opportunities.
- The Department of Transportation announced that applications will be accepted through November 14 to fund transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund.
- The Department of Labor & Industry announced that they are accepting applications for PennSERVE's AmeriCorps grant competition, which funds community-service projects and offers AmeriCorps members opportunities to build job skills and serve their communities.
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