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Posted by on Jul 15, 2019 in Legislative News | 0 comments

Governor Wolf Signs Bills; Vetoes Two

Pennsylvania lawmakers have recessed for the summer after sending a flurry of bills to Governor Wolf’s desk. Here is a look at some of the noteworthy bills signed into law by the governor:

Agriculture

Senate Bill 478which creates a beginning farmer tax credit.

Senate Bill 585, which establishes the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission and provides for it powers and duties.

Education

Senate Bill 144, which establishes the Keystone Telepresence Education Grant Program. The program awards grants to intermediate units for the purchase of telepresence equipment for educating homebound students. It also includes provisions concerning school safety and security.

Senate Bill 440, which allows schools to provide flexible instruction days, also referred to as “cyber snow days.”

Senate Bill 621, which clarifies existing law to mandate explicit and more robust training requirements for armed school security personnel and further prevent the arming of untrained non-security personnel, including teachers. Click HERE to view Governor Wolf’s signing statement.

Senate Bill 700establishes the legislative Higher Education Funding Commission; updates the PlanCon program which reimburses school districts for construction, reconstruction, and the lease of public school buildings; and establishes a grant program for small building and maintenance projects.

Senate Bill 724, which makes changes to the statutes regarding the Public School Employees Retirement System.

Gaming

Senate Bill 321, provides municipalities in Lancaster County with the option to prohibit video gaming terminals (VGTs) at truck stops within their borders.

House Bill 826which creates the Sports Raffles Charity Act to allow collegiate teams to raise money through 50/50 raffles.

Healthcare

House Bill 3, which establishes a state-based health insurance exchange marketplace and reinsurance program. According to Governor Wolf, once the exchange is operational (as early as January 1, 2021), Pennsylvanians will save up to $250 million in annual health insurance premiums.

House Bill 195, which allows pharmacies to dispense partial quantities of a patient’s medication to synchronize all medications to have the same fill date.

House Bill 786which makes changes to the funding formula for Pennsylvania trauma centers to encourage better quality of care regardless of patient volume.

House Bill 1172, which establishes an endorsement process for all the boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) for the issuing of licenses to applicants who are licensed to practice in another state.

Senate Bills 698 and 699, which amends the Medical Practice Act (SB 698) and Osteopathic Medical Act (SB 699) to allow physicians to designate another person to enter written agreements and the related documents into the PALS licensing system.

House Bill 315, which criminalizes the act of female genital mutilation (FGM), making it a felony of the first degree.

Liquor

House Bill 131, amending the Liquor Code to match new federal definitions for hard cider that raise the alcohol by volume from 5 percent to 8.5 percent.

House Bill 423which would allow dry municipalities to vote by referendum to explicitly opt-in or opt-out from allowing facilities that manufacture alcohol to make on-site sales, for example, at breweries.

House Bill 1524which will permit the transfer of restaurant liquor licenses from counties with an excess number to counties with planned mixed-use town centers.

Utility

House Bill 751, which:

  • Expands the definition of a “service line” to include the pipe and appurtenances of a water utility or a wastewater utility.
  • Permits the use of email when agreed to for the servicing of complaints and the related hearings, investigations and proceedings pending before the commission.
  • Makes a water or wastewater public utility solely responsible for funding the income taxes on taxable contributions in aid of construction and customer advances for construction. The income taxes paid by the water and wastewater company must be recorded as accumulated deferred income taxes for the purposes of accounting and ratemaking.

Governor Wolf also vetoed two bills:

House Bill 915, which provided exemptions for milk haulers from travel restrictions on highways during a declaration of a disaster emergency. Click HERE to view Governor Wolf’s veto statement.

Senate Bill 48, which provided for a process for decertifying voting equipment; eliminating straight party ballot voting; a reduction in the number of ballots that counties are required to print for each election; absentee ballot deadlines and voting system bonds. Click HERE to view Governor Wolf’s veto statement.