Post Session Report: June 27, 2011

SB 1155, PN 1435 (Piccola):  This legislation amends the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act to provide new provisions that apply specifically to Cities of the Third Class including the establishment of a management board if a city fails to adopt the coordinator’s plan and a prohibition against filing for bankruptcy. Senator Piccola introduced Amendment 04412, which would re-apply this legislation to all Cities of the Third Class and makes a technical change in striking a reference to section 606 (which no longer exists).  Democratic Senators urged negative votes, citing that this amendment was a vast overreach of power.  Republican Senators argued that this amendment was a simple reinstating of the original provisions.  Senator Boscola inquired as to the status of Bethlehem (which lies in two counties) if it should apply for Act 47 status.  Senator Piccola noted that application would be the decision of the Department of Community and Economic development.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded. Senator Costa introduced Amendment A04396, which would restore provisions previously removed from this bill to conserve collective bargaining agreements until the contract agreement expires.  A vote of 20-30 was recorded.  Senator Fontana introduced Amendment A04404, which would remove the language authorizing the management board to remove members of the board and replace them with the Board’s own appointees.  A vote of 20-30 was recorded.  Senator Fontana introduced Amendment A04409, which would strike the language regarding that a city would be deemed as failed if it failed to adopt the provisions of the Act 47 report recommendations.  A vote of 20-30 was recorded.  The bill went over as amended.

SB 1122, PN 1436 (Corman):  This legislation provides for the Commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriations to Penn State University and also directs moneys from the Agricultural College Land Script Fund be appropriated to Penn State University.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded.  As non-preferred appropriation requiring a 2/3 vote, the bill failed.

SB 1123, PN 1437 (Corman):  This legislation provides for the Commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriations to the University of Pittsburgh.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded.  As non-preferred appropriation requiring a 2/3 vote, the bill failed.

SB 1124, PN 1438 (Corman): This legislation provides for the Commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriations to Temple University.  Senator Costa argued that the Democrats have been largely shut out of negotiations. He stated that the GOP’s lack of inclusion and input – and uncertainty of the outstanding issues regarding the budget – have caused him to urge the caucus to oppose this legislation.  Senator Hughes echoed the Democratic Leader’s sentiments.  Senator Corman urged an affirmative vote, citing that the figures found in the non-preferred appropriation bills (SB 1122-1126) were the final allocations.  Senator Corman warned that if these bills are not passed by the summer recess, the State-Related Universities may be forced to wait to receive their appropriations until the autumn.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded.  As non-preferred appropriation requiring a 2/3 vote, the bill failed.

SB 1125, PN 1439 (Corman):  This legislation provides for the Commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriations to Lincoln University.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded.  As non-preferred appropriation requiring a 2/3 vote, the bill failed.

SB 1126, PN 1440 (Corman): This legislation provides for the Commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriations to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Center for Infectious Disease.  A vote of 30-20 was recorded. As non-preferred appropriation requiring a 2/3 vote, the bill failed.

HB 15, PN 2167 (Christiana):  This legislation creates the PennWATCH Act.  This would allow public access to the details on how the Commonwealth is spending their tax dollars.  Senator Stack introduced Amendment A04341, which would include bonuses as a part of the compensation to be reported for Commonwealth employees and affiliates. A vote of 50-0 was recorded. The bill went over as amended.

HB 38, PN 14 (Caltagirone):  This legislation amends Title 42 to further provide for jurisdictional amounts in court filings related to the actual fees charged for those filings. Senator Pileggi introduced Amendment A04208, which changes the expiry date of the surcharge to December 31, 2014.  A vote of 44-6 was recorded. The bill went over as amended.

HB 145, PN 85 (Marshall):  This legislation designates a portion of SR 18 in Beaver County as the “Vietnam Veterans of America Memorial Highway.”  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

HB 396, PN 1525 (O’Neill):  This legislation amends §2506 of the Crimes Code, Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, relating to the offense of drug delivery resulting in death, to reduce the grading of the offense from murder of the third degree to a felony of the first degree, and §9714 of the Judicial Code, Title 42, relating to sentences for second and subsequent offenses, to add drug delivery resulting in death to the definition of “crime of violence.”  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

HB 438, PN 615 (Harhart):  This legislation expands an existing designation of the “Battle of the Bulge Veterans Memorial Highway” in Northampton County to include Lehigh County.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

HB 488, PN 2180 (Hutchinson):  This legislation authorizes Venango County to convey a right-of-way over certain Project 70 lands in Oakland Township, Venango County, free of restrictions imposed by the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act; authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey to the County of Chester, certain lands located in East Vincent Township, Chester County; authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey to Ohiopyle Borough certain lands located in Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County, in exchange for Ohiopyle Borough granting and conveying certain lands to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey to East Norriton Township certain lands located in East Norriton Township, Montgomery County, in exchange for East Norriton Township’s granting and conveying certain lands to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be added to the existing lands of the Norristown Farm Park; and authorizing East Norriton Township to convey the property it receives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to this act to Montgomery County for nominal consideration for public highway improvements; authorizing the Department f Conservation and Natural Resources, with the approval of the Governor, to grant and convey to Kyle A. and Tamara J. Boltz; authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey to the County of Lackawanna Transit System Authority certain lands located in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County, in exchange for a certain tract of land from COLTS located in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County.  Senator McIlhinney introduced Amendment A04175, which strikes voidance language in the event that a conveyance is not executed prior to the deadline.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.  The bill went over as amended.

SB 638, PN 1390 (Ward):  This legislation amends the Public Welfare Code to provide for mileage reimbursement or paratransit services for individuals being treated for methadone addiction.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

HB 797, PN 966 (Farry):  This legislation amends the Workers’ Compensation Act by further defining the term “occupational disease” as cancer suffered by a firefighter under certain terms and goes into more details about compensation.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

SB 995, PN 1391 (Baker):  This legislation amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) by providing for emergency plans, GPS mapping, and signage for oil and gas wells.  Senator Baker introduced Amendment A04177, which makes a small typographic change and provides a definition of “Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells” to the legislation. A vote of 50-0 was recorded.  The bill went over as amended.

HB 1173, PN 1279 (Killion):  This legislation amends Title 74, Transportation, authorizing Metropolitan Transportation Authorities (SEPTA) to raise revenues or reduce expenses through alternative means.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

SR 57, PN 1397 (Wozniak): This resolution memorializes Congress to reauthorize a provision which would permit states to use toll credits as matching funds with Federal dollars to build highways such as the Appalachian Development Highway System.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

 

Executive Nominations

The Senate unanimously approved the following nominations:

Barry M. Berkowitz, State Board of Accountancy

Donald Burgard, C.P.A., State Board of Accountancy

Albert B. Melone, Jr., C.P.A., State Board of Accountancy

Erik V. Scully, C.P.A., State Board of Accountancy

Alfred L. Whitcomb, State Board of Accountancy

David J. Majernik, Architects Licensure Board

Donna Beaver Rovito, State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers

Sarah C. Darling, Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education

Bonnie L. Keener, Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education

Jean Craige Pepper, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

William E. Tunke, O.T.R/L., State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators

Pamela A. Witmer, Public Utility Commission

Frederic M. Wentz, Esquire, State Transportation Commission