Post Session Report: September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SB 444, PN 4153 (Pileggi) – This bill amends the Right-to-Know Law, making clarifications and further providing for definitions, access, limits to certain requests, exceptions, and commercial fees.  Senate Bill 444 significantly increases access to the records of the Commonwealth’s state-related universities.  Senator Pileggi offered amendment A09674, which makes technical changes, clarifies several definitions, and revises provisions regarding certain State-related contracts. The amendment was approved and the bill went over in its order as amended.

HB 473, PN 3893 (Killion) – This bill amends the Mechanics’ Lien Law to create a State Construction Notices Directory to serve as a central statewide system for filing construction notices.  A vote of 50-0 was recorded.

SB 838, PN 2314 (Alloway) – This bill amends the County Code to allow certain Third, Fourth and Sixth Class Counties to increase the hotel tax from 3 percent to 5 percent in order to fund tourism promotion.  A vote of 45-5 was recorded.

SB 850, PN 2275 (Greenleaf) – This bill amends the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code, Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to update and revise the law relating to organ and tissue donations.  Senator Solobay offered amendment A09678, which removes references to coroners and medical examiners and their duties to act when a death is being investigated by the coroner or medical examiner.  The amendment failed by a vote of 21-29.  The final vote on the bill was 47-3.

HB 1773, PN 3802 (Ross) – This legislation revises the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act in order to make it more effective in bringing distressed municipalities back to firm financial footing and provides for the disincorporation of municipalities deemed to be non-viable.  Senator Eichelberger offered amendment A09434, which makes technical changes and other clarifications related to the local services tax and coordinator performance reviews.  The amendment was approved by a vote of 41-9.  Senator Costa offered amendment A08575, which would help ensure the City of Pittsburgh continues to make progress as a distressed city and is treated consistent with other municipalities.  Specifically, the amendment would allow Pittsburgh to impose an increased LST with one additional requirement.  The amendment failed by a vote of 11-39.  The bill went over in its order as amended.

HB 1177, PN 4092 (Lucas) – This legislation adds several amendments to Title 53 (Municipalities Generally).  1. Adds language to provisions in law regarding a referendum on the formation of a of local government study commission to study consolidation/merger of municipalities.  2. Provides for an appeal process of charter school applications in school districts of the first class.  3. Allows airport authorities in second class counties to invest in commercial paper.  4.  Adds a 10 cent tax on each cigarette to be imposed by school districts of the first class.  5.  Provides for language relating to debt service agreements between the city of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia School District.  The Senate concurred in House amendments to Senate amendments to the bill by a vote of 39-11.

The Senate approved the following executive nominations by a vote of 50-0:

Keri Ellis, State Board of Accountancy (new appointment)

Brenda L. Hage, Ph.D., CRNP, Pennsylvania Council on Aging (reappointment)

Thomas J. Campion, Jr., Clerk of Courts, Schuylkill County (new appointment)

Anna Messmer-Wise, RN, State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators (new appointment)

Ronald T. Bailey, AICP, State Planning Board (reappointment)

Kurt M. Schroeder, P.E., State Planning Board (new appointment)

Ann Dudish, Recorder of Deeds, Schuylkill County (new appointment)