The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 595, which allows a condominium and cooperative lessee the right to assistance from the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Attorneys General office if the case is a violation regarding a meeting, quorums, voting, proxies, and association record occurring within the community.
If a resolution procedure is available under the association’s rules, a complaint may not be filed until the lessee has exhausted the procedure or at least 100 days have passed since the lessee commenced the procedure without resolution.
If a violation is found, any person or classes or persons adversely affected have a claim for appropriate relief.
This bill became Act 17 of 2018
The Senate approved of House Bill 866 by a vote of 44-6. The bill gives the Department of Community and Economic Development oversight over tax collection committees, collectors and collection offices.
This legislation allows taxpayers who make periodic estimated tax payments to avoid penalties if they make four equal, timely estimated payments equal to 100 percent of the prior year’s return or 90 percent of the current year’s tax, less any withholding.
This bill outlines what tax rate should be withheld for an employee on temporary assignment.
This bill became Act 18 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1341, which amends the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act to add emergency medical responders and advanced emergency medical technicians to the list of persons who satisfy emergency medical personnel requirements at mines.
This bill became Act 16 of 2018.
The Senate voted 39-10 in favor of Senate Bill 653, which would amend the Local Tax Enabling Act by allowing county tax collectors to collect and distribute all local taxes, with the following exceptions:
- Real estate taxes
- Property taxes
- Business privilege / Mercantile tax (if municipality adopts a resolution)
- Payroll preparation taxes
The bill was referred to the House Local Government committee on April 23, 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 742, which would give sexual assault victims the right to a forensic examination and information about the results of the examination.
This legislation also requires the Attorney General to consult with the state’s Victim Advocate, state police and the Coalition Against Rape.
Senate Bill 742 was referred to the House Judiciary committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 844 which allows a person to file for custody of a child not in parental custody, provided they can demonstrate a sustained, substantial and sincere interest in the child’s welfare and a willingness to assume responsibility for the child.
The legislation also allows grandparents to file for partial or supervised custody of a child when the parents have commenced a proceeding for custody and disagree as to whether the grandparents should have custody.
The bill became Act 21 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 877, which amends the insurance department act to allow insurers to offer customers up to $100 in inducements. This legislation allows inducements to be offered on an annual aggregate basis. Insurers may not make receipt of anything valuable contingent on the purchase of insurance.
The bill became Act 22 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 878, which amends the insurance company act to allow insurance companies to offer customers up to $100 in inducements. This legislation allows rebates and inducements to be offered on an annual aggregate basis. Insurance producers may not make receipt of anything valuable contingent on the purchase of insurance.
The bill became Act 23 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 880 which would allow for 102-inch wide trailers on Pennsylvania highways. The bill also empowers PennDOT and municipalities to restrict such vehicles, when necessary on specific highways.
The bill was referred to the House Transportation committee on April 18, 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 915 which would provide for criminal defense counsel to contact a victim, witness or relative of a victim or witness through: a victim liaison, victim outreach specialist, social worker, investigator, or any other individual designated by the criminal defendant or the defendant’s counsel.
The outreach must be conducted honestly without deception and the individual engaging in outreach must provide their identity, employer and name of the defendant in the case.
The legislation also allows a person who has completed a sentence of imprisonment, probation, or parole to seek post-conviction relief if they are seeking it based on DNA evidence.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee on April 19, 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 916, which would allow a person convicted of a crime to ask the court for a DNA test after their release. This motion may be made to prove a person’s innocence if newer, more accurate technology becomes available — that what was not available at the time of conviction.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 961 by a vote of 45-4. The bill would increase mandatory minimum sentencing for vehicular homicide when the offender is driving under the influence (DUI) and has prior DUI offenses.
This legislation also imposes additional measures for multiple DUI offense and vehicular offenses.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary committee on April 19, 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1078, which would allow state and local agencies (governments, school districts and colleges) to hold executive sessions to discuss, plan and review security measures for emergency preparedness, protection of public safety and security of property.
The bill was referred to the House State Government committee on April 19.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1090, which would create the offenses of hazing, aggravated hazing, organizational hazing and institutional hazing. This legislation classifies and grades the offenses as follows:
- Hazing – A person initiates a minor or student to an organization through illegal or harmful activities. It is graded as a summary offense unless it results in bodily injury, then it is graded a third-degree misdemeanor.
- Aggravated hazing – Hazing that results in serious bodily injury or death would be a third-degree felony.
- Organizational hazing – An organization (such as a fraternity or society) promotes or facilitates hazing. If the violation is classified as hazing, it is graded as a third-degree misdemeanor. If it is classified as aggravated hazing, then it is graded as a third-degree felony. Organizational hazing also incorporates penalties such as the court sees fit, such as forfeiture of assets.
- Institutional hazing – An institution (such as a school or university) promotes or facilitates hazing. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for hazing and $15,000 for aggravated hazing.
This bill would prohibit the consent of the student or the conduct being sanctioned by an organization or institution to be used as a defense. The legislation would also require institutions and secondary schools to adopt a written policy against hazing and post the policy on its website. Institutions would be required to maintain a report all violations of its anti-hazing policy.
This bill also includes a safe harbor clause which protects a student who calls for emergency help for an individual who has been hazed.
This bill, which was prompted by a student who died in a hazing incident at Penn State, was referred to the House Judiciary committee on April 19, 2018