The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 165, which creates two new military decorations, the Pennsylvania Achievement Medal and the Pennsylvania Veterans Service Award.
The measure also permits the governor to present the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal to veterans and civilians. Previously, only active members of the Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserves could present the award. In addition, the governor may now present the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal to veterans, instead of only active members.
This legislation gives the Adjutant General the authority to set qualification standards for awarding various medals.
The bill was enacted as Act 56 of 2017.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 425, which extends the exclusion of current PACE (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly) and PACENET (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier) enrollees from becoming income-ineligible solely based on cost-of-living adjustment increases in Social Security income.
This bill protects PACE and PACENET enrollees from being disqualified under income eligibility requirements due to cost-of-living increases in their Social Security income. The measure extends a previous extension, and will end in 2019. These programs provide assistance in prescription drug coverage for qualified Pennsylvanians age 65 and over.
The bill was enacted as Act 62 of 2017.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1019, which improves access to burial grounds.
This bill provides for times when an individual can access a cemetery to visit a burial plot. Cemeteries will be required to allow for reasonable access times to visit a burial plot and to arrange times for plots that require special access.
Also, when a cemetery is sold, the new owner will be required to maintain all previously pre-purchased burial plots.
The bill was enacted as Act 64 of 2017.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 113, which would address the rights of an incapacitated person, specifically relating to visitation with another person.
This bill would prevent a guardian from restricting the visitation and communication rights of an incapacitated person. This bill would establish the presumption that if the incapacitated person cannot express consent, the consent would defer to the person’s previous interaction and relationship history with the visitor.
The bill would allow a guardian to petition the court to restrict the visitation of certain visitors. In addition, the bill would add circumstances for supervised visitation with certain individuals.
The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.
The Senate voted 46-3 in favor of Senate Bill 251, which would allow local police to use radar for speed enforcement.
Individuals who are caught speeding by a local officer on an electronic timing device could not be convicted upon evidence obtained through the device if the speed limit is less than 10 miles-per-hour over the speed limit. The bill would also require that officers be trained to use the devices and that all devices be tested for accuracy within a year of any alleged violation.
Municipal share of revenue generated from radar speed enforcement that exceed 20 percent of a municipality’s budget would go to the state’s General Fund for traffic safety purposes. Currently, only the State Police are authorized to use radar in Pennsylvania.
The bill now goes to the House Transportation Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 540, which would make it an acceptable excused absence for students to participate in a musical performance with U.S. military veterans.
This legislation would allow students to be excused from school if they are participating in a musical performance for an event or funeral, in collaboration with a national veterans’ organization.
The bill now goes to the House Education Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 629, which creates the Pennsylvania Uniform Voidable Transactions Act by renaming and amending the Pennsylvania Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
The bill amends the term “fraudulently” to remove the requirement of needing to prove fraud to prevent the transfer of an asset. In addition, the bill clarifies what standards of proof need to be presented to block a fraudulent transfer.
The bill was enacted as Act 78 of 2017.
The Senate voted 47-2 in favor of Senate Bill 658, which would designate the Eastern hellbender as the official amphibian of Pennsylvania.
The hellbender is a large, stout-bodied, fully-aquatic salamander. Its color is usually brown with darker (or lighter) markings on the back, but can range from gray, to yellowish brown to almost black.
The bill now goes to the State Government Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 785, which creates a new section regulating the operation of golf-carts at public highway crossings and allows for the operation of emergency all-terrain vehicles on public highway.
The measure makes it illegal to operate a golf cart on any public highway unless the driver of the cart yields to the right-of-way of oncoming traffic, the cart is brought to a complete stop before crossing, and the cart is crossing at a place where there is no obstruction that might hinder a safe and quick passage.
The jurisdictional road department may designate a golf-cart crossing with official traffic signals and signage to alert individuals of the upcoming crossing area.
The legislation also includes age restrictions for individuals operating a golf-cart at a highway crossing. Persons 12 to 16 years of age cannot drive a cart across any highway crossing unless they are under the direct supervision of someone who is 18-years or older. In addition, all-terrain vehicles may not travel more than two miles on a public highway.
The bill was enacted as Act 57 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 877, which would allow insurers to offer or give customers up to $100 in inducements.
The legislation would allow insurance companies to offer up to $100 in inducements to customers or potential customers. Inducements could include: money, favors, or any other item with a redeemable cost. This would allow insurance companies to market themselves while maintaining consistent insurance prices.
The bill would give the state Insurance Commissioner authority to raise the inducement limit to $100.
This bill is a companion bill to Senate Bill 878, and now goes to the House Insurance Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 878, which would allow insurers to offer or give customers up to $100 in inducements.
The legislation would allow insurance companies to offer up to $100 in inducements to customers or potential customers. Inducements could include: money, favors, or any other item with a redeemable cost. In addition, the bill would prohibit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department from prohibiting insurers from offering these inducements.
Insurance companies would be allowed to offer risk management and loss control services. These services would not be considered inducements.
This bill is a companion bill to Senate Bill 877. The bill now goes to the House Insurance Committee.