The Senate passed Senate Bill 623 by a vote of 47-1. The bill formalizes and further defines laws on Pennsylvania orders for life-sustaining treatment.
These orders convert an individual’s end of life wishes regarding health care into a medical order that applies across all health care settings. The bill would ensure that individuals have access to a form allowing them to state their wishes. Instructions would clearly state what a patient may or may not request (such as prohibiting suicide or euthanasia).
The bill was assigned to the House Health Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 701, a land conveyance bill.
The bill would have transferred land in Harrisburg to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System via a real estate holding company. About 0.49 acres of land would have been transferred for $1.
The bill was assigned to the House State Government Committee. Its language was later amended into another bill.
The Senate was unanimous in approving House Bill 1294, which allows motorcyclists to use certain specialty license plates.
The bill will allow individuals who have been awarded the Purple Heart to display a special Purple Heart license plate on their motorcycle. The same applies to recipients of the Legion of Merit.
In addition, the measure allows companies like Uber and Lyft to display an illuminated sign provided by the company inside the driver’s vehicle.
The bill was signed into law as Act 108 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1386, which modifies how teacher certificates are issued and allows some teachers to expand certificates to include different grade levels.
The bill also requires the Joint State Government Commission to study and report on teacher certification areas and their appropriateness, as well as national certification trends.
The bill was signed into law as Act 82 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1414, which allows a variety of different vehicles to use flashing or revolving lights while on the road.
Specifically, the measure allows for yellow and white lights on tow trucks, red lights for vehicles used by probation officers in Philadelphia, internal blue lights for privately-owned vehicles used in answering emergency calls, yellow strobe lights for solid waste collection vehicles, and internally mounted lights in certain fire police vehicles.
The bill was signed into law as Act 83 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1499, which is aimed at cleaning up definitions and provisions of Title 68 relating to planned communities, condominiums and cooperatives.
The bill makes several minor changes designed to enhance the overall administration and governance of community associations throughout Pennsylvania.
The bill was signed into law as Act 84 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 783, which deals with titling certain manufactured homes.
The legislation exempts homes that have not been previously titled in Pennsylvania from tax certification requirements. The change was proposed because laws in Pennsylvania were not the same as in other states and it was often difficult to acquire tax certifications from neighboring states.
The bill was signed into law as Act 81 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 912, which would have created a “deemed eligible” program for home care, home health and older adult daily living center services under Medical Assistance.
If a home care agency deemed an individual eligible for medical assistance, he or she would have received home care services, home health services and older adult daily living center services as soon as a preliminary plan was developed. The Department of Human Services would have made a final determination on the eligibility of a medical assistance applicant. Medical Assistance payments would have been authorized for the first 60 days of services provided during the period of presumed eligibility.
The bill was referred to the House Health Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1073, which would have amended the “Heart and Lung Act” to extend benefits to several law enforcement entities who are not covered, including Park Rangers, University Police Officers, Ft. Indian Town Gap Police Officers, and others.
The Heart and Lung Act authorizes an injured enforcement officer to receive 100 percent of salary and benefits for the duration of the disability caused by a work-related injury.
The bill was referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1176, which would make changes regarding the creation of home rule and optional plan governments.
The bill would prohibit certain local ordinances or petitions from being filed for four years if a related proposal was placed on a ballot and defeated. The bill would also permit a Home Rule Question to appear only on a November election ballot, and not on a primary ballot.
The bill was referred to the House Local Government Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1237, which would address the need for improved access to hospitals in rural areas.
The state recently created a Rural Health Program designed to address some of the problems many rural hospitals face. The program addresses payment plans, reimbursements, expansion of community health services, and the need for behavioral health and substance abuse programs. This bill would set up a Rural Health Redesign Center to oversee and assist in these improvements.
The bill was referred to the House Health Committee.
The Senate Approved House Bill 2060 by a vote of 43-5. The legislation places more stringent rules on certain offenders who aren’t allowed to possess a firearm.
This bill requires a person to relinquish their firearms if they are convicted of domestic violence or are issued of a protection from abuse order within 24 hours of their conviction. They are to turn over their guns to law enforcement or face further penalties. Previously, the law allowed family members and neighbors to take possession of such prohibited firearms.
The bill was signed into law as Act 79 of 2018.