The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 689, which would have amended the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act (Act 98 of 1990) by providing for the appointment of two Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators to serve on the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers.
The bill died in the House
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 899, which would have updated the Older Adult Protective Services Act and codified it into the new chapter (Chapter 69- Older Adult Protective Services) within the domestic relations law (Title 23).
The bill also would have complied with the automatic employment bans ruled unconstitutional (Commonwealth v. Peake) by including a waiver request process. The measure also included a provision to protect senior citizens from financial exploitation.
The bill died in the House
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1006, which would have amended the Consolidated County Assessment Law to further ensure that building permit requirements are being met. The bill also would have required for the reporting of substantial improvements to property.
The bill died in the House
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 748, which creates the Public Safety Facilities Act requiring advanced notice and a hearing prior to the closure of any state police station or a state prison. The bill was prompted by an arbitrary 2017 decision by the Department of Corrections to close prisons.
Some legislators criticized corrections officials for not providing greater consideration toward the financial impact on prison employees and some of the smaller communities where prisons are located.
The bill became Act 133 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 888, which improves access to disabled parking spaces in Pennsylvania with a focus on prohibiting the obstruction of access aisles and toughening enforcement measures.
The bill became Act 144 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1005, which updates and consolidates the County Code and amends second class A counties into the County Code.
The bill became Act 154 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1090, which creates the “Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law.” The bill creates the offenses of hazing, aggravated hazing, institutional hazing and organizational hazing. Piazza was a Penn State student who died during a fraternity hazing incident.
The bill became Act 80 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1095, allows for additional school support and alternative pathways for students to graduate from high school when aptitude on the Keystone Exams serves as a graduation requirement.
The bill was signed into law as Act 158 of 2018.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 1172 by a vote of 42-7. The bill would have made clarifications to the price gouging law (Act 133 of 2006), which takes effect when the governor or municipal official issues an emergency declaration.
The bill would have authorized the governor to expressly state in a disaster emergency declaration if the provisions of the Price Gouging Act are effective, and if so, limits the restrictions to a period of 15 days. It also would have limited the price restrictions on goods and services that are directly related and fall within the geographic area of the declaration.
Under the bill, the governor could have restricted prices for three additional 15-day periods. It also would have authorized the court to determine what an “unconscionably excessive price” is when there is a gross disparity between the price immediately before and after a declaration.
The bill would have established that a price is not unconscionably excessive if it is 10 percent or less above the price or the normal mark-up price — consistent with normal market fluctuations or some contractual price. The bill would have set fines of up to $25,000 per day against violators; and restricted penalties to civil actions.
The bill was vetoed by the governor in Veto Message #5. He said the legislation would have shifted the burden to consumers during a state of disaster emergency. He added that legislation would have encouraged the prices of consumer goods and services to be increased prior to the declaration of a state of disaster emergency.
The Senate approved House Bill 26 by a vote of 48-1. The measure authorizes PennDOT to issue special organization registration plates for motorcycles.
The bill was enacted as Act 91 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 99, which allows boroughs to waive competitive bidding processes in cases of emergency.
A qualifying emergency is defined as a “real or potential emergency involving a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the borough. For those contracts or purchases made in cases of emergencies, the actual emergency and the nature of the procurement must be stated in a resolution by council and adopted at the next public meeting.
The bill became Act 99 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 149, which prohibits the use of a device to capture, record, transmit or broadcast a photograph, video, motion picture or audio of a proceeding or person within a judicial facility or an area adjacent to or immediately surrounding a judicial facility without the approval of the judge or presiding officer.
The bill became Act 94 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 353, which requires electronic prescriptions of certain Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substances.
This bill was aimed at eliminating a major source of drug diversion by mandating controlled substance prescriptions to be electronic. If a physician uses his or her clinical judgement to prescribe an opioid, the prescription must be electronically transmitted to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
This bill became Act 96 of 2018.
The Senate voted 34-15 for House Bill 927, which clarifies the leaf collection law.
The bill exempts municipalities (other than counties with a population above 5,000, but with a population density of less than 500 people per square mile) from establishing a leaf collection program.
The municipality must also pass an ordinance prohibiting the burning of leaf waste. If a municipality has not enacted such an ordinance, the municipality is subject to leaf waste collection program requirements specified elsewhere in the law based on population and/or population density.
This bill was signed into law as Act 101 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1013, which amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 by requiring reimbursement for emergency medical services (EMS) provided when a patient/enrollee is not transported; and establishes the Quality Eye Care for Insured Pennsylvanians Act.
This bill became Act 103 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1069, which would have amended the Second-Class County Code to provide for voluntary municipal dissolution in counties of the Second Class.
The bill would have laid out a process for the dissolution of a municipal corporation. A municipal corporation’s governing body would have needed to adopt a non-binding resolution of preliminary interest. The county would then have begun discussions on an essential services transition plan within 10 business days of receiving the resolution of preliminary interest. The proposed essential services transition plan would have been in place within 180 days of beginning the discussion.
Following public notification, a hearing and posting on the municipal corporation’s website, the dissolution would have been placed on the ballot as a referendum question. If the voters rejected the question, a dissolution question could not have been initiated again for five years.
Under the bill, members of an unincorporated district could file a petition to provide for a consolidation or merger.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1157, which would have amended the Fiscal Code to authorize the state Auditor General to conduct an audit on the implementation of a statewide radio network for law enforcement and emergency responders.
The legislation is in response to complaints that the statewide radio network has been costly and ineffective.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1539, which allows a grandparent of a child, or other family member related to the child, to petition a court of common pleas for temporary guardianship of that child when a parent of that child has entered a rehabilitation facility for treatment of a drug or alcohol addiction or has been subject to emergency medical intervention due to abuse of drugs or alcohol.
The bill became Act 88 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1885, which grants a register of wills the authority, after examining the inventory of an estate or an inheritance tax return, to require a personal representative to post additional security.
Such additional security will not be required, however, if the personal representative obtains a waiver from all parties in interest to the estate. In that case, the register will be released from any liability that would otherwise arise from requiring insufficient security. If the register orders a personal representative to post additional security and the representative fails to do so without obtaining all necessary waivers, the register shall refer the matter to the court for enforcement.
The bill was amended in the Senate to provide that a waiver of any party in interest to the estate must be on a form setting forth information about the estate and signed under penalty of unsworn falsification. The Senate amendatory language also states that nothing in Section 3175 may be construed as creating any liability on the part of a register for failing to require additional security.
The bill became Act 113 of 2018.
The Senate voted 48-1 for House Bill 2049, which creates the “Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act” to address documentation requirements for service animals in housing, and to establish penalties for misrepresentation.
The bill became Act 118 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2453, which amends the Check Casher Licensing Act by updating licensing provisions and permitting the cashing of post-dated government, government assistance and payroll checks.
The bill became Act 122 of 2018.
The Senate approved House Bill 1511 by a vote of 43-6. The bill amends the Tax Reform Code to clarify how a booking agent must collect sales tax on the rent for the occupancy of a room and remit the revenue collected to the commonwealth.
The measure additionally establishes a Tourism Promotion Fund within the Treasury Department and requires that the tax collected by a booking agent on accommodation fees be deposited into the fund and used to promote statewide tourism. This will also apply to any applicable county hotel tax. No more than half of the allocated funds can be used for funding local tourism agencies and special events or for grants.
The bill became Act 109 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 44, which amends the “Protection from Abuse” law to provide the court with information regarding whether the defendant has been involved in a child abuse investigation.
The bill became Act 92 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 83, which would have amended the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act to change the amortization methodology for new capital budget debt.
For bonds issued on or after July 1, 2018, the bill would have only permitted the commonwealth to structure capital debt using the equal annual maturities, or level principal methodology.
Claiming that the bill restricts the state’s flexibility to restructure outstanding debt to reduce future liabilities for citizens, the governor vetoed the bill (Veto #3 of 2018).
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 104, which would have required municipal authorities to hold a public discussion on the acquisition, sale, or lease of facilities prior to the transaction. The bill also would have required that annual financial reports be posted on the Internet; and for the Auditor General to conduct audits of third class county water treatment and distribution authorities.
The bill died in the Senate after being amended in the House
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 163, which removes the federally-mandated driver’s license suspensions for drug/controlled substance convictions as well as state-imposed suspensions for five other crimes.
When an individual is convicted of a crime related to the possession, sale, delivery, offering for sale, holding for sale or giving away of any controlled substance, license suspensions are part of the conviction. As a result, there are an alarming number of individuals who are at a disadvantage after paying their debt to society by not being able to drive and re-enter the work force.
The measure added a suspension for terroristic threats made against any school property.
The bill became Act 95 of 2018.
The Senate voted 48-1 for House Bill 285, which would have amended the Judicial Code on the collection of restitution, fees, costs and fines by a correctional facility.
The bill would have renamed the State Intermediate Punishment program as the “State Drug Treatment Program.” Under certain conditions, it would have given the Department of Corrections or a judge the discretion to place an eligible offender in the program.
The bill also would have established new authority to grant short sentence parole. Short sentence parole allows the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to automatically approve parole without an interview on the eligible person’s minimum sentence date. Short sentence parole would not have applied to those found guilty of a major disciplinary infraction while in jail or someone facing a pending felony charge or outstanding felony arrest warrant.
The bill would have empowered the board to imprison a technical parole violator for seven days or less under certain conditions. Parole hearings, under the bill, could have been carried out via videoconferencing or similar technology.
The bill would also have enabled the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to adjust current sentencing guidelines to include risk-related considerations such as incapacitation of serious violent offenders, modification to criminal history to reflect risk to reoffend and risk to public safety as a factor to adjust the length of confinement for a more serious criminal history, and recommendations related to intermediate punishment programs as a condition of probation.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 504, which amends the Insurance Department Act of 1921 to provide for self-service storage facility insurance. The bill requires the self-service storage producer to make brochures or other written material readily available to a prospective occupant.
The bill became Act 97 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 544, which amends the Recreation Use of Land and Water Act to include improvements made to land and water.
The bill addresses and changes the law to identify recreational user as a person who enters or uses land for a recreational purpose and to limit landowner liability.
The bill became Act 98 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 645, which increases the tax credit allocation for the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program (NAP) from $18 million to $36 million.
The program encourages businesses to invest in projects that make specific improvements in distressed areas.
The bill became Act 100 of 2018.
The Senate approved House Bill 983 by a vote of 46-3. The bill amends the Domestic Relations Code (Title 23) to prohibit alimony pendente lite in certain cases.
Pendente lite is a temporary financial support arrangement, from one spouse to another, which occurs throughout divorce proceedings. The bill disallows alimony for pendente lite or spousal support in situations where it benefits a party who has been convicted of a personal injury crime against the other party.
The bill became Act 102 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1216, which provides conditional civil immunity to law enforcement officers, animal control officers, humane society police officers, and emergency responders for any property damage resulting from entering a motor vehicle to rescue a cat or dog.
It also expands the offense of “neglect of animal” by providing that a person commits the offense when the person fails to provide for the “basic needs” of the animal.
The bill became Act 104 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1228, which allows students to use sun protection at school without a doctor’s note.
The bill became Act 105 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1233, which amends the Mental Health Procedures Act to establish a new standard for assisted, outpatient mental health treatment.
This legislation defines “assisted outpatient treatment” as community-based outpatient social, medical and behavioral health treatment services ordered by a court for severely mentally disabled person. An assisted outpatient treatment plan is an individualized treatment plan ordered by a court as part of involuntary commitment. The treatment plan must be reviewed and approved by a psychiatrist or a licensed clinical psychologist prior to submission to the court.
A person who qualifies for outpatient treatment would not be subject to involuntary inpatient treatment. The procedures for initiating assisted outpatient treatment include a petition that demonstrates reasonable cause followed by a court hearing process that includes input from providers and the submission of a proposed assisted outpatient treatment plan.
A person may benefit from assisted outpatient treatment for up to 180 days if they continue to meet treatment requirements or if they are discharged from involuntary inpatient treatment.
The bill became Act 106 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1284, which is a stand-alone act creating the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop Act.
The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is a single point of access online to business owners and potential business owners to identify and secure necessary permits, licenses, certifications, applications, forms and registrations needed to start a legally-operating business.
The bill requires DCED and other state agencies to provide technical help, guidance and resources for the One-Stop Shop. The measure does not supersede any regulatory authority granted to any state agency.
The bill became Act 107 of 2018.
The Senate voted 45-4 for House Bill 1469, which would have amended the Construction Code Act to increase the number of third-party code enforcement agencies a municipality would be required to contract with to perform inspections- or other construction code requirements – for permitting purposes.
Beginning July 1, 2019, municipalities would have been required to use at least two third-party agencies unless they are unable to obtain multiple offers. An adopted Democratic amendment would have required a permit applicant from the municipality to choose from third party agencies approved and contracted by the municipality.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1822, which provides suicide prevention at colleges.
Each institution could develop and implement a mental health and suicide prevention plan to inform staff and students about mental health and suicide prevention programs located on campus or in the community.
At a minimum, a plan should include a contact information for suicide prevention hotlines, crisis intervention services, mental health services and access, multimedia access, student outreach plans and post-intervention plans. If an institution adopts a mental health and suicide prevention plan, it must post the plan and free prevention materials on its public website; provide all incoming students with hotline and crisis intervention service information via mail and e-mail no less than twice a calendar year; and review and update its plan at least one time each year.
The bill became Act 110 of 2018.
The Senate approved House Bill 1840 by a vote 34-15. The bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to re-enact Impairment Rating Evaluations of disabled workers, reduce the threshold that determines when an employee is eligible for total disability, and increase the maximum burial benefit.
The bill became Act 111 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1843, which would have provided for a transparency portal on the state Treasury’s website for commonwealth revenues and expenditures as well as provide expanded access to the Office of the Budget’s Integrated Central System.
The bill was amended to remove some specific agency definitions. The amendment would have eliminated the requirement to post unedited budget documents on the agency website; and removed post-investment information on the State Treasury Transparency Portal. A Democratic amendment, which would have removed the provisions of the bill relating to agency budget requests, was defeated, 16-33.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1884, which created the Patient Test Result Information Act.
The law requires that notification of specific radiological test results be sent directly to the patient or patient’s designee when a significant abnormality exists.
The bill became Act 112 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1886, which provides for notification to courts when guardians fail to file required reports.
The bill also requires the clerk of the orphans’ court to transmit to the court a list of guardians who are delinquent at least 30 days in filing required reports. This will enable the court to take appropriate enforcement action against such guardians.
Additionally, the bill requires the court to develop a procedure to examine the annual reports to ensure that the guardians are acting in the best interests of incapacitated persons.
The bill became Act 114 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1936, which mandates in the Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Law that ATVs are not to be operated in violation of the vehicle’s age recommendation label that conforms to ANSI/SVIA 1-2010.
It is designed to ensure that it will still apply if the standards are updated in the future.
The bill became Act 115 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1951, which amends Title 18 (Crimes Code) by prohibiting the sale of dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.
DXM is an ingredient in more than 125 nonprescription cough and cold medications, including forms of Robitussin, Coricidin and Vicks. Cough and cold medications containing DXM are popular among teenagers and young adults looking for a high.
The bill became Act 116 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1958, which amends the vehicle code and clarifies technical definitions and restrictions on “platooning” and restrictions for autonomous vehicles.
Platooning is known as a group of motor vehicles, buses, military vehicles or motor carrier vehicles operated by a human and traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds at following distances that are closer than would be reasonable and prudent without such coordination. It does not include a school bus or school vehicle.
Autonomous Vehicles are highly automated work zone vehicles. PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission authorize the locations to permit the deployment of such vehicles. These vehicles do not require a human operator while operating in an active work zone.
The bill became Act 117 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2052, which requires schools provide support services for students whose parents or guardians are called to active military duty.
The bill became Act 118 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2124, which would require colleges to communicate certain annual loan information to students.
An institution of higher education that receives information on federal or other education loans must provide students with an annual estimate of the total amount of the federal education loans or other student loans disbursed by the institution of higher education taken out by the student.
Schools must also provide an estimate on the total payoff amount of the loans and information on how the student can access online repayment calculators
The bill was signed into law as Act 121 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2133, which creates the “Kinship Care Navigator Program” within the Department of Human Services (DHS) to connect individuals raising related minor children outside the formal child welfare system with federal, state and local resources.
The bill became Act 89 of 2018.
The Senate approved House Bill 2138 by a vote of 30-19. The bill amends the Human Services Code by mandating that certain enrollees in the medical assistance program meet specific work or work-related requirements as a condition of eligibility for health care through the medical assistance program.
The bill was vetoed by the Governor (Veto #2 of 2018) because he claimed the bill does not promote health coverage, access and treatment. The governor stated in his veto message that the bill would have increased costs, created unnecessary delays and confusion, penalized individuals who need healthcare, and terminated health coverage for those who need it most.
The Senate approved House Bill 2157 by a vote of 46-3, which would provide for the classification of vocational instruction programs by schools and require guidelines to specify when students’ credits may be applied toward an agriculture education program or vocational or technical coursework, programs or activities.
The bill was vetoed by the Governor as Veto #4 of 2018. The governor stated that the legislation would make certain agricultural education programs ineligible for state and federal funding. He added that removing the program approval authority from the department would impair those schools’ ability to receive such funding and eliminate funding for approved agricultural education programs. He said the bill would require schools that currently receive Federal Perkins funding for agriculture education programs to forego such funds, costing those schools $6.3 million.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2476, which allows state employees to carry and store a lawfully-owned handgun and ammunition in a vehicle at a state correctional institution.
The bill became Act 123 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2489, which authorizes the release of Project 70 restrictions on land owned by the Borough of Topton, Berks County, in return for Project 70 restrictions on another parcel of land.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate voted 46-3 for House Bill 2557, which establishes an Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority to assist Harrisburg in its exit from the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47) by allowing the city to maintain specific parts of its taxing authority for a five-year period.
The bill became Act 124 of 2018.
The Senate approved House Bill 2638 by a vote 39-10. The measure would have amended the “Transit Revitalization Investment District Act,” further provided for declaration of policy and for definitions; and added provisions relating to military installation remediation and established the Military Installation Remediation Fund.
The bill would have redirected state tax revenue resulting from the ultimate development of the former military installation and nearby parcels to the newly-created Military Installation Remediation Authority (MIRA). The MIRA would have utilized these funds to eliminate the local surcharge ratepayers are paying to remove contaminants from their water in Horsham and to fund projects to eliminate the contaminants from drinking water in neighboring municipalities. Any remaining funds would have been used to invest in infrastructure related to environmental remediation or economic development for the former military installation.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate voted 31-18 for House Bill 1469, which would have amended the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to increase the number of third-party code enforcement agencies a municipality would have been required to contract with to perform inspections — or other construction code requirements — for permitting purposes.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate approved House Bill 1497 by a vote of 40-9. The measure, which was an omnibus Liquor Code amendment, would have dealt with notable proposals including:
- Alcoholic cider – Would have required that only alcohol derived from the fermentation of apples, apple juice concentrate and water, pears, or pear juice concentrate and water would qualify as alcoholic cider.
- Fermented fruit beverage – Would have created a new definition for any beverage made from fermented fruit that is not from apples and pears.
- Mixed-use town center development project – Would have amended the definition so that the term means a “commercial or residential” use as opposed to a “commercial and residential” use.
- Public venue – Would have amended the definition to include 5 City Center in Allentown to the list of venues qualifying for a public venue license.
The bill would have contained a fix requested by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to allow for the sale of a license for a fee, between the time that the license is granted and before the licensee begins operating.
Would have allowed for public venues and performing arts facilities to begin selling alcohol at 10 a.m.
The bill would have allowed breweries, distilleries, wineries, import distributors, and distributors to deliver to other licensees and accept payment by credit card upon delivery.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate approved House Bill 1843 by a vote of 40-9. The bill would have provided for a transparency portal on the state Treasury’s website for state revenues and expenditures as well as provide expanded access to the Office of the Budget’s Integrated Central System.
The bill died in the House.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 6 by a vote of 37-12. The bill creates the Public Assistance Integrity Act and amends the Human Services Code (Act 21 of 1967) by limiting the usage and defining “access device.”
The bill also limits benefit eligibility criteria and increases penalties for instances of willful fraud. The bill clarifies that a vehicle with a fair market value of less than $40,000 is not considered an available resource when the difference between the fair market value and the amount owed on the purchase price of the vehicle is less than $40,000. Also, licensed physicians are included as additional agents authorized to treat those who fail their first drug test while seeking assistance under Section 432.25.
The bill also addresses lost access devices (access cards). It requires a recipient to pay $5 to replace the access device the first time is it requested. It requires a recipient to pay $100 for subsequent requests if they are 64 years of age or younger. A recipient who is 65 years of age or older who requests additional replacement access cards pays $5. The cards are issued to MA recipients who receive cash assistance and/or food stamps as well as medical services, if eligible.
The bill became Act 125 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 403, which changes the membership of the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.
The bill eliminates the seat occupied by a FBI Special Agent in Charge, replacing it with a member of the Pennsylvania Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. The U.S. Department of Justice advised against keeping an FBI position on the board due to concerns over a supervisory role the bureau has with local police departments.
The bill became Act 129 of 2018.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 796, which amends the vehicle code to eliminate the fee associated with a change of address on a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if the current address has been changed by a government entity.
The measure also eliminates duplicate registration fees for applicants who print their own copies; provides for registration of recreational trailers/cargo trailers; and extends the exemption for logging/forestry-bonded roads.
The bill became Act 138 of 2018.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 961, which increases mandatory minimum sentencing for homicide by vehicle when the offender was Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and has prior DUI offenses.
The measure also imposes additional measures for multiple DUI offenses, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle and aggravated assault with DUI.
The bill became Act 153 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1098, which creates a side stop signal arm speed enforcement system (SASES) to help law enforcement catch those who fail to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights.
The bill also creates a $35 surcharge for illegally passing a school bus. The money will be used to fund the new School Bus Safety Grant Program administered by PennDOT that can be used to award competitive grants to promote and increase school bus safety education and training.
The bill was enacted as Act 159 of 2018.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1171, which establishes the Nutrient Management Advisory Board and the Agricultural Advisory Board.
The Nutrient Management Advisory Board consists of 16 members. Five of those members are active commercial farm owners or operators nominated by the statewide general farm organizations. The other members include a veterinary nutrition specialist, a hydrologist, two members of specific academia, two citizens who are not farmers, and representatives from the feed and fertilizer industries, commercial agricultural lenders, local government and the environment. The bill removes the commercial agricultural lender and replaces it with another active commercial farmer. The six farmers must be selected from separate regions of the state.
The new Agricultural Advisory Board will provide advice and expertise to the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on departmental agricultural policies and regulatory proposals. This board is comprised of 24 members.
The bill became Act 162 of 2018.
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