Appropriations 2019-2020

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, November 20, 2019 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

House Bill 355 (Reese): This bill amends the Public School Code to update provisions of the Charter School Law related to increasing ethical requirements of members of the board of trustees and administrators of charter schools and increasing financial transparency of charter schools. This legislation has no adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 1542 (Saylor): This bill amends the Liquor Code to add days for holders of special occasion permits and provides for other changes regarding special occasion permits. This legislation has no adverse impact on Commonwealth funds. It may result in a nominal revenue gain from the issuance of special occasion permits to new eligible entities.

House Bill 1982 (Benninghoff): This bill authorizes the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) to enter into agreements with employers in SERS to make a lump sum payment of all or portion of the applicable employer’s portion of its future accrued liability contributions. This legislation doesn’t have an adverse fiscal impact on SERS.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, November 19, 2019 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes.

Senate Bill 60 (Phillips-Hill): This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedures) to further provide for the offenses related to human trafficking and the further providing for the recorded testimony of a child victim. The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts do not anticipate any adverse impact from the enactment of Senate Bill 60.

Senate Bill 79 (Tartaglione): This bill amends the Minimum Wage Act to prohibit an employer from deducting credit card fees or costs from gratuities; to incrementally increase the minimum wage in the state; to align minimum wage and overtime provisions with federal law; and to prohibit the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) from promulgating regulations that set a salary threshold for overtime exemptions until January 2023. This legislation raises the minimum wage in the state in accordance with the following schedule:

  • $8.00/hour beginning July 1, 2020;
  • $8.50/hour beginning January 1, 2021;
  • $9.00/hour beginning July 1, 2021; and
  • $9.50/hour beginning January 1, 2022.

This bill has no adverse fiscal impacts on the Commonwealth. The bill was reported by a vote of 22-2.

Senate Bill 637 (DiSanto): This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) section 9124 to restrict the use of criminal history record information by licensing agencies when determining eligibility for licensure, certification, registration or permission to engage in a profession or occupation. This bill has no fiscal impact.

House Bill 17 (Ryan): This bill amends the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to provide sales and use tax exclusion for canned computer software, (2) further provide for administrative bank attachment for accounts of obligors to the Commonwealth, and (3) to provide for collection of assessed taxes and for criminal tax prosecutions. The enactment of House Bill 17 would impact General Fund revenues. For the canned software exclusion, the Department of Revenue has not yet provided a fiscal note. For the administrative bank attachment for accounts of obligors and the collection of assessed taxes, the enactment of House Bill 17 would have a positive fiscal impact on General

Fund revenues for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 as the bank attachment provision takes effect in 60 days, which will allow the DOR to increase tax collection enforcement efforts. Once the 10-year statute of limitation takes effect on January 1, 2021, General Fund revenues could be reduced. Finally, the bill could reduce General Fund revenues up to $15.0 million per fiscal year; however, all or some of that amount could be offset by the enhanced collection provisions of the legislation.


House Bill 97 (Rapp)
: This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to prohibit the sale or purchase of vaping products to or by minors and prohibit the use of vaping products on school grounds by minors and other persons. This bill has no fiscal impact. The bill was reported out 23-1.

House Bill 962 (Rozzi): This bill increases the civil window for criminal complaints arising from childhood sexual abuse to 37 years after an individual reaches the age of 18. Currently, the window is 12 years after the individual reaches 18. Elimination of the criminal statute of limitations will have minimal impact on commonwealth and local funds. This legislation will have some impact on state and local agencies due to the lifting of sovereign and governmental  immunity.

House Bill 963 (Gregory): This bill is a Joint Resolution amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide for a two-year window in which an individual may file a civil action alleging childhood sexual abuse notwithstanding any otherwise applicable statute of limitations defense. The Department of State estimates the cost for the required publication of the passage of the Constitutional amendment to be approximately $1.3 million to $1.5 million, per required publication. The total cost incurred for publishing following the passage of the bill in two consecutive sessions would be approximately $2.6 million to $3 million.

House Bill 1051 (Stephens): This bill amends the penalties section of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) within Chapter 63 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations), clarifying the penalty for continued failure by a mandated reporter to report suspected child abuse and increases associated penalties. This bill has minimal fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, November 18, 2019 and reported the following bills out of committee. Except where indicated, all the bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes.

Senate Bill 74 (Martin): Amends the Tax Reform Code to create a Pediatric Cancer Research Tax Credit for businesses within the Commonwealth. $10 million in tax credits would be available annually to a business that makes an applicable donation to The Center for Childhood Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Penn State Hershey Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Abramson Cancer Center, Penn Medicine; or UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The tax credit would be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Fiscal Impact carries a potential cost of $10 million annually for the next 10 fiscal years.

Senate Bill 596 (Mensch): This legislation amends Title 66 (Public Utilities) to provide for transportation fueling infrastructure development.  The bill requires that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) set a goal of increasing electrification by at least 50% over currently forecasted levels by 2030. The bill also creates a new section to the Public Utility Code by regulating electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure development and deployment. There is no fiscal impact on the Commonwealth.

Senate Bill 842 (Phillips-Hill): This bill amends the Health Care Facilities Act, to specify that department regulations shall only require employees of health care facilities to include their first names on their identification badges. Last names would not be required. Notations could be used to differentiate between employees with the same first names. To the extent health care facilities operated by state or local governments issue new photo identification badges as a result of the changes in the act, there may be a minimal fiscal impact.

Senate Bill 850 (Langerholc): This bill establishes the Community Integrated Schools for Success Pilot Program, which would designate, through the Secretary of Education, schools to participate in a program to provide student support services.

Under the bill, the Department of Education may award grants for community engaged schools with approved plans. Awarding these grants would require at least $2.5 million. The grants have a matching component, impacting local funds.

House Bill 17 (Ryan): This bill creates a 10-year window for the Department of Revenue to assess and collect state assessed taxes. unless the taxpayer willfully filed a false or fraudulent return, in which case the amount of tax due may be collected by department at any time. The 10-year time period will apply to the collection of assessed taxes for all state-imposed taxes collected by department, excluding the Inheritance Tax. The enactment has no fiscal impact on General Fund revenues for fiscal years 2019-20 & 2020-21 as the 10 year statute of limitation for collection of assessed taxes takes effect January 1, 2021. The bill could reduce General Fund revenues up to $15.0 million per fiscal year. The bill was reported by a vote of 23-1. Senator Haywood voted in the negative. 

House Bill 956 (Murt):  This bill amends the State Lottery Law (Act 91 of 1971) to temporarily reduce the PA Lottery’s ‘minimum rate of return’ requirement from 25% to 20% for the next 5 fiscal years.

Beginning July 1, 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter, the rate returns to 25%. The rate of return is the minimum amount of lottery proceeds that must go to programs benefiting seniors and other eligible citizens. Initial estimates from the Lottery reflect $20 million in additional profits in fiscal year 2019-20 and totaling $450 million over the entire five year period.

House Bill 1203 (Ryan): This bill amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) to require minimum standards for annual audits, takes away a municipality’s right to audit an authority unless the authority fails to submit an annual audit, and allows municipalities to request the Auditor General conduct an audit at the authority’s expense. No adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth, municipal or municipal authority funds.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 836 (Regan). This bill would amend the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act to require the departments of Health and Education to make information available to students about sudden cardiac arrest. No fiscal impact is projected.

SB 841 (Martin). This would reenact the Health Care Cost Containment Act, reauthorizing the Health Care Cost Containment Council, operating by executive order since statutory authority sunset in 2014, with various changes to the previous provisions. Notably, one representative to the council would be appointed by each of the respective legislative leaders. No fiscal impact is projected.

SB 857 (Vogel). This would establish the Telemedicine Act, authorizing the regulation of telemedicine by the relevant medical licensing boards, establishing standards for the practice of telemedicine and providing for private health insurance and Medical Assistance coverage of telemedicine costs. The projected fiscal impact is an additional annual state cost of $350,000.

SB 906 (Yudichak). This would amend the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act to prohibit the closing of state centers until there is no waiting list for ID services through a community waiver, and to establish a formal closure process requiring a majority recommendation by identified stakeholder groups, including the legislative and executive branches. The projected fiscal cost of maintaining the four current state centers is more than $61 million a year. The bill was reported by a vote of 21 to 3.

SB 919 (Yaw). This would enact the Firefighting Foam Management Act to generally prohibit, with specific exceptions, the use for tests at a testing facility of a class B firefighting foam containing a PFAS chemical. No adverse fiscal impact is projected. The bill was reported by a vote of 22-2

HB 1410 (Stephens). This would amend the Transit Revitalization Investment District Act to establish remediation programs for military installations closed within the previous 15 years, and providers of drinking water that contains PFAS chemicals not related to a military installation closed within the previous 15 years. The projected impact is undefined as it will depend on the tax values of properties involved. The bill was reported by a vote of 22-2.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, October 28, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 67 (Ward, J). This would enact the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Act, authorizing Pennsylvania membership in an interstate compact that provides for the practice of telepsychology and temporary, face-to-face psychology across member state boundaries when a psychologist is not licensed to practice in both member states separately. Minimal fiscal impact is projected.

SB 327 (Argall). This would amend the Administrative Code to require  the Department of General Services to annually gather from executive, independent and state-affiliated agencies details on their space usage and related utility and lease costs, and to report it to the General Assembly. Minimal fiscal impact is projected.

SB 352 (Ward, J). This would enact the Tax Exemption and Mixed-Use Incentive Program Act, authorizing local taxing bodies to provide tax exemption incentives for new construction and improvements in deteriorated residential, commercial and industrial areas. No adverse fiscal impact is projected on commonwealth funds; local taxing bodies could experience revenue reductions.

SB 905 (Browne). This would be the Capital Budget Project Itemization Act, itemizing proposed capital projects in the aggregate amount of $13,986,521,000, for funding partly or fully through the incurrence of debt. Of this amount, $21,000,000 would be funded from current revenues and $500,000 by incurring of debt or from current revenues. The remainder would be funded through debt incurrence. Individual authorizations for itemized projects will occur by separate legislative actions.

HB 305 (Snyder). This would enact the State-owned Assets and Mobile Broadband Services Act, requiring Department of General Services surveys and inventories of state real estate structures and assets to include information regarding the possibility of using those assets for public fixed and mobile broadband services in under- and unserved areas of Pennsylvania. The fiscal impact is expected to be about $150,000 annually.

HB 374 (Everett). This would amend the Environmental Resources and Vehicle codes, titles 27 and 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, respectively, to establish the Keystone Tree Restricted Account. The account would be dedicated to fund an expanded tree canopy coverage in the commonwealth and to meet Pennsylvania goals under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement through a $3 checkoff on driver license and vehicle registration applications. The fiscal impact is projected to be an additional annual cost of $200,000 and one-time costs of $150,000.

HB 1016 (DeLuca). This would amend the Insurance Company Law to facilitate early regulatory intervention by the Department of Insurance in failing fraternal benefits associations. Minimal fiscal impact is projected; additional cost responsibilities are expected to be absorbed in the department’s existing appropriations.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 491 (Ward, J). This would amend the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to include a definition for “Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator”, add two Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators to the Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers (Board), and increase the board size to 10 members from eight. Minimal additional expenses are projected and would be covered within the current appropriation.

SB 492 (Martin). This would amend the Assessors Certification Act to establish certification standards for Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators, clarify the requirement for all persons responsible to value real estate to be certified, and provide for a hearing by the Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers for persons accused of illegally valuing real estate. Minimal additional expenses are projected to be offset by increased revenue from additional certification fees.

HB 49 (Brown). This would amend the Public School Code to allow one credit for a personal finance course to count toward a student’s general graduation requirements, permit school police offices to issue summary citations and to detain individuals on school property and buses with court authorization, and extend the deadline to complete mandated training for school resource and police officers until the beginning of the 20-21 school year. No adverse fiscal impact is projected. Theisbill was reported by a vote of 14-9, with all Democratic votes cast against it.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, October 21, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 61 (Ward, J). This would amend the Liquor Code to expand the types of organizations permitted a wine and spirits auction permit, adding non-profit community cancer organizations operating for at least five years and community-based health organizations in counties of the Second Class that aid children and young adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses, it also clarifies the permitted sources of wine and spirits sold at such auctions. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 94 (Martin). This would amend the Workers Compensation Act to include officers, directors, and members of volunteer rescue and lifesaving squads, volunteer fire companies and departments, and volunteer ambulance corps. It does not include social members. Members of such organizations injured in response to duties on state game lands would be considered employees of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC),  or of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) if injured during duties in state parks and forests. Although additional costs are speculated for PGC, DCNR and local governments,  no impact estimate is available.

SB 320 (KIllion). This would amend the Decedents Estates and Fiduciaries Code, Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to allow fiduciaries for estates and trusts the  authority to manage the digital assets of the subject of the estate or trust. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

SB 332 (Stefano). This would amend the Crimes Code, Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to  increase the service charge permitted for a returned check to $75 from $50. No adverse fiscal impact is expected to state or local funds. This was reported by a vote of 19-4.

SB 412 (Stefano). This would amend the state Constitution to remove the prohibition against public employees serving as election poll workers. The projected cost of the process to amend the Constitution is up to $3 million. This was reported by a vote of 22-1.

SB 413 (Martin). This would amend the state Constitution to remove the requirement that judicial candidates be listed on a ballot separate from other contest ballots. The projected cost of the process to amend the Constitution is up to $3 million.

SB 693 (Williams, A). This would amend the Election Code to require the rotation of judicial ballot positions from ward to ward for Common Pleas, Municipal Court and Traffic Court judgeships in Philadelphia covering more than a single ward. No fiscal impact is projected for Commonwealth funds. This was reported by a vote of 21-2.

SB 750 (Scarnati). This would amend the Administrative Code to transfer authority for the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion at Fort Indiantown Gap to the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs from the Department of General Services. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

SB 790 (Scarnati). This would establish the free-standing Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act. This would establish separate regulation of the conventional (non-natural gas) extraction industry from regulation of the non-conventional (natural gas) extraction industry. There is an initial impact of $5 million, with potential future costs that are not estimated. This was reported by a 15-8 vote, with all Democratic votes cast against it.

SB 819 (Mensch). This would update and revise the Older Adults Protective Services Act. The projected fiscal impact is $3 million.

HB 227 (Gerber). This would amend the Election Code to clarify that 10 signatures are the amount required for all election petitions for school board directors. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

HB 375 (Goodman). This would amend the Lottery Law to codify the current exclusion of veteran disability and benefits payments in determining PACE and PACENET eligibility. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

HB 684 (Sonney). This would amend the Lottery Law to codify the current exclusion of principal and accrued interest from savings bonds in determining PACE and PACENET eligibility. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

HB 754 (Thomas). This would amend the Lottery Law, extending through 2021 the sunset on the moratorium on income disqualification for PACE and PACENET due exclusively to cost of living adjustments to  recpients’ Social Security benefits. The moratorium otherwise would expire at the end of this year. The projected fiscal impact is estimated at $2 million a year.

HB 859 (Barrar). This would amend the Health and Safety Code (Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to reauthorize the 911 Law through January of 2024, and make certain updates and revisions. The extension will preserve the authority to collect approximately $316 million in annual surcharges used to support eligibility for federal grants.

HB 947 (Schweyer). This would amend the Liquor Code to adjust the permitted hours of sale for consumption on-premises of liquor and malt or brewed beverages at performing arts facilities and breweries and distilleries, and for the sale of bottled liquor at distilleries. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

HB 1085 (Bernstine). This would repeal the state Personal Property Tax Act. No fiscal impact is projected as taxes authorized by the Act are not currently collected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, September 23, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 114 (Boscola) – This bill would amend the Vehicle Code (Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to generally require all vehicles to be cleared of ice or snow from the hood, roof and trunk within 24  hours after a storm before being operated on a street or highway, and increases the maximum penalty  to $1,500 from $1,000. No adverse fiscal impact is expected to Commonwealth funds.

SB 473 (Regan) – This bill would amend the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law (“Heart and Lung Act”) to include additional groups of employees, including Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) rangers,  Department of Corrections Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence police, Office of Inspector General  (OIG) investigative staff,  Fort Indiantown Gap police, Allegheny County Port Authority Police, Allegheny County Housing Police, corrections and probation officers of participating counties, and campus police at participating universities. The projected impact in both FY 19-20 and 20-21 to the General Fund is $794,151.00 and to Allegheny County authorities is $41,225.00

SB 473 (Scavello) – This bill would amend the Crimes Code (Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 from 18. Minimal fiscal impact is projected for outreach and education. The bill was reported by a vote of 21-2.

SB 586 (Argall) – This bill would amend the Cosmetology Law to remove the “good moral character” requirement for licensure. No adverse fiscal impact on commonwealth funds is projected.

SB 688 (Martin) – This bill would amend the Borough and Township Code (Title 8 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to increase the salary cap for municipal governing body members and executives, as well as permit it to be calculated on a per-meeting basis. Only local funds would be impacted if salary increases are approved.

SB 689 (Martin) – This bill would amend the Second Class Township Code to increase the salary cap for municipal governing body members and executives, as well as permit it to be calculated on a per-meeting basis. Only local funds would be impacted if salary increases are approved.

SB 690 (Hutchinson) – This bill would amend Act 34 of 1953, relating to contracts of incorporated towns, to raise the value requiring public advertisement for the sale of municipal real estate by an incorporated town to $6,000 from $1,500. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

SB 691 (Hutchinson) – This bill would amend the Second Class Township Code to raise the value requiring public advertisement for the sale of municipal real estate to $6,000 from $1,500. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

SB 692 (Hutchinson) – This bill would amend the Borough and Township Code (Title 8 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to raise the value requiring public advertisement for the sale of municipal real estate by a borough to $6,000 from $1,500. No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

SB 694 (Yaw) – This bill would amend the Oil and Gas Code (Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to allow a single bored well to serve multiple units owned or leased by the well owner. No impact on commonwealth funds is projected.

HB 233 (O’Neal) – This bill would amend the Second Class County Code to conform with current provisions pertaining to other counties  regarding the responsibilities to decorate veterans’ and service members’ graves with flags. No adverse fiscal impact is projected for commonwealth or local funds.

HB 510 (Schemel) – This bill would amend the Municipal Code (Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to generally authorize municipalities to enter intergovernmental cooperation agreements by adoption of a resolution. Ordinances would be required to create a council that is separate from the organizing entities and for joint purchasing agreements with private schools and non-profit human service agencies. Nominal impact is projected on local funds.

HB 511 (Schemel) – This bill would amend the Second Class Township Code to generally authorize townships of the second class to enter intergovernmental cooperation agreements by adoption of a resolution. Ordinances would be required to create a council that is separate from the organizing entities and for joint purchasing agreements with private schools and non-profit human service agencies. Nominal impact is projected on local funds.

HB 512 (Schemel) – This bill would amend the Cities Code (Title 11 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to generally authorize cities to enter intergovernmental cooperation agreements by adoption of a resolution. Ordinances would be required to create a council that is separate from the organizing entities and for joint purchasing agreements with private schools and non-profit human service agencies. Nominal impact is projected on local funds.

HB 1557 (Gabler) – This would amend the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to conform the one-year state limit on the temporary cessation of coal refuse disposal operations with federal law, permitting cessations for longer periods. No impact is projected on commonwealth funds.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the Floor on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

HB 262 (Metzgar) – As amended in committee by a 23-1 vote,  this would make various changes to the Tax Reform Code with regard to the Sales and Use Tax,  Personal Income Tax, Corporate Net Income Tax,  Realty Transfer Tax, Inheritance Tax, Table Games Tax, and Surplus Lines Tax; and to the Film Production Tax Credit, Concert Rehearsal and Tour Tax Credit, Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credit, Historic Preservation Tax Credit, Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit, Job Creation Tax Credit, Rural Jobs and Investment Tax Credit, Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit, Mixed Use Development Tax Credit, and Computer Data Center Equipment Incentive Program; and to the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ),  Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zones, and Strategic Development Areas programs. The projected aggregate is a net reduction in revenue of $28.85 million in FY 2019-2020 and a net reduction in revenue of $47.6 million in FY 2020-2021. The bill was reported by 23-1 vote.

HB 716 (Galloway) – This would amend the Administrative Code to establish a task force within the Department of Labor and Industry to investigate and address employees being misclassified as independent contractors. No adverse fiscal impact is projected, and improved classification compliance could produce uncalculated increased tax revenue. The bill was reported by a 23-1 vote.

HB 1461 (Fee) – As amended in committee by a 15-9 vote, this bill would amend the Administrative Code to expand the authority of the Inspector General to investigate and prosecute fraud and theft offenses related to benefits of Human Services programs, align the Commonwealth with federal criminal background check requirements for contractors and employees handling federal tax information, add two director positions to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, require the Inspector General to review all contracts since July 1996 for the Pennsylvania Statewide Radio Network, require a written statement of need by the Governor for supplemental appropriations, increase the maximum documentary fee for vehicle dealers, transfer revenue estimate procedures for the Independent Fiscal Office from the Fiscal Code, establish the Joint Underwriting Association  as a Commonwealth agency, requires $10 million in occupational and industrial safety fees to be appropriated to the Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety and the balance of such fees to be transferred to the General Fund, and makes changes to the composition of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.  Most of the changes would have no adverse fiscal impact; the federal tax background checks would add an estimated expense of $450,000 to the state and an undetermined amount to local government expenses. The Occupational and Industrial Safety fee transfer would add less than $1 million to the General Fund. The bill was reported by a 14-10 vote.

HB 1614 (Kauffman) – This would amend the Crimes and Judiciary codes to provide extraterritorial jurisdiction for law enforcement officers in specified circumstances and concurrent jurisdiction for the Office of Attorney General in specified circumstances in a city of the First Class (Philadelphia).  No fiscal impact is expected.  The bill was reported unanimously.

HB 1615 (Turzai) – As amended in committee by a 19-5 vote, this bill would make numerous changes to the Public School Code, including to provide for the reconstitution of the Special Education Funding Commission no later than August 15, 2019; provide for the posting of individual school district budgets on the Department of Education website; extend the PLANCON moratorium on Department of Education approval for new school construction/reconstruction applications for FY 2019-2020; reduce the compulsory school age to 6 from 8 and increase the upper school age for remaining in school without graduation to 18 from 17; allows schools to provide alternative meals to students in school food programs who owe more than $50 in a school year until there is full payment or an agreed payment plan; provides for the designation of two innovation schools among the bottom five percent of schools statewide, based on income, to provide workforce development and other services; provides for a pro-rata distribution among community colleges based on enrollment for increased funding provided for FY 2019-2020; provides for a pro-rata distribution among public libraries of increased funding for FY 2019-2020; requires institutions of higher education to adopt written policies on sexual harassment and sexual violence and maintain online reporting systems;  changes the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to increase income eligibility limits, the maximum amount of available credits, and the types of entities eligible for credits; and further changes. Spending across multiple programs as a result of this bill is projected to be more than $7.417 billion, with a total of $7.379 billion in educational subsidies. Tax credit changes resulting from the bill are projected to reduce General Fund revenue by $30 million. The bill was reported by a 19-5 vote.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 and reported the following bills unanimously unless otherwise indicated.

SB 619 (Yaw)  − This bill would amend the Clean Streams Law to limit the type of spills required to be reported to the Department of Environmental Resources. The impact is projected to be an annual revenue loss of $1 million in fines and to also require an additional $400,000 in investigatory and legal costs. The bill was reported by a  vote of 15-9.

SB 723 (Laughlin) − This bill would amend the Public School Code to require that up to one credit for secondary-level personal finance courses may be counted toward graduation requirements beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. No fiscal impact is projected on state or local funds. 

HB 3 (Cutler) − This bill would amend the Insurance Code to establish the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority to operate a state health insurance exchange, including a reinsurance program for high-cost claims to stabilize individual rates and premiums. There is a projected annual revenue of $88 million from exchange fees, exceeding anticipated operating expenses by $53 million to $58 million, which difference would be combined with an estimated $145 million to $190 million in federal monies to fund the reinsurance program.

HB 33 (Dunbar) − This bill would amend the Human Services Code to make various changes, including continuation of the Philadelphia Hospital Assessment, the extension and funding of Day One incentive payments for nursing facilities, and the elimination of General Assistance cash assistance. The projected fiscal impact would be a General Fund decrease of $28.7 million, and an increase of $151.545 million for Philadelphia hospital medical assistance payments. The bill was reported by a vote of 15-9.

HB 235 (Toohil) − This bill would amend the Domestic Relations Code to allow designated prison employees to witness adoption consents by inmates, and to allow consents to be notarized in lieu of having two persons witness the consent.  No fiscal impact is projected. The bill was reported by a vote of 16-8.

HB 615 (Gillespie) − This amends the State Government Code to include Game Commission officers as “enforcement officers” for purposes of the State Employees Retirement (SERS) Code and to lower their retirement age, depending on the date of hire, to 55 or 50. Minimal impact is projected for SERS; the Game Commission would incur additional costs of $900,000 annually for 10 years, and $400,000 annually thereafter. The bill was reported by a vote of  22-2.

HB 790 (Saylor) – This is the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2019-2020, providing for General Fund appropriations for the executive, legislative and judicial branches, public debt and public schools of $33,3555,801,000 for FY 2019-202, and of $674,500,000 in supplemental appropriations for FY 2018-2019 (Total – $34,030,345,000); for state special funds appropriations of $4,008,184,000 for FY ’19-’20 and supplemental special funds appropriations of $68,947,000 for FY ’18-’19 (Total -$4,077,131,000); and for federal general and special funds totaling $27,733,564,000. The bill was reported by a vote of 22-2.

HB 856 (Boback) − This would amend the Human Services Code to reinstate kinship care provisions relating to adoption subsidies, retroactive to a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling invalidating them on technical grounds. Reinstatement is required to preserve $2.6 million in annual federal funding.

HB 1170 (Mackenzie) − This would create the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act, requiring construction industry employers to use the federal E-Verify program to ensure that workers are authorized to be employed in the United States. The projected impact is an annual cost of at least $1 million. The bill was reported by a vote of 22-2.

HB 1324 (Barrar) − This would amend the Military Affairs Code to create the Military Family Education Program allowing members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and their family members to receive educational grants at the lower of either the approved tuition rate for the institution of enrollment or at the annual rate charged by state system schools. The projected cost for FY 2019-2020 is $2.7 million.

HB 1350 (Saylor) − This would be the 2019-2020 appropriation for Pennsylvania State University: $268.832 million.

HB 1351 (Saylor) −This would be the 2019-2020 appropriation for the University of Pittsburgh: $154.853 million.

HB 1352 (Saylor)− This would be the 2019-2020 appropriation for Temple University: $158.206 million.

HB 1353 (Saylor) − This would be the 2019-2020 appropriation for Lincoln University: $15.166 million.

HB 1354 (Saylor) − This would be the 2019-2020 appropriation for the University of Pennsylvania: $31.955 million.       

HB 1514 (Hershey) − This would  amend the Agriculture Code to create the PA Farm-to-School Program to improve childhood nutrition and expose young children to the agriculture industry. Minimal administrative costs are projected from this bill.  Any appropriation will be part of the General Appropriation budget.

HB 1516 (Causer) −  This would amend the Agriculture Code to  establish the Agriculture Rapid Response Readiness Account to fund training, equipment and other resources for the Department of Agriculture to respond quickly to agricultural emergencies risking health and safety.  No fiscal impact is projected for this bill. An appropriation would be part of the General Appropriation budget.

HB 1520 (Snyder) − This would amend the Agriculture Code to establish the very small (fewer than 10 employees) or new meat processors Federal Inspection Reimbursement Grant and the Homegrown by Heroes programs, respectively, to assist meat-processing operations with planning and start-up costs, and to assist PA Preferred marketing efforts by military veterans. No fiscal impact is projected for this bill. The appropriation will be part of the General Appropriation budget.

HB 1524 (Rader) − This would amend the Liquor Code to allow the issuance of liquor licenses at a mixed-use town development or a tourist development in a county where existing licenses are unavailable. No adverse impact is expected, and projected revenue is as much as $5.875 million. The bill was reported by a vote of 23-1.

HB 1526 (Irvin)  − This would revise the Agriculture-Linked Investment Program (Agri-Link) administered by the State Conservation Commission to establish a low-interest loan program to encourage best-management practices on farms.  No adverse fiscal impact is projected.

HB 1590 (Owlett) − This would amend the Public Authorities and Quasi-Public Corporations Code to enact program and eligibility guidelines for the Dairy Investment Program. No adverse fiscal project is expected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, June 24, 2019 to consider the following bills. All bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes, except as indicated.

SB 300 (Scarnati) – Amends the Election Code to allow independent/unaffiliated voters to vote in party primary elections. Minimal impact is projected for local governments. The vote to report was 22-2.

SB 418 (Stefano) – Amends the Election Code to reduce the number of ballots required to be printed for elections. No adverse impact is projected. The vote to report was 18-6.

SB 421 (Boscola) – Amends the Election Code to eliminate straight party-ticket votes. The projected state cost is $650,000, with undetailed higher costs projected for local governments. The vote to report was 15-9.

SB 422 (Vogel)   –  Amends the Election Code to establish the Pennsylvania Law Advisory Board to study and make recommendations on voting technology and laws. Projected costs are $212,000. The vote to report was 17-7.

SB 607 (Scavello) –  Amends the Vehicles Code to authorize local police to use speed radar and Lidar. Because this is an optional program, the projections are limited to equipment costs, which could be exceeded by new enforcement. New enforcement revenue that exceeds a municipality’s budget by 20 percent or more would be required to be remitted to the state. The vote to report was 23-1.

SB 742 (K Ward) – Amends the Vehicles Code to limit emissions testing only to vehicles more than eight years old. New costs of $1.375 million to change the current system and for new personnel are projected. The vote to report was 15-9.

SB 743 (K Ward) – Amends the Vehicles Code to replace annual emissions testing with biennial testing. New costs of $450,000 to change current system and for new personnel are projected. The vote to report was 15-9.

SB 744 (Langerholc) – Amends the Vehicles Code to exempt seven certain counties, determined by class and population, from the emissions testing requirements, subject to having neutral to positive impacts on federal funding and attainment of clean air standards. A cost of $200,00 for new personnel is projected.  The vote to report was 15-9.

SB 745 (Stefano) –  Amends the Vehicles Code to replace dynamometer and tailpipe emissions testing in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions with gas cap and visual emissions tests.  A cost of $1.132 million is projected. The vote to report was 15-9.

SB 746 (Vogel) – Amends the Vehicles Code to extend the transition date for new emissions testing equipment. Undetermined additional costs are projected if delay causes the simultaneous operation of current and proposed testing programs.

SB 751 (Aument) – Amends the Public School Code to provide a new system for rating educators. Costs estimated at $414, 000 for two years are projected to implement the system. The vote to report was 20-4.

SB 778 (K Ward) – Amends the Transportation and Vehicles codes to replace the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s annual $450 million Act 44 obligation to the Public Transportation Trust Fund with General Fund revenue through FY 2021-2022, the last year of the Act 44 obligation. The costs to the General Fund would be $50 million in FY 2019-2020, increasing to $250 million and $350 million in the following two fiscal years. The vote to report was 23-1.

HB 24 (Lawrence) – Amends the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act to require commonwealth debt incurred after enactment to be retired at a level annual principle rate instead of the current level annual debt service rate. The projected impact is a saving of $51 million in debt service for every $1 billion in new future debt.

HB 131 (Jozwiak) – Amends the Liquor Code to align it with federal definitions of “fermented fruit beverage” and to provide for distribution of non-alcoholic beer. No fiscal impact is projected.

HB 265 (Staats) –    Amends the Public School Code to require secondary and post-secondary school articulation agreements to be aligned with the Department of Education database/portal, providing for distribution of career information in schools, and setting criteria for equipment purchases for the career and technical school grant program. The cost to implement is projected at $1.22 million.

HB 423 (Topper) – Amends the Liquor Code to provide for local referenda in “dry” municipalities in a Second Class A county for alcohol manufacturers proposing on-site consumption. No fiscal impact is projected.

HB 786 (Cutler)  –  Amends the Health Code to include accreditation standards for trauma centers that currently are contained in the Human Services Code. No fiscal impact is projected.

HB 807 (Ryan) – Amends the Military Affairs Code to equalize Pennsylvania National Guard general officers salaries with the equivalent federal salaries, and to include  an automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment based on the active military pay scale. The additional projected cost is $120,000 annually.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 to consider the following bills. Bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes unless otherwise indicated.

SB 147  (Laughlin) − This bill would amend Title 34 (Game Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to allow the Game Commission to permit Sunday hunting, to provide for a financial analysis of the Game Commission by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, and to increase the penalty for trespass by a hunter on posted property. Additional undetermined revenue is anticipated. Senators Costa, Leach, Schwank and Vogel voted against the bill.

SB 325 (Gordner) − This bill would amend the Professional Nursing Law to establish the designation of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. No fiscal impact is expected.     

SB 485 (Laughlin) − This bill would amend Title 34 (Game Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to allow the Game Commission and its authorized agents, in addition to county treasurers, to issue anterless deer licenses. A minimal increase in revenue is expected.

SB 590 (Browne)  − This bill would amend the Public School Code to establish a 13-member Charter School Funding Advisory Commission to issue a report with recommendations within 18 months. No fiscal impact is expected.

 

HB 195 (Nelson) − This bill would  amend Title 40 (Insurance Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to allow pharmacies to further synchronize multiple prescriptions. No significant fiscal impact is expected.

 

HB 276 (Delozier) − This bill would amend Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution to include a Bill of Rights for crime victims. The projected cost of advertising a constitutional amendment is $1 million to $1.5 million.

HB 330 (Emrick) − This bill would make technical amendments to the Taxpayer Relief Act. No fiscal impact is expected.

HB 370 (Klunk) − This bill would amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to clarify that the owner of a property subject to an easement under the law may waive the right to construct a second residence on the property, and may also subdivide a property to accommodate a second residence predating the easement. No fiscal impact is expected.

HB 751 (Roae) − This bill would amend Title 66 (Public Utilities Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to expand the definition of service line to include the pipes of water and wastewater utilities, permit email to be used in dealing with complaints and other matters before the Public Utility Commission, and places income tax liability on water and wastewater utilities. No fiscal impact is expected.

HB 826 (Marshall) − This bill would establish the Sports Raffle Charities Act as a stand-alone Act, repealing, and incorporating and expanding on similar language in the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act, to permit 50/50 drawings at professional sports team events for the benefit of non-profit organizations, and at events of certain college teams and of military academy teams playing in the Commonwealth. No fiscal impact is expected.         


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the Floor Monday, June 17, 2019 and took the following actions on preferred appropriations and other items. All actions were by unanimous votes and all bills were reported favorably unless otherwise indicated.

SB 166  (Hughes) − This bill would be the Capital Budget Act of 2019-2020 to set the maximum bond indebtedness the Commonwealth may incur during the fiscal year for capital projects. Amendment A01587 set the cap on total bond indebtedness at $1.01 billion, less than two percent of the constitutional limitation on bond debt.

SB 235  (Browne) − This bill would appropriate funds for fiscal year 2019-2020 from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account for operations of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affair within the Department of State and the State Athletic Commission; and from restricted receipt accounts and the State Athletic Commission Augmentation Account for operations of the Boards of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatry and the State Athletic Commission. Amendment A01661 set the amounts appropriated, respectively, at $55.525 million and 13.41 million.

SB 236  (Browne) − This bill would make appropriations for fiscal year 2019-2020 from the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund (WCAF) for administration of the Worker’s Compensation Act and the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act, and from a restricted revenue account with the WCAF to the Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) within the Department of Community and Economic Development. Amendment A01662 set the appropriations, respectively, at $70.364 million and $280,000.

SB 237  (Browne) − This bill would make an appropriation for fiscal year 2019-2020 from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund to the Office of Small Business Advocate. Amendment A01663 set the appropriation at $1.795 million.

SB 238  (Browne) − This bill would appropriate funds for fiscal year 2019-2020 from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund to the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) in the office of Attorney General. Amendment A01664 set the appropriation at $6.025 million

SB 239  (Browne) −  This bill would appropriate funds for fiscal year 2019-2020 from the Public School Employees Retirement (PSERS) Fund to the PSERS Board and from the PSERS Defined Contribution Fund to the PSERS  Defined Contribution Plan. Amendment A01598 set the appropriations, respectively, at $55.838 million and $2.454 million.

SB 240 (Browne) − This bill would appropriate funds for fiscal year 2019-2020 from the State Employees Retirement (SERS) Fund to the SERS Board and from the SERS Defined Contribution Fund to the SERS Defined Contribution Plan. Amendment A01598 set the appropriations, respectively, at $33.208 million and $3.852 million.

SB 241 (Browne) −  This bill would make appropriations for fiscal year 2019-2020 from the Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulatory Fund to the Philadelphia Parking Authority and to the Philadelphia Taxicab Medallion Fund. Amendment A02081 set the appropriations, respectively, at $2.654 million and $275,000.

SB 242  (Browne) − This bill would make appropriations for fiscal year 2019-2020 from General Fund restricted accounts and federal funds to the Public Utility Commission for operations. Amendment A02045 set the appropriations, respectively, at $75.533 million and $5.552 million.

SB 243 (Browne)  − This bill would appropriate from the state Gaming Fund for operations of the State Gaming Control Board, the Department of Revenue, the State Police and the Office of Attorney General related to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act; from the Fantasy Contest Fund for the administration of fantasy contest operations; and from the Video Gaming Fund for video gaming terminal operations.. Amendment A02055 sets the appropriations, respectively, at $85.9 million, $463,000 and $1.686 million.

SB 634 (Yaw)   − This bill would establish the Conservation Excellence Grant program under the State Conservation Commission, to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and landowners to implement best management practices.  No fiscal impact ins projected as funding is dependent on a separate appropriation in the General Appropriations Act.

SB 661 (Ward, J)  − This bill would establish the Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program in Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to provide funding for specialty crops not eligible under the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant program, such as hemp and malting barley. No fiscal impact is projected as funding is dependent on a separate appropriation in the General Appropriations Act.

HB 1166  (Jozwiak) − This bill amends the Board of Wardens for the Port of Philadelphia Act to increase rates of pilotage and computation and pilotage fees for conducting seagoing vessels on the Delaware River by an average of about $95 per vessel. No fiscal impact is projected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 and took the following actions. All bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes unless otherwise indicated.

SB  91  (Hughes) − This bill would amend the Workforce Development Act to require the Department of Labor and Industry to annually collect and publish data on projected future employment sectors in the Commonwealth for educational institutions and career planners. No fiscal impact is expected.

SB 200  (Hughes) − This bill would amend the Public School Code to provide for a trauma-informed approach to education policies and practices. It would expand training requirements and continuing education curricula for school directors and charter school trustees and staff to include evidence-based best practices on the impact of trauma in education. No fiscal impact is expected.

SB 456  (Bartolotta) − This bill would amend the Private Licensed Schools Act to authorize training schools to operate branches in neighboring counties or within 60 miles of the main school. A minimal fiscal impact is projected due to separate licensing fees no longer being required for multiple sites.  

SB 669  (DiSanto) − This would amend Title 67 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues (Human Services Code) to reinstate kinship care provisions relating to adoption subsidies, retroactive to a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling invalidating them on technical grounds. Reinstatement is required to preserve $2.6 million in annual federal funding.

HB 384  (Kail) − This would amend Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Motor Vehicle Code), increasing the fine for unlicensed operation of a  motor vehicle to a $200 maximum from $25, and making related changes. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

HB 1172 (Hickernell) − This would amend Act 48 of 1993,  establishing the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Department of State, to authorize the issuance under defined conditions of provisional licenses to applicants previously licensed in another state. No fiscal impact is expected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 and took the following actions. All bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes unless otherwise indicated.

SB 314 (Baker) − This bill would be a free-standing Act to establish the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Authority  (PRHRA) and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund.  The PRHRA would be a public-private collaborative operating an annual budget to provide payments for services to rural hospitals, and supporting improvements to their ability to address key needs and community health services. The PRHRA would be composed of representatives of the Departments of Health, Human Services and Insurance, insurers, Medicaid MCOs, the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania and participating rural hospitals, and nationally recognized rural health care experts. Initial costs would be covered by a $25 million grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

SB 321  (Martin) − This bill would amend Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Municipal Code) to authorize a municipality in a third-class county to prohibit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board licensing of a truck stop  within the municipality to operate video gaming terminals, subject to a public repeal referendum not more often than every fourth year. The bill was reported by a 22-2 vote. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 633  (Costa) − This bill would establish the Public Health Emergency Act, authorizing the Governor to declare a Public Health Emergency. In consultation with the Secretary of Health, the governor would be empowered to declare a public health emergency when identified events pose a high probability of death, serious or long-term disability,  or widespread exposure to agents that risk substantial present or future harm to public health. No fiscal impact is expected.  

SB 698 (Gordner) − This bill would amend the Medical Practice Act to allow required authorizing documents between physician assistants and their supervising physicians to be completed and executed by substitute supervising physicians. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 699  (Gordner) − This bill would amend the Osteopathic Practice Act to allow required authorizing documents between physician assistants and their supervising physicians to be completed and executed by substitute supervising physicians. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 724  (Corman) − This bill would amend Titles 24 and 71 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, the Education and State Government Codes, to make changes to reformed public school and state government employee retirement benefits enacted in 2007. No fiscal impact is expected.

SB 733 (Browne) − This would be the Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund (GEDTF) Budget Itemization Act of 2019, authorizing funding for the construction of a science and education center in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. It would authorize a $2 million payment from the fund annually for 10 years.

HB 619 (Helm) − This would annually designate and observe June 19 as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day.” No fiscal impact is projected.     


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, June 10, 2019 and took the following actions. All bills were reported favorably by unanimous votes unless otherwise indicated.

SB 25 (Bartolotta) – This bill would amend the Professional  Nursing Law to provide for the licensing and regulation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs) by the State Nursing Board, to include among other things, independent authority to diagnose, assess, treat, prescribe and order within the APRN-CNP’s scope of practice. No significant fiscal impact is projected.

SB 93 (Bartolotta) – This bill would amend Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, the Crimes Code, to create the new offense of Drug Delivery Resulting in Serious Injury, a felony of the second-degree with a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The bill was reported by a vote of 23-1. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 118  (Langerholc) – This bill would establish a Recovery-to-Work pilot program within the Department of Labor &  Industry to provide job opportunities and skills training for persons recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Up to seven pilot programs would be allowed in counties ranking among the top quarter for overdose deaths. The bill was reported by a vote of 23-1. The expected cost is up to $3 million in the first year.

SB 223 (Phillips-Hill) – This bill would amend the Pharmacy Act to authorize emergency medical responders to leave a dose of naloxone with a family member, friend or other person assisting a person following an opiate overdose. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 432 (Phillips-Hill) – This bill would amend the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) Act to allow designated employees of private managed care organizations providing coverage through Medical Assistance, i.e. to CHIP, PACE and PACENET beneficiaries, to access ABC-MAP information. No fiscal impact is projected.

SB 536 (Browne) – This bill would amend the Public School Code to establish a 19-member Public Higher Education Funding Commission to recommend to the General Assembly a formula for public funding of community colleges, PASSHE and other publicly funded schools of higher education, within one year initially, and subsequently at five-year intervals. Minimal fiscal impact is projected.

SB 575 (Yaw) – This bill would amend the Environmental Resources Code, Title 27 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to establish the Watershed Innovation and Improvement Fund (WIIF) and the Pennsylvania Clean Water Procurement Program to have the WIIF purchase units of nutrient and sediment reductions to meet federal pollution reduction requirements within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. A $20 million General Fund appropriation would fund the program. Amendment A01741 was approved to cap administrative charges by  the Department of Environmental Resources and PENNVEST at 2.5 percent of the fund.

SB 621 (Regan) – This bill would amend the Public School Code to authorize firearms-certified school employees to  be armed and to allow sheriffs and deputies to act as School Resource Officers. Minimal fiscal impact is projected.

SB 675 (Brooks) – This bill would establish the Bupenorphine Medically Assisted Treatment Act, requiring state regulation and licensing of prescribers of buprenorphine (aka suboxone).  Projected net costs for FY 2019-2020 are $327,311, with uncalculated increasing costs in subsequent years. The bill was reported by a vote of 15-9.

SB 695 (Brooks) – This bill would amend the Human Services Code to reauthorize for three years, through June 2022, various assessments scheduled to sunset in 2019 on nursing, intermediate care and hospital facilities in Philadelphia and on the related Budget Adjustment Factor (BAF) that ensures facility rates do not exceed appropriations. The extension is projected to raise more than $680 million.

SB 700  (Browne) – This bill would update and amend the Public School Code relating to the school planning and construction process (PlanCon), including establishing a new funding formula, incentivizing use of high-performance building standards, and providing for competitive grants for building maintenance of up to $1 million. New administrative costs related to the changes are projected at $1.4 million.

SB 712 (Argall) – This bill would  amend the Fiscal Code to extend for five years, through 2024, the authority for the State Treasurer to invest public funds according to the “Prudent Investor Standard”. No fiscal impact is expected.

HB 800  (Turzai) – This bill would amend the Public School Code to make various changes to the Educational Improvement Tax Credits program. Beginning in FY 2019-202, the total allowable credit cap would be raised to  210 million from $110 million, with subsequent annual increases of 10 percent after fiscal years in which 90% of aggregated credits were used; the household income eligibility cap would be increased to $95,000 (from $85,000), with scholarship eligibility amended to continue in the year following a Scholarship year regardless of household income eligibility; and the types of entities eligible for tax credits would be expanded. Assuming serial qualification for annual increases, the projected impact would raise the cap on tax credits to $594 million by 2029. The bill was reported by a vote of 15-9.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, June 3, 2019 and all bills were favorably reported by unanimous vote, unless otherwise indicated.

SB 112 (Yaw) – This bill would amend Title 35 PaCS  (Health and Safety Code) to expand to adults the requirements and limitations existing on opioid prescriptions for minors (e.g. general 7-day limit). Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 139 (J Ward) – This bill would amend Act 133 of 2006, the Price Gouging Act, to reduce the length of time that restrictions it imposes will apply after a storm or disaster, and to set a percentage limit on price increases under which increases will be presumed not to violate restrictions of the Act. No adverse fiscal impact is expected. The bill was approved  17-7, based on questions whether consumers will bear the burden of proof to establish price increases as excessive.

SB 500 (Baker) – This bill would amend Act 274 of 1978, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Law, to establish within PCCD a County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee to oversee funding to counties for intermediate punishment programs, and to deposit savings from justice systems improvements into the Justice Reinvestment Fund. Amendment A01519 of a technical nature was approved unanimously. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 501 (Killion) – This bill would amend Titles 42 and 61 PaCS, the Judiciary Code and the Prisons and Parole Code, dealing with the State Intermediate Punishment  (SIP) program, including renaming it as the State Drug Treatment Program, adding and removing offenses eligible to participate in the program, simplifying the parole release process for minimum sentences imposing not more than two years in prison, and requiring the Sentencing Commission to establish parole violation guidelines. The changes are projected to produce cost savings of nearly $45 million over four years.

SB 502 (Bartolotta) – This bill would amend Act 111 of 1998, the Crime Victims Act, to combine the Victim Witness Services Fund with the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and to make other changes to the crime victims compensation program, including providing victims with the  right to be notified when they are eligible for confidentiality under the program, reassigning the responsibilities for notifying victims and witnesses of their rights to participate in the program, expanding the categories of persons eligible for compensation, increasing the deadline for filing claims to three years from one, lowering the  out-of-pocket loss eligibility threshold to $50 from $100, and repealing the $1,500 claim cap.  The fiscal impact is projected to result in additional federal funding of between $750,000 and $970,000, as well as additional costs of $750,000 to $950,000.

SB 543 (Killion) – This bill would amend Act 210 of 18889, increasing river pilot rates and ship communication fees for traffic on the Delaware River and navigable tributaries. No adverse impact is expected.

SB 589 (Regan) – This bill would amend Title 51 PaCS, the Military Affairs Code, to create the Military Family Education Program  allowing members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and their family members to receive educational grants at the lower of either the approved tuition rate for the institution or at the annual rate charged by state system schools. The projected cost for FY 2019-2020 is $2.7 million.

HB 318 (Mizgorski) – This bill would amend Act 147 of 1996, the Telemarketer Registration Act, by among other things, extending application to cover business entities, prohibiting telemarketing calls to registered phones for as long as they remain valid numbers, and prohibiting telemarketing on legal holidays. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

HB 547 (Emrick) – This bill would amend the First Class Township Code to permit taxes to be levied by resolution rather than by ordinance when the rate being set is not more than the previous rate. No adverse impact is foreseen on State funds; local funds could see savings in reduced advertising costs for rates remaining stable or decreasing.

HB 548 (Emrick) – This bill would amend PaSC Titles 8 and 11, the Borough and Third Class City codes, respectively, to permit taxes to be levied by resolution rather than by ordinance when the new rate is not higher than the previous year rate. No adverse impact is seen on State funds; local funds could see savings in reduced advertising costs when rates are not increased.

 


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, May 6, 2019 and all bills were favorably reported by unanimous vote, unless otherwise indicated.

SB 174 (Browne) – This would establish the Abandoned Property Tax Sale Act. Properties that for periods of at least 12 months have not been legally occupied and that also meet one of nine public safety or welfare conditions could be sold at tax sale. Purchasers would be required to enter into bond-secured redevelopment agreements with the municipality or the municipal redevelopment authority. No adverse impact is expected on state funds; municipalities could be affected to the extent they publish pending tax sales in local newspapers.

SB 338 (Langerholc) – This would amend Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Vehicle Code) to conditionally increase the width of farm vehicles permitted on public roads to 18 feet from 16 feet. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 478 (Vogel) – This would amend the Tax Reform Code to provide a management tax credit for “beginning” farmers. Owners of agricultural assets, including land, livestock and equipment could, subject to DCED approval, claim a P.I.T credit upon selling or renting such assets to unrelated “beginning” farmers, who are defined as having less than 10 years farming experience and a net worth not more than $800,000. The credit would be capped at five percent of the sale price or fair market value, whichever is less, but not more than $32,000; or at 10 percent of gross rental income,  up to $7,000, for each of the first three years of a rental agreement. The  impact on general funds is expected to cost $5 million in 2020 and $6 million in succeeding years.

SB 583 (Aument) – This would amend the Agricultural Security Law to provide a standard definition for agritourism and to allow agritourism activities on properties that are subject to agriculture conservation easements. Agritourism would be defined as activities on a farm that allow the public to tour, explore, learn about or be entertained by an aspect of agricultural production, husbandry or rural lifestyle.  No adverse fiscal impact is expected on state revenues, and minimal impact is projected for county agricultural land preservation boards.

SB 613 (Mensch) – This would amend the Administrative Code of 1929 to bring it into compliance with IRS requirements that make state executive branch and independent offices employees and contractors, whose duties require access to federal tax information, subject at least decennially to criminal background checks to determine their fitness and suitability to access such information, and to prohibit hiring or continued employment in such positions of persons determined to be unfit. Because a separate state law already requires background checks for such persons, no adverse fiscal impact is expected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, April 8, 2019 and unanimously reported the following bills:

SB 133 (Argall) – This would amend the state Constitution to allow successful gubernatorial candidates to select their running mates for Lieutentant Governor,  subject to party approval. The projected costs of constitutional amendments are between $2 million and $3 million.

SB 144 (Martin) – This amends the Public School Code to provide up to $300,000 in grant funding to Intermediate Units for the purchase of telepresence equipment so serve students homebound by injury or illness. Funding would be provided through the use of lapsing funding for other grant programs under the Department of Education.

SB 145 (Yaw) – This would amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to allow the owners of properties enrolled in the agricultural easement program to permanently surrender the right to construct additional farmstead residences, and also to allow enrolled properties to be subdivided for existing homesteads as well as for construction of new ones.  No fiscal impact is expected.

SB 399 (Langerholc) – This would amend the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act to provide additional rights for victims, their close relations and guardians, and to provide additional reporting procedures for sexual assault. Minimal fiscal impact is expected.

SB 469 (Laughlin) – This would amend the Judiciary & Judicial Procedure Code, Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to conditionally allow consideration of out-of-court statements by persons with intellectual disabilities or autism during trials for specified offenses. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 479 (Baker) – This would amend the Judiciary & Judicial Procedure Code, Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to include additional offenses for which our-of-court statements made by child victims and witnesses may be admitted in criminal and civil proceedings. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

HB 264 (Mako) – This would amendment Municipalities Code, Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to impose additional responsibilities upon municipal authorities in the collection and reporting of revenue. Minimal  fiscal impact is expected.

HB 275 (Mehaffie) – This would amend the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (“Act 47”) to rename the Early Intervention Strategic Management Planning Program as the Strategic Management Planning Program reflecting that the program is used for third-party advice and not solely when a community is in financial distress. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met on Monday, March 25, 2019 and favorably reported all bills considered in an off-the-floor meeting unanimously, as follows::

SB 115 (Killion) – This would amend the Public School Code to develop a model curriculum for instruction on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for students in grades 9-12 beginning in the 2019-2020 school years. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 127 (Regan) – This would amend the Health and Safety Code (Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to reauthorize funding for 9-1-1 services, add the State Fire Commissioner and State Geospatial Coordination Board chair as voting members of the 9-1-1 Board, require a Legislative Budget and Finance Committee review and recommendation for reauthorization, and make other changes to the 9-1-1 law. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 298 (Baker) – This would amend the Crimes Code (Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) relating to the offense of Stolen Valor, requiring that all fines collected for violations would be deposited into the Veterans Trust Fund. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.

SB 372 (Scavello) – This would amend the Historical and Museums Code (Title 37 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) to make various changes regarding the preservation of and access to property and archival state and local government records. No adverse fiscal impact is expected.


The Senate Appropriations Committee met off the floor on Monday, March 18, 2019 and took the actions indicated on the following bills:

SB 128 (Regan) This bill would amend Title 51 of the PA (Military Affairs) to codify the Civil Air Patrol within the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. No fiscal impact.

The following bills for 2019-2020 appropriations were reported unanimously for administrative purposes. The numbers shown reflect 2018-2019 appropriations:

SB 234 (Browne) General Appropriations – $32.092 billion (General Fund), $27.743 billion (Federal).

SB 235 (Browne) Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs – $49.723 million (General Fund and Restricted accounts).

SB 236 (Browne) Departments of Labor & Industry and Community & Economic Affairs for Worker Compensation- $71.215 million (Worker Comp Fund),  $275 thousand (Restricted Revenue).

SB 237 (Browne) Office of Small Business Advocate – $1.855 million (General Fund Restricted Revenue).

SB 238 (Browne) Office of Consumer Advocate – $5.85 million (General Fund Restricted Revenue).

SB 239 (Browne) Public School Employees Retirement Board – $51.637 million (PSER Fund), $4.95 million (PSER defined contributions).

SB 240 (Browne) State Employees Retirement Board – $330.766 million (SER Fund), $4.9 million (SER defined contributions).

SB 241 (Browne) Philadelphia Parking Authority – $2.935 million (PHL Taxi & Limo Regulatory Fund), $200 thousand (PHL Taxi Medallion Fund).

SB 242 (Browne) Public Utility Commission – $74.185 million (General Fund Restricted Revenue), $6.067 million (Federal).

SB 243 (Browne) Gaming Control Board – $84.875 million (Gaming Restricted Revenue), $1.859 million (Fantasy Contest Restricted Revenue), $2.856 million (Video Gaming Restricted Revenue).

SB 244 (Browne) Penn State University – $260.085 million (General Fund, Agricultural College Land Script Fund).

SB 245 (Browne) University of Pittsburgh – $151.382 million (General Fund).

SB 246 (Browne) Temple University –  $155.104 million (General Fund).

SB 247 (Browne) Lincoln University – $14.869 million (General Fund).

SB 248 (Browne) University of Pennsylvania veterinary activities & Center for Infectious Diseases – $31.328 million (General Fund).


The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, January 30, 2019 and reported the following bill unanimously from committee:

Fiscal Note Policy: The Appropriations Committee shall only review a non-appropriation bill and non-budget implementation bill for its fiscal impact upon the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

Senate Bill 113 (DiSanto): Amends the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act, further providing for definitions, for disqualification and forfeiture of benefits and for restitution for monetary loss; and repealing a retroactivity provision. The bill was reported out unanimously.