GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION SCHEDULE FOR MAY:

Senate: 3, 4, 5, 24, 25, 26

House: 3, 4, 5, 24, 25, 26

– Special Session (House): 3, 4, 5, 24, 25, 16

NOTABLE NEWS ITEMS FROM THIS WEEK:

PSATS Leading Fight Against Legislation that Would Eliminate Townships, Cities, and Boroughs

House Bill 2431 was introduced last week and would radically change the way Pennsylvanians are governed.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks), calls for a constitutional amendment to establish counties as the basic level of government in Pennsylvania.  Under the plan, which would eliminate townships, cities, and boroughs, the counties would oversee all municipal operations, including roads, land use and zoning, sanitation, health and safety, and law enforcement.  PSATS is adamantly opposed to this bill and has urged all township officials to contact their members of the House of Representatives (contact info here) and urge them to oppose it as well.

In a press release released this week, PSATS Executive Director David Sanko responded to pro-consolidation/large government advocates by saying that no one has ever proven that bigger government is better or even cost-effective.  He continued,  “In fact, the opposite is true.  Just look around this state, and you’ll see the evidence.  Townships aren’t failing, declaring bankruptcy, or imposing widespread tax increases.  Instead, it’s the bigger governments – places like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Reading – that are in real financial trouble.  Townships have been doing more with less – and doing it successfully – ever since the days of William Penn, and they are still around for a very good reason: They work.”

Getting to work immediately in his new post, PSATS President John Haiko also took issue with those who say that local leaders oppose legislation like House Bill 2431 because they want to preserve their power and their jobs. “This isn’t about self-preservation at all,” Haiko said.  “It’s about holding onto a good thing: townships. There, you’ll find committed elected leaders and employees who would much rather put off buying a piece of equipment than raise taxes.  These people, who live and work in the communities they represent, are more committed to pinching pennies, increasing their efficiency, and working together to stretch tax dollars than anyone else in government today.”

PSATS activated the GLN this week and has requested that all members reach out to their local newspapers, urging them to tell PSATS’ side of the story.  Newspapers can direct inquiries to PSATS Director of Communications Ginni Linn at (717) 763-0930 or glinn@psats.org.  Ginni is taking care of arranging interviews with Dave.

Federal Government May Mandate Collective Bargaining

The U.S. Senate may soon vote on S. 3194 (text not released), which would grant every public safety employee (police, fire, EMS) the right to form or join a union without consideration of state or local laws.  Municipalities would be forced to recognize such unions and collectively bargain over hours, wages, and the terms and conditions of employment, other than pensions, and to establish an impasse resolution process.  The legislation would also require state courts to enforce these provisions and to direct every state – even if it currently recognizes employee collective bargaining rights – to conform to federal regulations around mandatory collective bargaining within two years of the bill’s effective date, without regard to state or local laws.  Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) introduced this bill under a Senate rule that allows the bill to come to the floor in as little as 48 hours after introduction and without committee review.

The U.S. House also seems to be preparing for a vote on mandatory collective bargaining legislation sometime soon in the form of H.R. 413.  California Democratic Congressman George Miller, the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and one of the bill’s leading advocates, said he expected this bill to pass Congress in April.  If and when both chambers adopt identical bill language, it will be sent to the President who is expected to sign it.

PSATS, along with our partner at the national level, the National Association of Towns and Townships, opposes these bills.  While PSATS and NATaT do not necessarily oppose collective bargaining for local employees, we do not feel that a federal “one size fits all” approach is appropriate.  We feel that the State and local governments are in the best position to determine the nature and extent of collective bargaining rights for public safety employees.  Please contact Senators Specter and Casey and your House members (contact information here) and ask them to oppose these bills.

Special Session on Transportation to Begin Next Week

The Governor issued a proclamation calling for a special legislative session to deal with transportation funding to begin officially at 2:00 p.m., Monday, May 3.  The Governor will then address a joint session of the General Assembly the next day.  In his proclamation, the Governor cited the PA Transportation Funding & Reform Commission’s 2006 report, the large number of structurally deficient bridges in the commonwealth, the large number of backlogged transportation projects, the need to continue to fund 38 transit systems, the need to fund Act 44 of 2007, the recent Federal rejection to toll I-80, and the growing hole for transportation projects in the 2010-11 state budget as the reasons for calling the legislature into the special session.  PSATS will closely monitor all activity over the course of this session.

PSATS Opposes Efforts to Change the Way Prisoners Are Counted in the Census

The House is set to consider HR 593 which would request that the U.S. Census Bureau change its policy of recording the residence of incarcerated persons from the location of the correctional facilities to the last known home address of such persons.  The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Philadelphia), has said there is still confusion in many communities about how incarcerated individuals will be counted in the census.  He indicated that Philadelphia “is losing out” because citizens are being counted “where they are incarcerated temporarily.”

PSATS has gone on record opposing this change because the Census Bureau, in a 2006 report, has already reviewed this issue and has determined that counting prisoners from their “last known home address” would be problematic, costly, and potentially unlawful.  The Bureau also found that it would cost $250 million to interview the prisoners in all Federal, State, and local facilities to obtain this information, a 1,200 percent increase in the amount it cost to count prisoners in the 2000 Census.

PSATS believes that it is not fair and sets a bad precedent to single out prisoners but to not address other “temporary residents” such as students living in college dormitories, developmentally disabled people living in special treatment centers, seniors in nursing homes, or retirees who evenly split their time between their “home address” and their vacation address.  Prisoners, like students and vacationers, have a significant economic impact on the communities in which they reside.  Prison facilities rely upon local sewer, water, roads, and emergency services to operate.  But because prison facilities are tax-exempt, communities must rely upon those additional population-based funding sources to aid in providing such services.  If this revenue were removed, townships would have no choice but to increase local property taxes.

 

Renewed Call to Privatize Liquor Stores

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) has called for the sale of the state’s liquor stores.  Channeling White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Rep. Turzai said, “You hate to let a crisis go to waste,” referring to the state’s constant budget dilemmas, which has in recent weeks gotten worse following a federal rejection of the plan to toll I-80, and then a Commonwealth Court ruling ordering Pennsylvania to repay roughly $800 million back into the MCare fund.  House Republicans have stated that they believe the sale at auction for 100 wholesale and 750 retail licenses could generate $2 billion for the state.  Rep. Turzai continued by saying that the PA Liquor Control Board would still oversee regulatory, education, and enforcement of the state’s liquor laws.  The plan, like similar proposals floated since the Ridge administration, faces stiff opposing from opposite ends of the political spectrum, pro-union interests on the left and temperance groups on the right.

PSERS Increases State Contribution Rate

According to an article in the Patriot News, one of Pennsylvania’s two largest public-sector retirement systems says it approved the first of what could be more contribution increases that taxpayers must pay.  The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System said Wednesday that the composite employer contribution rate for the 2010-11 fiscal year would rise to 5.64 percent.  That is up from the current four percent, an increase of more than $100 million over the expected contribution of about $280 million this year.  Click here to read the Patriot News article.

 

State’s Tax Amnesty Period Off to a Rough Start

The Governor has been travelling around the commonwealth touting the state’s 54-day tax amnesty period that is currently underway.  He has also called upon all 253 members of the General Assembly to promote the plan in their districts.  He also announced the start of a $3 million TV, radio, and Internet ad campaign to promote the amnesty, which could reportedly bring in $190 million for the cash-strapped state.

Well, it appears that the news is spreading…a little too well.  According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, phone lines at the Department of Revenue were perpetually jammed and emails overloaded the state’s server.  There were also reported glitches with tax notices being sent to people who were already paid up – or dead.  An inauspicious start to the program, however Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell has said that the department has already processed $6.9 million in back taxes in the first day-and-a-half.  Click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer article.  For more information, the number of the amnesty program is 1-877-34-PAYUP, the website, www.PATaxPayUp.com<httpL//www.pataxpayup.com.

Civera and Education Secretary Zahorchak to Resign

State Rep. Mario Civera (R-Delaware) announced that he would resign from the House seat he has held since 1980, effective April 30.  The Upper Darby Republican riled Democrats for continuing to hold his legislative position despite also being elected to the Delaware County Council last November.

Department of Education Secretary Dr. Gerald Zahorchak also announced his resignation from that post effective May 7 after five years as the state’s top educator.  He leaves to become the superintendant of the Allentown City School District.  Prior to becoming Education secretary, he was the superintendant of the Greater Johnstown schools.

 

Public Corruption News

A bevy of activity occurred over the past two weeks concerning various current and former officials alleged, convicted, or acquitted of using public funds for unauthorized purposes:

– According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, state Senator Jane Orie (R-Allegheny) and state Rep. Bill DeWeese (D-Greene), who have both been indicted for illegal-use of public money for campaign purposes, filed separate motions to have their indictments thrown-out. They claim that the law that they are alleged to have violated is too vague and has been misapplied by prosecutors.  Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

– Former state representative Mike Veon, who was convicted of “Bonusgate” corruption charges, is facing an additional trial to start on May 24 for allegedly funneling tax dollars through a non-profit under his control for political campaign work and other spending not allowed under the state grants.  Fellow Bonusgate convictee Annamaria Perratta-Rosepink has been named as a co-defendant in this case as well, but has filed a motion to be dropped due to the lateness of charges being brought against her.  Both Veon’s and Rosepink’s sentencing for their prior convictions have been delayed until June 18.  Democratic House aide Brett Cott, who was also convicted, is set to be sentenced on May 21.

– Former Democratic House aide Steven Keefer, who was cleared of all charges in the Bonusgate trial, is seeking more than $450,000 in back pay and benefits from the state House.  Keefer had been the director of IT for House Democrats before being fired by then-Democratic leader Bill DeWeese.

– According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, former House aide William Tomaselli testified in a preliminary hearing that former-House speaker John Perzel (R-Philadelphia) participated in discussions about using state money to build databases that would be used for campaigns.  Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

– – Finally, Ralph Nader (yes, Ralph Nader!) has taken his fight against Pennsylvania to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  According to an article in the Post Gazette, six years ago, the Commonwealth Court removed Nader from the Presidential ballot in Pennsylvania and ordered him to pay $81,102 in legal fees.  It turns out that House Democrat staffers tied to Bonusgate were involved in the effort to remove Nader from the ballot.  Oliver Hall, Nader’s attorney, has claimed that Pennsylvania courts did not hear out new evidence that emerged from the Bonusgate scandals.  Click here to read the Post Gazette article.

 

Election 2010 Corner

– – According to an article in the Post Gazette, the four gubernatorial Democratic candidates are having a tough time standing out from one another.   “It’s like night and day this year,” said Christopher Borick, a pollster at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. “In 2002, Casey and Rendell were brand-name candidates. Now, things are absolutely different. You have a cast that’s anything but a known quantity.”  Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato appears to be leading the other Democrats in the race with 20 percent support according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Taken with the other candidates, almost 47 percent said that they were undecided, with a whopping 70 percent saying that they may still change their minds.  Click here to read the Post Gazette article.

– – Dan Onorato does appear to be strengthening his position, however.  Dauphin County commissioner George Hartwick (D) recently endorsed the Allegheny County Executive, saying that Onorato has the experience necessary to guide the state through impending fiscal crises.  Furthermore, in a recent Pittsburgh Tribune Review article, despite the Governor’s official neutral position on the race, it appears that Rendell supporters are throwing their support behind Mr. Onorato.  Onorato’s four largest donors — including the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins — gave tens of thousands of dollars to Rendell in recent years, campaign finance reports show. Developers, government contractors, unions, and lawyers account for most of the money Onorato, has raised from January 2009 through the end of March. Click here to read the Tribune Review article.

– – Entering this election cycle, state Senator Jane Orie had no challengers.  However, seizing the chance to unseat the indicted-senator, Allegheny and Butler County Democrats are reportedly scrambling to get the needed 500 Democratic write-in votes for Ross Township Commissioner Dan DeMarco at the May 18 Primary Election…achieving that goal would place DeMarco on the November ballot against Orie’s drive for re-election.

– – Bonus national coverage: Florida Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist (R) announced that he will be withdrawing from the GOP primary race and run in November as an independent candidate.  Gov. Crist, who came under fire for supporting President Obama’s economic stimulus policies, has been running well behind Florida State House Speaker Marco Rubio in the GOP race.  Crist was trailing Rubio by 20 percentage points, but newer polls seem to indicate that the Governor may win in a three-way race.

– – The following state legislators have announced that they will not seek reelection this year: Sen. Robert Mellow (D-Lackawanna), Sen. Raphael Mustio (D-Luzerne), Sen. J. Barry Stout (D-Washington), Rep. Bob Belfanti (D-Northumberland), Rep. Mario Civera (R-Delaware), Rep. Russ Fairchild (R-Union), Rep. Will Gabig (R-Cumberland), Rep. Rich Grucela (D-Northampton), Rep. Kathy Manderino (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon), Rep. Tony Melio (D-Bucks), Rep. Frank Oliver (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Merle Phillips (R-Northumberland), Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith (D-Chester), and Rep. Katie True (R-Lancaster).  Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) is running for Governor, Rep. Bryan Lentz (D-Delaware) is running for Congress, and Rep.’s Tim Solobay (D-Washington), John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), and Jim Wansacz (D-Lackawanna) will all be running for the state Senate.  While Reps. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) and Scott Conklin (D-Centre) are running for Lt. Governor, both are also simultaneously running to retain their House seats. 

*****Have anyone else in your township who would like to be a part of the Grassroots Lobbying Network and receive the Week in Review?  Please respond back to this email so that we can add their names to our list (remember, there is no official obligation).*****

Did You Know…

…that before donning their renowned blue and white, Penn State’s original colors were actually pink and black?  According to legend, after the original colors were chosen in 1890, the pink on the uniforms eventually faded to a color closely resembling white, prompting the change to the current color scheme.

 

County Spotlight

Dauphin County was created on March 4, 1785 from part of Lancaster County.  It was named for the Dauphin of France, the title of the eldest son of the French King, in this case specifically for Louis-Joseph, the first son of King Louis XVI.  This was done as thanks to France for their assistance during the American Revolution.  Harrisburg, the county seat, named for its founder, John Harris, was incorporated as a borough on April 13, 1791, and chartered as a city on March 19, 1860.  Harrisburg is Dauphin County’s largest municipality, and is the state capital, a status it has held since 1812.  Dauphin County has 40 municipalities (20 second class townships, three first class townships, 16 boroughs, and one city).  It is also home to twelve school districts.  Its population of 251,798 makes it a third class county, and it is the 15th most populous county in the commonwealth.  Eight legislators (five representatives and three senators) have all or a portion of their districts within Dauphin County.  It is part of one congressional district.  It is the only “Dauphin County” in the U.S.

 

What’s in a Name?

Asylum Township in Bradford County is so-named because a large number of French refugees settled there in the late 18th century around the village of Azilum, fleeing from the violence of the French Revolution.  Nearly forty families erected the village, where they remained until around 1800, when a large portion of them returned to France.  In fact, legend holds that Queen Antoinette and her family were to be smuggled out of France and relocated to Asylum, but of course, history shows that they never made it. 

 

MOVEMENT ON LEGISLATION OF INTEREST THIS WEEK:

HB 169 (Solobay)(PN 3651): Would amend the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to increase prize limits, provide guidelines for the proceeds of games of chance, require a maximum of $50,000 in cash or merchandise could be awarded in any calendar month for monthly drawings, require a licensed distributor to pay a 1% surcharge on the amount of all games sales, to be paid directly to the General Fund; and providing for enforcement.  Last action: Set on the House calendar (5/3/10)

HB 961 (Buxton)(PN 3563): Would amend the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, to extend the sunset date for fees to January 1, 2020. It would also transfer $1,250,000 annually from the Recycling Fund for tire pile remediation.  Last action: Signed in the House (4/26/10)

HB 1322 (Wheatley)(PN 1582): Would amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to establish periods of limitation in the doctrine of adverse possession under certain circumstances and making related repeals. The bill would state an action for the possession of real property on which there is an occupied single family dwelling on a lot of one acre or less where the unimproved land is incidental to the residence must be commenced within ten years. If the person in actual possession of the real property possesses the property under claim and color of title made in good faith and would have been in continuous possession for three successive years, the action must be commenced within three years. If the person in actual possession of the real property would have been in continuous possession for seven successive years and would have paid all taxes legally assessed on the real property during that time, the action must be commenced within seven years.  Last action: Voted favorably from the House Urban Affairs Committee as amended (4/28/10)

HB 1434 (Cutler)(PN 1764): Would amend Title 65 (Public Officers) to further provide for prohibited activities and for penalties by increasing the monetary amount and grading of certain penalties.  Last action: Received in the Senate and referred to the Senate State Government Committee (4/27/10)

HB 1787 (Markosek)(PN 3658): Would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) to require a permit for loads for the movement of nonhazardous liquid glue on certain highways and further providing for annual hauling permits, outlining fees based on distance. The Department of Transportation would be given powers to promulgate enforcement regulations.  Last action: Set on the House calendar (5/3/10)

HB 1926 (Taylor, R)(PN 2573): Would amend Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to further provide for registration of offenders and sexually violent predators who are homeless. These offenders would be required to register with the PA State Police at an approved registration site within the jurisdiction of the area where the person may be found.  Last action: Meeting set before the House Judiciary Committee (5/4/10)

HB 2020 (Seip)(PN 2760): Would amend the Fourth to Eighth Class and Selective County Assessment Law to add a new subsection to section 706 pertaining to appeals by municipalities providing if the corporate authority of a school district seeks an appeal, a quorum of the members elected to the board of directors of that school district must attend all proceedings regarding each appeal and be seated with their chosen representative at any appeal proceeding.  Last action: Meeting set before the House Local Government Committee (5/4/10)

HB 2022 (Denlinger)(PN 2762): Would amend the Third Class County Assessment Board Law to add language providing if the corporate authority of a school district seeks an appeal, a quorum of the members elected to the board of directors of that school district must attend all proceedings regarding each appeal and be seated with their chosen representative at any appeal proceeding.  Last action: Meeting set before the House Local Government Committee (5/4/10)

HB 2023 (Gergely)(PN 2763): Would amend the General County Assessment Law to add language providing if the corporate authority of a school district seeks an appeal, a quorum of the members elected to the board of directors of that school district must attend all proceedings regarding each appeal and be seated with their chosen representative at any appeal proceeding.  Last action: Meeting set before the House Local Government Committee (5/4/10)

HB 2108 (Ellis)(PN 3595): Would amend the Whistleblower Law to further define “employer” as any of the following which receives money from a public body to perform work or provide services: (1) an individual; (2) a partnership; (3) an association; (4) a corporation for profit; or (5) a corporation not for profit. “Public body” would be further amended to include the General Assembly and its agencies. Regarding enforcement, the bill states a court would also award a prevailing complainant all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and witness fees. Penalties would be increased to $10,000 and suspension from public service for up to seven years. The bill would protect employees who report wrongdoing or waste by a public body or waste by any employer.  Last action: Approved by the House (Vote: Y:187/N: 0) (4/26/10)

HB 2235 (Vitali)(PN 3171): The State Forest Natural Gas Lease Moratorium Act would establish a moratorium during which State forest lands may not be leased for the purposes of natural gas exploration, drilling or production. The moratorium would expire after five years. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources would have a duty to monitor and assess the impact of the leases granted for the purposes of natural gas exploration, drilling or production on State forest lands that took effect prior to and during the moratorium, and would issue an annual report to the General Assembly and the Governor regarding the effect of natural gas exploration, drilling or production on State forest lands. The bill provides for the contents of the report and for post-moratorium leasing.  Last action: Set on the House calendar (5/3/10)

HB 2379 (DePasquale)(PN 3472): Would amend the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to further provide for definitions and increasing prize limits; authorizing progressive games with a maximum cash value of $5,000; authorizing and providing for insured games; further providing for limited sales, for recordkeeping by requiring each eligible organization to report to the department, authorizing more than one eligible organization to use the same location and the sale of another’s raffle tickets, providing for eligible organizations’ use of locations for conducting small games of chance and for separate individual prize limitations, providing for additional reporting and application requirements for eligible organizations; providing for application by licensed establishments, which would be assessed monthly at a rate of 30% of gross games of chance revenue to be deposited in the Pension Stabilization Reserve Fund and would be assesses monthly another 20% to be used for public interest purposes; establishing the Pension Stabilization Reserve Fund, which would be used to satisfy mandatory contributions to SERS and PSERS by the Commonwealth; and further providing for revocation of licenses and for advertising.  Last action: Hearing set before the House Gaming Oversight Committee (6/2/10)

HB 2392 (Shapiro)(PN 3579): Would amend the Insurance Company Law to extend the date when mini-COBRA insurance coverage expires to 15 months after the date the covered employee’s or eligible dependent coverage under the group policy would have terminated because of a qualifying event. It would add language to ensure the increased time frame tracks federal law and there are no gaps in the coverage. It would also provide that a covered employee or eligible dependent whose continuation of coverage terminated upon the expiration of a period of months prior to the effective date of this new section wouldhave the continuation of coverage reinstated for an additional six months under the same terms and conditions that existed on the date of the qualifying event which prompted eligibility under the Act.  Last action: Approved by the House (Vote: Y:194/N: 0) (4/27/10)

HB 2475 (Readshaw)(PN 3675): Would amend the Insurance Company Law to prohibit discrimination of volunteer ambulance service providers from being insured. Definitions are given and the insurance company must accept and improve an application by one engaged in the provision of volunteer ambulance services.  Last action: Introduced and referred to the House Insurance Committee (4/29/10)

HR 593 (Cruz)(PN 3102): A Resolution to urge the United States Census Bureau to change its policy of recording the residence of incarcerated persons from the location of the correctional facilities to the last known home address of such persons.  Last action: Set on the House calendar (5/3/10)

HR 757 (Stern)(PN 3583): A Resolution to honor the memory of law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty in this Commonwealth and recognizing the memorial service in their honor in Soldiers’ Grove at the State Capitol Complex on May 3, 2010.  Last action: Adopted (Vote: Y:191/N: 0) (4/28/10)

HR 759 (George)(PN 3585): A Resolution to designate the week of May 2 through 8, 2010, as “Drinking Water Week” in Pennsylvania.  Last action: Adopted (Vote: Y:194/N: 0) (4/28/10)

HR 775 (Denlinger)(PN 3634): A Resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to refrain from imposing unfunded mandates on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its citizens.  Last action: Meeting set before the House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee (5/4/10)

HR 777 (Payne)(PN 3640): A Resolution to designate the week of May 16 through 22, 2010, as “Emergency Medical Services Week” in Pennsylvania; designating May 19, 2010, as “Emergency Medical Services for Children Day” in Pennsylvania; and designating May 21, 2010, as “Emergency Medical Services Day” in Pennsylvania.  Last action: Set on the House calendar (5/3/10)

SB 201 (Pippy)(PN 208): A Joint Resolution to propose an amendment to the PA Constitution decreasing the number of House districts to 161 and the number of Senate districts to 40. Additionally, the House and Senate would be required to each reduce their budgets by 20% compared to the budgets of the prior year.  Last action: Hearing set before the Senate State Government Committee (4/30/10)

SB 684 (Vogel)(PN 779): A Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the PA Constitution reducing the size of the General Assembly to 30 senatorial and 121 representative districts.  Last action: Hearing set before the Senate State Government Committee (4/30/10)

SB 828 (Vogel)(PN 1898): Would amend the Public Eating and Drinking Place Law by providing definitions and adding language providing the act would not apply to food or drink prepared in a private home and used or offered for human consumption by any of the following organizations: a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization; a volunteer fire company or an ambulance, religious, charitable, fraternal, veterans, civic, agricultural fair or agricultural association or any separately chartered auxiliary of any of these associations, on a not-for-profit basis; or an organization that is established to promote and encourage participation and support for extracurricular recreations activities for youth of primary and secondary public, private and parochial school systems on a non-for-profit basis.  Last action: Referred to the House Appropriations Committee (4/28/10)

SB 1160 (Argall)(PN 1537): A Joint Resolution proposing separate and distinct amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reducing the size of the General Assembly and changing the term for members of the House of Representatives from two years to four years. Provides reductions in the House shall begin with the reapportionment following the 2010 census and reduce the size from 203 to 193 members. Reductions shall again be reduced by ten members following the 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050 census ending with 153 members in 2053. Reductions in the Senate shall begin with reapportionment following the 2010 census and reduce the size from 50 to 49 members. Following the 2020 and 2030 censuses the Senate shall be reduced by two members ending with 45 members in 2033.  Last action: Hearing set before the Senate State Government Committee (4/30/10)

–(For PSATS official position, detailed analyses, and the up-to-date status of these bills and others, please contact, cadams@psats.org)–

The PSATS Capitol Hill Report on Selected Bills of Interest

A Look Ahead to Next Week

Committee Meetings of Interest to Townships

(All meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted, schedules are subject to change)

Monday, 5/3:

– The Senate Finance Committee will consider: SR 250

Tuesday, 5/4:

– The House Judiciary Committee will consider: HB 1926

– The House Local Government Committee will consider: HB 2020, HB 2022, HB 2023

– The House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will consider: HR 775

Wednesday, 5/5:

– The Senate Finance Committee will consider: SB 1277, SB 1278

Thursday, 5/6:
– The House Gaming Oversight Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 2379

 

PSATS-TRACKED BILLS ON THE CALENDARS NEXT WEEK:
House: 2nd consideration: HB 1858, HB 1902, HB 1303, HB 2235, HB 169, HB 590, HB 1445; 3rd consideration: HB 1874, HB 1884, HB 1787; resolutions: HR 593, HR 731, HR 777

Senate: 3rd consideration: HB 67, SB 288, HB 2070; 2nd consideration: HB 117, SB 672, SB 918, SB 1176, HB 1196, SB 1249

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