HB (House Bill), SB (Senate Bill), HR (House Resolution), SR (Senate Resolution), PN (Printers Number)

 

HB 10 (Turzai, R-Allegheny) (PN 1957):

Would amend the Second Class County Port Authority Act to require the authority to provide transportation for the handicapped and grant to the Public Utility Commission sole jurisdiction over any authority other than one created under this act providing mass transit.

Last Action: Public hearing held before the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (9/14/11)

 

HB 11 (Turzai, R-Allegheny) (PN 2343):

Would amend the Liquor Code to provide for the privatization of sales of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania through the abolition of the state Liquor Store System, through the establishment of a franchise and license system for sale of wine and spirits, and through the imposition of a tax on wine, spirits, and beer.  The Liquor Control Board would be required to annually report to the General Assembly on wholesale and retail alcohol sales; five years following the passage of the legislation, the LCB would be required to conduct a thorough review of the operations of wholesale licensees and retail licensees. The LCB would be granted new powers and duties to include establishing a licensure process, a blended brand valuation for each brand of liquor sold by liquor stores, retail zones, and a process to award the licenses. The Department of General Services would transition the board’s wholesale distribution function to privately-owned and operated wholesale licensees before divesting the board’s retail operations.  DGS would also be required to substantially divest the board of all operations relating to the retail sale of alcohol in Pennsylvania within 24 months.  The legislation outlines standards that applicants must meet and information they must provide in order to receive a license, including a $10,000 application fee, as well as a license fee upon issuance of a license.  The legislation would also provide for wholesale licensure and duties of wholesale licensees.  No person would be authorized to possess or be issued more than five (currently one) distributor’s licenses or one importing distributor’s license.  The bill also grants displaced liquor store employees preference in public hiring by adding three points to their civil service examinations.  If a paid state position does not require a civil service examination, a displaced employee who possesses the requisite qualifications and is eligible to appointment in a paid state position would be given a preference in the appointment by the appointing authority.  Also, a displaced employee would be eligible for a two-year educational grant for attending a program of instruction at an institution of higher education and a displaced employee would be eligible for a two-year reemployment tax credit voucher in the amount of $1,000 per taxable year.  An employer in Pennsylvania who employs a displaced employee on a full-time basis could, upon transfer of the voucher from the employee to the employer, use the voucher as a credit against the state tax liability of the business.  The excise tax rate for wine and natural sparkling wine would range from $8.25 to $9 per gallon.  The excise tax rate for liquors would range from $11 to $12 per gallon. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House Liquor Control Committee (9/13/11)

 

HB 242 (Everett, R-Lycoming) (PN 1540):

Would amend the Liquor Code to further provide for distilleries by allowing the PLCB to issue a limited distillery license to allow the holder thereof to operate a distillery to not exceed production of 40,000 gallons of distilled liquor per year, under certain conditions.  The legislation would also provide for temporary limited distillery licenses.  Limitations would be placed on the holder of a limited distillery license in terms of where the liquor can be sold, the selling of food, and the providing of samples.  The fee for the limited distiller license would be set by the PLCB but could not exceed $1,500.  

 Last Action: Public hearing held before the Senate Law and Justice Committee (9/15/11)

 

HB 361 (Swanger, R-Lebanon) (PN 326):

The Pennsylvania Official Language Act would recognize the English language as the official language of the Commonwealth and would also designate it as the language of official acts of government.  The Commonwealth would not make any policies expressing a preference for any language other than English or diminishing or ignoring the unifying role of English.  Elected and appointed officers of the Commonwealth would be responsible to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the role of English, as the official language, is preserved and enhanced.  The legislation adds that any person who is a resident of or doing business in Pennsylvania would have standing to sue any agency or official of the Commonwealth to seek a declaratory judgment as to whether this act has been violated and injunctive relief.  A person who prevails in such a suit would be entitled to costs of bringing and maintaining the suit, including reasonable attorney fees. 

Last Action: Public hearing held before the House State Government Committee (9/14/11)

 

HB 888 (Perry, R-York) (PN 944):

The Official Language Act would establish the English language as the official language of the Commonwealth. 

Last Action: Public hearing held before the House State Government Committee (9/14/11)

 

HB 1826 (Scavello, R-Monroe) (PN 2344):

Would amend the Regulatory Review Act to allow for the review, upon petition of the General Assembly or the commission, of regulations by the commission that have been in effect for at least two years. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House State Government Committee (9/13/11)

 

HB 1829 (Benninghoff, R-Centre) (PN 2347):

Would amend the Right-to-Know Law to exempt the name and address of jurors from the provisions of the law. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House State Government Committee (9/13/11)

 

HB 1836 (Petri, R-Bucks) (PN 2353):

Would authorize the incurring of indebtedness, with the approval of electors, of up to $150,000,000 for the preservation of land for open- space uses and for the mitigation of flood hazards. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (9/14/11)

 

HB 1837 (Petri, R-Bucks) (PN 2354):

The Flood Hazard Mitigation Act would authorize the acquisition of property by local government units to mitigate flood hazards. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (9/14/11)

 

HB 1838 (Petri, R-Bucks) (PN 2355):

The Small Disaster Assistance Act would provide for small disaster assistance, for low-interest loans to individual disaster victims and businesses, and for municipal grants to be administered by Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  It would establish the Small Disaster Assistance Fund to assist the victims of small disasters with low-interest loans and grants; and confers powers and duties on various Commonwealth agencies.  Upon a small disaster declaration, assistance would be made available to individuals, businesses, and municipalities within a county that suffered a level of physical damage from the small disaster.

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee (9/14/11)

 

SB 1226 (Stack, D-Philadelphia) (PN 1521):

Would amend the Oil and Gas Act to require the Department of Environmental Protection to require hydraulic fracturing well operators to complete various requirements, including a form posted on the hydraulic fracturing chemical registry Internet website of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission with regard to the well, and to provide a list detailing the chemical ingredients used in the hydraulic fracturing process. 

Last Action: Corrective Reprint, Printer’s No. 1521 9-15-11 S

 

SB 1243 (Vance, R-Cumberland) (PN 1519):

Would amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to allow the subdivision of agricultural land conservation easements so long as the tract of land to be subdivided does not exceed two acres, and then could only be used for residential purposes or for agricultural or forest reserve under the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act. 

Last Action: Introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (9/13/11)

 

FUTURE TOWNSHIP-RELATED LEGISLATION:

(Click on the links to read the actual co-sponsorship memos)

 

– Rep. Fred Keller (R-Snyder) will soon introduce legislation to require the Environmental Quality Board to develop standards for the construction of oil and gas well pads.

 

– Sen. Jane Earll (R-Erie) will soon introduce legislation to place limitations on the redirection of the local share of gaming revenue.

 

– Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) will soon introduce legislation to provide a temporary statewide moratorium on court-ordered reassessments.

 

– Rep. Joseph Preston (D-Allegheny) will soon introduce legislation to provide assistance in the proper siting of cell phone towers.

 

– Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Washington) will soon introduce legislation to expand the Castle Doctrine to add the concept of “disparity of force.”

 

– Rep. Louise Bishop (D-Philadelphia) will soon introduce legislation to honor the victims and responders of Tropical Storm Lee.