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Appropriations 2021-2022

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, September 21, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 153 (Langerholc): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to further provide for the maximum gross weight of vehicles. 

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 302 (Yaw): This bill establishes the Firefighting Foam Management Act, which prohibits a person, firefighting entity, the Commonwealth, or a municipality from discharging or otherwise using a class B firefighting foam that contains an intentionally added PFAS chemical for testing purposes. 

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senators Kearney, Santarsiero, Saval, Schwank, Street, and Costa voted against the bill. 

Senate Bill 552 (Dush): This bill amends the Right-to-Know Law to add a new section related to “vexatious requester” and a complaint process overseen by the Office of Open Records. 

Enactment of this legislation would likely result in the need of an increased appropriation in the range of $200,000 to $350,000 in the first fiscal year with corresponding costs-to-carry increases in outyears. 

Senators Kearney, Saval, Costa, and Hughes voted against the bill. 

Senate Bill 673 (Dush): This bill amends The Second Class Township Code relating to auditors and accountants, providing for surcharge by auditors and providing the township managers appointment, removal, powers and duties, and compensation and bond. 

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 709 (Tomlinson): This bill creates the CMV Education and Newborn Screening Act. 

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 731 (Mensch): This bill amends the Charitable Gift Annuity Exemption Act to further provide for definitions and exemption of a qualified charitable gift annuity from regulation under insurance laws.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 739 (Stefano): This bill amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) related to definitions and membership on the Emergency Services Loan Assistance Program application review committee. 

This bill will not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth Funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Friday, June 25, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 397 (Pittman): This bill amends the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act to provide for physician assistants (PA-Cs), including practices, representation on the osteopathic board and physician oversight.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 398 (Pittman): This bill amends the Medical Practice Act to provide for physician assistants (PA-Cs), including practices, representation on the state medical board and physician oversight.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 574 (Brewster): This bill amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law to establish a county demolition and rehabilitation fund in each county.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 674 (Kearney): This bill makes four specific changes to the Borough Code in a manner consistent with recent revisions to the First Class Township Code.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 336 (Mackenzie): This bill makes repeals in the Administrative Code related to the Department of Banking & Securities. The bill was amended with an omnibus amendment.

On the amendment and the bill as amended, all democratic senators voted against the bill.

House Bill 523 (Day): This bill amends Section 15 of the General Roads Law, providing for the maintenance of private roads.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 952 (Oberlander): This bill amends the Tax Reform Code 1971 to provide for a sales and use tax computer data center exemption program. The bill was amended with an omnibus amendment.

Senator Saval voted against the amendment and the bill.

House Bill 957 (Moul): This bill amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to allow the owner of a multi-residential unit that is served by a single water meter to request an adjustment to its billed amount, if the amount billed exceeds the actual usage by 30% or more.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. There could be a negative fiscal impact on the funds of municipal authorities based on the new billed amounts authorized under the legislation.

House Bill 1348 (Saylor): This bill amends the Fiscal Code to make technical corrections and provide the Department of Human Services with the ability to transfer certain Federal funds. The bill was amended with an omnibus amendment.

On the amendment and the bill as amended, Senators Haywood, Saval, and Hughes voted against.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Thursday, June 24, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 480 (Kearney): This bill amends the Borough Code in Title 8 (Boroughs and Incorporated Towns) making various technical changes and clarifications to the Code.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth or local funds.

Senate Bill 772 (DiSanto): This bill amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 to update the Commonwealth’s annuity laws.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 1147 (Gaydos): This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to further provide for sexual offender treatment

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senator Saval voted against the bill

House Bill 1300 (Grove): This bill amends the Election Code, to make numerous changes to Pennsylvania’s election law in the areas of voter registration, mail-in voting, duties of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, duties of the county boards of elections, election audits and responsibilities of the Auditor General, voting machines and electronic pollbooks, voters’ bill of rights, authority of the Election Law Advisory Board, satellite election offices, early voting, ballot returns, powers of the Attorney General, penalties, and reimbursements to counties.

In consultation with the Governor’s Budget Office, the total potential estimated General Fund expenditures in fiscal year 2021-2022 could be $105.770 million. It is further estimated that in the year of enactment it would cost approximately $3.1 million to establish the Bureau of Election Audits within the Department of the Auditor General.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

House Bill 1349 (Pickett): This bill amends the Insurance Department Act of 1921 to modernize the process by which the Insurance Department conducts business.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 1429 (Schlegel-Culver): This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to create the offense of financial exploitation of an older adult or care-dependent person.

Assuming an average annual cost per inmate of about $30,000, counties could collectively experience increased county jail costs of about $5.25 million in the first year. Counties could also experience increased costs related to an increase inf probation officer caseloads and supervision as a result of the legislation.

Senator Saval voted against the bill.

House Bill 1621 (Marshall): This bill would create the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act to provide for small wireless facilities deployment.

This bill should not have a negative fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, June 23, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 78 (Baker): This bill amends Titles 23 (Domestic Relations) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to further provide for new definitions, factors to consider in child custody cases, the appointment of a guardian ad litem and counsel for a child, award of counsel fees, costs and expenses, and training programs for judges and court personnel related to child abuse and domestic abuse education.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on commonwealth or local funds.

Senators Haywood, Kearney, and Saval voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 708 (Bartolotta): This bill amends the Crime Victims Act to make various updates.

This legislation has a potential impact of $1.51 million to the Crime Victims Services and Compensation Fund. From this annual increase, $906,089 is reimbursable to the fund through federal funding. The annual impact of non-reimbursable funding is $604,059.

House Bill 156 (Owlett): This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to further provide for the admissibility of certain statements by witnesses.

This legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on commonwealth or local funds.

Senator Saval voted against the bill.

House Bill 178 (James): This bill amends the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law to make various technical changes and to extend the period of time allotted for parties to appeal UC determinations.

Fiscal implications are unknown at this time but are expected to be minimal.

House Bill 859 (Delozier): This bill amends the Department of Banking and Securities Code to further provide for the Banking Fund.

The enactment of this legislation should not have an adverse fiscal impact on the Banking Fund.

House Bill 1024 (Schemel): This bill amends the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016, making various revisions.

Some of the provisions related to information technology and programming may carry a cost, however it is expected the Department of Health will be able to implement these upgrades within existing resources.

Senators Schwank, Vogel, and Hughes voted against the bill.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, June 22, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, June 21, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 769 (Browne): This bill would create the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act to provide for small wireless facilities deployment.

This bill would not have negative fiscal impact on Commonwealth Funds.

House Bill 184 (Keefer): This bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to further provide for the offense of Causing or Aiding Suicide. The bill was amended to define autism spectrum disorder to reference the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder.

Assuming that most sentences will be greater than two years, triggering a mandatory state sentence, the Department of Corrections (DOC) could experience an increased cost of $40,165 in the first year (DOC assumes marginal costs of about $18 per day per inmate), with costs increasing in outyears due to housing additional inmates each year.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill as amended.

House Bill 741 (Heffley): This bill amends the Administrative Code to require a drug and alcohol recovery house to provide notice to a designated emergency contact when a resident is no longer attending the program.

This bill should not adversely impact Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 827 (Gillespie): This bill amends Title 72 (Taxation and Fiscal Affairs) to establish a microenterprise loan program.

This bill should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 944 (E. Nelson): This bill amends the Administrative Code to require inpatient drug and alcohol facilities to provide notice to a designated emergency contact when a resident leaves a facility against medical advice.

This bill should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, June 21, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 208 (DiSanto): This bill amends the Municipalities Planning Code to clarify Section 509 regarding final plat approval and the retention of posted financial security for improvements.

This bill should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 419 (Scavello): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to further provide for speed timing devices. 

This bill may result in fiscal impact to Commonwealth and Local Funds.

Senate Bill 550 (Robinson): This bill amends the Second-Class County Code to require cemeteries to remove worn and unsightly flags from the graves of veterans.

This bill should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 668 (J. Ward): This bill amends the State Lottery Law making revisions to the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program, including expanded eligibility.

This bill will result in an estimated $2.7 million in net savings in fiscal year 2021-22 and $818,429 in fiscal year 2022-23.

Senate Bill 675 (Schwank): This bill makes changes to the Third Class City Code in a manner consistent with a recent revision to the First Class Township Code providing further consistency among municipal classifications for procedural issues and offers greater autonomy for a third class city to receive management services. 

This bill should not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 696 (Laughlin): This bill amends the “Breach of Personal Information Notification Act” to update the act relating to personal information notification.

This bill should have minimal fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senators Haywood, Kearney, Santarsiero, Saval, Schwank, Street, Costa, and Hughes voted against the bill. 

Senate Bill 735 (J. Ward): This bill is a Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania further providing for qualifications of electors.

This legislation carries an estimated net cost of $1.3 to $1.5 million in the current fiscal year.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

House Bill 1508 (Saylor): This bill makes annual appropriations for fiscal year 2021-22 to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in support of the professional licensure boards.

This bill appropriates a total of $67.925 million from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account and other restricted revenue accounts within the General Fund to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in fiscal year 2021-22.

House Bill 1509 (Saylor): This bill provides for appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2021-22 from the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund to the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) and to the Office of Small Business Advocate in the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

This bill provides annual appropriations for FY 2021-22 relating to the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund. Specifically, the legislation appropriates $75.802 million from the Fund to L&I for expenses necessary to administer the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act.

House Bill 1510 (Saylor): This bill makes an annual appropriation from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund for the Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) in the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for fiscal year 2021-22.

This bill appropriates $1.896 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund for the operation of the Office of Small Business Advocate under DCED for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

House Bill 1511 (Saylor):This bill makes an annual appropriation from a restricted revenue account within the General fund for the operation of the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) in fiscal year 2021-2022. 

This bill appropriates $6.204 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund for the operation and expenses of the OCA in fiscal year 2021-2022.

House Bill 1512 (Saylor): This bill makes annual appropriations to provide for expenses of the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board for fiscal year 2021-22.

This bill would appropriate $52.294 million from the Public School Employees’ Retirement Fund and $0.955 million from the PSERS Defined Contribution Fund in fiscal year 2021-22 for expenses related to the administration and operation of the system’s retirement plans.

House Bill 1513 (Saylor): This bill makes annual appropriations to provide for expenses of the State Employees’ Retirement Board for fiscal year 2021-22.

This bill would appropriate $33.069 million from the State Employees’ Retirement Fund and $4.398 million from the SERS Defined Contribution Fund in fiscal year 2021-22 for expenses related to the administration and operation of the system’s retirement plans.

House Bill 1514 (Saylor): This bill makes annual appropriations to the Philadelphia Parking Authority for fiscal year 2020-21.

This bill appropriates $2.749 million from the Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulatory Fund and $100,000 from the Philadelphia Taxicab Medallion Fund to the Philadelphia Parking Authority for fiscal year 2021-22.

House Bill 1515 (Saylor): This bill makes annual appropriations to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) for fiscal year 2021-22.

This legislation would appropriate $78.477 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund and $5.128 million from federal funds to the PUC for fiscal year 2021- 22.

House Bill 1516 (Saylor):This bill makes the annual appropriations for the regulation and enforcement relating to gaming for fiscal year 2021-22. 

This bill appropriates a total of $84.818 million from the State Gaming Fund for administration and oversight of gaming activities in the Commonwealth. A total of $518,000 is appropriated from the Fantasy Contest Fund for administration and oversight of gaming activities relating to fantasy contests in the Commonwealth. The legislation appropriates $1.158 million from the Video Gaming Fund for administration and oversight of gaming activities relating to Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in the Commonwealth. Finally, the legislation appropriates $19.769 million from the State Gaming Fund to supplement the Pennsylvania State Police’s appropriation in the current 2020-21 fiscal year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, June 16, 2021and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 255 (Browne): This bill is the General Appropriations Act for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022.

Amounts included in Senate Bill 255 reflect the final enacted appropriations for the 2020- 21 fiscal year, including federal appropriations from the COVID Response Restricted Account used to supplement state expenditures. It is expected these amounts are placeholders for a revised 2021-22 budget proposal.

Senate Bill 265 (Browne): This bill provides $268.832 million in funding for the Pennsylvania State University for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

This bill  will cost the Commonwealth a total of $268.832 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 266 (Browne): This bill provides $154.853 million in funding for the University of Pittsburgh for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

This bill will cost the Commonwealth a total of $154.853 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 267 (Browne): This bill provides $158.206 million in funding for Temple University for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

This bill will cost the Commonwealth a total of $158.206 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 268 (Browne): This bill provides $15.166 million in funding for Lincoln University for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

This bill will cost the Commonwealth a total of $15.166 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 269 (Browne): This bill , provides $31.955 million in funding for the University of Pennsylvania for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

This bill will cost the Commonwealth a total of $31.955 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

House Bill 1154 (Masser): This bill amends the Liquor Code related to definitions, wholesale sales; drinks for off-premises consumption; and secondary service areas.

The bill was amended in committee to establish taxes and fees related to sales of ready-to-drink cocktails.

Based on a net present value calculation comparing the current ready-to-drink product line ($21 million) to the revenues collected through (1) the initial application fee, (2) annual renewal fee arrangement and (3) additional taxes as a result of increased sales volume, which amount to $45.7 million over the next 5 years.

The amendment and the bill were approved along party lines.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, June 14, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 119 (Pittman): This bill creates the Pennsylvania Carbon Dioxide Cap and Trade Authorization Act to require legislative authorization for measures, including participation in, or the establishment of, a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, that are designed to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions..

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senators Haywood, Kearney, Santarsiero, Saval, Schwank, Street, Costa, and Hughes voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 241 (Brewster): This bill amends s Title 30 (Fish) to provide an exemption from fishing license requirements for therapeutic recreation program participants.

According to the Fish and Boat Commission, enactment of this bill would have no additional negative fiscal impact on the Fish Fund due to the loss of license fees of participants.

Senate Bill 319 (Bartolotta): This bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to allow excess funds from a third-party settlement for benefits to be used to pay an employee’s future medical expenses as opposed to the employer paying those expenses.

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the legislation could result in cost savings from reducing future medical expense obligations for the Commonwealth as an employer as well as the State Workers’ Insurance Fund, the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund, the Self-Insurance Guaranty Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund. However, savings for these funding sources are unable to be quantified due to variability regarding claims and settlement amounts.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 324 (Langerholc): This bill amends the Public School Code of 1949 by adding a new section to Article XIII (relating to pupils and attendance) that would ensure students experiencing education instability graduate with a high school diploma.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 439 (Argall): This bill amends the Recorder of Deeds Fee Law to repeal the county demolition fund sunset.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 478 (Dush): This bill amends Act 78 of 1979 to authorize political subdivisions and authorities to enter into contracts for services when two consecutive advertisements fail to induce bids.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 503 (Regan): This bill 527 amends the Heart and Lung Act to extend coverage to additional classes of employees.

Using the same cost assumptions from commonwealth claims, if counties were to provide benefits to those employees under their oversight, it is estimated to cost $6.8 million annually. If housing and transit authorities were to provide benefits, the estimated cost is $259,000 annually. If colleges and universities were to provide benefits, the estimated cost is $528,000 annually.

Senate Bill 533 (Yaw): This bill amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) to add a new section relating to prohibiting regulatory action during disaster emergencies.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

House Bill 664 (Hershey): This bill amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) and 68 (Real and Personal Property) to provide for when business licenses are required for business operated on occasional basis by a minor.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

House Bill 765 (B. Miller): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to approve special event permits on state-designated roads without requiring local authorities to fully indemnify the Commonwealth.

This legislation should not have a negative fiscal impact on the Motor License Fund.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Thursday, June 10, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

House Bill 649 (Rapp): This bill creates the Access to Congregate Care Facilities Act, establishing procedures for granting access for essential caregivers during a disaster emergency.

This bill would not have an adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senators Flynn, Haywood, Hughes, Kearney, Saval, Schwank, Street, & Costa voted against the bill.

House Bill 854 (Ecker): This bill amends the Administrative Code to provide a new article relating to COVID-19 record retention. A new article relating to temporary regulatory flexibility authority is also added.

This bill may result in minimal costs related to information technology to preserve COVID-related records for 10 years after the disaster declaration is rescinded. There may be more significant costs related to personnel identifying and gathering records, as well as training costs for educating all employees on this separate retention policy.

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, June 8, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 255 (Browne): This bill is the General Appropriations Act for FY 2021-22.

This legislation includes state and federal appropriations for the 2020-21 fiscal year in the General Fund, select Special Funds, and the COVID Response Restricted Account.

Senate Bill 256 (Browne): This bill is the State Employees’ Retirement Board funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation would appropriate $30.696 million from the State Employees’ Retirement Fund and $4.557 million from the SERS Defined Contribution Fund in fiscal year 2021-22 for expenses related to the administration and operation of the system’s retirement plans.

Senate Bill 257 (Browne): This bill is the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation would appropriate $52.294 million from the Public School Employees’ Retirement Fund and $1.083 million from the PSERS Defined Contribution Fund in fiscal year 2021-22 for expenses related to the administration and operation of the system’s retirement plans.

Senate Bill 258 (Browne): This bill is the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs funding for FY 2021-22

This legislation appropriates a total of $ 69.741 million from the Professional Licensure Augmentation Account and other restricted revenue accounts within the General Fund to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in fiscal year 2021-22

Senate Bill 259 (Browne): This bill is the Workmen’s Compensation Act funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation provides annual appropriations for FY 2021-22 relating to the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund. Specifically, the legislation appropriates $75.802 million from the Fund to L&I for expenses necessary to administer the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act. In addition, the bill appropriates $280,000 from the restricted revenue account within the Fund to the Office of Small Business Advocate in DCED for its operations.

Senate Bill 260 (Browne): This bill is the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation would appropriate $78.061 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund and $5.022 million from federal funds to the PUC for fiscal year 2021- 22.

Senate Bill 261 (Browne): This bill is the Office of Consumer Advocate funding for FY 2021-22

This legislation appropriates $6.204 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund for the operation and expenses of the OCA in fiscal year 2021-2022.

Senate Bill 262 (Browne): This bill is the Office of Small Business Advocate funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation appropriates $1.896 million from a restricted revenue account within the General Fund for the operation of the Office of Small Business Advocate under DCED for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Senate Bill 263 (Browne): This bill is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation appropriates $67.079 million from the State Gaming Fund, $574,000 from the Fantasy Contest Fund and $1.042 million from the Video Gaming Fund.

Senate Bill 264 (Browne): This bill is the Philadelphia Parking Authority funding for FY 2021-22

This legislation appropriates $3.124 million from the Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulatory Fund and $100,000 from the Philadelphia Taxicab Medallion Fund to the Philadelphia Parking Authority for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Senate Bill 265 (Browne): This bill is the Pennsylvania State University and Agricultural College Land Scrip Fund funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation will cost the Commonwealth a total of $268.832 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 266 (Browne): This bill is the University of Pittsburgh funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation will cost the Commonwealth a total of $154.853 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 267 (Browne): This bill is the Temple University funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation will cost the Commonwealth a total of $158.206 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 268 (Browne): This bill is the Lincoln University funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation will cost the Commonwealth a total of $15.166 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 269 (Browne): This bill is the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Activities and the Center for Infectious Diseases funding for FY 2021-22.

This legislation will cost the Commonwealth a total of $31.955 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

Senate Bill 291 (Hughes): Capital Budget Act of FY 2021-22.

This legislation authorizes the Commonwealth to incur a maximum of $2.01 billion in bond indebtedness in FY 2021-22.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, May 25, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.  

Senate Bill 477 (J. Ward): This bill amends the Consolidated County Assessment Law (CCAL) to more precisely define changes to real property that could occur without authorizing the assessment office to adjust an assessment, and to increase the value of other improvements that may occur before the assessment office is required to be notified.

This legislation does not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

 Senate Bill 479 (Hutchinson): This bill provides for the responsibilities of coordinators and receivers appointed to assist financially distressed municipalities by requiring compliance with ethics statutes.

This legislation does not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth or municipal funds.

Senate Bill 484 (Stefano): This bill amends the Pennsylvania Long-term Care Council Act to add the chair of the State Veterans’ Commission or designee to the Council.

This legislation does not have an adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, May 24, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 28 (Phillips-Hill): This bill creates a freestanding act known as the “Permit Administration Act” to monitor and track the issuance of permits by state agencies and to allow third-party professionals to be used to resolve issues with permit applications that cause delays.

The implementation of this legislation will have significant cost to various state agencies that issue permits. The known costs to major permit issuing agencies would be $63.840 million in Fiscal Year 2020-21 and $67.040 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22.

The bill was reported out of committee along party lines.

 Senate Bill 126 (Brooks): This bill amends the Regulatory Review Act, to further provide for existing regulations.

 According to the Governor’s Budget Office, agencies may incur personnel and administrative costs as a result of being required to research economically significant  regulations and issue reports. Fee revenue could also be in jeopardy as regulations relating to fee structures could be deemed economically significant and thus could possibly be amended or rescinded.

 The bill was reported out of committee along party lines.

 Senate Bill 243 (Pittman): This bill amends the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to provide for the operation of games of chance during the disaster emergency.

 Enactment of this legislation could potentially have an impact on lottery sales and revenues.

 Senate Bill 520 (DiSanto): This bill amends the Regulatory Review Act to require the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to verify cost estimates of proposed regulations and the General Assembly to approve, via concurrent resolution, any final-form or final-omitted regulation carrying a cost impact estimate of $1 million annually for the commonwealth, local governments and the private sector.

 This bill may have cost and/or revenue implications for the commonwealth and its political subdivisions. The new requirement of cost impact review and verification by the IFO may result in a need for additional staff and related resources.

 The bill was reported out of committee along party lines.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, May 12, 2021 and reported the following bill from committee:

Senate Bill 664 (Corman): This bill amends the Public School Code of 1949, by adding two sections related to repeating a grade level in the 2021-22 school year.

The Department of Education anticipates no cost to the Commonwealth. There is an unknown cost to local school districts, depending on the number of students choosing to repeat a grade.

The bill was unanimously approved.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, May 10, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 82 (Brooks): This bill is a free-standing act that amends the Automobile Lemon Law to include motorcycles. 

This legislation should have no adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds or local funds.  

Senate Bill 115 (Boscola): This bill creates the free-standing act authorizing Pennsylvania to join the Nurse Licensure Compact. 

Enactment of Senate Bill 115 may result in fiscal impact to Commonwealth funds. While the expenditure of Commonwealth funds may be minimal, enactment may likely result in a decrease in revenue to the State Board of Nursing. 

Senators Kearney, Santarsiero, Saval, Costa, & Hughes voted against.  

Senate Bill 251 (Yaw): This bill establishes best practices for fertilizer use by providing for the labeling, application, recordkeeping, packaging, use, sale and distribution of agricultural fertilizer as well as turf or other specialty fertilizer. 

The bill requires the State Treasurer to transfer $100,000 from the General Fund to the Agronomic Regulatory Account to allow the Department of Agriculture (PDA) to develop courses and purchase computer software for enforcement. New revenues generated from the license fees, registration fees, applicator certification, fines and penalties established in the legislation are estimated to generate an additional $800,000 annually. The provisions will cause approximately $900,000 in new expenses a year. Additionally, provisions contained in the legislation provide the Department with the ability to adjust fees to meet its costs related to the program. 

Senate Bill 323 (J. Ward): This bill amends s the State Lottery Law to allow for continued eligibility if an individual’s maximum income limit is exceeded solely due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). 

According to the Department of Aging, the extension of this moratorium has been accounted for in the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 pharmaceutical assistance programs budgets and therefore should not adversely impact commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 341 (Phillips-Hill): This bill amends Title 66 (Public Utilities) to streamline regulations for telecommunication carriers. 

The enactment of this legislation should have no adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

All Senate Democrats voted against.  

Senate Bill 403 (Robinson): This bill amends Title 30 (Fish) to align the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Boat Registration period with the calendar year.  

The Commission has two customer cycles, which spreads the total registrations out over a 4-year period, therefore the loss of revenue is estimated by the Commission to be $1.33 million spread over a 4-year period. 

Senate Bill 432 (Laughlin): This bill amends the Department of Banking and Securities Code (Act 111 of 1933) to further provide for the Banking Fund. 

Enactment of this legislation should not have a adverse fiscal impact on the Banking Fund.  

Senate Bill 442 (Phillips-Hill): This bill establishes the State-owned Assets and Broadband Services Act. 

The Department of General Services (DGS) estimates that enactment of this legislation may cost the commonwealth $39.2 million in total. Costs are estimated by examining current revenues relating to contracts and anticipated buildout. The department also anticipates needing additional staff in the Office of Enterprise Wireless Management. 

All Senate Democrats voted against.  

Senate Bill 445 (Mensch): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to provide for contributions for breast cancer research. 

Enactment of this legislation should not have a adverse fiscal impact on the Motor License Fund.  

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, April 27, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 74 (Martin): This bill amends the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to provide for a pediatric cancer research tax credit.  The bill was amended in committee. The amendment was technical in nature.

The tax credit program would be capped at $10 million per fiscal year and apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2021.

Senate Bill 147 (Langerholc): This bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to require employer safety committees to provide information regarding risks associated with substance abuse. The bill was amended in committee. The amendment was technical in nature.

The legislation is not anticipated to have an impact on the State Workers’ Insurance Fund.

Senate Bill 156 (Mensch): This bill amends the Tobacco Settlement Act to make changes to the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, including eligibility expansion.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) estimates that the total net costs of the policy changes in this legislation will be $9.7 million.

Senate Bill 382 (Langerholc): This bill amends Title 74 (Transportation) to further provide for the duties and operation of the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Board and void prior initiatives of that board.

The bill would not have a direct fiscal impact but would require an additional approval process which could have a funding impact on the Motor License Fund.

The bill was approved along party lines.

Senate Bill 425 (Gordner): This bill makes various amendments to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act relating to informed consent.

The bill would not have any adverse impact on Commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 434 (Vogel & Schwank): This bill adds Subchapter C to Title 3 (Agriculture) providing for a milk sell by date and best by date labeling.

Enactment of this legislation should be revenue neutral.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, April 20, 2021 and reported the following bill from committee.

House Bill 766 (Griener): This bill amends the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to provide for a Covid-19 emergency finance and tax provision under the personal income tax as well as further provide for the due date under the corporate net income tax.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth or local funds.

The bill was unanimously approved.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Monday, April 19, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 83 (Brooks): This bill amends the School Code to establish a  Secondary Education Fire Training Pilot Program which provides fire training to  secondary school students through institutions of higher education.

The total cost for the pilot program would be a minimum of $450,000. The cost to the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee would be approximately $144,000  which can be absorbed in their existing operating budget.

Senate Bill 108 (Bartolotta): This bill amends the Human Services Code to provide a supplemental payment for certain skilled care facilities with a high number of claims days for ventilator or tracheostomy care.

This bill carries an estimated total cost of close to $13.1 million, shared between state and federal funds. For the 2020-21 annual payment, the state share would be an estimated $5.448 million

Senate Bill 114 (Boscola): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to further provide for the removal of snow and ice from a motor vehicle or motor carrier vehicle.

The enactment of this legislation should not have a negative fiscal impact on the Motor License Fund.

Senate Bill 190 (Mensch): This bill creates the “Essential Family Caregiver Designation Act.” The bill was amended in committee, the amendment was technical in nature.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

Senators Costa, Hughes, Saval, and Street voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 248 (Phillips-Hill): This bill amends Title 38 (Holidays and Observances) to establish two additional Veteran Recognition days in the Commonwealth to “recognize the contributions of veterans of the United States Armed Forces from this Commonwealth in major conflicts since the Vietnam War.”

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 317 (Browne): This bill creates a freestanding act to be known as the Expedited Partner Therapy Act. The legislation would allow for the issuance of a prescription to treat sexually transmitted infections without examination if that individual’s sexual partner is a patient of the prescriber, has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, and indicates the partner is unlikely to be examined or evaluated independently.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

Senate Bill 381 (Martin): This bill amends the Public School Code to remove the June 30, 2021 sunset for the substitute teacher program for prospective students.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

Senators Haywood, Saval, and Hughes voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 457 (Baker): This bill is a joint resolution proposing three amendments to Article IV of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, in sections relating to the qualifications and disqualifications of the Attorney General.

This legislation carries an estimated net cost of $1.3 to $1.5 million in the current fiscal year.

House Bill 110 (Causer): This bill amends the Hardwoods Development Council Act to provide for changes in membership of the Hardwoods Development Council.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

House Bill 203 (Toohil): This bill creates the “Living Donor Protection Act,” requiring outreach and education by the Department of Health and insurance protections.

This bill does not have an adverse impact on commonwealth funds.

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, March 23, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 411 (Browne): This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) to statutorily consolidate the Department of Corrections (Department) and Pennsylvania Parole Board (Board) as well as to transfer the Board of Pardons to Title 61.

Sen. Browne offered a technical amendment, which was adopted.  

Many of the provisions of Senate Bill 411 have already been implemented through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department and the Board. Since fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, the Commonwealth has achieved $12 million in savings as a result of the MOU, with those savings estimated to grow to $19.1 million in FY 2022-23.

House Bill 14  (Gregory): This bill is a Joint Resolution proposing an emergency amendment to 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.

This legislation should have minimal fiscal impact on Commonwealth or local funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday, March 17, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 69 (Langerholc): This bill establishes the Recovery-to-Work (R-T-W) Act to create a pilot program within the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) to provide individuals  in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction with career development opportunities and work  experience through local workforce development boards

The Department of Labor & Industry believes it will need $4.660 million to implement an effective two-year pilot program to serve 100 individuals.

All Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 137 (Hutchinson): This bill amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedures) to create the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Training Fund.

This legislation should have minimal fiscal impact on Commonwealth or local funds.

Senators Haywood, Kearney, Saval, & Hughes voted against the bill.


Senate Appropriations and Education held a  Joint Committee Hearing on March 4, 2021 on COVID Impact on Local Districts, Parents, Students, and Educators:


The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, February 23, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 36 (Phillips-Hill): This bill would extend fee exemptions to a service dog used in the performance of services by a police department, fire department or sheriff’s office or in the performance of rescue services or emergency medical services. 

This legislation would not have any adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 64 (Martin): This bill directs a portion of the state-allocated farmland preservation funding to be set aside annually for use by land trusts.  

The bill would divert $3 million annually from the state Agricultural Easement Purchase Program to be used by nonprofit land trusts. The legislation also requires that the land trusts provide matching funds, which could be raised from agri-businesses, lenders and/or private citizens. Other than the loss of this amount to the program, there are no other fiscal impacts to the Department of Agriculture.  

Senate Bill 96 (Robinson): This bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to further provide for contributions to the Veterans’ Trust Fund. 

Based on projected contributions from plates, driver’s licenses, and registrations for fiscal year 2020-21, a full fiscal year impact could be an additional $0.838 million per fiscal year. 

Senate Bill 106 (Argall): This bill proposes an amendment to the Commonwealth’s Constitution that would revise the procedure by which the Lieutenant Governor is elected. 

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. The total cost incurred for publishing following the passage of the bill in two consecutive sessions would be approximately $2 million to $3 million. 

Sen. Hughes voted against SB 106.

Senate Bill 116 (Scavello): This bill removes language on the operation of the Conservation Center which the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) no longer operates. It also modernizes the process for the sale and disposition of property.

This legislation would not have any adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds. 

Senate Bill 158 (Regan): This bill establishes medals for law enforcement officers, fire and EMS personnel.

This bill should result in minimal fiscal impact to Commonwealth funds. However, the cost of the medals will impact the local funds of the agency awarding the medal. 

House Bill 326 (O’Neal): This bill adds a section that would allow the Pennsylvania National Guard to participate in the distribution and administration of items for a virus.  

This legislation would not have any adverse fiscal impact on Commonwealth funds.  

Senate Appropriations and Education Joint Committee Hearing met on February 9, 2021 for a PASSHE Update:

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday, January 26, 2021 and reported the following bills from committee. Except where indicated, all bills were reported favorably by unanimous vote: 

Senate Bill 2 (K. Ward): This bill proposes three separate amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution,

under Articles I, III and IV. The first amendment would add a new section to Article I – Declaration of Rights. New Section 29 provides that equity of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of the race or ethnicity of the individual.

The second amendment would modify section 9 of Article III – Legislation, to exclude Joint Resolutions on the question of terminating or extending a declaration of disaster emergency from presentment to the Governor for approval.

The third amendment would add a new section to Article IV – The Executive, providing for the declaration and management of a disaster emergency by the Executive. New section 20 provides that the General Assembly shall, by statute, provide for the manner in which disasters shall be managed by the Executive. Further, the amendment restricts the timeframe for which a disaster emergency declaration shall be effective to no more than 21 days, unless extended by a concurrent resolution of the General Assembly.

The Department of State estimates the cost for the required publication of the passage of the Constitutional amendments to be approximately $1.3 million to $1.5 million, per required publication. Because this is the second passage of the amendments, the costs would be restricted to the current fiscal year.

The bill passed along party lines with all Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 8 (Baker): This bill amends Article 1, Section 11 (Courts to be open; suits against the Commonwealth) of the Pennsylvania Constitution, by adding a new subsection (b) to provide that for an individual where the statute of limitations period has expired, the individual will have a two-year window in which to file a civil action alleging childhood sexual abuse.

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. Because this is the second passage of the amendment, the costs would be restricted to the current fiscal year.

Senate Bill 87 (Baker): This bill amends Titles 18, 23 and 42 to increase the grading for the offense of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children) and to provide for additional circumstances where a sentencing enhancement would apply to the offense. The Task Force on Child Pornography is created.

Enactment of Senate Bill 87 may result in an impact to Commonwealth funds as it relates to increased state prison sentences and increased amount of time being served by defendants.

Senators Haywood, Saval, and Street voted against the bill.

Senate Bill 109 (Pittman): This bill amends the Fiscal Code to repeal the “COVID Relief – Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program.”

The bill was amended in committee to include the following:

Provide for the distribution of $912 million from the COVID-19 Response Restricted Account in the following manner:

  • Rental and Utility Assistance – $569.808 million will be allocated proportionally to all 67 counties based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for calendar year 2019. By September 30, counties must identify any excess or shortfall in funding. Any excess funding will be reallocated to counties identifying a need for additional funding based on the relative population proportion of the county.
  • Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (Discretionary) – $47.075 million for Pennsylvania’s discretionary allocation which will be appropriated as follows:
    • Career and Technical Centers – $17.5 million to be allocated proportionally based on the secondary Career and Technical Education subsidy for the  2019-2020 school year.
    • Intermediate Units – $17.5 million to be allocated proportionally based on aid ratio and average daily membership.
    • Charter Schools for the Deaf and Blind and Approved Private Schools – $7.075 million to be allocated proportionally based on the total number of students.
    • State System of Higher Education – $5 million.
  • Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (Non-Public Schools) – $150.023 million in funding for non-public schools.
  • Hospitality Industry Recovery Program – $145 million to be allocated proportionally to all 67 counties for grants to hotels, restaurants, bars and taverns. Certified local economic development agencies will be responsible for administering the program, and they will be limited on the amount of fees they can charge (1% of the grant amount plus a flat fee not to exceed $750; the combined maximum fee is  $1,250). The maximum grant award is limited to $50,000 per eligible recipient.