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The Senate unanimously approved a bill that would create a Special Education Funding Commission to identify the most effective and equitable way to distribute special education funding to school districts or charter schools.

Under House Bill 2, the commission would include 15 members, including the chairman and minority chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees, four legislators chosen by caucus leadership, the Secretary of Education, Secretary of the Budget and the Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The commission would consult with experts and school officials to examine all of the variables that go into special education needs, and make recommendations to the legislature.

El proyecto de ley se dirige ahora a la mesa del Gobernador.

 

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            The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 492, which assures that a crime victim or victim’s representative may appear personally before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to provide testimony about an inmate’s application for parole.

Under current law, if the victim or family member wants to testify, a hearing officer is assigned to hear the testimony. There is no clear requirement that the board itself hear their testimony.

The measure also allows the victim or their representative to present testimony though electronic means.

El proyecto de ley pasa ahora a la Cámara.

 

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Senate Bill 583 passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill would increase the amount an Economic Development Authority can contract for before it must procure services through competitive sealed bids. The amount would increase from $10,000 to $18,500

There are several new laws in place that modernized the amount at which various local governments and authorities must competitively bid and advertise for projects or purchases.

The Economic Development Financing Law, which was amended in 1993 to also establish bid amount thresholds for authorities operating under that act, was not similarly updated.

El proyecto de ley está ahora en la Cámara.

 

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The senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 419, which validates conveyances and other legal instruments that have acknowledgments containing technical errors. The legislation would validate acknowledgements for deeds and mortgages dated after 2005 and prior to 2013.

Act 69 of 1967 was last amended in 2005 and the General Assembly has customarily updated its provisions about every seven years. When a technical error exists in acknowledgments, it makes subsequent transfers of property difficult unless the error is corrected through this type of legislation.

El proyecto de ley está ahora en la Cámara.

 

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            The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 591, which would increase limits for loan purchases for the Local Government Project Loan Fund.

The bill would amend three provisions of the Local Government Capital Project Loan Fund Section of the Fiscal Code in four ways. It would: increase the limits for equipment loan purchases from $25,000 to $50,000 for any single piece of equipment; increase the loan amount for purchasing, constructing, or renovating a facility from $50,000 to $100,000; explicitly limit the term of equipment loans purchases made to the useful life of the equipment and limit the term of facility purchase loans to 15 years.

El proyecto de ley pasa ahora a la Cámara.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 155, which would provide an exemption from rabies vaccination for dogs and cats with existing medical conditions.

Under the bill, the exemption from vaccination against rabies must be approved by a licensed veterinarian based on the fact that it would be medically inadvisable to vaccinate a dog or cat due to an infirmity, other physical condition or regimen of therapy. The Department of Agriculture would be required to develop an exemption form that must be completed and signed by the veterinarian and animal owner. An exemption would be valid for up to one year.

If the bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would join 15 other states, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Virginia, in providing medical exemptions from rabies vaccination.

The bill was referred to the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 508, which would allow a crime victim or a member of the victim’s family to testify before a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole when the victim’s offender is being considered for parole.

Currently, a crime victim may present written or oral comments for parole board consideration, as well as testify before a hearing examiner. State law does not allow for direct testimony before the board.

El proyecto de ley se encuentra ahora en la Comisión Judicial de la Cámara de Representantes.

 

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