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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1090, which would add police stations to the state’s safe haven law.

The measure would require police officers working at the police station to accept a newborn from a parent seeking to relinquish it. It would also require that the child be transported to a hospital for care.

The Safe Haven Law provides parents with a place to release their child safely without fear of legal penalty. It currently only applies to hospitals.

The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.


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The Senate voted unanimously to approve House Bill 1574 and House Bill 1575, which would amend the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act of 1980 and Title 15 to allow an HMO to be organized as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Currently, any corporation can establish an HMO, but the privilege does not extend to LLC’s. This limits certain business opportunities for non-profit HMOs that have both for-profit and non-profit hospital owners.

An LLC is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions.

An HMO is an organization that provides or arranges managed care for health insurance, self-funded health care benefit plans, individuals, and other entities in the United States and acts as a liaison with health care providers (hospitals, doctors, etc.) on a prepaid basis.

The bills now go to the governor for consideration.


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The Senate voted 44-6 to approve Senate Bill 405, which would amend the Generic Equivalent Drug Law so that biologically similar drugs can be substituted for brand name drugs by a pharmacy.

A generic drug may only be substituted if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves it, the doctor prescribing the brand name biological product doesn’t specifically deny the generic brand, that doctor receives notification of the substitution within 72 hours, and the record of the substitution is kept for two years by both the pharmacist and doctor.

The state Department of Health will oversee and enforce the change, as well as publicize information relating to which drugs can be interchanged.

The bill is in the House for consideration.


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The Senate voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 819, which would amend the Pharmacy Act to allow pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children over the age of 7 with parental consent.

Currently, pharmacists and pharmaceutical interns can only administer the vaccine to adults over the age of 18.

The bill also requires that pharmacists maintain at least $1 million dollars of liability insurance per occurrence or claim made.

The influenza vaccination is an annual vaccination using a vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

El proyecto pasa ahora a la Cámara para su examen.


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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1409, which would amend the Board of Vehicles Act, permitting Tesla Motors to sell its vehicles in Pennsylvania.

This bill would allow any dealer who produces only electric cars to own and operate up to five new vehicle dealerships. This would apply as long as the manufacturer has had a new vehicle license for at least one year and all of the vehicles they sell are in compliance with the Board of Vehicles Act.

The bill now goes to the House for approval.


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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1422, which would amend judiciary code to clarify how liable a business is for an asbestos claim.

This bill would apply to businesses that purchased or merged with a business that is sued for asbestos exposure. With the passage of this bill, the new parent business, which was not in charge at the time of the damage, could not be sued for more than what the original company (responsible for the asbestos damage) was worth.

Under current law, there is no limit to the amount the new owner can be sued for.

The proposed limit on liability would not apply in the following cases: if the asbestos damage lawsuit was placed on or before January 1, 1972, if the lawsuit does not relate to asbestos, if an insurance business purchased the original company, or if the new parent business continued in asbestos marketing after the merge or consolidation.

Asbestos is a heat-resistant mineral that was often used in insulation, until it was discovered that it could cause illness and cancer.

El proyecto pasa ahora a la Cámara para su examen.


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The Senate has unanimously approved legislation that would outlaw the use of unmanned aircraft to intentionally disturb or interfere with those who are lawfully hunting, fishing, or boating.

While there have not been any reported cases in Pennsylvania, drones have been used in Massachusetts to collect footage and disturb hunters. Illinois, Idaho, and Wisconsin have all enacted similar legislation.

The legislation is comprised of two bills (Senate Bill 1332 and Senate Bill 1334), which pertain respectively to the state’s Game and Fish codes. Violators would be committing a summary offense. Kasunic said wildlife/waterways conservation officers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife officers, law enforcement and military personnel would be exempt from the provisions of the legislation.

El proyecto pasa ahora a la Cámara para su examen.


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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1155, which would establish a 13-member Aggregate Advisory Board to advise on surface mining issues such as experimental mining practices, alternate methods of backfilling, pollution liability, reclamation plans and bonding rates.

The board would be chaired by the secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection. The board would prepare an annual report for the House and Senate committees on Environmental Resources and Energy.

El proyecto de ley pasa ahora a la Cámara.


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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1188, which would dissolve the state Racing and Harness Racing commissions, which were under the state Department of Agriculture, and replace them with an independent five-member State Racing Commission.

The measure would set the guidelines and parameters for oversight of horse racing in Pennsylvania. The legislation would help modernize the commission structure and ensure that there are proper resources for industry oversight and testing.

Prompted by a Churchill Downs lawsuit, the bill would also allow out-of-state businesses to accept telephone or Internet horse racing wagers from Pennsylvania residents.

El proyecto de ley pasa ahora a la Cámara.


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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 118, which would extend the state’s whistleblower law to cover private-sector company employees who report fraud, waste, or abuse of public dollars. It would also increase the fine for public and private sector entities that retaliate against an employee from $500 to $10,000.

A companion piece to House Bill 185, the bill was presented to the governor for his consideration July 1.


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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 185, which would change the state’s whistleblower law to include employees of the General Assembly and its agencies. They are not now covered by the statute.

A companion piece to House Bill 118, the legislation is designed to prevent employers who retaliate against employees who report waste, fraud or abuse of public dollars.

House Bill 185 was presented to the governor for his consideration July 1.


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The Senate unanimously voted in favor of Senate Bill 1078, which would change the county pension law to better direct how county retirement boards consider cost-of-living adjustments.

Some county retirement boards have been reluctant to approve cost-of-living increases because they believed the adjustments should be retroactive to the previously approved cost-of-living increase. This has been especially true in counties with insufficient available funds.

The measure would establish that cost-of-living increases do not have to be retroactive.

The bill awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee.


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The Senate unanimously approved legislation allowing the use of crossbows while game hunting. In 2012, the state Game Commission gave unanimous preliminary approval to a regulation change that made permanent the lawful use of crossbows in archery deer, bear and turkey seasons. House Bill 1144 gives that action the force of law.

It now goes to the governor’s desk.


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The Senate unanimously passed a bill to repeal the Pennsylvania Employment Agency Law (PEAL), originally enacted in 1941. PEAL requires that employment agencies be registered with the state, but House Bill 1980 was passed to recognize the proliferation of on-line, multi-state agencies, such as

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.


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The Senate unanimously passed legislation that would expand the types of investments municipalities can make. Under current state and local regulations, municipalities are generally limited to safe, but low-yielding instruments.

Senate Bill 1207 would add high quality money market instruments such as commercial paper, negotiable certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, and corporate notes to the authorized list of investments for local governments.

The bill now heads to the House.


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