Monday, October 19, 2020

SB 845, PN 1153 (Langerholc) – An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in size, weight and load, further providing for maximum gross weight of vehicles. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

HB 1033, PN 3906 (Moul) – This legislation amends the Assessors Certification Act (No. 28 of 1992) by clarifying that revaluation company personnel who are directly responsible for the valuation of real property must be certified as a Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator (CPE). Senator Corman offered amendment A07036 which removes the requirement that an applicant for a certification as a Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator “be of good moral character.” It also provides that the Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers may deny, suspend or revoke a certification of a person who is convicted of or pleads guilt to a crime “directly related to or directly bearing on the fitness or ability to perform duties necessarily related to” the development of property assessments. This language would clarify current law which broadly allows the board to deny, suspend or revoke certification if the person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a crime “substantially related to the qualifications or duties” of the person developing property assessments. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote. The bill was approved by a vote of 49-0.

SB 1279, PN 2001 (Mensch) – This bill would provide for essential family caregivers in facilities during disaster emergencies. Senator Mensch offered amendment A07640 which provides for: Essential family caregiver visitation by differing means based upon building structure and resident needs; and certain situations where the facility may restrict essential family caregiver visitation. It also provides for requirements for the designation of an essential family caregiver; a preference for outside visits where practicable; and additional requirements for inside visits and adds “compassionate care situation” to purposes for visitations by essential family caregivers and adds a definition. The amendment passed by a vote of 35-14.

Senator Muth offered amendment A07740 which does the following:

  • Clarifies that either a resident or a resident’s responsible party may select an essential caregiver.
  • Adds niece and nephew to the definition of “immediate family member”.
  • Requires that all facilities follow necessary precautions outlined by the Federal and State government,
  • Authorizes the department to temporarily limit essential caregiver visits while the facility works toward compliance with safety measures.
  • Requires facilities to have capability for rapid testing for all staff, residents and visitors before the facility allows any visitors.
  • Requires facilities to have adequate and consistent personal protective equipment access for all staff before the facility allows essential caregivers.
  • Provides for the resident to designate one or more essential caregivers and provides for facility’s identification of the designated caregiver.
  • Provides for additional time for an essential caregiver to remain in the facility when the resident has an identified unmet need.
  • Requires essential caregivers to comply with the facility’s infection control and safety protocols.
  • Provides that the state licensing agency is the final arbiter of disputes on essential caregiver restrictions or revocations, and clarifies that the facility’s decision on restriction or revocation is subject to the state licensing agency determination.

The amendment failed by a vote of 19-30. The bill was approved by a vote of 33-16.

SB 1339, PN 2049 (Yaw) – This bill authorizes the Department of General Services to grant a permanent easement on property in Clinton Township, Lycoming County. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 1341, PN 2050 (Yudichak) – This bill authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey ownership of the West Pittston Armory in West Pittston Borough, Luzerne County by competitive bid. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

HB 1584, PN 2032 (Everett) – The bill amends Title 30 (Game) by removing the current statutory restriction that bars Waterways Conservation Officers (WCOs) of the PA Fish and Boat Commission from being included in Act 111 for the purpose of seeking collective bargaining. A vote of 48-1 was recorded.

HB 1617, PN 2737 (Staats) – House Bill 1617 amends the Liquor Code (P.L. 90, No 21) to allow for a hotel license to be converted into a restaurant license, except in cities of the first class. Senator Stefano offered amendment A07700 which provides that a person who has an ownership interest in a limited winery license or a brewery license from being employed by an entity that holds a hotel, restaurant, eating place or club license if that person is not employed as alcohol services personnel or as manager. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and the bill was re-referred to the Appropriations committee.

HB 1838, PN 3590 (Causer) – This bill amends Titles 35 (Health and Safety) and 75 (Vehicles) to increase surcharges assessed upon moving violations and DUI convictions and adjust Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund allocations. A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

HB 2438, PN 4404 (Owlett) – The bill amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) by expanding broadband access throughout the Commonwealth with existing infrastructure. Senator Pittman offered amendment A07524 which is technical in nature, including correcting the term “broadband services provider” to the defined term “broadband services supplier” where it occurs. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and the bill went over in its order.

HB 440, PN 4018 (Delozier) – Provides automatic expungement of criminal record for full acquittals. Senator Baker offered amendment A07489 which makes technical corrections to the bill. Additionally, it requires the Board of Pardons, as well as AOPC and the State Police to identify and complete processing of records eligible for expungement due to acquittal or pardon. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and the bill was re-referred to the Appropriations committee.

HB 770, PN 4403 (DeLuca) – This legislation amends the Pharmacy Act to require licensing for pharmacy technicians in Pennsylvania. Senator Tomlinson offered amendment A07746 which makes the pharmacy co-vid waiver permanent. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote. Senator J. Ward offered amendment A07625 which allows pharmacies that hold a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waiver issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to order and perform laboratory examinations and procedures for COVID-19, influenza and streptococcal infections authorized by the FDA, and it exempts these pharmacies from the laboratory experience requirements under law. The amendment passed by a vote of 49-0 and the bill was re-referred to the Appropriations committee.

HB 1673, PN 4474 (Farry) – Amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) to do the following: Authorizes volunteer fire relief associations (VFRAs) to establish length of service award programs (LOSAPs) and other recruitment and retention activities and materials.  Enhances the State Fire Commissioner’s (SFC) role in determining eligible uses of VFRA funds. Makes changes to the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP).  Revamps the responsibilities of the State Fire Commissioner, including requiring them to be confirmed by the Senate. Re-authorizes the Fire and EMS Grant Program until June 30, 2024, and adds to the list of allowable expenses. Permits counties and school districts to offer up to 100% property tax credits to first responders. Senator Regan offered amendment A07739 which makes several technical changes to the bill mostly related to the retitling of the fund as the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund. Further the amendment caps the administrative costs of the Office of State Fire Commissioner in administering the grant and loan program at $500,000 rather than 2%. The amendment was approved by a vote of 30-19 bill was referred to the Appropriations committee.