Sunday, June 28, 2015

SB 6, PN 1124 (Smucker) – This legislation amends the School Code to create a new article providing for the establishment of an Achievement School District (ASD), which will operate as a statewide school district in an attempt to turnaround schools with a track record of poor academic achievement.  It establishes a board of directors (seven members), with a chairman and an executive director.  Senator Leach offered amendment A02872, which brings the composition of the board in line with other boards in the Commonwealth.  Senator leach noted that the bill appears to simply stack the board with republican appointees by allowing House Republicans (current majority) and Senate Republicans (current majority) 2 appointees each, versus democrats that get one appointee each per chamber.  He also commented that his staff couldn’t find another board under Commonwealth law that has a structure similar to the one to be formed under this bill.  Echoing Senator Leach’s comments, Senator Hughes stated that the composition of the board under this bill lacks balance and fairness.  Curiously, the amendment failed on a party line vote of 19-30.  Senator Teplitz offered amendment A02731, which would exempt schools that are under the oversight of a chief recovery officer.  The amendment failed, 19-30.  At this point Senator Corman made a motion to suspend the Rules of the Senate and to continue debate after 11pm.  The motion carried by a vote of 47-2.   Senator Dinniman proceeded to offere amendment A02846, which would make use of the collective teacher autonomy model in charter schools.  The amendment failed, 19-30.  Ultimately, the bill was approved by a vote of 27-22.

HB 329, PN 1195 (A. Harris) – HB 329 designates a portion of Route 22 in Mifflin County “The Corporal John S. Valent Memorial Highway.”  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 533, PN 490 (Eichelberger) – The bill establishes criteria in the disposition of contraband left in the possession of probation and parole agencies.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 536, PN 1118 (Tomlinson) – This bill amends as the Insurance Company Law of 1921 by placing certain cost sharing restrictions on pharmaceutical benefits offered as part of a health insurance plan.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 748, PN 790 (Argall) – SB 748 eliminates the mandatory escort of super-sized loads by the Pennsylvania State Police and replaces them with certified pilot escorts.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 756, PN 1009 (Schwank) – The bill amends Title 64 (Public Authorities and Quasi-Public Corporations) by further providing for the First Industries Program expiration provision.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.

SB 862, PN 1129 (Smucker) – Amends School Code to coordinate with child abuse clearance changes made in the Child Protective Services Law.  A vote of 49-0 was recorded.