SB 48, PN 584 (Gordner) – This bill amends Title 25 (Elections) to require a review and recommendation process whenever the Administration proposes decertifying voting machines in at least 50% of counties. Senator Hughes offered amendment A00952 which would would require the General Assembly to establish the Voting System Decertification Commission, consisting of legislative members, within 10 days of the effective date of the bill and make recommendations on voting system decertification and security within 90 days. Also, the Department of State would no longer have to provide 180 days’ advance notice of decertification to the General Assembly. Instead, it would provide the commission with 30 days’ notice before decertification. Finally, the amendment provides the Pa. Economic Development Financing Authority with the power to issue bonds to provide up to $150 million in financing to pay for the counties’ voting machine procurements, and creates a grant program to pay for or reimburse counties for those costs. A grant to a county for each machine cannot exceed $5,000 and the Department will set the maximum grant amount for a county’s associated expenditures, such as software and testing, not to exceed 50% of the county’s associated expenditures. The amendment failed by a vote of 22-26 and the bill was approved by a vote of 27-21.
SB 146, PN 426 (Brooks) – This legislation amends Chapter 73 (Commonwealth Services) Subsection F (State Fire Commissioner) of Title 35 (Health and Safety). The amendment adds a section providing for online training for volunteer and career firefighters. Senator Brooks offered amendment A00951 which incorporates the duty of the State Fire Commissioner to establish guidelines for developing, delivering and sustaining training programs. Clarifies that the State Fire Commissioner shall use money in the Online Training Educator and Training Reimbursement account and have the duty to provide written reports detailing the use of the Online Training Educator and Training Reimbursement Account to members of the General Assembly. The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and the bill went over in its order.
SB 178, PN 658 (Browne) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Election Code requiring all candidates and political committees to file campaign finance reports and statements electronically online. Senator Costa offered amendment A00941 which allows political action committees to donate residual funds to non-profit charities so long as the charity is not affiliated with the candidate, chairman of the committee., treasurer of the committee, or their spouse or children. The non-profit must be qualified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3). The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote and the bill went over in its order.
SB 440, PN 418 (Phillips-Hill) – This bill would permanently establish the Flexible Instructional Days Program in PA. A vote of 48-0 was recorded.
The Senate confirmed the following executive nominations by a vote of 48-0:
Anthony J. Carrelli, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania (reappointment)
Russell C. Redding, Secretary of Agriculture (reappointment)
Cynthia A. Dunn, Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources (reappointment)
Jennifer S. Smith, Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs (reappointment)
Curt M. Topper, Secretary of General Services (reappointment)
Rachel L. Levine, Secretary of Health (reappointment)
Jessica K. Altman, Insurance Commissioner of Pennsylvania (reappointment)
Alexander J. Grazani, State Planning Board (reappointment)
C. Daniel Hassell, Secretary of Revenue (reappointment)
Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation (reappointment)