The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1656, which would repeal an outdated law that requires women to sign a separate consent form for the treatment of breast disease.

Current law requires patients to sign a “Consent for Treatment of Breast Disease” form when undergoing a breast biopsy in order to authorize any procedures that are deemed necessary to limit the use of general anesthesia. Since patients are no longer given general anesthesia when undergoing a breast biopsy, the signed consent form is no longer necessary.

Acknowledging the medical advancements made in the past 30 years, the bill would end the requirement for patients to sign a needless form.

The bill was sent to the governor for enactment.


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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 807, which would allow two or more independently chartered fire companies who share a relief association to send an elected delegate to represent the individual company at a statewide or corporation meeting. Thus, each individual fire company could send a duly elected delegate and receive travel expenses paid from relief funds.

The bill now goes to the governor.


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            The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1584, which would give waterways and wildlife conservation officers the discretion to issue written or verbal warnings in lieu of making arrests or issuing citations.

The measure now goes to the governor.


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The Senate voted 48-0 to approve House Bill 1529, which amends state law dealing with how second class townships file and record ordinances.

The change would allow the electronic filing of ordinances by a method of the township’s choosing. The county in which the township is located would then store the ordinances electronically, provided the public is able to access them during business hours. An email copy of the transmitted ordinance would be required to be retained by the township.

The bill is now before the governor for his consideration.


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The Senate unanimously approved an amended Senate Bill 1185.

The measure would allow the Allegheny County medical examiner to use the money collected from autopsy, toxicology, inquisition or coroner’s reports and spend the proceeds for related purposes, such as crime lab training and expenses.

Since Allegheny County no longer has a coroner’s office (but instead has an appointed medical examiner and also operates its own crime lab), its situation is unique. As such, the office has professionals who help with the functions of the office, including equipment and training, for which these funds may not be used.

Senate Bill 1185 is now before the House Local Government Committee.

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The Senate unanimously passed a bill intended to improve collection of fees, fines and penalties assessed by professional licensing boards.

House Bill 261 amends Act 48 of 1993 to give authority to all 29 licensing boards and commissions under the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to collect all fees, costs, fines and penalties assessed as a result of a disciplinary proceeding.

The boards and commissions are also granted the power to deny, suspend or revoke a license, registration or certification for failure to pay a fine or fee assessed.

Currently only 9 of the 29 licensing boards and commissions have specific authority to suspend or revoke a license for failure to pay a fine.

The bill awaits the governor’s signature.


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The Senate unanimously passed a bill to help volunteer emergency medical organizations pay for training.

Senate Bill 707  would allow volunteer firefighters’ relief association funds to be used for costs related to advanced life support (ALS) or paramedic (EMT-P) training.  Current law restricts use of the funds to firefighter training.

The bill now goes to the House.


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