The Senate voted 47-1 in favor of House Bill 1738, which would establish a 15-member Basic Education Funding Commission.

Under the bill, the commission would study the state’s basic education funding formula and recommend reforms to the legislature. Some of the issues the commission is expected to consider include: market value/personal income ratio, geographic price differences, high enrollment growth, millage rates, student English proficiency and population in relation to a district’s geographic size.

The commission would be tasked with issuing a report on its findings and recommendations within a year.

The bill now goes to the governor.


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The Senate voted 46-0 in favor of House Bill 1460, which would require Pennsylvania colleges to allow members of the military or their spouse to receive an “M” on their transcript for all classes they are unable to complete due to a military leave of absence.

House Bill 1460 would also require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to write a report on the feasibility of expanding their publicly accessible website database of medal and award recipients to include all military awards and decorations. Currently, the database only includes the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, and the Silver Star, which are awarded for heroic service in the U.S. armed forces.

The legislation now goes to the governor for consideration.


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The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would increase penalties for sports officials, volunteers or employees of non-profit sports organizations who sexually assault participants.

Under House Bill 112, such an assault would become a third degree felony with a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. Under the bill, a sports official is defined as: A person who supervises children participating in a sports program for a nonprofit association or a for-profit association, including, but not limited to, a coach, assistant coach, athletic trainer, team attendant, game manager, instructor or person who enforces the rules of a sporting event sponsored by a sports program of a nonprofit association or a for-profit association, including, but not limited to, an umpire or referee, whether receiving remuneration or holding the position as a volunteer.

The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence on amendments.


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The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 1341, which would combine several different laws into Title 44 (Law and Justice) of the Consolidated Statutes. Some of these acts include the Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Deputy Sherriff’s Education and Training Act and Crime Victims’ Act. The obsolete Senior Citizen Advisory Act would be repealed.

The measure is aimed at codifying acts in support of the state’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Pennsylvania is the only state without a consolidated version of these different laws.

The bill now goes to the House.


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The Senate voted 45-1 in favor of Senate Bill 1001, which would eliminate the requirement that an applicant for Notary Public be endorsed by a state senator.

Senate Bill 1001 would also enable the Department of State to require applicants to submit criminal history information.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.


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The Senate voted 47-1 in favor of Senate Bill 1023, which would require the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council to re-review the 2012 codes adopted by the International Code Council (ICC) and to consider code modifications.

In 2012, the council met to review the codes adopted by the ICC, but decided not to adopt them, leaving 2009 codes in place. This legislation allows the council to review 2012 codes again before the ICC adopts new codes.

The legislation also increases the size of the council from 19 to 20 members.

These members are not paid, however, Senate Bill 1023 would increase the state’s building permit fee from $4 to $5 to establish an education and training account from which members could receive reimbursement for travel, hotel and other expenses.

The bill will now go to the house.


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The Senate voted 46-0 to approve House Bill 2081, which would stop the practice of injured maritime workers filing two workers compensation claims when they are injured on the job.

Maritime employers in Pennsylvania are mainly located along the Delaware and Allegheny rivers and Lake Erie.

If approved, the elimination of this dual coverage dilemma could save employers thousands of dollars. New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri and Louisiana have passed similar laws

The bill now goes to the governor for his consideration.


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