The Senate voted 47-2 in favor of Senate Bill 30, which would amend Title 30 (Fish) to enable the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to set its own fees.
Currently, fees for fishing licenses, boat registrations and titles are established by the legislature. Licensing fee changes would still need to be reviewed by the legislature and be brought before the public for input. The legislation would also allow for funds collected from Lake Erie permits to be used for projects that support public fishing at Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and their tributaries. This legislation would be in effect for three years — and then need renewed by the General Assembly.
Similar legislation was introduced last session as Senate Bill 1168, passing the Senate 46-2, however the bill was never voted upon in the House. The bill now goes to the House Game and Fisheries Committee.
The Senate voted 46-2 in favor of Senate Bill 133, which requires PennDOT to request an extension for compliance with the federal Real ID Act of 2005 and make additional provisions for Real ID compliance.
The legislation was prompted by fears that Pennsylvania driver licenses, which are not Real ID-compliant, would no longer be accepted as allowable identification for air travel.
The bill repeals Act 38 of 2012, the Real ID Nonparticipation Act, that rejected compliance with the Real ID requirements.
Senate Bill 133 bill allows Pennsylvania residents to apply for a standard driver’s license, identification card or a Real ID-compliant driver’s license. Each type is required to clearly state if it complies with the Real ID Act.
The legislation also requires the secretary of PennDOT to report to the Senate Communications and Technology and Senate Transportation committees detailing the projected costs of implementing and maintaining Real ID complaint licenses.
The bill was enacted as Act 3 of 2017
The Senate voted 37-10 in favor of Senate Bill 171, which would amend the Administrative Code to empower the state senate to confirm the Pennsylvania Turnpike chief executive officer (CEO).
Currently, the commissioners of the Pennsylvania Turnpike nominate and elect the CEO. Both Gov. Tom Wolf and Turnpike Commission members have expressed opposition to the bill, claiming Senate approval is unnecessary oversight because the commissioners who choose the CEO are already approved by the senate.
A similar bill, Senate Bill 474, was introduced last session, but was never acted upon in the House. The bill now goes to the House Transportation Committee.
The Senate voted 47-2 in favor of Senate Bill 192, which would amend Title 34 (Game) to allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to set its own fees. Currently fees for hunting and fur-taking licenses are established by the legislature.
The legislation would require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to issue a report detailing the amount of revenue received from the fees. Licensing fee changes would need to be brought before the public for open comments. All fee changes could be reviewed by the legislature. This legislation would be in effect for three years — and then would need to be renewed by the General Assembly.
Similar legislation was introduced last session as Senate Bill 1166, but was never voted upon in the House. The bill now goes to the House Game and Fisheries Committee.
Senate voted 39-8 in favor of Senate Bill 250, which amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to allow for money transfers and requires the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) to submit various reports to the General Assembly.
This bill allows for the transfer of up to $15 million from the Unemployment Compensation Fund to the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
The measure was prompted after the Department of Labor & Industry shut down call centers and furloughed staff after the Republican majority in the Senate refused to vote on a bill that would have allowed for $57.5 million in funding to administer unemployment benefits to out-of-work residents.
The legislation requires the department to submit annual reports detailing funds used from 2019 to 2020 and a report on the closing of an unemployment compensation call center. The bill also requires the department to detail its plan to eliminate reliance on money transfers for additional funds from the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
The bill adds requirements for requests from the department for technological upgrades. A few of these requirements include descriptions of the technology, the estimated costs and the estimated amount of time it will take to complete the upgrades.
The bill was enacted as Act 1 of 2017.
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