The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 224, which grants civil immunity to bus drivers and crossing guards who administer Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EpiPens). Previously, such immunity only applied to school employees, not bus drivers and crossing guards.
The measure also requires these employees to complete a training program developed by the Department of Health to learn how to properly use an EpiPen.
The bill was enacted as Act 2 of 2017.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 143, which would amend the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act to make changes to the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board.
The legislation would remove The Middle Atlantic Truck Stop Operators (MATSO) from the board and add the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association. The MATSO organization dissolved in 2006 and relinquished its seat on the board. The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association represents many underground storage tank retailers in Pennsylvania and is highly recommended to the board.
In addition, the bill provides for the appointing of new members to the board. The bill now goes to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
The Senate voted 46-4 in favor of Senate Bill 201, which would amend the Tax Reform Code to allow for tax deferrals on “like-kind” exchanges.
This bill would enact measures similar to provisions within the Federal Internal Revenue Code to allow “like-kind” property exchanges to eligible for tax-deferral purposes when an individual sells a property to buy another similar property. The change would be effective at the end of 2018.
The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 222, which would increase the number of judges in certain judicial districts.
Specifically, this bill would add one new judge to the court of common pleas in: Bucks, Cumberland, Delaware, Washington and Wayne counties. Montgomery County would have two judges added.
The new judges would be elected in the 2019, and take their place on the court by January 2, 2020.
The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 354, which would require individuals with licenses, certificates or registrations issued by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to report previous arrests and convictions to the appropriate licensing board.
The bill would also allow a licensing board to temporarily suspend licenses, certificates or registrations in cases where public health and safety is at risk. A hearing must be conducted within 30 days before temporary suspension. The bill also provides for circumstances where licenses can be immediately suspended.
The bill now goes to the House Professional Licensure Committee.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 560, which expands audio and video recording laws regarding law enforcement officers and public records.
This bill amends the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act to clarify that communications in the presence of a law enforcement officer are not private and can be recorded. This legislation also allows for the use of recordings obtained while an officer is operating within their role and capacity.
Specifically, the measure allows for the use of oral communications recorded within a residence’s home or within a prison. Inmates are required to be notified if their communications are being recorded. Officers would be banned from intercepting communication between an attorney and client. Each police department utilizing recording devices must implement guidelines for the use of these recording devices and policies.
The bill does not subject law enforcement recordings to the Right-to-Know Law. It establishes a separate request procedure for public access to the recordings.
The bill was enacted as Act 22 of 2017.