Capital Reports

State Senate Slashes $1M From PPA Funding

By Victoria Hudgins |

General Assembly Sends ‘Planned Subsidence’ Bill to Wolf

By Victoria Hudgins |

The General Assembly approved SB 624, a bill that would prohibit "planned subsidence" in bituminous coal mining from being considered presumptive evidence that the mining has the potential to cause pollution as defined by the state's Clean Streams Law.

State Senators Propose Education Savings Accounts for Students

By Victoria Hudgins |

Sens. John DiSanto, Joseph B. Scarnati III and John H. Eichelberger Jr. published a memo announcing their plan to create education savings accounts to help students attending low-achieving schools obtain nonpublic schooling.

Proposal Would Mandate Counsel in Civil Forfeiture Actions

By Victoria Hudgins |

State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, issued a memorandum declaring his intention to introduce a measure that would guarantee legal representation in certain civil asset forfeiture cases.

House Rejects Higher Penalty, Required E-Filing for Lobbyists

By Victoria Hudgins |

An amendment that would have required lobbyists to electronically file and report expenses and would have doubled the maximum penalty for prohibited actions by lobbyists was nixed 98-101 on June 30 in the House.

Capitol Report

The following is a listing of executive and legislative action for June 30 and the week of July 3. Members of the state House of Representatives were scheduled to return to session on July 7. State senators were set to reconvene on July 8.

New Bill Addresses Appeals for Property Tax Assessments

By Victoria Hudgins |

In a memo, state Rep. Warren Kampf, R-Montgomery, said some school districts are improperly seeking to increase revenue for their budgets by using "spot appeals" of property tax assessments or appealing county assessors' decisions after properties have been improved by their owners.

Bill Would Allow School Staff to Use Guns on School Property

By Victoria Hudgins |

The Pennsylvania Senate passed an amendment, by a vote of 28-22, allowing school districts' boards of directors to create policies permitting school personnel to access firearms in school buildings or on school grounds.

Proposal Would Make It a Crime to Leave Animal in Hot Car

By Victoria Hudgins |

State Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester, introduced a bill that would make it a summary offense to leave a dog or cat in an unattended vehicle in extreme heat.

Bill Would Require Medicaid Users to Contribute to HSAs

By Victoria Hudgins |

State Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Allegheny, announced his plan to propose requiring Medicaid users in Pennsylvania to contribute to a health savings account.

Rep: Give MDJs Power to Form Drug Courts

By Victoria Hudgins |

Pennsylvania Rep. John T. Galloway, D-Bucks, issued a memorandum announcing his intention to introduce legislation allowing magistrate judges to create drugs courts in Pennsylvania.

Timeframe for Attaining Title of Blighted Properties Slashed

By Victoria Hudgins |

Currently it takes up to 21 years of adverse possession for a property's title to be acquirable, but a new state Senate amendment would cut it down to 10 years.

Bill Would Make It a Misdemeanor to Record Someone in Court

By Victoria Hudgins |

A proposed House bill would make it a second-degree misdemeanor for a person to record or broadcast a photo, video or audio of a proceeding or person in a hearing room, courtroom or entrance or exit of a court.

Senate Bill Aims to Change Makeup of Construction Code Council

By Victoria Hudgins |

The state Senate passed a measure that would change the composition of the council that reviews housing codes.

Amendment Would Allow Resigned Mayors To Solemnize Weddings

By Victoria Hudgins |

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed an amendment that would allow retired judges, justices and magisterial district judges to solemnize marriages.

State Legislature Passes Airport Betting Bill

By Victoria Hudgins |

The General Assembly passed a measure that could bring gambling to Pennsylvania's airports.

Senate Approves Increase in Common Pleas Judgeships

By Victoria Hudgins |

The state Senate passed an amendment, SB 222, that would create new judge positions in Pennsylvania's Courts of Common Pleas. Out of the seven changes the bill calls for, none are decreases, but Senate voting documents show legislators went back-and-forth on how many judges should preside in Delaware County's Court of Common Pleas.

As Deadline Nears, Pa. Still Not Complying With Real ID Act

By Victoria Hudgins |

Pennsylvanians may need to start showing their passports for domestic flights if the state legislature doesn't pass a bill bringing state ID and driver license laws into compliance with the federal Real ID Act.