A report on the Session Week of February 22, 2021
I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the Session Week of February 22, 2021.
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Urging the Governor to Rescind his Job-Killing Carbon Tax Mandate
On Tuesday, I rose in the Senate Chamber to again urge the Governor to rescind his carbon tax mandate that – if enacted — will devastate our local economy and likely close the coal-fired power plants that provide family-sustaining jobs and wages. Audio
Bill Sets National Guard Role in COVID Vaccination Deployment
The Senate approved and sent to the Governor on Wednesday legislation that would have the Pennsylvania National Guard assist with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Under House Bill 326, the National Guard will coordinate with the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to develop plans to establish and operate COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state. The measure also directs the Governor to provide a report to the General Assembly detailing how the National Guard has been integrated into the state’s vaccine plan.
The Senate also sent two bills renaming bridges for local heroes to the Governor on Wednesday.
House Bill 12 designates a bridge over the Susquehanna River in Wyoming Borough, Luzerne County, as the George J. Dennis, Jr., Memorial Bridge.
House Bill 16 designates a bridge on US 219 Southbound in Summit Township, Somerset County, as the SP4 Michael William Twigg Memorial Bridge.
Senate Approves Bill Creating Medals for First Responders
The Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would create commendation medals for law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel.
Senate Bill 158, which provides for medals of commendations for law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Each medals program would be established and overseen by the Municipal Police Officers Education & Training Commission, the State Fire Commissioner, and the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services of the Department of Health, respectively. Nominations would be made to those agencies for consideration, and ultimately, the selection of recipients would be determined by the Governor.
Three categories of medals could be awarded in each program: a Star of Valor, a Heart for a line of duty injury, and a Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice for a line of duty death. The color of each medal would coordinate with the respective program – blue for law enforcement, red for firefighters, and white for EMS personnel.
Other bills approved by the Senate and sent to the House this week include:
Senate Bill 36, which provides for license fee exemptions for service dogs used by a fire department, sheriff’s office or in the performance of rescue services or medical emergency services. Currently, the fee exemption exists only for any municipal or state police department or agency.
Senate Bill 55, which designates a bridge in Croyle Township, Cambria County, as the Private Fredrick Kinley Memorial Bridge.
Senate Bill 96, which increases the maximum donation amounts to the Veterans’ Trust Fund from $3 to $5 when applying for or renewing a driver’s license, ID card or vehicle registration and from $6 to $10 when applying for a two-year vehicle registration.
Senate Bill 155, which increases the terms of appointment to the state Military Community Enhancement Commission from two to three years.
Senate Bill 106 amends the state Constitution to allow gubernatorial candidates to select their running mate.
Senate Bill 116 updates and modernizes the History Code.
Labor & Industry
The Senate Labor & Industry Committee approved five bills on Tuesday. Video
Senate Bill 69 creates a “Recovery to Work” pilot program.
Senate Bill 147 requires employers having a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with the use of opioids.
House Bill 157 repeals Act 109 of 1978, known as the Milrite Act.
Senate Bill 168 requires the Department of Labor & Industry to collect and disseminate data about emerging and projected future employment sectors.
Senate Bill 191 provides an exemption from the Uniform Construction Code for barns and other structures that are occasionally used for weddings or special events if certain requirements are satisfied.
The Senate State Government Committee held a joint public hearing with the House State Government Committee on Wednesday on the receipt of data related to the 2020 Census. Video
House Bill 11 designates a portion of Pennsylvania Route 92 in Exeter Township, Luzerne County, as the Robert F. Kile, Sr., Memorial Highway.
Senate Bill 70 designates a bridge over Chest Creek in East Carroll Township, Cambria County, as the Kenneth John Ivory Memorial Bridge.
Senate Bill 120 addresses the use of an attached blade on certain vehicles.
Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness
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