Senator Joe Pittman E-Newsletter

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Harrisburg Happenings

A report on legislative actions from the Session Week of April 6, 2020

Dear Friend,

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 April 6, 2020.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatorpittman.com  for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page.  If you would like to contact my office, please go to my website and click the “contact” button.  Please do not “reply” directly to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Joe


Senate Approves COVID-19 Emergency Measures for Local Governments

The Senate approved a bill on Tuesday to help local governments respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Senate Bill 841 would take a number of steps to ensure local governments can continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill would:

  • Allow local governments to provide greater flexibility on property tax deadlines.
  • Permit local governments to conduct remote meetings and conduct other business remotely during the governor’s disaster declaration.
  • Give notaries emergency authorization to notarize documents remotely through the use of communications technology.
  • Provide additional time for businesses to contribute to educational scholarship programs in order to earn tax credits.

Senate Bill 841 also reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The panel would be responsible for preparing a report on the effect of the COVID-19 disaster emergency on healthcare facilities, including expenses and lost revenue during the crisis to determine additional financial assistance. The bill now goes to the House for approval.

Bill Requiring Reviews of State Rx Enrollment Sent to Governor

A measure requiring the Department of Aging to review the PACE and PACENET programs to remove deceased enrollees was approved by the Senate on Monday and sent to the Governor’s desk for enactment into law.

House Bill 775 requires the Department of Aging to cross-reference its list of beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Department of Health on a monthly basis. It would ensure more efficient removal of deceased people from the PACE and PACENET database.

Committee Roundup

Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee opened the process for consideration of the state’s Fiscal year 2020-21 budget with the approval of 16 bills on Monday. The approval is the first step in the process and the measures will be amended as the budget is finalized.

Senate Bill 1050 is the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1051 provides State Employees’ Retirement Board funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1052 provides Public School Employees’ Retirement Board funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1053 provides Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1054 provides for Workers’ Compensation Act funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1055 provides Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1056 provides Office of Consumer Advocate funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1057 provides Office of the Small Business Advocate funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1058 provides for Gaming Control Act funding for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Senate Bill 1059 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Senate Bill 1060 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Pennsylvania State University.

Senate Bill 1061 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the University of Pittsburgh.

Senate Bill 1062 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Temple University.

Senate Bill 1063 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for Lincoln University.

Senate Bill 1064 provides Fiscal Year 2020-21 funding for the University of Pennsylvania Center for Infectious Diseases and Veterinary Activities.

Senate Bill 1093 is the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Capital Budget.

Finance

The Senate Finance Committee approved two bills on Monday.

House Bill 1083 repeals state law related to Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise Tax (CSFT) reports. The CSFT was eliminated as of 2016.

House Bill 1796 amends the First Class City Business Tax Reform Act of 1984 providing for the definition of net operating loss.

Rules & Executive Nominations

The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved Senate Bill 841 on Monday. 

State Government

The Senate State Government Committee approved two bills on Monday.

Senate Bill 1027 extends the sunset of the Geospatial Coordinating Board by four years and makes minor adjustments to the authorizing statute.

Senate Bill 1097 allows for the electronic notarization of documents.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness

The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee approved two bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1106 amends the Heart & Lung Act to provide law enforcement personnel and firefighters with their continued salary should they contract COVID-19 and are unable to work or ordered to quarantine. 

House Bill 1869 provides an exemption to the staffing requirements for a BLS ambulance for 6th Class through 8th Class counties.

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