Senate Approves Bill Requiring Legislative Approval of RGGI Deal
The Senate approved, by a solid 35-15 bipartisan, veto-proof vote, a bill I introduced that would require Legislative approval of the Governor’s proposal to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Senate Bill 119, which creates the Pennsylvania Carbon Dioxide Cap and Trade Authorization Act, specifically prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from joining RGGI – or any similar pact — without Legislative approval. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
UA&H Committee Approves Four Bills
The Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee, which I chair, approved four bills on Wednesday.
House Bill 264 amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law adding provisions relating to bidder registration before sale and further providing for date of sale, for repurchase by owner, for restrictions on purchases and for sale of property in repository.
Senate Bill 574 amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law to establish a county demolition and rehabilitation fund in each county.
Senate Bill 763 provides $10 million annually to fund the Pennsylvania low-income housing tax credit program.
House Bill 827 establishes a microenterprise loan program.
The bills now move to the full Senate for consideration.
Senate Special Committee Releases Report on Election Reforms
The bipartisan Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform released a report this week detailing its findings and recommendations to strengthen Pennsylvania’s election system.
The committee was created to review all aspects of the November 2020 election. The panel held a series of hearings in March and April to review election security and best practices in other states, state and local perspectives on the administration of elections, and the management of elections in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.
In addition, the committee created a webpage to encourage Pennsylvanians to share their experiences in the 2020 General Election. The survey generated more than 20,000 responses.
The testimony and feedback received by the committee led to a series of recommendations to boost election security, improve voter access and support counties in the efficient administration of elections. You can read the report here.
Bill to Improve Safety in Daycare Facilities Approved by Senate
The Senate approved a bill to improve safety in state-regulated daycare facilities and sent the bill to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The legislation designates the locations where smoke detectors must be installed and requires that they are interconnected so that if one is triggered, they all go off.
The measure was introduced in response to a tragic fire that claimed the lives of five young children in Erie on August 11, 2019. Only one smoke detector was found in the building and it was located in the attic.
Legislation Preserving Nursing Home Visits During a Pandemic Approved by General Assembly
Legislation to allow family members to safely visit long-term care facilities as essential caregivers for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens was approved by the Senate and sent to the governor for enactment.
During the pandemic, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities were closed to visits from friends and family. The prolonged separation negatively impacted the overall health and well-being of facility residents.
The measure would allow a designated essential family caregiver to be named for each resident of a licensed long-term care facility. Protocols would be put in place to screen the essential caregivers and require additional steps to gain access to the facilities.
Happy Father’s Day
To all fathers: I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday. This is the day when we celebrate your essential role in family and community. May your day be filled with love and gratitude.
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