A report on the Legislative Session Week of October 14, 2014
Prescription drug monitoring program expansion bill goes to governor
Legislation that will expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring program as a way to crackdown on abuse and prevent accidental overdose cases received final legislative approval on Thursday and is headed to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.
Senate Bill 1180 creates the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) Program as a way to improve patient care and prescribing practices, uncover drug diversion, and identify “doctor shopping.” The ABC-MAP Program will consist of an electronic data system listing controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed in the Commonwealth.
An advisory group including dispensers, law enforcement, addiction specialists and privacy advocates will assist the board with its duties. Patients can annually review their information at no cost and correct any errors. Data will be referred to the appropriate licensing board in instances when there is a pattern of irregular data deviating from clinical standards.
Other bills receiving final legislative approval this week include:
Senate Bill 27 improves the exchange of information among medical practitioners and county agencies.
House Bill 201 makes changes to state procurement regulations and policies.
House Bill 402 creates the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, which requires a lessee, upon termination, expiration or cancellation of a lease, to deliver a recordable surrender document to the lessor.
Senate Bill 428 allows for some of the residual funds from a beneficiary’s account within a pooled trust to be distributed to other individuals with disabilities in need of services upon their death.
House Bill 435 extends current clearance requirements for professionals who work with children to include anyone applying for a paid or unpaid volunteer position in which they would be responsible for the welfare of a child.
Senate Bill 508 amends state law providing for revictimization relief.
House Bill 573 provides for the definition, regulation and operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles in the Commonwealth and provides for the operation of electric assist pedal cycles.
Senate Bill 720 provides grants to cover damage from flash floods, fires, tornadoes, and other natural and manmade disasters that do not qualify for federal aid.
Senate Bill 771 establishes an advisory board to provide advice and recommendations on geospatial issues, uniform data standards, coordination and efficiency in geospatial policy and technology issues among federal, state and local government, the private sector and academic institutions.
House Bill 939 makes omnibus amendments to the Public Utility Code relating to responsible utility customer protection.
House Bill 1067 provides that persons who were eligible for the property tax or rent rebate as of December 31, 2012 will remain eligible if their household income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
Senate Bill 1129 changes the name of the “Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension” program to “Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension.” It also clarifies the definition of “amputee and paralyzed veteran.”
Senate Bill 1135 provides priority preference for veterans and their families under the Housing Authorities Law.
Senate Bill 1239 corrects language that the Superior Court determined to be technically flawed in Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code pertaining to certain repeat DUI offenders.
Senate Bill 1355 increases the annual fee of $550,000 for all current nuclear power reactor sites to $650,000.
House Bill 1436 requires health insurance policies to cover the cost of amino acid-based elemental medical formula for infants and children.
House Bill 1550 consolidates several business loan programs under the jurisdiction of the PA Industrial Development Authority and establishes the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission.
House Bill 1565 amends the Clean Streams Law pertaining to the use of riparian buffers.
House Bill 1567 allows a health care facility to provide educational information related to pertussis disease to pregnant women and other adult family members.
House Bill 1714 amends the Landlord and Tenant Act to address the disposition of abandoned personal property.
House Bill 1773 makes various substantive and technical changes to Act 47 of 1987, relating to distressed municipalities.
House Bill 1816 amends the Public School Code concerning continuing professional development and Pennsylvania school leadership standards.
House Bill 1907 requires hospitals to provide oral and written notice to a patient of their outpatient status in certain circumstances.
House Bill 2120 amends the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act to clarify who is held responsible for code enforcement violations under the act and to provide where violation notices shall be sent.
House Bill 2234 amends state law to provide for business entity transactions.
House Bill 2278 establishes the Unconventional Well Report Act.
House Bill 2345 adds a new section to the Commercial Code to establish that any provisions relating to particular rights and immunities provided in the Rental-Purchase Agreement Act may not be superseded by the provisions of the Commercial Code.
House Bill 2354 establishes the Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act.
Senate approves bill regulating Healthcare Exchange Navigators
The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would provide essential protection of consumers’ rights and personal information under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare.
Senate Bill 1268 requires Healthcare Exchange Navigators be certified by the Department of Insurance and pass a criminal background check. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Federal law does not require Navigators to obtain a criminal background check even though they have access to enrollee’s personal information. This lack of oversight has already led to convicted felons working as Navigators in other states.
Other bills approved by the Senate and sent to the House this week include:
House Bill 46 amends the Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Act by retroactively removing the 2010 expiration date of the act. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 80 creates the new offense of theft of secondary metal and provides statewide protections for legal gun ownership in Pennsylvania. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 91 makes public career and technical schools in Pennsylvania eligible for Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC). The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 803 allows public and nonpublic schools to authorize trained school employees to maintain and provide physician-prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors to students. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 1013 amends the Public School Code concerning home education programs. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Senate Bill 1268 requires Healthcare Exchange Navigators be certified by the Department of Insurance and pass a criminal background check.
Senate Bill 1302 amends the Uniform Planned Community Act to create more transparency for Homeowner’s Associations.
Senate Bill 1440 amends the State System of Higher Education Intellectual Property Act to provide for the State-owned University Intellectual Property Act.
Senate Bill 1491 amends the Cemetery and Funeral Merchandise Trust Fund Law, commonly referred to as the “Future Interment Law,” to better protect consumers.
House Bill 1655 creates the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council to advise the Department of Human Services on increasing the quality of care while containing costs in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 1750 prohibits certain cruelty to animal activities related to dogs, cats and fowl. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 1796 prohibits a municipal ordinance from penalizing a resident or landlord if police or emergency assistance was dispatched in response to an individual needing intervention or emergency assistance. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 1846 regulates workers’ compensation reimbursement rates for pharmaceuticals and limits the practice of physician dispensing. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 1874 requires providers of counseling services to sexually violent predators to notify the district attorney of the county and the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in the county and municipality where the provider is located that the provider is counseling sexually violent predators. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 2110 amends the State Lottery Law to reduce the statutorily mandated rate of return. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 2178 would allow trained Wildlife Conservation Officers and Waterways Conservation Officers to use body cameras. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 2377 exempts the payment of certain taxes and fees for out-of-state businesses and employees during a declared disaster emergency. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 2481 creates the Supplemental Security Income State Supplement Payments for Out-of-State Payors Act. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.