Harrisburg Happenings

A report on the Legislative Session Week of April 13, 2015

Bills Addressing Fraudulent Doctors, Medals Sent to House

The Senate approved several bills this week including legislation addressing individuals who fraudulently pose as doctors or decorated veterans. The following bills now go to the House of Representative for consideration.

Senate Bill 43 imposes penalties for those who falsely wear military awards and decorations.

Senate Bill 61 officially recognizes bike medics and permits them to operate their bicycles in the same manner as a police officer on a bicycle.

House Bill 152 amends the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act by extending the filing period for the death benefit. This bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 286 and Senate Bill 287 are part of a bi-state legislative package intended to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Delaware River Port Authority.

Senate Bill 333 provides for state preemption of local mandated leave ordinances.

Senate Bill 485 increases the criminal grading for impersonating a doctor of medicine and providing medical treatment, from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.

Committee Studies Public Pension Issues

Public pension reform is a top issue for Senate Republicans this year. The unfunded liabilities of the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System pose one of the greatest budgetary challenges in a generation. Underfunding in previous years, combined with the recession’s impact on pension fund investments have caused skyrocketing pension payments for the state and school districts.

The Senate Finance Committee heard several plans to address the crisis during a Wednesday afternoon public hearing on “Proposals to Change the Design of Public Pensions.” More information and video from the hearing is available at https://finance.pasenategop.com/proposals-to-change-the-design-of-public-pensions/.

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