Harrisburg Happenings

A report on the Legislative Session Week of June 15, 2015

Bills Addressing Fraudulent Doctors, Flu Shots for Kids Sent to the Governor

A bill addressing individuals who fraudulently pose as doctors and legislation that allows pharmacists to provide flu shots to children received final legislative approval this week and are headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature and enactment into law.

Senate Bill 485, which was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, increases the criminal grading for impersonating a doctor of medicine and providing medical treatment, from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.

The legislation is based on a recommendation made by the Philadelphia Grand Jury which investigated and ultimately indicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell and other employees at his “House of Horrors” abortion clinic.  Although Gosnell was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for murder, several of his employees, who were practicing medicine without a proper license, received lenient sentences for their crimes. Currently, impersonating a physician is treated the same as impersonating a notary public or other licensed professional under Pennsylvania law.

House Bill 182, which was approved by the Senate on Monday, amends the Pharmacy Act to allow authorized pharmacists to administer flu immunizations to children 9 years of age and older and allows qualified pharmacy interns to administer injections under supervision.

Senate Approves 911 Reauthorization Measure

On Tuesday, the Senate approved House Bill 911, legislation that will reauthorize the Emergency 9-1-1 System in Pennsylvania. The current fee on wireless devices is set to expire on June 30, 2015, unless the law is reauthorized. House Bill 911 would set the fee at $1.65 a month per device. The bill returns to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote.

Other bills approved by the Senate and sent to the House this week include:

Senate Bill 590, which ensures that the intellectual property rights of faculty members of state-owned universities are protected at the same level as faculty at private colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.

Senate Bill 687, which amends the Uniform Planned Community Act to correct a conflict which was created by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.

Senate Bill 688, which amends the Uniform Condominium Act to correct a conflict which was created by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.

Senate Bill 861, which clarifies liability issues in cases involving auto dealership loaner vehicles.

Senate Bill 880, which delays the implementation of the Keystone Exams (algebra, biology and literature) as a graduation requirement until the 2018-2019 school year.

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