Harrisburg Happenings

Governor Signs My Cost-saving Legislation for Schools

Governor Wolf signed into law on Thursday my legislation that will allow school districts to save thousands of dollars in annual mailing costs.

Senate Bill 1077, which was signed into law as Act 56 of 2016, eliminates the mandate that school districts annually inform parents by physical mailing when the district uses audio and video recording to identify and address discipline issues on school buses.

The mailer mandate was included as part of Act 9 of 2014, which gave school districts the ability to use audio recordings on school buses. Instead of the mailing, which can easily cost thousands of dollars each year, the new law gives schools the option to provide notice of the policy through student handbooks as well as on the school’s website.

There simply is no need to require schools to send out a separate mailing each year for this one specific policy. Eliminating that burdensome requirement when the information is readily available through other sources will save taxpayer dollars.

My comments on the new law.

Five Bills Receive Final Legislative Approval

Five bills received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

House Bill 602 increases the active duty pay for National Guard personnel from $75 to $100 per day. The National Guard base pay was last increased in 1996, from $45 to the current rate of $75 per day.

Senate Bill 936 provides for a one-time fee of $50 to cover the employer’s costs in setting up the wage garnishment to comply with the enforcement of a child support order.

Senate Bill 1270 amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with updated Federal appraiser standards.

House Bill 1325 gives second class townships the authority to implement storm water management ordinances and to assess a fee to fund the planning, management, implementation, construction and maintenance of storm water facilities.  

House Bill 1766 allows future life insurance policy reserves to be based on Principle-Based Reserving, a methodology that is more advanced and better reflects the risks of new innovative insurance policies.

Senate Sends Five Bills to House of Representatives

The Senate approved five bills this week and sent them to the House of Representatives for consideration.

House Bill 342 adds “school director” to the list of various elective offices in the Election Code and sets a requirement that candidates for school director obtain 10 signatures in order to appear on a primary ballot. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 876 amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to allow the Department of Labor & Industry to verify that out-of-state employers have secured required workers’ compensation insurance or are self-insured under the workers’ compensation statutes in other states.

Senate Bill 1166 gives the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for licenses.

Senate Bill 1168 gives the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission the authority to establish the fees that it charges for licenses.

Senate Bill 1233 adds “Special Emergency Response Team” to the definition of emergency service responders and emergency vehicles in state law.

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