Important Legislative Action:
Community-Based Health Clinics Bill Goes to Governor
In an effort to extend access to health care to more Pennsylvanians, the Senate concurred on May 14th on House amendments to legislation I co-sponsored that will develop and expand community-based health care clinics.
Senate Bill 5 creates the Community-Based Health Care Program in the Department of Health to provide grants to community-based health care clinics. SB 5 now goes to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.
Community-based health care clinics provide the uninsured with a medical home that emphasizes a partnership among the patient, physician, nurses and clinic staff. These health clinics become the place where patients are known, recognized, supported and where they find a centralized base for medical care and connection to other medical and supportive community services.
Senate Approves Bill Expanding Job Opportunities for Veterans
The Senate unanimously passed on May 13th legislation I co-sponsored that will expand job opportunities for Pennsylvania’s service members and veterans.
Senate Bill 277, which amends state law regarding commercial driver’s license qualification standards for members of the armed services, is now before the House of Representatives for consideration.
Currently, military personnel and veterans who have two years of experience driving a military commercial vehicle are now eligible to waive the CDL skills test if the applicant has legally operated certain equipment for at least two years immediately preceding application for a commercial driver’s license. SB 277 strikes “immediately preceding” from the law, providing qualified military personnel and veterans with the opportunity to apply for a CDL with the possibility of a waiver at any time.
Senate Approves Law Enforcement Personnel Bills
The Senate unanimously approved on May 13th and sent to the House of Representatives two bills addressing police personnel issues.
Senate Bill 59 adds the Westmoreland County Park Police Department to the law enforcement entities subject to the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission’s training requirements.
Senate Bill 579 updates state law regarding the Pennsylvania State Police to include gender neutral references, name changes and to clarify that troopers assigned to the Delaware River Toll Bridge Commission, Gaming Enforcement and Liquor Control Enforcement are not counted against the overall State Police complement.
Other Legislation Passed this Week
The Senate approved several bills on May 14th:
Senate Bill 526 clarifies that an animal health certificate can be accepted in lieu of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship form as acceptable documentation required to exhibit animals at livestock shows, including county fairs and the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The bill goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
House Bill 583 amends Pennsylvania’s Emergency 911 law to foster regionalization and cost-sharing measures among county 911 centers. Specifically, the bill requires the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to encourage consolidation, regionalization and joint purchasing opportunities so counties can save money on their operations. The bill goes to the Governor for enactment into law.
Senate Bill 867 extends the expiration date for the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act to December 31, 2018. The wiretap law is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013 unless extended by statute. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Committee Hearing:
Senate Continues Its Study of PLCB Privatization
The Senate Law and Justice Committee held its second public hearing on May 14th on the governor’s proposal to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania. More information about the hearing is available at: https://pasenategop.com/committees/law.htm.