Legislative Update: June 27, 2019

Legislative Update: June 27, 2019

Scheduled Senate Votes

The Senate and House of Representatives are in legislative session this week. The Senate is scheduled to vote on House Bill 790, the General Appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 today. The Senate is also scheduled to Education Code bills, House Bill 1615, Senate Bills 700 and 144. The House is scheduled to vote Fiscal Code bill, Senate Bill 712; Education Code bill, Senate Bill 621 as well as an Election Code bill and Human Services Code, Senate Bill 695. Numerous other bills including non-preferred appropriations bills for the Pennsylvania’s state-related universities are also poised for votes.

Agency Agendas

House Bill 1069, sponsored by Representative Aaron Bernstine (R-Lawrence), is scheduled for a vote on the House Floor this week. The bill requires agencies to provide agendas in advance of meetings, so the public can attend and participate in issues that matter to them.

Public Notice Requirements

House Bills 547 and 548, sponsored by Representative Joe Emrick (R-Northampton) passed the Senate unanimously this week. The bills, as amended, preserve the public notice requirements when a tax levy is increased from the prior year by any amount, and a resolution is only authorized when there is no increase. These bills await the Governor’s signature.

Treasury Transparency Portal

House Bill 1502, sponsored by Representative Seth Grove (R-York), is scheduled for a vote in the House Appropriations Committee today. The bill would codify the Treasury Transparency Portal. Additionally, it would require state agencies to place their original budget documents online on November 1st of every year. The legislation would also create the Commonwealth Financial Watch, which would show the public the 20 largest cost drivers and 10 agencies with the largest budget by appropriation within the budget. PNA supports this legislation.

Auditor General Employee Qualification Act

House Bill 985, sponsored by Representative Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), which establishes the freestanding Auditor General Employee Qualification Act, passed the House unanimously last week. The bill requires that auditors employed by the Auditor General who conduct forensic and fraud audits be appropriately qualified to conduct such audits and permits the Department of the Auditor General to conduct forensic and fraud audits. PNA worked with the Representative on the confidentiality provision and is now neutral on the bill.

School Safety and Security Committee

The House Education Committee passed House Bill 1423, sponsored by Representative Jason Ortitay (R-Allegheny) last week, The bill requires the School Safety and Security Committee in the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to create a threat assessment task force to support the development and ongoing work of threat assessment teams with a duty to develop best practices for public school entities to use in assessing and responding to threats, develop and offer training programs and informational materials, and create model procedures and guidelines for threat assessment teams. PNA is working to ensure that information regarding the teams in accessible. Similarly, the Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 729, sponsored by Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny).

Borough Code and Third Class City Code

The Senate passed Senate Bills 690, 691 and 692, sponsored by Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-Butler, Clarion, Forest, Venango & Warren) on second consideration this week. SB 690 increases from $1,500 to $6,000 the value of municipal real property below which an incorporated town need not publicly advertise for bids when selling its real property. This legislation is part of a three-bill package. The other two bills similarly amend the Borough Code and Third Class City Code in Titles 8 and 11 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, respectively, and the Second Class Township Code. PNA is neutral on these bills.