Legislative Update – October 31, 2019

Legislative Update – October 31, 2019

The Senate and House of Representatives were in session this week and return to session November 18.

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 1780, sponsored by Representative Lee James, this week which exempts documents of volunteer fire and EMS companies from the Right to Know Law. PNA opposes the legislation. Read an editorial in the Doylestown Intelligencer.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adopted a Rule of Judicial Administration recently, which states that when courts fill vacancies in elected office, the public has the right to access all candidates’ names and application materials. The official Rule was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and takes effect 30 days from publication.

The House Local Government Committee passed House Bill 406, sponsored by Rep. Jim Cox, this week, which requires a municipality to have at least one publicly advertised meeting prior to finalizing an agreement to sell or lease a sewer or water system owned or operated by the municipality.

The House Local Government Committee passed Senate Bill 317, sponsored by Senator John Gordner, this week, which updates Section 3202 of the Second Class Township Code dealing with mandatory annual budget requirements. This legislation reduces the time required between the second advertisement and adoption of the budget to 10 days from 20 days. PNA is supportive of this legislation.

Members of the Local Government Commission met this week to discuss the legislative re-write of the First Class Township Code. They voted to move the process forward with a bill to be introduced in the House. Legislators raised several concerns that PNA has on the current draft.

House Bill 510 introduced by Representative Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) is on its way to the Governor. The bill was amended to addresses our concerns about the creation of new intergovernmental cooperation agreements and agencies by limiting the ability to delegate any functions, powers or responsibilities only by ordinance.

The House State Government Committee passed House Bill 1960, sponsored by Rep. Mike Tobash, this week, which creates a single, central pension investment office for SERS and PSERS.

Senate Bill 813, sponsored by Senator Bob Mensch passed the Senate this week. The bill amends the Older Adult Protective Services Act to detect and reduce elder abuse. It also amends the criminal background check provisions and provides a refinement of employment bans for individuals convicted of certain enumerated crimes.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing to be held on December 16 on House Bill 95 and Senate Bill 95, which add a provision to Title 42 allowing for a swift motion to dismiss a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).