Senator John DiSanto E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • DiSanto’s Aging & Youth Committee Passes Bills to Overhaul Older Adult Protective Services, Increase Lottery Profits for Seniors
  • Bills Strengthening “Do Not Call,” Prohibiting Illegal Construction Workers set for Enactment
  • Senate Approves Bill Raising Age for Tobacco Purchases from 18 to 21
  • Senate Approves Bill Improving Career & Technical Education and Workforce Development in Pennsylvania
  • Senate Approves Measure for Financial Knowledge Graduation Credit
  • Additional Bills sent to the House
  • Committee Roundup
  • Up Next

Senator DiSanto meets with families and pediatric home care representatives to discuss medical resources available for younger Pennsylvanians.

DiSanto’s Aging & Youth Committee Passes Bills to Overhaul Older Adult Protective Services, Increase Lottery Profits for Seniors

As Chairman of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee I led a meeting Monday to approve bills that better protect Pennsylvania’s aging population, increase lottery profits for senior programs, and save taxpayer dollars through fraud prevention.

Senate Bill 819 provides for a comprehensive overhaul of the Older Adult Protective Services Act. This legislation streamlines communication between organizations and agencies that care for seniors. It also provides mandatory reporters, health care professionals and police, with procedures for reporting suspected elder abuse.

The Senate bill also empowers financial institutions with tools to intervene if they suspect a senior is being financially exploited through illegal taking, misuse or concealment of money, property or assets.

Lastly, SB 819 corrects a constitutionality issue created by a state Supreme Court decision in 2015 that prohibited lifetime employment bans for certain offenses without further evaluation. The bill addresses this issue and provides for employment practices that are safe for care organizations and, most importantly, Pennsylvania’s older adults.

Our seniors deserve to live their lives free from abuse and neglect and this legislation puts additional safeguards in place to promote their health, safety, and financial security.

House Bill 956 gives the PA Lottery flexibility to provide the best product mix to maximize profit and increase revenues to fund senior programs. The Department of Revenue projects lottery sales will increase over time by an additional $870 million and deliver an extra $169 million in profits for senior programs with this new flexibility.

With Pennsylvania’s growing aging population, it is critical the lottery maximize its profits to meet the increased demand placed on important senior programs.

House Bill 775 requires the Department of Aging to cross-reference its list of beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Department of Health on a monthly basis. It would ensure more efficient removal of deceased people from the PACE and PACENET database.

This is a commonsense measure to save taxpayer dollars and prevent potential welfare fraud. Government agencies should ensure public assistance is not mistakenly paid out and preserve those dollars for those who truly need them.

The bills now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

Bills Strengthening “Do Not Call,” Prohibiting Illegal Construction Workers set for Enactment

The Senate sent three bills to the Governor this week including measures to strengthen Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list and require employers in the construction industry to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the United States.

House Bill 318 removes the renewal requirement, which means phone numbers can be placed on Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list permanently. Currently, phone numbers must be re-registered every five years.

In addition, computerized auto-dialers (robocalls) would be required to give residents an “opt-out” option at the beginning of the call. The bill also allows businesses to register for the Do Not Call list, and bans telemarketing calls on legal holidays

House Bill 1170 prohibits the employment of unauthorized employees in the construction industry and requires construction industry employers to utilize the E-Verify system when hiring a new employee.

An additional bill, House Bill 1557 amends the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to conform with federal law related to cessation of operations.

Senate Approves Bill Raising Age for Tobacco Purchases from 18 to 21

On Tuesday, the Senate approved legislation that would increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from age 18 to 21.

Senate Bill 473 would make it a summary offense for anyone under 21 to purchase any tobacco product, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco. While I personally discourage smoking, I voted against this bill because I do not believe 18, 19 and 20-year-old adults, who can vote and must register for the military draft, should be denied the right to buy an otherwise legal product.

Senate Approves Bill Improving Career & Technical Education and Workforce Development in Pennsylvania

The Senate approved a comprehensive bill Wednesday that seeks to address deep-seated issues within our state’s career and technical education system that have long stymied the growth of this critical component of post-secondary education options for Pennsylvania students.

House Bill 265 makes it easier for students to pursue career and technical education by modernizing the system, streamlining the process for students to receive and transfer credits, and removing barriers for students to be exposed to different training options and available career paths. Among other provisions, the bill:

  • Requires the creation of an online database to contain information on statewide and regional articulation agreements to allow users to be aware of these agreements before making course enrollment decisions.
  • Authorizes creation of the “The PASmart Online Career Resource Center,” with information on career pathways, data and statistics on employment and compensation, and other relevant resources to help students understand all of the opportunities that are available to them after graduation.
  • Establishes a grant program to support the creation of workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, trade associations, and other organizations to create pathways to training and employment.

The bill is now headed to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Approves Measure for Financial Knowledge Graduation Credit

The Senate approved a measure on Monday that will allow students to apply their practical financial knowledge toward their school district’s graduation requirements.

Senate Bill 723 will require public schools to allow students to apply personal finance credits towards satisfying graduation requirements. The bill gives schools the discretion to determine the graduation credit requirement to which the credit earned would be applied. Senate Bill 723 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Additional Bills sent to the House

House Bill 265 addresses the transfer of credits between institutions of higher education and includes several career and technical education provisions. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 439 expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this coverage.

Senate Bill 586 addresses licensing requirements for cosmetologists.

Senate Bill 694 allows gas well bores to cross multiple units provided the operator has the right to drill wells on the units via leases with all applicable landowners.

Committee Roundup

Bills approved in committees.

Aging & Youth

(See above)

Appropriations

Senate Bill 114 requires the removal of snow and ice from vehicles before driving.

House Bill 233 amends the Second Class County Code to provide for the decoration of deceased service members graves with flags on Memorial Day.

Senate Bill 439 expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to include several law enforcement entities that are not currently protected by this coverage.

Senate Bill 473 increases the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 years of age.

House Bill 510 amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) regarding intergovernmental cooperation.

House Bill 511 amends the Second Class Township Code, providing for intergovernmental cooperation.

House Bill 512 amends Title 11 (Cities) providing for municipal authorities and cooperation with other political subdivisions.

Senate Bill 586 addresses licensing requirements for cosmetologists.

Senate Bill 688 amending Title 8 (Boroughs and Incorporated Towns) addressing powers and duties of elected officials, the organization of council, quorums, participation by telecommunication devices, voting, compensation and eligibility; and salaries for mayors.

Senate Bill 689 amends the Second Class Township Code standardizing the maximum salaries of supervisors, and adjusting the annual maximum salary limits according to changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Senate Bill 690 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Incorporated Towns.

Senate Bill 691 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Second Class Townships.

Senate Bill 692 increases the public bidding threshold from $1,500 to $6,000 for Boroughs and Third Class Cities.

Senate Bill 694 allows gas well bores to cross multiple units provided the operator has the right to drill wells on the units via leases with all landowners/members of the units.

House Bill 1557 amends the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to conform with federal law related to cessation of operations.

Environmental Resources & Energy

House Bill 374 establishes the Keystone Tree Restricted Account and allows for $3 contributions to the Keystone Tree Restricted Account when electronically renewing a driver’s license.

Senate Bill 790 creates a Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act.

Finance

House Bill 1085 repeals the obsolete State Personal Property Tax Act.

Intergovernmental Operations

Senate Bill 398 provides additional legislative oversight of the regulatory review process.

State Government

House Bill 305 directs the Department of General Services to include, in its surveys and inventories of Commonwealth real estate structures and assets, information on the possible use of such assets for fixed or mobile broadband services.

Senate Bill 327 requires executive, independent and state-affiliated agencies to report their space usage to the Department of General Services on an annual basis.

Senate Bill 470 directs the Department of General Services to include, in its surveys and inventories of Commonwealth real estate structures and assets, information on the possible use of such assets for fixed or mobile broadband services.

Senate Bill 532 designates March 6 as First Gulf War Veterans Day, October 7 as Afghanistan War Veterans Day, and December 18 as Second Gulf War Veterans Day,

Senate Bill 750 requires the state to repurpose the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion to support programs for veterans and the National Guard.

House Bill 1222 repeals and then consolidates the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act of 1990 and the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act of 1997 into Title 10 (Charities) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness

House Resolution 470 recognizes October 13, 2019 as the 244th birthday of the United States Navy.

Up Next

The Senate returns to voting session on Monday, October 21 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live at SenatorDiSanto.com.

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