Below is a recap of this week’s legislative activity in the Senate. It covers votes by the full Senate, bills sent to the governor and a look ahead.
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Bills Addressing Fraudulent Doctors, Flu Shots for Kids Sent to the Governor
A bill addressing individuals who fraudulently pose as doctors and legislation that allows pharmacists to provide flu shots to children received final legislative approval this week and are headed to the governor’s desk for his signature and enactment into law.
Senate Bill 485, which was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, increases the criminal grading for impersonating a doctor of medicine and providing medical treatment, from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.
The legislation is based on a recommendation made by the Philadelphia Grand Jury which investigated and ultimately indicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell and other employees at his "House of Horrors" abortion clinic. Although Gosnell was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for murder, several of his employees, who were practicing medicine without a proper license, received lenient sentences for their crimes. Currently, impersonating a physician is treated the same as impersonating a notary public or other licensed professional under Pennsylvania law.
House Bill 182, which was approved by the Senate on Monday, amends the Pharmacy Act to allow authorized pharmacists to administer flu immunizations to children 9 years of age and older and allows qualified pharmacy interns to administer injections under supervision.
Senate Votes to Delay Keystone Exam Graduation Requirement Two Years
The Senate on Monday unanimously approved a bill I am co-sponsoring to delay the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement for two years.
Senate Bill 880 will delay the end-of-course exams in algebra, biology and literature as a graduation requirement until 2019.
The purpose of the exams is admirable – to ensure that every student who graduates has been prepared for college or a career. However, the scale and cost of remediation necessary to meet the requirements is not fully understood. The delay will allow lawmakers, schools, parents and other stakeholders to come together and make any needed changes to the requirement.
Senate Approves 911 Reauthorization Measure
On Tuesday, the Senate approved House Bill 911, legislation that will reauthorize the Emergency 9-1-1 System in Pennsylvania. The current fee on wireless devices is set to expire on June 30, 2015, unless the law is reauthorized. House Bill 911 would set the fee at $1.65 a month per device. The bill returns to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote.
Other Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to the House
Senate Bill 590, which ensures that the intellectual property rights of faculty members of state-owned universities are protected at the same level as faculty at private colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.
Senate Bill 687, which amends the Uniform Planned Community Act to correct a conflict which was created by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. I am co-sponsoring this bill.
Senate Bill 688, which amends the Uniform Condominium Act to correct a conflict which was created by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. I am co-sponsoring this bill.
Senate Bill 861, which clarifies liability issues in cases involving auto dealership loaner vehicles.
Senate Game and Fisheries Committee
Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, which I chair, reported out four bills Tuesday.
The committee unanimously approved the following bills:
You can view video of the committee meeting here.
|Senator Scavello recently completed a Legislative Report segment with Representative Seth Grove regarding the budget process and current property tax proposals. You can view previous editions of the Legislative Report here.|
The Senate returns to voting session on Monday.
On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the Senate Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the nomination of Timothy Reese for Pennsylvania Treasurer.
You can watch Senate session and hearings live at PASenateGOP.com.
Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123
Fax: (717) 772-3695
Monroe County Office
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone: (570) 620-4326
FAX: (570) 620-4379
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Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone: (610) 863-1200
FAX: (610) 863-1214
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