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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Committee Approves Bills Allowing Local Police Radar to Reduce Speeding
  • Bills Sent to Governor
  • Additional Bills Sent to the House for Consideration
  • Bills Returned to the House for Concurrence on Senate Amendments
  • Senator Killion Sworn Into Office
  • Appropriations Committee Round-Up
  • Next Week
  • Around the 40th

Committee Approves Bills Allowing Local Police Radar to Reduce Speeding

Legislation I co-sponsored to permit local police to use radar to enforce speed limits was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the U.S. that prohibits local police from using radar guns. Only State Police are currently allowed to use radar. Senate Bill 535 and Senate Bill 559, which also permits the use of LIDAR laser light devices, were sent to the full Senate for consideration.

I had prime-sponsored similar legislation over three sessions as a member of the House of Representatives. In my legislative district we have had many accidents and deaths due to excessive speeding and this legislation won’t take back those tragedies but it will prevent future tragedies.

To ensure that police departments do not use the devices to generate revenue, Senate Bill 559 requires that any revenue exceeding 5 percent of the municipal budget must be remitted to State Police to fund traffic safety efforts.

Radar is less expensive to use and maintain than older devices and would reduce deaths that result from speeding cars. It makes no sense that Pennsylvania stands as the last state to preventing use of a tool that local police have been requesting for years.


Bills Sent to Governor

House Bill 400 establishes the “Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act.”

House Bill 805 amends the Public School Code concerning temporary professional employees, contracts, causes for suspension, persons to be suspended, and appeals. I voted against this measure.

Senate Bill 811 provides for the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Capital Budget.

House Bill 1200 repeals part of an Act from 1903 that requires railroads under bridges or viaducts to pay maintenance fees.

House Bill 1788 clarifies circumstances in Philadelphia in which a Neighborhood Improvement District overlaps with a Tax Increment Financing district.


Senate Approves Cost-saving Legislation for Schools

The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to allow school districts to save thousands of dollars in annual mailing costs.

Senate Bill 1077 eliminates the state mandate that school districts annually inform parents by physical mailing when the district uses audio and video recording to identify and address discipline issues on school buses.

The mailer mandate was included as part of Act 9 of 2014, which gave school districts the ability to use audio recordings on school buses. Instead of the physical mailing, which can easily cost thousands of dollars each year, schools must post notice of the policy in the student handbook as well as on the school’s website.

Senate Bill 1077 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Additional Bills Sent to the House for Consideration

Senate Bill 359 revises Pennsylvania’s truancy laws by providing new procedures to be followed when a child becomes truant and additional procedures if a child becomes habitually truant.

Senate Bill 1062 increases penalties for home invasion burglaries.

Senate Bill 1144 prohibits the sale of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to minors.

Senate Bill 1156 requires health care personnel and clergy to obtain background checks.

Senate Bill 1229 corrects technical issues related to the distribution of Pennsylvania Breeding Funds.


Bills Returned to the House for Concurrence on Senate Amendments

House Bill 944 amends the Community and Economic Improvement Act to improve the management of neighborhood improvement districts in Philadelphia.

House Bill 1310 provides privacy and protects the safety of individuals who call 911 to report crimes.

House Bill 1574 updates the Anti-hazing Law to include hazing done as a condition for initiation or admission into any organization.


Senator Killion Sworn Into Office

Senator Tom Killion was sworn into office during a Wednesday ceremony in the Senate Chamber. He was elected to the Senate on April 26 under a special election to represent the citizens of the 9th Senatorial District, which includes portions of Chester and Delaware counties.

Prior to joining the Senate, he served as a State Representative for the 168th Legislative District and was Chairman of the Delaware County Council. He also founded two local small businesses.

The Senate returned to its full complement of 50 members: 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats.


Appropriations Committee Round-Up

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the following bills this week:

Senate Bill 691 increases a retailer’s presumptive minimum cost of administering the cigarette tax.

Senate Bill 837 ensures only those with a professional license are permitted to represent themselves as a marriage and family therapist in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1052 requires the Pennsylvania Department of State to develop a secure online system for military-overseas voters to return their absentee ballot electronically.

House Bill 602 increases the active duty pay for National Guard personnel from $75 to $100 per day.

House Bill 944 amends the Community and Economic Improvement Act to improve the management of neighborhood improvement districts in Philadelphia.

House Bill 1552 requires the Secretary of Education to enter into an interstate reciprocity agreement governing higher education distance education programs.

Senate Bill 1216 designates the bridge carrying State Route 3087 connecting Scottdale, Westmoreland County, and Everson, Fayette County, as the Private First Class Joseph Anthony Petrarca/Staff Sergeant John William Earnesty Memorial Bridge.

Senate Bill1217 designates a portion of State Route 523 in Somerset County as the Private First Class Nils G. Thompson Memorial Highway.


Next Week

The Senate reconvenes Monday, May 16 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.


Around the 40th

Hanover Township Hosting Armed Forces Day Program

Senator Scavello  

For Armed Services Day (May 21, 10 a.m.), Hanover Township will be hosting a program honoring the many servicemen and women featuring a brass ensemble of the American Legion Band and Nitschmann Middle School Band.


Free Truck Driver Training for Veterans and Current Military

Senator Scavello

Northampton Community College will be offering free Truck Driver Training to Veterans, current military servicemen and women and military spouses. To apply for the program, please contact the Monroe Campus at (570) 369-1885.


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Offices

Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-12001200
FAX (610) 863-1214
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