Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Senate Passes Measure to Prohibit Abusive Tethering of Dogs
  • Senate Panel Reviews College Student Loan Debt
  • Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment
  • Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to the House
  • Appropriations Committee Round-Up
  • Senator Scavello Speaks on Dyslexia Awareness Day in PA
  • Senator Scavello Welcomes Jacob Muth as Guest Page
  • Next Week
  • *Please check Monday for my “Around the 40th District” e-newsletter for updates from around our Senate district.*


Senate Passes Measure to Prohibit Abusive Tethering of Dogs

10/18/16 - Speaking Against Animal Cruelty

Senator Scavello speaks at a news conference held by lawmakers Tuesday outlining plans to continue legislative efforts to combat animal cruelty in Pennsylvania.

The Senate this week approved legislation I’ve long championed to prohibit animal cruelty in the form of abusive tethering of dogs.

Under House Bill 869, as amended by the Senate, tethering a dog outside for more than nine straight hours would be considered neglect, as would tethering for more than 30 minutes in excessive heat or cold. The measure also outlines the length and type of tether and requires access to drinking water and shade.

Chaining a dog outside for most of the day or in extreme conditions has long been, to me, a form of neglect, and I am pleased to support passage of this amended bill to finally outlaw this abuse. There are times when tethering our dogs is necessary and the vast majority of citizens do it in a humane manner. But, for too long neglectful owners have been allowed to get away with this awful treatment, and I’m glad the Senate took action to stop it.

The neglect would be considered a summary offense, punishable by a fine of up to $750.

Other provisions of the bill include:

  • The creation of a new definition of “aggravated cruelty to animals” in order to provide tougher penalties for crimes committed against animals.
  • The addition of horses to Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws.
  • A provision for the forfeiture of animals by abusers.

The bill was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments. If approved by the House, it will be sent to the governor to be signed into law.


Senate Panel Reviews College Student Loan Debt

10/17/16 - Student Loans and Financial Literacy

I took part in a public hearing Monday in which leaders from the state’s largest student financial aid servicer and higher education institutions provided members of the Senate Majority Policy Committee and the Senate Education Committee with proposals to better inform the public on student loans.

According to testimony, Pennsylvania was slightly better than the national average for default rates when it comes to four-year public institutions (PA at 6 percent; national at 7.3 percent), four-year private institutions (PA at 4.8 percent; national at 6.5 percent) and community colleges (PA at 15.7 percent; national at 18.5 percent). Only for-profit schools in Pennsylvania have a higher default rate (15.7 percent) than the national average (15 percent. You can review all of the written testimony here.


Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment

Senate Bill 286 increases transparency and accountability regarding the Delaware River Port Authority.

House Bill 447 amends the Landlord and Tenant Act by adding provisions for early termination of a lease if a tenant dies.

House Bill 683 eliminates Federal veterans’ disability payments and State veterans’ benefits from the definition of income when determining a claimant’s eligibility for the Property Tax Rent Rebate program.

Senate Bill 889 extends benefits to enforcement officers and investigators of the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.

House Bill 1581 amends the Crimes Code by adding the offense of strangulation, such as in domestic abuse cases in which the victim is not injured.

House Bill 1619 enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act to develop a comprehensive process to allow physicians to become licensed in multiple states and allow eligible licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telemedicine.

House Bill 1734 provides a one-year extension of the continuing professional education compliance deadlines for schools, teachers and administrators.

House Bill 1841 and House Bill 1842 address temporary permits issued to those seeking to become a licensed perfusionist. A perfusionist is a certified medical technician responsible for extracorporeal oxygenation of the blood during open-heart surgery and for the operation and maintenance of equipment (as a heart-lung machine) controlling it.


Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to the House

House Bill 49 extends the death benefit that is currently available to other emergency responders to members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 535 allows Pennsylvania’s municipal police departments to use radar as a means of speed enforcement. I am co-sponsoring this measure.

Senate Bill 840 provides for automated speed enforcement systems in construction zones. I am co-sponsoring this measure.

Senate Bill 976 amends the Wiretap Act to permit the use of body-worn cameras by police officers.

Senate Bill 1266 amends the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act to provide additional consumer protections.

Senate Bill 1271 requires the courts to ensure that a child in foster care remains in the same school he or she is enrolled in prior to out-of-home placement or a change of placement unless the court determines that remaining in the same school would be contrary to the child's safety or well-being.

Senate Bill 1300 eliminates residency requirements imposed by a municipal code or charter as a qualification of elected office, or to fill a vacancy of elected office, for those on active military duty.

Senate Bill 1313 amends the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act by adding new definitions for “energy-related cost savings,” “energy savings company” and “operating costs” and amends the definition of “energy conservation measure” to clarify what costs are qualified under the act.

Senate Bill 1330 provides for Pennsylvania State Preemption over firearms and ammunition regulations.

Senate Bill 1365 increases the number of Common Pleas judges in Bucks, Montgomery, Washington and Wayne counties.


Appropriations Committee Round-Up

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved 27 bills this week. You can review each day’s action here:

Monday, October 17
Tuesday, October 18
Wednesday, October 19


Senator Scavello Speaks on Dyslexia Awareness Day in PA

10/19/16 - Dyslexia Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

I spoke at a Capitol rally in support of the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Literacy Coalition and in recognition of Dyslexia Awareness Day in Pennsylvania.


Senator Scavello Welcomes Jacob Muth as Guest Page

10/17/16 - Introduction of Guest, Jacob Muth

It was my privilege to host Jacob Muth of East Stroudsburg as my guest page in Harrisburg. He even had the opportunity to meet and sit next to Governor Wolf at the bill signing for my Autocycle legislation. What a great experience for Jacob to better understand what goes on at the Capitol!


Next Week

The Senate reconvenes Monday, October 24 at 1 p.m. You can watch session at PASenateGOP.com.

On Wednesday at 9 a.m., I will chair a Senate Game and Fisheries Committee public hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) with officials from the state Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. You can watch the hearing live here.


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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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