Below is a recap of this week’s legislative activity in the Senate. It covers votes by the full Senate and a look ahead.
The highlight was Senate passage of legislation to reform our public pension systems, which are driving up taxes and draining public resources.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.MarioScavello.com for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
June Legislative Report with Senator Scavello
Amazon to Host Hiring Event in the Lehigh Valley
On Monday, June 15, Amazon will be hosting an event from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to hire many new, full-time employees. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn 7736 Adrienne Drive in Breinigsville. Anyone interested in employment should attend the event for the opportunity to talk with an Amazon representative while completing an application on site.
Senate Acts to Make Lobbying Disclosure Information More Accessible
The Senate on Monday passed bipartisan legislation I am co-sponsoring to improve access to lobbying disclosure data.
Senate Bill 695 requires lobbyists and lobbying firms to register and file reports electronically through the computerized system developed by the Pennsylvania Department of State. In addition, the Department will be required to post on its Lobbyist Disclosure website all lobbying registration and reporting documents it receives within a week of the filing.
Currently, lobbyists may register and file reports with the state on paper forms through traditional mail. In some cases this has led to delayed posting of the information on the Department’s publicly accessible website.
Senate Approves Bill to Improve Access Child Immunizations
Legislation that would improve access to child immunizations was approved Tuesday by the Senate.
Senate Bill 305 would allow pharmacists the ability to administer the flu vaccine to children 9 years of age and older with parental consent. The legislation would also permit pharmacy interns who have completed appropriate training to administer the flu vaccine under pharmacist supervision.
Current state law allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns to immunize only adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children at least six months old receive a flu shot every year, but only about 55 percent of Pennsylvania children do.
Senate Approves Animal Cruelty Prevention Bills
The Senate approved a package of bills on Wednesday intended to help prevent animal cruelty.
Senate Bill 373, which I am co-sponsoring, strengthens laws regarding the tethering of dogs. It also adds a provision regarding shelter for dogs and cats to ensure that they are protected against inclement weather, kept dry and allowed to maintain their normal body temperatures.
Senate Bill 78 targets kennel owners who lose their license due to violations of the Dog Law. The legislation would prevent violators from continuing to operate a kennel at the same location by having a license issued to an immediate family member or another individual who resides at the same address.
Senate Bill 294 addresses the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws, particularly as they pertain to horses. It better defines “torture” and provides appropriate penalties based on language drafted with the assistance of the Farm Bureau. The bill also provides for the seizure of animals in extreme instances of torture or cruelty.
Senate Bill 594 adds a section to Pennsylvania's Animal Cruelty Law to specifically address when it happens in a domestic-violence situation. Under the legislation, if a person with a protection-from-abuse order against them commits animal cruelty against the pet of their spouse or partner, they would face a minimum monetary fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Senate Votes to Subject PEMA Director Position to Senate Review and Confirmation
The Senate approved legislation Tuesday that I am co-sponsoring to include the Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as a position subject to review and confirmation by the Senate. Currently, the post is filled by appointment by the Governor.
The additional review of this individual provided by Senate Bill 490 will improve agency accountability and ensure that there is strong internal and external communication and coordination between state and local agencies in responding to emergencies.
Senate Confirms Seven Cabinet Secretaries
The Senate confirmed seven cabinet nominations this week.
Pedro Cortes - Secretary of Department of State
The Senate returns to voting session on Monday.
Follow Me on Facebook and Twitter!
Senate Box 203040
Monroe County Office
Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue