In this Edition:
Senator Scavello Speaks to Monroe County Businesses
Monroe County Firemen Honor and Remember Those We’ve Lost
Scavello Supports Community Colleges during Capitol Rally
This week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges press conference in the Capitol rotunda.
We are fortunate to have a world-class institution right here in the 40th Senate District, Northampton Community College, which has made quality education accessible and affordable to our area students.
Senator Scavello to Host College and Career Fair
I will be hosting a College and Career Fair with exhibitors for people of all ages on Thursday, April 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pleasant Valley High School. Whether you are a high school student applying for scholarships or an adult looking for a career change, the career fair will have valuable information available to you.
Senate Approves Scavello Bill Boosting Littering Fines
Legislation sponsored to increase fines for littering was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
Currently, fines for littering under Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) run from $50 to $300 for a first-time offense, and $300 to $1,000 for a second and subsequent offense. Senate Bill 973 boosts fines up to $2,000 for multiple offenses based on the size of weight and cubic feet of litter.
This legislation will also increase the littering fines outlined in Title 75 (Vehicles), with heavier penalties for littering from vehicles on highways, properties and water, including in an agriculture security area.
I believe the current fine system is not a proper deterrent for this crime. The amount of trash along roadways and elsewhere is not just aesthetically unpleasant, it’s bad for the environment.
The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Bill Providing More Openness to Contract Negotiations Sent to Governor
Continuing efforts to increase accountability and transparency of state government activities, the Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to a measure that will give the public greater access to contract negotiations involving government and public employees.
Senate Bill 644 now goes to the Governor’s desk. The bill requires the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to complete a cost analysis of proposed collective bargaining agreements under the Governor’s jurisdiction prior to the execution of those contracts.
Under this measure, the Governor would be required to give the IFO advance notice of pending contracts so the agency could determine the costs to cover public employee wages, benefits, pensions, and working conditions under the proposed agreement. This will ensure that the public knows how the full costs of these labor agreements would impact the Commonwealth. It is also vital information that we in the General Assembly need to develop a balanced state budget.
Two other bills received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor.
Senate Bill 526 amends the Second Class Township Code regarding completion and publication of the annual township report and financial statement. The measure allows second class townships to publish more concise financial information which will reduce advertising expenses.
House Bill 1340 amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) with technical clarifications to the Uniform Planned Community Act and the Uniform Condominium Act.
Bills Approved, Sent to the House for Consideration
Senate Bill 374 allows the Game Commission to establish time frames for the tagging and reporting of big game harvests.
Senate Bill 579 consolidates several statutes into Title 44 (Law and Justice Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.
Senate Bill 847 adds a representative from the Korean War Veterans Association to the State Veterans Commission, a panel comprised of representatives from Pennsylvania’s major veterans associations.
Senate Bill 881 amends the definition of “public utility” in state statute to provide an exception for a resort offering water or sewer services to private homes who take service at a point within the property boundaries of the resort.
Senate Bill 1104 implements changes from a June 2010 report issued by the Joint State Government Commission entitled, “The Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code: Proposed Amendments to Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.”
Appropriations Committee Round-Up
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the following bills on Tuesday:
Senate Bill 910 implements the school funding formula recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission.
Senate Bill 1031 allows for the appointment of independent counsel to investigate alleged wrongdoing by an Attorney General, employees of the Office of Attorney General, or chairs and treasurers of political campaigns of the Attorney General.
Senate Bill 1155 establishes a special registration plate for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Senate Bill 1156 requires health care personnel and clergy to obtain criminal background checks to protect children.
House Bill 794 increases the maximum hotel room rental tax permitted in most Third through Eighth Class counties from 3 percent to 5 percent to fund tourism development.
House Bill 1329 establishes the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act which requires hospitals to allow patients to designate a caregiver prior to discharge from the facility.
Subcommittee Hearing Focuses on Charter Schools, Cyber Charter and Special Ed
The new Senate Appropriations Education, Workforce, Community and Economic Development Subcommittee held its first hearing on Monday.
The hearing focused on:
Watch the hearing and find more information here.
Three New Eagle Scouts Honored
At the Pocono Home Show
The Senate reconvenes Monday, April 11 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.
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Senate Box 203040
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
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Northampton County Office