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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Scavello Measure Providing New Liquor Permits for Wine Festivals, Farmers Markets Included in Newly Enacted Liquor Law
  • Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law
  • Senate Acts to Protect Energy Jobs
  • Committee Approves Measure to Increase Education for Opioid Prescribing
  • Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to House
  • Appropriations Committee Round-Up
  • Next Week

Senator Scavello
This week I met with Dr. Bonnie Green, professor at East Stroudsburg University, in my Harrisburg office to discuss this year's PASSHE budget and other educational concerns. She also had the opportunity to get a photo with Lt. Governor Mike Stack on the Senate floor. It was a pleasure meeting with you Bonnie and thank you for the work you do for our students.

Scavello Measure Providing New Liquor Permits for Wine Festivals, Farmers Markets Included in Newly Enacted Liquor Law

Legislation I drafted creating two new liquor permits for Pennsylvania breweries was signed into law Wednesday as part of a sweeping liquor modernization bill.

House Bill 1690 (ACT 39 of 2016) will allow grocery stores to sell wine, increase opportunities for the sale of beer, and improve consumer convenience for overall liquor sales. Before passage, the measure was amended in the Senate to include my bill, Senate Bill 1060, creating two new permits.

The first permit is a special permit to participate in wine and food festivals in the Commonwealth. This permit will allow the holder to sell by the glass, bottle or package malt and brewed beverages manufactured by the permittee. The permit may be obtained for no more than 100 days per calendar year and may not be used for more than 30 consecutive days.

The second permit is a farmer’s market permit which will enable the permittee to sell malt and brewed beverages, including growlers, manufactured at farmer’s markets throughout the Commonwealth. The permittee may not sell more than 144 fluid ounces in a single sale to one individual.

With the vibrant and growing craft beer industry in Pennsylvania, these permits provide an opportunity for the brewer to meet consumers face to face and talk about their product and where it comes from. In addition, this legislation allows brewers to form quality relationships with local farmers and keep their beer ingredients in-state. By bridging the relationship between brewers, farmers and consumers, these small businesses will be able to capture a wider audience, adding an economic boost to the local economy.

The new law will also:

  • Allow grocery stores that sell beer, licensed restaurants, and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine per customer.
  • Permit licensed wine producers to ship their products directly to Pennsylvania consumers.
  • Allow “six-pack” shops to upgrade their “eating place” licenses to “full” restaurant licenses to sell wine as well as beer.
  • Lift the requirement that State Stores close on certain holidays and only operate on limited hours on Sundays.
  • Allow special discounts and sales at State Stores.
  • Permit casinos, for a fee of $1 million, to receive a license to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Allow lottery tickets sales in State Stores.

Senator Scavello
Leslie Berger of the Loder Senior Center in East Stroudsburg visited the Capitol this week. Leslie was here in partnership with the PA Association of Senior Centers, who testified before the House Aging Committee. It was a pleasure to meet with you.

Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law

House Bill 57 amends the Public Utility Code to change the interest rate associated with recovery of purchased gas costs, eliminate the migration rider, and provide for recovery of costs incurred to implement customer choice.

Senate Bill 61 officially recognizes bike medics and permits them to operate their bicycles in the same manner as a police officer on a bicycle.

Senate Bill 489 reduces the maximum fee that a check casher may charge for cashing government checks, requires the public posting of fees for cashing the checks, and allows for recovery of losses due to fraudulent misrepresentation.

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 Acts to Protect Energy Jobs

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to protect family-sustaining Pennsylvania jobs placed at risk by the new federal regulations.

Senate Bill 1195 provides procedures for the General Assembly’s consideration of the Department of Environmental Protection’s implementation strategy for the Clean Power Plan before its submission to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Senate Bill 1195 is a compromise agreement between the General Assembly and Governor Wolf that provides important safeguards that protect local energy-producing industries and the thousands of workers they employ from overreaching regulations that could come with Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal regulations.

Senate Bill 1195 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Committee Approves Measure to Increase Education for Opioid Prescribing

The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would require continuing medical education training as a way to stem the tide of opioid and prescription drug abuse in the state.

Senate Bill 1202 requires state licensing boards to call for two hours of continuing education in “pain management” and two hours in “opioid prescribing practices” for individuals applying for an initial license or renewal of an existing license or certification to prescribe medications in the Commonwealth.

The increased use of heroin, which often has roots in the abuse of prescription painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, has catapulted Pennsylvania to seventh in the nation for drug-related overdose deaths in recent federal statistics. According to a National Survey of Primary Care Physicians, nine out of 10 doctors reported prescription drug abuse as a moderate to large problem in their communities, and 85 percent believed that prescription drugs are overused in clinical practice.

This a meaningful step for Monroe and Northampton counties in particular, as the 40th District has some of the highest per capita heroin/opioid deaths in the Commonwealth. This is another step in a series of solutions being considered by the legislature to combat the drug epidemic.

Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to House

House Bill 264 requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in long-term care nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living residences that use fossil fuel burning devices or appliances. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 428 provides additional sentencing provisions for trespassing at gaming establishments.

Senate Bill 1227 transfers the responsibilities of the Public Employee Retirement Commission with regard to pension legislation to the Independent Fiscal Office and the Office of the Auditor General.

House Bill 1241 amends the definition of public utility in state law to exempt water or sewer service provided by a resort and to exempt the provision of service by a municipal corporation under certain circumstances. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 1270 amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with updated Federal appraiser standards.

Appropriations Committee Round-Up

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the following bills Tuesday:

Senate Bill 703 creates a state plumbers licensing program regulating who can call themselves a state-licensed plumbing contractor rather than who can perform plumbing services.

Senate Bill 805 allows large commercial and industrial energy users to voluntarily exit the utility-administered Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans under Act 129.

Senate Bill 930 provides for the certification of Pennsylvania-based minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses by the Department of General Services.

Senate Bill 1109 amends the state Constitution to extend the state’s property tax exemption program for disabled veterans to the surviving spouse of soldiers killed in action.

Senate Bill 1270 amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with updated Federal appraiser standards.

Senator Scavello
This week I welcomed a number of seniors from Monroe County to the Capitol. It's always great seeing all of you and thank you for making the trip!

Next Week

The Senate will reconvene Monday, June 13. You can watch session live at

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., I’ll be taking part in a Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You can watch it live at

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