Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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Week of April 2, 2018

Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Redistricting Legislation

If you missed the Senate State Government Committee’s public hearing on redistricting legislation, including Senate Bill 22 (Boscola), Senate Bill 243 (Leach), Senate Bill 464 (Blake) and Senate Bill 767 (Costa), you can watch below.  Agenda and written testimony can be found here.  I look forward to continuing the conversation on this important topic as a plethora of useful information was given at this very zealous and informative hearing.

3/27/18 - Hearing on Redistricting Legislation

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration

All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.

Senate Bill 114 – authorizes sewer authorities to obtain a court order to terminate service to seriously delinquent commercial customers;

Senate Bill 263 – provides for permanent absentee voter status for disabled voters;

Senate Bill 313 – establishes opt-out of shared telephone contracts for victims of domestic violence;

Senate Bill 500 – enables law enforcement officials to accompany a victim to their residence before or during the service of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order;

Senate Bill 501 – requires all parties involved in PFA orders/convictions of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to relinquish their firearms;

Senate Bill 502 – allows judges to extend or create new PFA orders if they are to expire (or have expired) while a defendant is incarcerated;

Senate Bill 748 – (47-1) requires public input before closing public safety facilities;

Senate Bill 761 – a Constitutional amendment to allow gubernatorial candidates to select their Lieutenant Governor running mate;

Senate Bill 762 – requires an external performance audit of the PA Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE system) and the process for entering and maintaining registration records;

Senate Bill 776 – extends the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program;

Senate Bill 792 – (47-3) clarifies standards for fertilizer applications to turf as they relate to nutrient storm water management plans;

Senate Bill 919 – relocation of domestic and sexual violence victims in public housing;

Senate Bill 1011 – Marsy’s Law, a Constitutional amendment creating a Victims’ “Bill of Rights” (watch my comments on this important legislation here).

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action

Both bills passed unanimously.

Senate Bill 449 – Tierne’s Law to clarify that Magisterial District Judges may, in cases of domestic violence, use a risk assessment tool to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when determining bail;

House Bill 1486 – exempts agriculture “high tunnels” from the Storm Water Management Act.

Bill Signed into Law by the Governor

Act No. 11 – Senate Bill 135 – allows the use of leashed tracking dogs to recover legally harvested deer.

Executive Nominations Confirmed by the Senate

All nominations were confirmed unanimously unless otherwise noted.

Secretary of Drug and Alcohol ProgramsJennifer S. Smith, from Jonestown, Lebanon County, within the 48th Senatorial District

Secretary of Health – (49-1) Rachel L. Levine, from Middletown, Dauphin County, within the 48th Senatorial District

Secretary of Human Services – (49-1) Teresa D. Miller, Harrisburg

Insurance Commissioner – Jessica K. Altman, Harrisburg

Council on Aging – William J. Davies, Wyomissing; Daniel J. Drake, West Chester; Brad F. Mellon, Harleysville, and; Samuel Trychin, Erie

Council on the Arts – Norman Earl Stull, Spinnertown; Catzie Vilayphonh, Philadelphia, and; Tim R. Warfield, Jr., York

State Board of Dentistry – Jennifer Unis Sullivan, Monaca

PASSHE Board of Governors – Janet L. Yeomans, Philadelphia

State Board of Osteopathic Medicine – Christopher S. Poggi, Somerset

Polk Center Board of Trustees – Gregory L. Miller, Grove City and Chuck R. Walczak, Erie

State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers – Jeffrey L. Walters, Wormleysburg

Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission – Richard C. Shiffler, Hummelstown

Housing Finance Agency – Gary E. Lenker, Harrisburg and Mark S. Schwartz, Huntingdon Valley

Medical Cannabis Program Update

The PA Department of Health (DOH) published notice in The Pennsylvania Bulletin of its intent to soon begin two application processes:  Phase II grower/processor and dispensary permits, and prospective academic clinical research centers and clinical registrants.

Phase II:  Grower/Processor Permits

DOH intends to issue up to 13 grower/processor permits; one to the highest-scoring, most qualified and eligible candidate without regard to location, and two more in each of the six medical cannabis regions.

Phase II:  Dispensary Permits

DOH intends to issue up to 23 dispensary permits; 9 in the Southeast Region; 3 in the Northeast Region; 3 in the Southcentral Region; 2 in the Northcentral Region; 4 in the Southwest Region, and; 2 in the Northwest Region.  A primary dispensary location may be in any county within the applicable medical cannabis region.  Second and third dispensary locations must be within the same medical cannabis region as the primary dispensary location, and may not be in the same county as each other or in the same county as the primary dispensary location.

Applications for grower/processor permits and dispensary permits will be made available on April 5.  Submissions will be due May 17.  The public notice relation to the Phase II application process is available here.

Chapter 20:  Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs)

An ACRC is an accredited medical school in this Commonwealth that operates or partners with an acute care hospital licensed and operating in the Commonwealth.  Applications to be approved as a certified ACRC will be made available on April 5 and will be due May 3.

Chapter 20:  Clinical Registrants (CRs)

Following the publication of a list of certified ACRCs, applications to be approved as a CR will be made available on May 24 and will be due July 12.

The public notice relating to the Chapter 20 application process is available here.

It was a pleasure to listen to and meet with the Lower Dauphin High School Chamber Singers and Women’s Select Choir this week when they performed in the State Capitol Building under the direction of Elizabeth Colpo. What a talented group of students!

Fisher Avenue Bridge (Union Twp., Lebanon Co.) Work Scheduled

Construction for the Fisher Avenue (State Route 4020) bridge, spanning Qureg Run at the eastern end of the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Union Township, Lebanon County, is scheduled to begin the week of April 2 as part of the PennDOT Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.  During construction, traffic will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction through the work zone.  During stage two, Quartermaster Road will be closed south of Fisher Avenue, and traffic will be detoured along Fisher Avenue to Biddle Road.  The new bridge is anticipated to be complete in July.

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