New Legislation Introduced – August 2014

Transportation

  • Rep. Mustio (R-Allegheny County) sponsored a bill that would require transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to be licensed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and to meet certain insurance and safety requirements.  (House Bill 2453).  Rep. DeLuca (D-Allegheny County) sponsored a similar bill.  (House Bill 2446).
  • Rep. Killion (R-Delaware County) sponsored a bill that would place certain limitations on transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, including, but not limited to, a requirement to obtain commercial liability insurance as primary coverage, obtain a certificate of public convenience, and file criminal background checks on the drivers of these companies.  (House Bill 2445).

Immigration

  • Rep. Metcalfe (R-Butler County) sponsored a bill that would require all employers in the state, including governmental employers, to enroll in the Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify); it would also allow municipal governments to adopt ordinances denying business licenses to employers of unauthorized aliens.  (House Bill 2430).

Municipal (Vacant & Blighted Property)

  • Rep. Day (R-Berks County) will be introducing legislation that would establish the Vacant Property Registration and Assessment Act, which is intended to address problems associated with vacant and blighted property by shifting the responsibility of helping to solve those problems on owners of properties that are vacant and/or blighted.

Taxation

  • Rep. Thomas (D-Philadelphia County) will be introducing legislation calling upon the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on transitioning from a flat personal income tax to a graduated personal income tax system.

Economic Development

  • Rep. Benninghoff (R-Centre County) sponsored a bill that would reduce the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) debt ceiling (the outstanding obligations for redevelopment assistance projects) by $50 million increments until the debt ceiling reaches $2.95 billion (on July 1, 2027).  (House Bill 2420).

Rep. Turzai (R-Allegheny County) sponsored a bill that would establish annual spending limits on all project types that come under the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act, including redevelopment assistance projects.  (House Bill 2419).

 

If you have questions about the budget or any introduced legislation, please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.

 

Public Policies Considered for Legislation – June & July 2014

During the months of June and early July, the state legislature considered legislation pertaining to a variety of public policies. Here are some examples:

  • House Bill 2302 sponsored by Rep. Harhai (D-Westmoreland County) would authorize the Department of Community and Economic Development to issue grants to municipalities to eradicate and prevent blighted property conditions through a property maintenance code enforcement program.
  • House Bill 1550 sponsored by Rep. Milne (R-Chester County) would consolidate business loan programs under the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). The programs to be consolidated include the following: Small Business First and its affiliated programs, Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund, and Industrial Development Program.
  • House Bill 1699 sponsored by Rep. Ross (R-Chester County) would establish the Reciprocal Internal Combustion Engine Act to regulate standby emergency generators that are compensated for their participation in PJM (the electric grid) demand response programs.
  • House Bill 2354 sponsored by Rep. Snyder (D-Greene County) establishes the Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act that would require the Department of Environmental Protection to obtain approval from the state legislature for a State plan designed to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants before submitting such a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.
  • House Bill 2239 sponsored by Rep. Evankovich (R-Westmoreland County) would establish guidelines for public private partnerships for local governmental buildings or facilities used for public water supply or treatment, storm water treatment and disposal, and waste water treatment and disposal.
  • Senate Bill 1409 sponsored by Sen. Rafferty (R-Montgomery County) would amend the Board of Vehicles Act to allow a manufacturer of electric cars (such as Tesla) to sell directly to the consumer through up to five manufacture-owned dealerships. Senate Bill 1409 has been signed into law as Act 125 of 2014.
  • Senate Bill 1096 sponsored by Sen. White (R-Indiana County) would amend Title 26 (Eminent Domain) by clarifying that a property owner whose property is taken via eminent domain shall be reimbursed up to $4,000 per property for appraisal, attorney, and engineering fees (regardless of right, title, or interest). Senate Bill 1096 has been signed into law as Act 120 of 2014.
  • Senate Bill 1422 sponsored by Sen. Tomlinson (R-Bucks County) amends Title 42 (Judiciary) by limiting successor liability for asbestos-related claims. Senate Bill 1422 was signed into law as Act 112 of 2014.
  • House Bill 118 sponsored by Rep. Ellis (R-Butler County) would extend whistleblower protections to employees of for-profit and non-profit corporations that receive money from a governmental entity to perform work or services. House Bill 118 has been signed into law by Governor Corbett as Act 87 of 2014.