2013-2014 Legislative Session

Adoption Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 493 designates the month of November 2014 as “Adoption Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

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Safe Schools Week

Senate Resolution 492 recognizes the week of October 19 through 25, 2014, as “Safe Schools Week 2014” in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Career Development Day

Senate Resolution 491 recognizes October 15, 2014, as “Pennsylvania Career Development Day” in Pennsylvania.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 468 designates the month of October 2014 as “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. 

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Fire Prevention Week

Senate Resolution 461 observes the week of October 5 through 11, 2014, as “Fire Prevention Week 2014” in Pennsylvania

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College Savings Month

Senate Resolution 441 designates September 2014 as “College Savings Month” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor) 

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STEM Higher Education Loan Program (STEM HELP)

Senate Bill 1433 would completely pay for a student’s tuition when they attend a Pennsylvania institution of higher education while participating in an approved Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program. The students must also agree to stay in Pennsylvania for a short period of time after graduation.  The initial funding for STEM HELP will be the borrowing of $50 million, which would be submitted as a question to the electors as a statewide referendum.

 

Reinstating Lifeguards at State Parks with Public Beaches

Senate Bill 1419 would once again require certified lifeguards to be employed at all Pennsylvania state parks with public beaches.

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Remember Everyone Deployed (RED) Friday

Senate Resolution 404 designates June 27, 2014, as “Remember Everyone Deployed Friday (Red Friday)” in Pennsylvania.

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Military Spouse Day

Senate Resolution 394 designates May 9, 2014, as “Military Spouse Day” in Pennsylvania.

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Anniversary of State of Israel

Senate Resolution 381  commemorates the 66th anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel. (co-prime sponsor)

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Apraxia Awareness Day

Senate Resolution 375 designates May 14, 2014, as “Apraxia Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor)

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Expansion of Distracted Driving Law

Senate Bill 1372 makes the driver’s use of a handheld mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle a summary offense and upon conviction subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for a second violation and $300 for a third or subsequent violation. 

 

Changing the Statute of Limitations in Child Sex Abuse Cases

Senate Bill 1350 suspends the civil statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse who have not yet reached 50 years old; permanently removes the civil and criminal statute of limitations involving child sexual abuse; and removes the sovereign immunity defense for public officials and institutions.

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ALS Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 367 designates the month of May 2014 as “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor)

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Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust

Senate Resolution 348 designates April 27 through May 4, 2014, as “Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor)

 

100th anniversary of the Dauphin County Library System

Senate Resolution 346 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Dauphin County Library System.

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Local Government Week

Senate Resolution 344 designates the week of April 14 through 19, 2014, as “Local Government Week” and April 15, 2014, as “Local Government Day” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor)

 

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 330 designates the month of April 2014 as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 328 designates the month of April 2014 as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. (co-prime sponsor)

 

Charter Day

Senate Resolution 310 observes March 14, 2014 as “Charter Day” in Pennsylvania.

 

Charter School Appeal Board Member Recusal

Senate Bill 1257 amends the Public School Code to authorize that a member of the State Charter School Appeal Board, who may also be an employee of a charter/cyber school, to recuse themselves from any decisions regarding charter applications from competitors of the charter/cyber school they work for.

 

Harrisburg Area Community College Day

Senate Resolution 298 designates February 14, 2014, as “Harrisburg Area Community College Day” in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the community college.

 

Housing Awareness Day

Senate Resolution 297 designates February 11, 2014 as “Housing Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania.

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Career and Technical Education Month

Senate Resolution 296 designates the month of February as “Career and Technical Education Month” in Pennsylvania.

 

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner Memorial Bridge

Senate Bill 1213 designates the bridge that carries Eastbound US 22/US 322 over Interstate 81 as the Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner Memorial Bridge. Ruffner, who lived in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, was killed in Afghanistan on April 9, 2013 in the line of duty.  He was a true hero and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

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Pay Equity

Senate Bill 1212 would strengthen Pennsylvania law to eliminate the gender wage gap by increasing the protection to employees who have filed a complaint against an employer and prohibiting retaliation against employees for discussing wages (“pay secrecy”). The bill would also close the “factor other than sex” defense to apply only to bona fide business related factors.  Bona fide factors other than sex include education, training, or experience.  In order to file a complaint, a plaintiff must still identify a comparable employee who makes more money for performing equal work, requiring effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. This bill is part of the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health, a comprehensive proposal to address the real health issues affecting Pennsylvania women today.

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Adoption Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 270 designates November 2013 as “Adoption Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

 

Pennsylvania Career Development Day

Senate Resolution 266 designates November 13, 2013, as “Pennsylvania Career Development Day” in Pennsylvania.

 

Funding Fire, Emergency Services to State-Owned Buildings in Harrisburg

Senate Bill 906 permanently requires full reimbursement from the state for providing fire protection and emergency services to the 40 tax-exempt state-owned buildings located in the City of Harrisburg.

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Changing the Statute of Limitations in Child Sex Abuse Cases

Senate Bill 1103 increases the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers. It also opens a one-time two-year window for victims to file civil charges in cases where the statute of limitations has expired. The bill also makes child sexual abuse an exception to the sovereign immunity defense that shields school and government officials from being sued.

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Human Services Block Grant Study

Senate Resolution 225 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an evaluation of the Department of Public Welfare’s Human Services Block Grant Pilot Program.

 

Donations of Judicial Candidate Reserve Funds

Senate Bill 1128 amends the Election Code to allow for permit judicial campaign committees to donate their residual funds to a non-profit community organization, as opposed to a political one.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 223 designates the month of October 2013 as “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

 

Municipal Swap Ban for Philadelphia

Senate Bill 904 bans the use of qualified interest rate management agreements, or so-called municipal “swaps,” in the City of Philadelphia. This bill was introduced in conjunction with a similar measure that would ban swaps for municipalities encompassed in the Local Government Unit Debt Act (LGUDA), such as local governments, school districts and municipal authorities. Because Philadelphia is not included under LGUDA, Senate Bill 904 ensures that a swaps ban applies statewide.

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Charter and Cyber Charter School Funding Costing-Out Study

Senate Resolution 143 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a comprehensive Statewide costing-out study of charter schools and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania.

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Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner Condolence

Senate Resolution 93 notes with deep sadness the death of Army Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner (Chief Warrant Officer 3), a pilot serving with the Pennsylvania National Guard who died in the line of duty in eastern Afghanistan on April 9, 2013.

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Expansion of Distracted Driving Law

Senate Bill 1289 expands the state’s distracted driving law to prohibit the use of a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle and also establish a fine for such a violation starting at $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $300 for the third or subsequent violation.  In addition, this bill requires that a record of this violation, and also the violation of texting while driving, appear on the driving history record of the person who committed the violation and that record shall be available to any motor vehicle insurer.

 

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Senate Resolution 78 designates the month of April 2013 as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

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Lottery Private Management Restrictions

Senate Bill 772 modifies the state’s Lottery Law to prohibit a private management company, management level employees, or any of its subsidiaries from making political contributions or giving gifts to any political candidate, state party, or organization that makes donations to a candidate. The bill also prohibits any executive level public employee, public official, party officer, or any of their immediate family members from being employed by or holding a financial interest in the private manager of the Pennsylvania Lottery or any of the manager’s subsidiaries during their time of employment, and for one year beyond the termination of their employment. The bill also fixes a significant current issue in the Ethics Act by exempting current lottery employees who would otherwise be barred from working for the private manager for one year. The bill also requires the chief executive of the management company to provide an annual certification that proper safeguards have been put in place to ensure that these prohibitions have been met.

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Lobbying Reform

Senate Bill 697 prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars by all three branches of state government to hire outside lobbyists to lobby other state government agencies.

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Open Primaries

Senate Bill 696 allows registered Independents to temporarily change their registration status so that they can vote in primary elections.

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No Lame-Duck Sessions

Senate Bill 695 prohibits the General Assembly from holding votes in even-numbered years during the period of time between the general election and the swearing in of the new legislature, with an exception for special sessions called by the governor.

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Suspension of Pay for Late Budget

Senate Bill 694 suspends pay for both the governor and members of the General Assembly if the state budget is not passed by the midnight June 30 deadline.

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Elimination of Annual Legislative COLAs

Senate Bill 692 eliminates the automatic annual mid-term cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for legislators. Senate Bill 693 amends the state constitution to make clear that no legislator can receive a COLA in the middle of a term.

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Independent Audits of the General Assembly

Senate Bill 690 amends the state constitution to authorize an independent audit of the General Assembly and its accounts by the Auditor General.  Senate Bill 691 requires that those audits be conducted annually.

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Charter Day

Senate Resolution 45 observes March 14, 2013, as “Charter Day” in Pennsylvania.

 

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