Representative Mike Turzai

28th Legislative District

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Stephen Miskin

717.260.1852 / /



TO:                  Capitol Correspondents, News Editors, Assignment Editors


FROM:            Stephen Miskin

                        Press Secretary to the Majority Leader


SUBJ:              House Action for the Week of March 17, 2014


DATE:            March 14, 2014



Strengthening Accountability of the State’s Wildlife Commissions, Take 2: ‘Don’t Pass the Trash’ and Other Issues of Importance on House Agenda Next Week


The House returns to session on Monday, March 17 (yes, St. Patrick’s Day). As always, House session and most committee meetings will stream live on Many events also may be viewed on 


On the agenda this week is House Bill 798 (Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon County), which would reduce the term of service for members of the board of the state Fish and Boat Commission, while allowing for multiple terms of continued service. The legislation would reduce the terms to four years and allow for no more than three consecutive four-year terms with reappointment by the governor and approval of the Senate. The shorter terms and reappointment process are designed to ensure accountability on the part of the board of commissioners.


Last week, the House passed Senate Bill 895, which does the makes the same changes for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The bill is now in the Senate for its concurrence.


Reviewing the employment history of school employees… It’s needed!

Very sadly, and almost weekly, there are dreadful news stories of abuse by teachers, coaches and others at schools. Schools are a place where kids should automatically be safe. Parents should never fear dropping their kids off at the school or an athletic event.   


The time to stop the practice known as “passing the trash” is now.


House Bill 434, which unanimously passed the House last June, and Senate Bill 31 (to be taken up in the House on Tuesday) make school officials and employees mandatory reporters of child abuse. The companion bill, House Bill 2063, will require public and private schools in Pennsylvania and their independent contractors to conduct a thorough employment history review prior to offering employment to any applicant for a position involving direct contact with children. The House Education Committee is scheduled to bring up House Bill 2063 on Wednesday.


House Bill 434 and House Bill 2063 are both authored by Rep. Dave Maloney (R-Berks County), a former school board member. As a member of the school board, Maloney has personally dealt with these issues and worked to address these problems from there. When confronted with a specific incident, he did contact the local district attorney immediately.


“Passing the trash” is a process by which school employees who are suspected of sexual misconduct with students move from job to job because officials, rather than report the accusations or fire the worker, agree to conceal the charges from prospective employers if the worker resigns.


Under House Bill 2063, each applicant must provide detailed background information in order to be considered, and previous employers must provide a school entity with all requested background information regarding a former employee.  The bill provides for immunity from criminal and civil liability for employers, school entities, school administrators and independent contractors that disclose the requested background information, unless the information or records provided were known to be false.  The bill prohibits a school entity or independent contractor from entering into an agreement to maintain the confidentiality of findings or allegations of abuse against a current or former staff member. 



The Weekly Schedule

Identified by bill number, the sponsors and summaries for bills scheduled to be considered in committee or on the House floor are posted below.  More information regarding these bills can be found at by clicking on the “Research Bills” tab.



Monday, March 17


Committee Meetings/Hearings

EDUCATION, 11 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building

  • Public hearing on HB 1013 (Rep. Mark Gillen, R-Berks): Provides oversight for the evaluation and approval of homeschoolers’ education portfolios.


  • HB 1684 (Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming): Clarifies that the deduction of post-production costs from unconventional shale gas wells may not result in royalty payments less than the guaranteed minimum.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE, 11 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building

  • HB 1063 (Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia): Uniformly licenses qualified fire sprinkler contractors and provides for the sound preparation of system designs.
  • HB 1600 (Rep. Dick Stevenson, R-Butler/Mercer): Updates the Real Estate Appraisers Certification law to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with mandatory federal standards regarding appraiser qualifications.
  • SB 990 (Sen. Patrick Browne, R-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton): Enables acupuncturists to treat patients seeking routine wellness treatments without the requirement of a physician’s diagnosis.

STATE GOVERNMENT, Call of Chair, Room G-50, Irvis Office Building

  • HR 690 (Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler): Expresses support for the reunification of Ireland and its people.



On Monday, the House will convene at 1 p.m. for legislative business. The members will vote the uncontested calendar and Rule 35 resolutions.


Votes on Second Consideration

  • HB 56 (Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-York): Creates the offenses of assault of law enforcement officer in the second and third degree.
  • HB 845 (Rep. Karen Boback, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming): Creates a “bullying awareness and prevention” special license plate.
  • HB 1298 (Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks): Defines the term “recovery house” and requires the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to regulate recovery-based housing.
  • HB 1899 (Rep. Adam Harris, R-Juniata/Mifflin/Snyder): Bridge designation: Juniata County Veterans Memorial Bridge.
  • HB 1925 (Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny): Allows the use of “majority rule” regarding disposition of a decedent’s remains.
  • HB 1935 (Rep. Martin Causer, R-Cameron/McKean/Potter): Bridge designation: Private First Class Roger P. Downey Memorial Bridge.
  • HB 2019 (Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstron/Indiana): Bridge designation: Freeport Veterans Bridge.
  • HB 2026 (Rep. John Maher, R-Allegheny/Washington): Elevates the penalty for willfully or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring, disabling, poisoning or killing a police dog to a felony of the second degree.
  • HB 2039 (Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams/Franklin): Allows a General Assembly member of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin to have a designee with voting rights.


Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 2003 (Rep. Matt Baker, R-Bradford/Tioga): Requires health care providers and hospitals to offer screening tests and treatment for hepatitis C to those born between the years of 1945 and 1965.
  • HR 648 (Rep. David Millard, R-Columbia): Urges Congress to re-examine the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
  • SB 24 (Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-Allegheny/Butler): Establishes a statewide database of protective services within the Department of Public Welfare.
  • SB 1181 (Sen. Elder Vogel, R-Allegheny/Beaver/Lawrence): Authorizes a $5 million transfer from the Race Horse Development Fund to the State Racing Fund.


Votes on Concurrence

  • HB 798 (Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon): Reduces the length of terms of service for members of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Board of Commissioners from eight years to four years.



Tuesday, March 18


Committee Meetings/Hearings

CONSUMER AFFAIRS, 9 a.m., Room 140, Main Capitol

  • HB 1086 (Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks): Makes several changes to the Scrap Material Theft Prevention Act.
  • HB 1543 (Rep. Thomas Killion, R-Chester/Delaware): Amends the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act to provide contractual protection of “time and materials” provisions.
  • HB 1940 (Rep. Peter Daley, D-Fayette/Washington): Changes language in the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act’s fee section to enable funds from the Home Improvement Account to be directed to the Office of Attorney General for enforcement.

HUMAN SERVICES, 9 a.m., Room 60, East Wing

  • HB 2090 (Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny): Establishes a drug overdose “Good Samaritan” law in Pennsylvania to protect those who summon medical assistance for an overdose and increases the availability of the prescription drug Naloxone, which has been proven to help prevent heroin and opioid overdose deaths.
  • HR 659 (Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon): Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish a task force on opiate prescription drug proliferation in the Commonwealth.

COMMERCE, 9:30 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building

  • SB 1077 (Sen. David Argall, R-Berks/Carbon/Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton/Schuylkill): Adds railroad materials to the list of items that may only be purchased from a commercial enterprise by a scrap processor or recycling facility.
  • Informational meeting: Overview of existing economic development programs.

AGING AND OLDER ADULT SERVICES/FINANCE, 9:45 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building

  • Joint informational meeting: Question and answer session regarding the profit margin of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

JUDICIARY, 10 a.m., Room 60, East Wing

  • HB 921 (Rep. Timothy Krieger, R-Westmoreland): Discontinues the use of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) and switches to the use of the National Instant Check System (NICS) to check the background of individuals attempting to acquire a firearm.
  • HB 1091 (Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia): Establishes a new mandatory minimum sentence of two years for the violation of carrying an illegal firearm on public streets or public property in Philadelphia and grades the offense as a third-degree felony.
  • HB 1243 (Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery): Requires the Pennsylvania State Police to send all existing mental health data within 90 days to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and requires ongoing submissions to NICS within 48 hours of the Pennsylvania State Police’s receipt of mental health data.
  • HB 1498 (Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery): Imposes a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for felons who illegally possess firearms and designates the offense as a “crime of violence,”
  • HB 2011 (Rep. Mark Keller, R-Franklin/Perry): Aims to improve enforcement of the state’s preemption over local firearms and ammunition regulations by requiring any jurisdiction that imposes illegal firearm ordinances to reimburse attorney fees and costs to any party who successfully challenges the ordinance.
  • HB 2052 (Rep. Mario Scavello, R-Monroe): Establishes penalties for online gambling.

LABOR AND INDUSTRY, Call of Chair, Room B-31, Main Capitol

  • HB 1980 (Rep. Mindy Fee, R-Lancaster): Repeals the Pennsylvania Employment Agency Law.
  • HB 2081 (Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware): Clarifies workers’ compensation coverage of maritime employees to eliminate requirement of dual coverage under both state and federal law.



On Tuesday the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.


Votes on Second Consideration

  • HB 202 (Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery): ): Reduces standby fees for volunteer fire companies, nonprofit rescue squads and nonprofit ambulance services that own or rent structures equipped with automatic fire protection systems.
  • HB 544 (Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams/Franklin): Amends the state’s recreational use of land liability law in order to expand its protections for landowners and ensure that legal fees are covered for property owners who are found not liable for injuries to recreational users.
  • HB 1317 (Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Philadelphia): Designates Philadelphia Prison System prisoner transport units as emergency vehicles, allowing them to use flashing lights and sirens.
  • HB 1642 (Rep. Marguerite Quinn, R-Bucks): Requires a summary or impression of the test results of certain diagnostic imaging services performed on a patient be sent directly to the patient or designee within 20 days of the results being sent to the patient’s ordering physician if the results include a significant abnormality.
  • HB 1702 (Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester): Establishes a licensing program under the Department of Aging for community respite services programs in the Commonwealth.
  • HB 1907 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Requires hospitals to educate consumers about their admission status when being treated in a non-emergency room setting.
  • SB 31 (Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny): Amends the Child Protective Services Law so that child abuse reporting also applies to school employees where there is suspected child abuse.


Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 56 (Gillespie)
  • HB 845 (Boback)
  • HB 1298 (Farry)
  • HB 1899 (Harris)
  • HB 1925 (Readshaw)
  • HB 1935 (Causer
  • HB 2019 (Pyle)
  • HB 2026 (Maher)
  • HB 2039 (Moul)
  • HR 550 (Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Fayette/Westmoreland): Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish a bipartisan legislative task force and advisory committee to conduct a study on the occurrence, effects and trends of homelessness in Pennsylvania.


Votes on Concurrence

  • HB 770 (Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware):  Amends the Vehicle Code to establish a special registration plate in support of the Appalachian Trail organization, authorizes the issuance of personal organization registration plates and makes editorial changes regarding special registration plates.



Wednesday, March 19


Committee Meetings/Hearings

GAME AND FISHERIES, 9 a.m., Room G-50, Irvis Office Building

  • Public hearing on deer management, including the following bills:
    • HB 1870 (Rep. Deberah Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland): Excludes public land from the Deer Management Assistance Program.
    • HB 1146 (Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny): Removes antler restrictions for senior hunters.
    • HB 1370 (Rep. Deberah Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland): Establishes a separate three-day antlerless deer season following the regular rifle antlered deer season.
    • HB 1724 (Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks): Designates wildlife management units and issuance of antlerless deer permits on a county basis.
    • HB 1726 (Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks): Directs the Pennsylvania Game Commission to use the maximum sustained yield method of game and habitat management.
    • HR 576 (Rep. Greg Lucas, R-Crawford/Erie): Urges the Pennsylvania Game Commission to study the possibility of starting the rifle deer season on a Saturday.

CHILDREN AND YOUTH, 9:30 a.m., Room 8E-B, East Wing

  • Public hearing on HB 1436 (Rep. Dan Truitt, R-Chester): Ensures that insurance carriers would cover the cost of formulas necessary for the treatment of food-related allergic disorders or other esophageal disorders that prevent the consumption of normal foods.

EDUCATION, 9:30 a.m., Room G-50, Room 205, Ryan Office Building

  • HB 1930 (Rep. Hal English, R-Allegheny): Requires the Pennsylvania Department of Education to establish and implement a testing program to allow individuals to use past, partial GED test scores to obtain their Commonwealth secondary school diploma.
  • HB 1931 (Rep. Joseph Hackett, R-Delaware): Requires the Pennsylvania Department of Education to solicit proposals for testing programs for individuals seeking to obtain their Commonwealth secondary school diploma.
  • HB 2005 (Rep. Michael Hanna, D-Centre/Clinton): Adds municipal authorities as an entity to which school boards may convey any unused and unnecessary lands and buildings.
  • HB 2063 (Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks): Requires public and private schools in Pennsylvania and their independent contractors to conduct a thorough employment history review prior to offering employment to any applicant for a position involving direct contact with children.
  • HB 2074 (Rep. Karen Boback, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming): Permanently re-establishes the Governor’s Schools of Excellence.
  • SB 267 (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Bucks/Montgomery): Adds “educational” to the Public School Code’s list of valid excuses for being absent from school.

URBAN AFFAIRS, 9:30 a.m., Room B-31, Main Capitol

  • HB 1962 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Authorizes approval of two additional City Revitalization and Improvement Zones during the 2014 calendar year.

STATE GOVERNMENT, 10 a.m., Room 39, East Wing

  • Informational meeting on HB 1838 (Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Armstrong/Westmoreland): Creates definitive guidelines for the use of Public-Private Partnership agreements by municipalities and school districts to build and/or operate various public facilities.

URBAN AFFAIRS/SENATE URBAN AFFAIRS AND HOUSING, 10 a.m., Hearing Room #1, North Office Building

  • Joint House and Senate public hearing for the release of data concerning Act 90 of 2010.



On Wednesday the House will meet at 11 a.m. for legislative business.


Votes on Third Consideration

  • HB 202 (Harper
  • HB 544 (Moul)
  • HB 1317 (K. Boyle)
  • HB 1642 (Quinn)
  • HB 1702 (Ross)
  • HB 1907 (Saylor)
  • HR 690 (Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler): Expresses support for the reunification of Ireland and its people.
  • SB 31 (Fontana)



Thursday, March 20


Committee Meetings/Hearings

CONSUMER AFFAIRS, 9:15 a.m., Room 140, Main Capitol

  • Public hearing on recent dramatic rate increases for customers with variable rate generation contracts.


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