Senate/House Bills Moving
The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--
Rural Recycling Mandate Exemption: House Bill 1533 (Rader-R- Monroe) exempting certain more rural communities from mandatory recycling was removed from the Table, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and was passed by the House 118 to 83. A House Fiscal Note and summary is available. The bill now goes to the Senate for action.
Local Stormwater Fees: House Bill 1325 (Mustio-R-Allegheny) authorizing 2nd class townships to assess stormwater management fees without forming an authority (House Fiscal Note and summary is available), House Bill 1394 (Mustio-R-Allegheny) authorizing boroughs to assess stormwater management fees without forming an authority (House Fiscal Note and summary is available) were reported from the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House. The bills now go to the Senate for action.
Hazardous Materials Planning: House Bill 677 (Hanna-D-Centre) further providing for hazardous materials emergency planning and response (sponsor summary) was removed from the Table and is now on the House Calendar for action.
Amended House GOP General Fund Budget: House Bill 1460 (Adolph-R- Delaware) House Republican General Fund vehicle was amended in Senate Appropriations Committee with the agreed-to General Fund budget passed by the Senate on Monday and reported from Committee and is on the Calendar for a final vote. A Senate Fiscal Note and summary is available. Click Here for a copy of the budget spreadsheet for the so-called agreed-to General Fund budget.
Fiscal Code Bill: House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike)-- was changed in the Senate Appropriations with a single omnibus amendment and passed by the Senate. The bill is now in the House for a concurrence vote. Click Here for a copy of the amended bill. A Senate Fiscal Note and summary is available. Among the changes related to environmental programs were--
-- Kill Conventional Oil & Gas Regulations: Abrogate the conventional oil and gas regulations developed by DEP and declaring the rulemaking process used to propose the regulations invalid making DEP start the process over. [Section 1741.1-E, page 34]
-- Reduces Growing Greener Funding $15 Million: Reduces the monies deposited in the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund by the Marcellus Legacy Fund from $35 million to $20 million for FY 2015-16. [Section 1608-E, page 8]
-- Extends General Assembly’s Review Time For EPA Clean Power Implementation Plan: DEP is now required to submit its plan for implementing EPA’s Clean Power Climate requirements to the General Assembly for approval 180, not 100 days before it is submitted to EPA as required by Act 175 of 2014. If no vote is taken by the General Assembly before August 22, 2016, the plan is deemed approved. If one or both chambers disapprove the plan, DEP can evaluate the reasons for the disapproval of the plan, request an extension from EPA for submitting the plan. [Section 1723-E, page 27]
-- Funding Earmarked For Small Water, Sewer Projects: $22 million to the Commonwealth Financing Authority to fund water and sewer projects costing between $30,000 and $500,000. [Section 1774.1-A, page 12]
-- Individual Special Water Infrastructure Projects: $400,000 for a drinking water project in a county of the 4th class and $500,000 for upgrading a sewage pumping station in a city of the 3rd class in a county of the 5th class from DEP’s General Government Operations funds.
-- Create Special Fund To Promote Conversion To Natural Gas: Establishes a Natural Gas Infrastructure Development Fund at the Commonwealth Financing Authority transferring $12 million from the Alternative Energy Investment Act to facilitate the conversions of schools, businesses, municipalities to natural gas. [Section 1741-A.1, page 24]
-- Washington Crossing State Park: Allocates $2.2 million of DCNR State Parks Operations funds to the operation and maintenance of Washington Crossing State Park
-- Individual, Local Government Disaster Recovery Assistance: Creates a $3 million program in the PA Emergency Management to provide individual and local government disaster assistance. [Section 1735-L, page 66]
Administrative Code Bill: House Bill 941 (Regan-R-Cumberland) was amended and reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and was passed by the Senate. The bill is now in the House for a concurrence vote. Click Here for a copy of the amended bill. A Senate Fiscal Note and summary is available. Among the changes were:
-- Making DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Independent: Specifically requires DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council to be an independent Council with the sole power to employ and fix the compensation of an executive director. [Section 448, page 3]
Opt Out From Energy Efficiency Program: Senate Bill 805 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) allowing big electricity users to opt out of the Act 129 energy efficiency program (sponsor summary) was removed from the Table and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.
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