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Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

House

State Budget Bill Package: This is the package of budget-related bills signed by the Governor June 28.  Click Here for a summary of environmental funding provisions--

-- General Fund: House Bill 790Click Here for available budget documents.

-- Fiscal Code: Senate Bill 712 was amended (A02588) by the House Appropriations Committee, was on the House Calendar, but then was referred back into Appropriations for further changes including a major one (A02603) related to DEP and DCNR operational funding..  Click Here for a summary.

--Tax Code: House Bill 262 was amended (A02596). Click Here for a summary.

-- Administrative Code: House Bill 1461 was amended (A02578), but has no environmental provisions.  Click Here for a summary.

Farm Conservation Excellence Grants: Senate Bill 634 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which would establish the Farm Conservation Excellence Grant Program was amended and reported out of the House Appropriations Committee (Senate Fiscal Note and summary) and the program was included in Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal was removed from the Table and passed by the House, concurred in by the Senate and passed.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.

Beginning Farmer Tax Credit: Senate Bill 478 (Vogel-R-Butler) establishing the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit and making $5 million available for the program in FY 2019-20 (House Fiscal Note and summary) and the program was included in Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal was passed by the House and concurred in by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.

Single Cleanup Permit: House Bill 1105 (Nelson-R- Westmoreland) amending Act 2 Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act to add a requirement for DEP to issue a consolidated permit for remediation projects, part of the Republican Energize PA initiative, was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee (House Fiscal Note and summary) and passed by the House.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit: House Bill 241 (Pickett-R-Susquehanna) amends the Resource Enhancement and Protection Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program to provide for the tax credit to be applied to a spouse when a joint income tax return is filed.  The bill was reported out of the House Rules Committee, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee (House Fiscal Note and summary) and passed by the House.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.  Note: The provisions of this bill were included in the Tax Code bill-- House Bill 262-- signed by the Governor into law. Click Here for a summary.

Senate

Valuing Water/Wastewater Systems: House Bill 751 (Roae-R-Crawford) further providing for the valuation of wastewater and water systems for ratemaking purposes, revising the definition of service line (Senate Fiscal Note and summary) was passed by the Senate without amendment.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.

Farm Conservation: House Bill 1516 (Causer-R-Cameron) establishing an Agriculture Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account, a bipartisan proposal included in Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal (House Fiscal Note and summary); House Bill 1526 (Irvin-R-Huntingdon) establishes the Agriculture-Linked Investment Program for implementing best management practices, a bipartisan proposal included in Gov. Wolf’s PA Farm Bill proposal (House Fiscal Note and summary were reported out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, referred into and out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  The bills now go to the Governor for his action.

Ag Security Areas: House Bill 370 (Klunk-R-York) would amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to authorize farmland conservation owners to relinquish the right to establish a residence (House Fiscal Note and summary) was passed by the Senate without changed and sent to the Governor for his action.

Changing Definition Of Water Pollution: Senate Bill 619 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) makes fundamental changes to the definition of water pollution under the state Clean Streams Law to require an individual or company who causes pollution to surface or groundwater to determine if it should be reported to DEP and whether it is pollution in the first place Click Here for more was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Nutrient Pollution Procurement Program: Senate Bill 575 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would establish a taxpayer funded procurement program for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reductions needed to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed pollution reduction goals in all or part of 43 counties in the state.  As written, it would guarantee only large companies with access to lots of resources could take part in the complicated bidding process established in the bill Click Here for more. The Senate passed the bill and it now goes to the House for action.

Vehicle Emissions Inspection Changes: Senate Bill 742 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) exempting vehicles from emissions testing for 8 years after manufacturing; Senate Bill 743 (Ward-R- Westmoreland) replace annual emission inspections with inspections every 2 years for vehicles more than 8 years old; Senate Bill 744 (Langerholc- R-Bedford) exempt Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, and Westmoreland Counties from the vehicle emissions testing; Senate Bill 745 (Stefano-R-Fayette) replace the tailpipe test in Pittsburgh and the 2-speed idle test via a dynamometer/treadmill in the Philadelphia region with a gas cap test and a visual inspection for model year 1994-95 vehicles; Senate Bill 746 (Vogel-R-Beaver) extend the transition date for existing emissions inspection stations that are required by the Department of Transportation to obtain new emissions testing equipment by November 1, 2019 to July 1, 2021 Click Here for more on these bills. Were reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee, referred into the Senate Transportation Committee and amended and reported out and passed by the Senate.  The bills now go to the House for action.

Sunday Hunting: Senate Bill 147 (Laughlin-R-Erie) authorizing Sunday deer hunting on three Sundays during the year was passed by the Senate and now goes to the House for action.

Fish & Boat Commission Fees: House Bill 808 (Mehaffie-R-Dauphin) authorizing the Fish and Boat Commission to adopt their own fees for 3 years (House Fiscal Note and summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Coal Refuse Site Permit Cessation: House Bill 1557 (Gabler-R-Clearfield) - amends the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to provide for the temporary cessation of coal refuse disposal site permits was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Mining Damage Reporting Limited: Senate Bill 763 (Bartolotta-R-Washington) amends the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 54) to make reporting on impacts of underground coal mining optional.  Click Here for more.  The bill was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Multiple Site Oil & Gas Production Accounting: Senate Bill 694 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) amends the Oil and Gas Act to provide for a process and accounting mechanism to allow well bores to cross multiple units, provided the operator has the right to drill wells on the units via leases with all landowners/members of the units [not pooling] (sponsor summary). The bill was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Mushroom Compost: Senate Bill 256 (Dinniman-D-Chester) amends the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101), to expand the definition of “compost materials" to include spent mushroom substrate (sponsor summary) was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Anthracite Heritage: Senate Resolution 186 (Baker-R-Luzerne) designating July 20, 2019 as Anthracite Heritage Day in Pennsylvania (sponsor summary) was adopted by the Senate.


7/1/2019

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