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News From PA House & Senate

The information you need to follow legislation in the House and Senate- starting with articles and NewsClips from last week-- 

Environment & Energy NewsClips--

-- Witnesses Unanimously Support Allocating American Rescue Plan Funding For On-Farm Conservation Projects At House Committee Meeting; Rep. Metcalfe Calls It ‘Welfare’  [PaEN]

-- Lancaster Farming: PA Ag Groups Seek $250 Million For Clean Streams

-- WITF: Republican Budget Chiefs Want PA’s Plethora Of Pandemic-Era Cash Used ‘Judiciously’

-- ErieT Guest Essay: PA Shortchanges Environmental Protection, Tell Lawmakers To Fully Fund It Now - Rep. Greg Vitali (D)

-- TribLive Guest Essay: PA Budget Should Fully Fund Environmental Protection & Cleanup - Rep. Greg Vitali (D)

-- Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing On $300 Million Anthracite Ridge Wind Farm Project In Schuylkill County - Video/Written Testimony

-- AP: At The Request Of The Natural Gas Industry, House Republicans Pass Bill To Stop Communities From Adopting All-Electric Building Codes

-- At The Request Of The Natural Gas Industry, House Republicans Pass Bill To Stop Communities From Adopting All-Electric Building Codes  [PaEN]

-- The Center Square: State Lawmakers Looking To Stop PA Municipalities From Banning Natural Gas Use

-- Republicans Move Bills Out Of Senate Committee To Redefine Water Pollution, Sell Off State Clean Energy Credits  [PaEN]

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: Legislation Pits 2 Climate Efforts - Solar Energy Credits And Plugging Oil & Gas Wells Abandoned By Conventional Well Drillers- Against Each Other

-- AP: Green Energy Firms Face New Push By Republicans In Kansas To Restrict Them [Just Like Republicans In PA]

-- PA State Government Has Refused To Pay Stormwater Management Fees To Local Authorities Designed To Meet Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Obligations  [PaEN]

-- Rep. Heffley: Bill To Expand Local C-PACE Clean Energy, Energy Conservation Funding Program Passed By House

-- Senator Yaw: Natural Gas Royalty Transparency Bill Passes Senate

Top 10 Stories On Harrisburg/PA Politics Last Week--

Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else--

-- Top 10 Stories: Harrisburg/PA Politics Reported By Local News Media Last Week  [PaEN] 

House/Senate Bills Moving Last Week

House

Prohibit Local All-Electric Building Codes: House Bill 1947 (O’Neal-R-Washington) was introduced at the request of the natural gas industry and would prohibit local governments from requiring the use of all-electric energy in buildings within their communities to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions was passed by the House in a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and now goes to the Senate for action. There is a Senate companion bill-- Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R-Lycoming)-- that is still in the House.   [Read more here.]

More Tax Breaks For Fossil Fuels/Mining: House Bill 199 (Dunbar-R-Westmoreland) to allow a taxpayer to claim a percentage depletion deduction for depletion of a mine, oil and gas well, or other natural deposit in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code in addition to the cost depletion method set-forth in PA Personal Income Tax policy(in other words, more tax breaks for coal, oil, gas owners) was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee [House Fiscal Note & Summary] and passed by the House in a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting.  It now goes to the Senate for action.

Expanding C-PACE: House Bill 1760 (Heffley-R-Carbon) expanding the C-PACE clean energy, energy conservation program to multifamily buildings, adding indoor air and resiliency improvements was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee [House Fiscal Note & Summary] and passed unanimously by the House.  The bill goes to the Senate for action.  There is a Senate companion bill-- Senate Bill 635 (Yudichak-I-Luzerne)-- that is still in the House.

Suspending Public Participation: Senate Bill 533 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would suspend public participation, advisory committee meetings and promulgating regulations during a statewide disaster emergency was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

Senate

Oil & Gas Royalties: Senate Bill 806 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) further providing for a description of deductions from assessments of royalties paid to oil and gas mineral owners was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  It is now in the House for action.

Redefining Water Pollution: House Bill 1842 (Zimmerman-R-Lancaster) would redefine water pollution to allow polluters to determine when spills are serious enough to notify DEP was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee by a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  [Read more here]

Prohibiting Clean Energy Credit Ownership: Senate Bill 945 (Yaw-R- Lycoming) directs state government to sell all its Renewable Energy Credits and deposit the proceeds in the Marcellus Legacy Fund for use to plug oil and gas wells abandoned by the industry and left to taxpayers to pay to clean up was amended and reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee by a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  [Read more here]

Suspending Vehicle Emission Standards: Senate Bill 1030 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) to temporarily suspend Pennsylvania’s regulations which adopted California regulations related to heavy-duty vehicle diesel controls, leaving the federal standards to govern while the suspension is in effect was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee by a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and is now on the Senate Calendar for action. [Read more here]

Adding Member To Reclamation Advisory Board: House Bill 668 (James-R-Venango) adding a coal refuse energy representative on DEP’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee unanimously and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  [Read more here]

Open Space Maintenance: House Bill 221 (Rader-R-Monroe) authorizing use of open space preservation funding for maintenance was referred out of the Senate Local Government Committee and then referred into and out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Native Plants: House Bill 763 (B.Miller-R- Lancaster) directing PennDOT to use native plants along highways was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Bill Calendars

Senate (February 7): Senate Bill 284 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would load up renewable energy projects, energy efficiency products and high-efficiency locomotives with bonds to prevent their development [Read more here]; Senate Bill 522 (Baker-R-Luzerne, Yudichak-I-Luzerne) further providing for the testing of blood lead levels in children; Senate Bill 597 (Stefano-R-Fayette) would impose conflicting and expensive requirements on small water and wastewater systems for no benefit to their customers and if they can’t comply they would come under the regulation of the Public Utility Commission Read more here]; Senate Bill 945 (Yaw-R- Lycoming) directs state government to sell all its Renewable Energy Credits and deposit the proceeds in the Marcellus Legacy Fund for use to plug oil and gas wells abandoned by the industry and left to taxpayers to pay to clean up [Read more here];  Senate Bill 1030 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) to temporarily suspend Pennsylvania’s regulations which adopted California regulations related to heavy-duty vehicle diesel controls, leaving the federal standards to govern while the suspension is in effect [Read more here];  House Bill 221 (Rader-R-Monroe) authorizing use of open space preservation funding for maintenance;  House Bill 598 (Oberlander-R-Clarion) would limit actions to create prescriptive easements to public entities like state agencies and local governments, not private entities; House Bill 668 (James-R-Venango) adding a coal refuse energy representative on DEP’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board; House Bill 1842 (Zimmerman-R-Lancaster) would redefine water pollution to allow polluters to determine when spills are serious enough to notify DEP [Read more here].  <> Click Here for full Senate Bill Calendar. 

House (February 7): House Bill 2069 (Cutler-R- Lancaster) Amend Article III, Section 9, to exempt the disapproval of a regulation by the General Assembly from the presentment requirement for the governor’s approval or disapproval [Read more here]; House Bill 2070 (Cutler- R-Lancaster) Amend Article IV, to add a new section providing that any executive order or proclamation issued by the governor, which purports to have the force of law, may not be in effect for more than 21 days, unless extended by concurrent resolution of the General Assembly [Read more here]. <> Click Here for full House Bill Calendar.

Committee Meetings

House   

February 8 - Governor’s Budget Address

February 15-- House Appropriations Committee state budget hearings begin. 10:00-Dept. Of Revenue.  House Floor.  Click Here to watch live.

February 23-- House Game and Fisheries Committee informational meeting on Game Commission Annual Report.  Room 60 East Wing. 10:00 a.m.   Click Here to watch live.

February 24-- House Game and Fisheries Committee informational meeting on Fish and Boat Commission Annual Report.  Room 60 East Wing. 1:00 p.m.   Click Here to watch live.

February 28-- House Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 10:00- Department of Environmental Protection.  House Floor.  Click Here to watch live.

March 2-- House Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 10:00- Department of Agriculture.  House Floor.  Click Here to watch live.

     -- Click Here for full House Budget Hearing Schedule

<>  Click Here for full House Committee Schedule.

Senate

February 8 - Governor’s Budget Address

February 8-- Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Game and Fisheries Committees Joint Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease.  American Legion, 3721 U.S. 220 BUS, Bedford. 5:00 p.m.

February 22 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings begin. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live.

March 2 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings: 10:00 - Department of Conservation & Natural Resources; 2:30 - Department of Environmental Protection. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live.

March 3 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings: 10:00 - Department of Agriculture. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live.

     -- Click Here for full Senate Budget Hearing Schedule.

 <>  Click Here for full Senate Committee Schedule.

Bills Introduced

Redirecting Coal Mining Penalty Payments: Senate Bill 1038 (Stefano-R-Fayette) redirecting civil penalties related to coal mining to O&M Trust Account for treating postmining pollution discharges (sponsor summary) [Note: The bill does not increase the amount of money available for paying these costs].

Bills Pending In Key Committees

Check the PA Environmental Council Bill Tracker for the status and updates on pending state legislation and regulations that affect environmental and conservation efforts in Pennsylvania.

Session Schedule

Here is the latest voting session schedule for the Senate and House--

House

February 7, 8, 9

March 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

April 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27

May 23, 24, 25

June 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30

September 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21

October 24, 25, 26

November 14, 15, 16

Senate

February 7, 8, 9

March 28, 29, 30

April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

May 23, 24, 25

June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30


1/31/2022

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