Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why the delay in releasing news of bill signings?

There was a mad scramble around the Inquirer on Wednesday night as no fewer than three reporters awaited news about whether Gov. Corbett had signed pieces of legislation that were sitting on his desk.

Why the delay in releasing news of bill signings?

There was a mad scramble around the Inquirer on Wednesday night as no fewer than three reporters awaited news about whether Gov. Corbett had signed pieces of legislation that were sitting on his desk.

The clock was ticking in two directions. The governor has ten days to decide whether he will sign a bill or not. We were minutes away from deadline.

I wanted to get the news out to readers of my Philly Dawg blog that the governor had signed the bill ending the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in animal shelters. Delaware County reporter Rita Giordano had been told she would get a call back to let her know whether the governor had signed a bill allowing county police officers to be reinstated after a cheating scandal and business reporter Joe DiStefano was awaiting word on a bill allowing entrepenaurs to invest in a socially responsible manner.

We called. We emailed. We waited.

Then suddenly a tweet on the gas chamber bill! But it did not come from Gov. Corbett's office. The Senate majority leader, Dominic Pileggi, had sent out the news to animals lovers on his Twitter feed.

Eventually, Giordano and DiStefano got their bills confirmed the same way - by the Senate leader - allowing us to provide the public with the most up to date information about the status of legislation affecting their lives.

The Corbett administration sent out the email press release at 10 a.m. Thursday with word he indeed had signed these bills and 45 others on Wednesday. (And even with the delay, we note, the release hadn't been given a final once over by a copy editor, there were extraneous words in lead.)

So why the holdup?

When I brought this to the attention of Corbett press secretary Kevin Harley - whom I had reached out to on Wednesday night without success - on Thursday, he said only, "that was my call."

As of early Friday there was no update on these bills on the governor's Twitter feed or on his Facebook page.

Here in its entirety is the list of bills Corbett signed into law on Wednesday:

House Bill 140 – Act establishes the Methadone Death and Incident Review Team to review and examine the circumstances surrounding methadone-related deaths and provides for its powers and duties.

 House Bill 1310 – Amends the Liquor Code to allow the issuance of licenses to privately-owned ski resorts, further providing for definitions and limiting the number of retail licenses to be issued in each county.

 House Bill 1417 – Amends Title 18 (Crimes), 30 (Fish) & 34 (Game), adding waterways conservation officers, deputy waterways conservation officers, wildlife conservation officers and deputy wildlife conservation officers to the list of law enforcement officials protected under the aggravated assault section of Title 18 and increases penalties for assaulting the named officers.

House Bill 1548 – Regulates child labor, repealing and replacing the former Child Labor Law in its entirety.

House Bill 1616 – Amends Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations) adding a new chapter to the current Business Corporation Law to authorize the organization of a new form of corporation, termed a “benefit corporation” that offers entrepreneurs and investors the option to build and invest in businesses that operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

House Bill 1682 – Amends Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) providing for the creation of land banks for the conversion of vacant or tax-delinquent properties into productive use.

House Bill 1718 – Amends Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, clarifying the percentage of financial security able to be retained by the governing body and extending the time period for a property owner to dispute fees.

House Bill 1719 – Amends Title 53 (Municipalities), clarifying the percentage of financial security for public improvement projects an authority may retain and extending the time period for a property owner to dispute fees.

House Bill 1767 – Amends Manufactured Home Community Rights Act requiring written notice to homeowners of any decision to close the community and paid relocation expenses when homeowners are unable to relocate. Also repeals certain provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act relating to the aquisition of mobile homes.

House Bill 1813 – Amends the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act providing for land reclamation financial guarantees.

House Bill 1830 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles) providing for special plates for individuals in the service of the United States Merchant Marine during World War II and for a special registration plate for veterans and members of United States military airborne units.

House Bill 1840 – Amends the Steel Products Procurement Act further providing for required contract provisions.

House Bill 1857 – Amends Title 53 (Municipalities) by defining reassesment years, allowing home rule charter municipalities to incur debt when approved by the electors, establishing limitations pertaining to incurring debt without elector approval and setting forth tax rates and taxing authority of cities/counties of first class to be levied by school districts.

House Bill 1868 – Amends the Cosmetology Law provisions that relate to eligibility for examinations and for limited licenses.

House Bill 1884 – Act authorizing the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Fish and Boat Commission to release Project 70 restrictions on certain lands and providing for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to convey land and buildings.

House Bill 1970 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), further providing for vehicles exempt from registration and for limits on number of towed vehicles.

House Bill 1991 – Amends Energy Conservation & Assistance Act requiring income eligability verification of recipients of certain enumerated energy assistance programs and services and the reporting of energy conservation assistance fraud.

House Bill 2043 – Amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) further providing for powers & duties of Municipal Police Officers' Education & Training Commission.

House Bill 2116 – Amends the Local Tax Collection Law providing for an elected tax collector to be responsible for the collection of taxes in a first class township.

House Bill 2293 – Amends Title 30 (Fish) increasing various fines and providing for additional penalty for “serious unlawful take.”

House Bill 2324 – Amends the Public Auditorium Authorities Law further providing for competition in award of contracts.

House Bill 2366 – Amends Title 3 (Agriculture) adding specific powers, duties and regulations to the Department of Agriculture for the certification and use of Certified Examiners of Weights and Measures and requiring local governments and other entities that use parking meters to be responsible for testing and inspecting.

House Bill 2368 – Amends the Banking Code further providing for definitions, authorization and penalties.

House Bill 2369 – Amends the Department of Banking Code further providing for scope of supervision, exercise of discretion, assessment of expenses, disclosure of information and exceptions and implementation of Consumer Financial Protection Act.

House Bill 2370 – Amends the Loan Interest & Protection Law further providing for residential mortgage interest rates and effect on inconsistent acts.

House Bill 2371 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles) allowing for an increase in width for vehicles loaded with crops on highways other than freeways.

House Bill 2372 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles) allowing farm equiptment within certain width limitations to be driven, hauled or towed from farm to farm without restriction on time or roads.

House Bill 2407 – Amends the Older Adults Protective Services Act allowing electronic fingerprinting process for FBI background checks of prospective facility personnel.

House Bill 2428 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in licensing of drivers, providing for veterans’ driver license designation.

House Bill 2460 – Act designating infrastructure naming throughout the state, naming 14 bridges, nine highways, three interchanges, one bypass and one avenue.

House Bill 2467 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in certificate of title and security interests, permitting the sale, delivery or transfer of new vehicles without a manufacturer’s statement of origin when using the secure power of attorney procedure and extending the period in which a vehicle owner must apply for a new title after it has been assigned or reassigned.

House Bill 2530 – Amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act requiring municipalities that have adopted an ordinace to administer and enforce the code to establish or designate a board of appeals.

House Bill 2565 – Amends Title 3 (Agriculture) to exempt retail food facilities and food establishments from registering their honey products with the Department of Agriculture when 100% of the products being offered are produced or processed on location.

House Bill 2591 – Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs) and 71 (State Government) bringing the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) into compliance with federal law.

House Bill 2630 – Amends Animal Euthanasia Method Act, renaming the act to the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Act and limiting the acceptable agents and methods to be used in the destruction of animals.

Senate Bill 79 – Amends Title 42 (Judiciary & Judicial Procedure) in bases of jurisdiction and interstate and international procedure, providing for foreign depositions and subpoenas.

Senate Bill 444 – Amends Local Option Small Games of Chance Act further providing for definitions, games permitted, major league sports drawings, exceptions, registration, distribution of proceeds and enforcement.

Senate Bill 623 – Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs) providing for contracting with veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, establishing an annual goal of not less than 3 percent contracting participation by veteran-owned small business, and requiring annual reports on actual utilization of veteran-owned small businesses.

Senate Bill 1144 – Amends the Health Security Act defining "covered dentist services" and prohibiting insurers from setting fees for noncovered dentist services.

Senate Bill 1147 – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles) bringing the state’s Commercial Driver License Laws into compliance with federal law and further providing for annual hauling permits relevant to size, weight and load, conditions, security and manufacture movement.

Senate Bill 1185 – Amends the First Class Township Code providing for appointment of township treasurers and election of tax collectors and further defining duties and authority of the board of township commissioners.

Senate Bill 1255 – Amends Title 25 (Elections) enacting the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act, extending overseas voting accomodations by allowing voters to apply electronically for voter registration materials, military-overseas ballots and other information and developing a standard system for absentee-voting materials, authentication materials and voting instructions.

Senate Bill 1298 – Amends the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act further providing for definitions, roll-back taxes, special circumstances and appeals.

Senate Bill 1345 – Act providing for streamlined procedures for reviewing applications for the modification or collocation of wireless communications facilities and wireless support structures.

Senate Bill 1442 – Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs) repealing and adding sections related to military justice and establishing the State Military Justice Fund.

Senate Bill 1480 – Act providing for the capital budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

Senate Bill 1531 – Amends Titles 51 (Military Affairs) & 75 (Vehicles), establishing the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund which will authorize grants to the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation and other veterans’ service and charitable organizations for the purpose of providing benefits to veterans and their families and establishing the “Honoring our Veterans” license plate.

Senate Bill 1572 – Amends act regulating employees in bureaus of police in second class cities, removing the state mandated residency requirements for employment as a police officer.

To read the full text of any of these bills, visit the General Assembly’s website at www.legis.state.pa.us.

 

 

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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