PENNSYLVANIA TARGETS FRAUD AND TRAFFICKING IN FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS

Pennsylvania has attacked welfare fraud by increasing penalties against merchants and vendors who traffic in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits under Senate Bill 1127 of 2018, now known as Act 160 (the “Act”). The Act was sponsored by Senator Judith L. Schwank (D-Berks) and Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) who introduced it at the request of Inspector General Bruce Beemer. Beemer’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) uncovered a Harrisburg restaurant owner w...

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Legislative Update: PENNSYLVANIA STREAMLINES SALE OF MUNICIPAL PROPERTY

The Pennsylvania General Assembly recently amended codes for Boroughs, Townships of the First Class and Incorporated Towns (“2018 Municipalities”) to authorize sales of personal property having a value less than $2,000 without advertising for and receiving bids and awarding the sale to the highest bidder (the “2018 Amendments”). The 2018 Amendments are important because they reduce the costs of legal advertising and staff time previously required for a sale of personalty having a fai...

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Legislative Update: Pennsylvania Requires Insurers to File Annual Corporate Governance Disclosures

Pennsylvania has adopted uniform annual corporate governance disclosure requirements for domestic insurers and insurance groups of which the Commonwealth is the lead state (each, an “Insurer”) in Senate Bill 1205 of 2018, now known as Act 163 (the “Act”).  Those national standards were approved November 18, 2014 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) and are required to be implemented by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (“Department”) for the Dep...

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PENNSYLVANIA PERMITS MINIMAL REBATES AND INDUCEMENTS IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY

                S.B. 877 (“Insurance Department Act”) and S.B. 878 (“Insurance Company Act”) amend The  Insurance Department Act of 1921 and The Insurance Company Law of 1921, respectively, to authorize producers and companies to give to insureds or prospective insureds rebates or other things of value not exceeding $100 in the aggregate annually that are not specified in the insurance contract. In neither event may the purchase of insurance be the condition to receipt of the rebate ...

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PENNSYLVANIA ADOPTS SECURITY DISCUSSIONS EXCEPTION TO SUNSHINE ACT


Pennsylvania joined a majority of states in adopting an exception to our Open Meetings Law known as the Sunshine Act that permits the state, municipalities and school districts to discuss security measures without public access. Senate Bill 1078 of 2018 (the “Exception Act”) was sponsored by Senator Robert (Tommy)Tomlinson (R-Bucks).  This exception to open meetings is significant because it reflects a policy that transparency of public discussion by the local agency is less importan...

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PENNSYLVANIA TARGETS FRAUD AND TRAFFICKING IN FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS


Pennsylvania has attacked welfare fraud by increasing penalties against merchants and vendors who traffic in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits under Senate Bill 1127 of 2018, now known as Act 160 (the “Act”). The Act was sponsored by Senator Judith L. Schwank (D-Berks) and Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) who introduced it at the request of Inspector General Bruce Beemer.  Beemer’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) uncovered a Harrisburg restaurant own...

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PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINALIZES ELECTRONIC DATA THEFT DEVICES

Pennsylvania House Bill 1918, now known as Act 60 of 2018 (the “Act”), criminalizes the use, sale, possession and delivery of electronic devices capable of stealing electronic information from credit and debit cards (“Theft Devices”). Previously, theft devices known as skimmers and shimmers have been available for sale on the internet for less than $100. Their fraudulent use causes unsuspecting individuals and businesses to lose personal debit or credit card information that is subseq...
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PENNSYLVANIA STREAMLINES FORECLOSURE PROCESS FOR BLIGHTED PROPERTIES

Pennsylvania has joined 7 other states in streamlining the process for creditors foreclosing on mortgages of vacant and abandoned properties with the goal of reducing blight in communities. Act No. 32 of 2018, known as the Vacant and Abandoned Real Estate Foreclosure Act (the “Act”) was introduced as House Bill No. 653 by Representative Kurt A. Masser (R – Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Counties).  According to a House Republican press release, “[the Act] reduces the timeframe ...
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Legislative Update-PENNSYLVANIA AMENDS LAW OF PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS

PENNSYLVANIA AMENDS LAW OF PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS   Senate Bill No. 354, now known as Act No. 6 of 2018 (the Amendment”),  amends  Act No. 48 of 1993 (the “Act”) regarding licensure hearings by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (the “Bureau”) to require self-reporting of events impacting professional licensure and to authorize temporary license suspensions and expungement of disciplinary records. The Amendment specifically requires self-repor...
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Legislative Update- January 2018

PENNSYLVANIA REGULATION OF MORTGAGE SERVICERS Senate Bill No. 75, now known as Pennsylvania Act No. 81 of 2017 (the “Amendment”), amends Pennsylvania’s Mortgage Licensing Act (the “Law”) to provide for licensing and regulation of non‑bank residential mortgage loan servicers (each a “Servicer”) by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (the “Department”).  Sen. Donald White (R‑41) sponsored Senate Bill No. 751 to implement state enforcement of Servi...
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