Legislative Update – May 2016

THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA act Senate Bill No. 3, known as the Medical Marijuana Act (the “Act”) authorizes the growth, processing, dispensing and consumption of marijuana for medical purposes in Pennsylvania.  The Act is “a temporary measure, pending federal approval of and access to medical marijuana through traditional medical and pharmaceutical avenues.”  Section 102.4.  The Act establishes a program for patients suffering from serious medical conditions under the supervision o...
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Legislative Update – April 2016

On April 7, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed two Executive Orders to further non‑discrimination in state government regarding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression” (collectively, “Gender Factors” ).  Executive Order No. 2016‑04 (the “Equal Employment Opportunity Order”) prohibits discrimination, affirms equal employment opportunity programs and prohibits sexual harassment or harassment in agencies of the Governor’s jurisdiction based on Gender Factor...
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Legislative Update – March 2016

SB 166, known as Act 5 of 2016 (the “Amendment”) amends the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (the “Code”) to authorize Courts of Common Pleas, upon petition, to issue orders of limited access to criminal records of individuals convicted of a second degree or third degree misdemeanor or an ungraded offense with a maximum penalty of incarceration for up to two years. The petitioner must have completed any sentence of incarceration or supervision for at least ten (10) years without arrest or pro...
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Legislative Update – February 2016

On February 9, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf proposed a 2016-2017 budget (the “Current Proposal”) with about $2.72 billion in new or increased taxes and totaling $33.3 billion without having a final 2015-2016 budget and fiscal code. Pennsylvania has only the Republican House crafted $30.3 billion spending plan which the Governor line-item vetoed to release approximately $23.4 billion after the House GOP refused to accept the $30.8 billion spending plan agreed to by the Governor and Senate in De...
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Legislative Update – October 2015

SB 678, known as Act 41 of 2015 (the “Amendment”) amends Act 14 of 1949 (the “Public School Code”) to authorize campus police officers employed by any of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education (“SSHE”) to have arrest powers “on all highways, trafficways and bicycle and pedestrian facilities that traverse or abut [lands and buildings owned, controlled, leased or managed by SSHE].” Sponsored by Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), the Amendment changes the Publ...
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Legislative Update – July 2015

HB 1276, known as Act 15 of 2015 ((the “Amendment”) amends Act 153 of 2014 (the “Act”) regarding background checks for employees and volunteers who provide services to children. Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Buck), the Amendment clarifies the Act as to which volunteers must get clearances, the renewal period for clearances of volunteers and employees, the reduction of costs to obtain clearances, the clearances needed by post-secondary employees and the deadlines for clearan...
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Legislative Report June 2015

House Bill 316, introduced as the Municipal Sustainability Act (the “Pension Bill”) by Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster), would change the defined benefit pension plan for new municipal employees to a cash-balance system and require them to contribute 6% of their salary, if they participate in Social Security, or 9% if they do not participate in Social Security. Guaranteed monthly interest earned by employees is set at one-twelfth of the 30-year yield on U.S. Treasury Securities for the la...
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January 2015 Legislative Report

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted the Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) in 1988, setting minimum ethical standards for attorneys admitted to practice in Pennsylvania. By Order dated December 30, 2014, the Supreme Court amended the Rules (“Amendment”) to create financial guidelines including Rule 5.8(a) which states, “A lawyer shall not broker, offer to sell, sell, or place any investment product unless separately licensed to do so.” In most states, attorneys may, wi...
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December 2014 Legislative Report

House Bill No. 80, known as Act 192 of 2014  (the “ Act”) amends Title 18 of Pennsylvania Statutes (“Crimes Code”) to accomplish two legal goals:  (a) creates the crimes of theft of secondary metals and criminal trespass with respect to secondary metals (b) creates the right of third parties to sue municipalities that have laws regulating firearms such as the prohibition of straw party purchases. (1)    The first part of the Act addresses the theft of valuable metals at railro...
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