Legislative Update- NATURAL GAS BURNING VEHICLES

SOLICITOR’S REPORT NATURAL GAS BURNING VEHICLES IN PENNSYLVANIA Senate Bill No.589, adopted as Act31 of 2017 (the “Act”) amends title 75 of Pennsylvania Statutes, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (the “Code”) to increase the maximum weight limit for natural gas powered vehicles by up to 2,000pounds, in furtherance of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (the “FAST Act”). The FAST Act provides in part that natural gas fueled vehicles may weigh a...
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Legislative Update-August 2017

SOLICITOR REPORT–PENNSYLVANIA PENSION REFORM Senate Bill No.1 (the “Act”) will replace the current defined benefit pension plans under Act120 for state and public school employees (the “Current Plans”) with two hybrid plans and a defined contribution plan (the “Revised Plans”). As a result, Pennsylvania taxpayers should bear less risk for market performance of funds in the Revised Plans than the risk to which we are currently exposed with the adequacy and growth of funds in C...
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE– MAY 2017

LEGISLATIVE REPORT – FUNDING THE PROPOSED GOP BUDGET Following introduction of Governor Wolf’s $32.34 billion state budget proposal, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted along party lines a Republican budget with $31.27 billion in expenditures known as House Bill 218 (the “House Budget”). While the Governor’s budget raises money from a severance tax on natural gas drilling, a sale/leaseback of the Farm Show Complex, elimination of sales tax exemptions and closing th...
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE– MARCH 2017

On February 7, 2017, Governor Wolf proposed a 2017‑2018 budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (“Proposed Budget”) based on reduced expenditures and a more modest revenue increase than seen in Governor Wolf’s prior budget proposals.  He would cover a $3 billion deficit with, among other things, (1) a Marcellus Shale natural gas tax, (2) lease of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Arena, (3) consolidation of four agencies into a Department of Health and Human Services, (4) elimination ...
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE– FEBRUARY 2017

The REAL ID Act (the “Act”) was passed by Congress and approved by the President in 2005 to create procedures and rules by which states and territories may lawfully issue drivers’ licenses and other forms of identification that are acceptable for Homeland Security purposes. The Act, called the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief of 2005, has been implemented by regulations found at 6 C.F.R. Chapter I, Part 37 (the “Code...
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – JANUARY 2017

HB 1653 known as Act 171 of 2016 (the “Amendment”) amends the Pennsylvania Procurement Code (the “Code”) to require the Department of General Services of the Commonwealth (the “Department”) to establish a process to verify a Pennsylvania business, either minority-owned, women-owned or veteran-owned (each a “Diverse and Disadvantaged Business”) as “Pennsylvania home state-certified for the purpose of other state or national disadvantaged business programs.” Such a process w...
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – OCTOBER 2016

HB 380 known as Act 102 of 2016 (the “Amendment”) amends the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Code (the “Code”) to authorize Courts of Common Pleas to enter divorce decrees on showing that (1) the marriage of parties is irretrievably broken and (2) the parties have lived separate and apart for at least one year. The Amendment is significant in reducing from two years to one year the separation of the parties and makes Pennsylvania law more consistent with adjacent states whose waiting ...
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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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