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Senator Scott Wagner

In this Edition:

  • Liquor Modernization Bill Signed by the Governor
  • Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law
  • Senate Acts to Protect Energy Jobs
  • Exelon Announces Plans to Renew Peach Bottom Operating License
  • Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to House
  • Committee Approves Measure to Increase Education for Opioid Prescribing
  • Committee Round-Up
  • Next Week

Liquor Modernization Bill Signed by the Governor

The Governor signed into law Wednesday legislation that provides for modernization of our antiquated liquor system.

House Bill 1690 provides many changes that increase customer convenience, including:

  • Allowing grocery stores that sell beer, licensed restaurants, and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine per customer.
  • Permitting licensed wine producers to ship their products directly to Pennsylvania consumers.
  • Allowing “six-pack” shops to upgrade their “eating place” licenses to “full” restaurant licenses to sell wine, as well as beer.
  • Lifting the requirement that State Stores close on certain holidays and only operate on limited hours on Sundays.
  • Allowing special discounts and sales at State Stores.
  • Permitting casinos, for a fee of $1 million, to receive a license to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Allowing lottery ticket sales in State Stores.

While I am pleased with what HB1690 does for customer convenience, this is not a final solution. Pennsylvania government still needs to get out of the liquor business, so I will continue advocating for liquor privatization.

Bills Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law

House Bill 57 amends the Public Utility Code to change the interest rate associated with recovery of purchased gas costs, eliminate the migration rider, and provide for recovery of costs incurred to implement customer choice.

Senate Bill 61 officially recognizes bike medics and permits them to operate their bicycles in the same manner as a police officer on a bicycle.

Senate Bill 489 reduces the maximum fee that a check casher may charge for cashing government checks.

Senate Bill 847 adds a representative from the Korean War Veterans Association to the State Veterans Commission, a panel comprised of representatives from Pennsylvania’s major veterans associations.

Senate Acts to Protect Energy Jobs

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that I am co-sponsoring, which provides procedures for the General Assembly’s consideration of the Department of Environmental Protection’s implementation strategy for the Clean Power Plan before its submission to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Senate Bill 1195 is a compromise agreement between the General Assembly and Governor Wolf that provides important safeguards that protect local energy-producing industries and the thousands of workers they employ from overreaching regulations that could come with Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal regulations.

Senate Bill 1195 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Exelon Announces Plans to Renew Peach Bottom Operating License

On Tuesday, executives from Exelon Generation, which operates both Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom power plants, were in Harrisburg for a press conference to announce they will be applying for a 20-year renewal of their operating licenses at Peach Bottom.

I had the opportunity to participate in the press conference along with other legislators and Peach Bottom employees, expressing my support for Exelon’s long-term commitment to the industry, the local community, and their hard-working employees.

Bills Approved by the Senate and Sent to House

House Bill 264 requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in long-term care nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living residences that use fossil fuel burning devices or appliances. On Wednesday, the House concurred on Senate amendments, and the bill now goes to the Governor.

Senate Bill 428 provides additional sentencing provisions for trespassing at gaming establishments.

Senate Bill 1227 transfers the responsibilities of the Public Employee Retirement Commission with regard to pension legislation to the Independent Fiscal Office and the Office of the Auditor General.

House Bill 1241 amends the definition of public utility in state law to exempt water or sewer service provided by a resort and to exempt the provision of service by a municipal corporation under certain circumstances. On Wednesday, the House concurred on Senate amendments, and the bill now goes to the Governor.

Senate Bill 1270 amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with updated Federal appraiser standards.

Committee Approves Measure to Increase Education for Opioid Prescribing

The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee approved legislation on Tuesday that would require continuing medical education training as a way to stem the tide of opioid and prescription drug abuse in the state.

Senate Bill 1202 requires state licensing boards to call for two hours of continuing education in “pain management” and two hours in “opioid prescribing practices” for individuals applying for an initial license or renewal of an existing license or certification to prescribe medications in the Commonwealth.

The increased use of heroin, which often has roots in the abuse of prescription painkillers has catapulted Pennsylvania to seventh in the nation for drug-related overdose deaths in recent federal statistics.

As a member of the York County Heroin Task Force, addressing this epidemic is a top priority for me. If you or a family member has an addiction, please seek out assistance. The Task Force’s website has excellent resources and local organizations like Not One More are just a phone call away.

Committee Round-Up

A recap of activity by the Senate committees I serve on.

Appropriations Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the following bills Tuesday:

Senate Bill 703 creates a state plumbers licensing program regulating who can call themselves a state-licensed plumbing contractor rather than who can perform plumbing services.

Senate Bill 805 allows large commercial and industrial energy users to voluntarily exit the utility-administered Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans under Act 129.

Senate Bill 930 provides for the certification of Pennsylvania-based minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses by the Department of General Services.

Senate Bill 1109 amends the state Constitution to extend the state’s property tax exemption program for disabled veterans to the surviving spouse of soldiers killed in action.

Senate Bill 1270 amends the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act to bring Pennsylvania into compliance with updated Federal appraiser standards.

Transportation Committee

The Senate Transportation Committee approved the following bills Tuesday:

Senate Bill 1219 designates a portion of State Route 663 in Montgomery County as the Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas Memorial Highway.

Senate Bill 1220 designates a portion of State Route 100 in Berks County as the First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien Memorial Highway.

Senate Bill 1267 reduces the level of local matching funds required for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Municipal Signal Partnership Program known as Green Light-Go.

House Bill 582 raises the income level for senior citizens to be eligible for the discounted $10 fee to register a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth.

House Bill 871 makes a certificate of title exempt from the requirements of notarization and verification when it is transferred from a vehicle owner to a scrap metal processor.

House Bill 1713 designates a portion of State Route 220 in Lycoming and Sullivan counties as the Lieutenant Commander John J. Peterman Memorial Highway and designates a portion of State Route 220 in Lycoming County as the Thomas A. Paternostro Memorial Highway.

House Bill 1856 designates a bridge on that portion of U.S. Route 62 over the Allegheny River in Oil City, Venango County, as the Specialist Jonathan R. Kephart Memorial Bridge.

Next Week

The Senate will reconvene Monday, June 13. You can watch session live at my website.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., the Senate Majority Policy Committee will hold a hearing on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You can watch it live at PASenateGOP.com.


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