The state House returns to session on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, to vote on issues of importance.
Ensuring Our Children Have the Best Educational Opportunities
In the five-month stabilizing budget we passed, and the governor signed earlier this year, public education was fully funded for the entire year with the intention of providing schools the necessary tools to reopen to in-person education. While the administration has refused to work with the people’s representatives in crafting any plan in response to the pandemic, school leaders have decried the lack of clear guidance to help them safely reopen schools. Instead, they have received conflicting and inconsistent guidance, mandates, recommendations and orders.
With Pennsylvania’s students back to schools is various models of learning, it is imperative the General Assembly take steps to ensure they have the certainty of attaining the best educational opportunities. Weeks ago, it was unclear if traditional public schools in Pennsylvania would follow the law and provide required busing to non-public school students. Recent administration guidance, as has been typical of their education response, has been less than clear.
Next week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will take up measures to ensure these students have the transportation they are entitled to and teachers can recertify their licenses during the pandemic.
Providing Responsible Government Management
Pennsylvania has made great strides in paying off its pension unfunded liability, but more can be done to bring about responsible management of the state’s two major pension systems, particularly in a time of pandemic.
Next week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will take up bills to provide for more responsible management of the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System and the State Employees Retirement System.
The Weekly Schedule
Bill numbers will be used to identify the legislation being considered either in committee or on the House floor. The bills, sponsors and summaries are posted below. Research bills here.
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020
• COMMECE, 9 a.m., Room 205, Ryan Office Building
o Public hearing on: "What comes next...the impacts of COVID crisis.”
• JUDICIARY, 9:30 a.m., Room 140, Main Capitol
o Public hearing on police training and department accreditation.
• PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE, 11 a.m., Room 60 East Wing
o HB 100 (Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford): Amends the Professional Nursing Law to provide for the modernization of the Professional Nursing Law – Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
o HB 862 (Rep. Stephen Barrar, R-Delaware): An Act authorizing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact.
o HB 2561 (Rep. Linda Schlegel Culver, R-Northampton): Amends the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act to provide for modernization.
o HB 2584 (Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford): Amend the Medical Practice Act to provide for interstate licensure.
o HB 2636 (Rep. Torren Ecker, R-York/Cumberland/Adams): Act prohibiting enforcement of covenants not to compete in health care practitioner employment agreements.
o HR 827 (Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny): Resolution designating October 24, 2020, as "Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day" in Pennsylvania to honor the more than 700 licensed acupuncturists in this Commonwealth.
o HR 936 (Rep. Tom Murt, R-Philadelphia/Montgomery): Resolution designating June 12, 2020, as "Behavior Analyst Appreciation Day" in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday the House will meet at 1 p.m. for legislative business.
Votes on Second Consideration
• HB 564 (Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York): Amends the Insurance Company Law to direct insurance companies to pay a dentist directly for services rendered to a patient.
• HB 2022 (Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Luzerne): Amends Title 51 to establish the Veterans' Outreach and Support Network Program.
• HB 2100 (Rep. Karen Boback, R-Wyoming): An Act designating Sept. 11 of each year as "September 11th Remembrance Day."
Votes on Third Consideration
• HB 1961 (Rep. Louis Schmitt, R-Blair): Amends Title 71 to provide for a common reporting period for the two pension systems.
• HB 1962 (Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-York): Amends Title 24 and Title 71 to require each pension system to submit its stress test to the Independent Fiscal Office.
• HB 1963 (Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming): Amends Title 24 and Title 71 to establish that the contribution collars are no longer in effect and ensure that the Commonwealth pay the ARC each year.
• HB 1996 (Rep. Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon): Amends Title 24 and Title 71 to establish a number of pension committees, establish term limits and provide for continuing education of board members.
• HB 2530 (Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter): Amends the Religious Freedom Protection Act to ensure government cannot infringe on religious worship in times of emergency.
• HB 2548 (Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton): Amends the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, to clarify that all plans are covered by the plan extension provisions of the Fiscal Code.