HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed 40 new bills into law, including some cracking down on fireworks and ATVs, and others involving ballots and nursing homes.
The signings come after weeks of negotiations over a new state budget, which was signed last Friday.
Among legislation signed today is House Bill 1421, which increases Medicaid rates for Skilled Nursing Facilities to help them meet upcoming Department of Health regulation updates that in part will increase staffing requirements.
Plus, Senate Bill 982, which amends the Election Code related to third-party funding of elections and new grant funding. With the bill signed, outside money to fund elections is no longer allowed. This is known as the Zuckerbucks Law.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has contributed millions to Pennsylvania in past elections, which were mostly steered to Democrat-leaning counties. Republicans called it unfair and used a sports analogy to explain.
“You wouldn’t want the other team paying for the referees. In a game, a baseball game, a football game, you want to trust an official that’s refereeing that game is fair unbiased and transparent,” said Republican state Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill.
The laws signed by Governor Wolf include a requirement for Pennsylvania drivers to clear their car of snow or ice, require election precincts to print enough ballots for all registered voters, and say fireworks must be limited to certain times of day.
The governor also signed several dozen additional bills into law. Some of the laws may have a grace period of several weeks or months before taking effect.
HB 331 authorizes certain financial institutions to conduct savings promotion programs.
HB 430 amends the Local Tax Collection Law relating to waiver of penalties.
HB 581 creates the Affordable Housing Unit Tax Exemption Act
authorizing local taxing authorities to provide for tax exemptions for improvements to deteriorated areas and improvement of affordable housing.
HB 773 increases the penalties for those who have multiple driving under the influence
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HB 940 provides for a sentencing enhancement for the killing of a domestic animal in the cases of burglary or criminal trespass and makes it a crime to intentionally torture or kill police animals.
HB 975 provides that a caretaker of a care-dependent person commits a felony of the third degree if the caretaker engages in sexual intercourse.
HB 1312 designates two memorial bridges and a memorial road.
HB 1410 establishes the Weigh Station Preclearance Program Act, which provides criteria for a preclearance system and devices and data access.
HB 1594 amends the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection
Law related to online marketplaces.
HB 1598 amends the Flood Plain Management Act, replacing references to the Department of Community Affairs with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; in miscellaneous and appropriations, repealing provisions related to appropriations.
HB 1614 amend the Pennsylvania Election Code relating to the printing of ballots.
HB1615 amends the Liquor Code to provide that a malt or brewed beverage produced for a brewery by a manufacturer out of state must be distributed through the three-tier, manufacture-distribution-retail system and provides for the renewal of licenses.
HB 1665 provides for enforceability of certain indemnity provisions in certain snow removal and ice control services contracts relating to commercial property.
HB 1867 amends the Public School Code, creating the Purple-Star School Program to assist students of transient military personnel.
HB 2032 amends the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, providing that the failure to report injuries by firearm or criminal act does not constitute an offense if the submission of sexual assault evidence is an anonymous submission.
HB 2039 amends the Crime Victims Act, in crime victims, further providing for rights.
HB 2097 amends Title 35 (Health and Safety), in emergency medical services system, further provides for basic life support ambulances.
HB 2125 amends Title 18 (Crimes & Offenses), in public indecency, further providing for the offense of prostitution and related offenses and for obscene and other sexual materials and performances.
HB 2157 modifies the fireworks law to add restrictions and increase penalties for misuse.
HB 2271 provides for sentencing enhancements related the crime of sexual extortion.
HB 2419 amends the Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight Act by adding a definition of “telebehavioral health technology” and also provisions regarding the use of the technology.
HB 2464 amends the Crime Victims Act to provide legal standing and notice to victims.
HB 2526 provides capital authorization for the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of state-owned bridges, as well as locally owned bridges.
HB 2604 amends the employee photo identification provisions of the Health Care Facilities Act.
HB 2679 amends the Pharmacy Act to preserve three regulatory suspensions authorized under the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration, including the ability of pharmacists to provide influenza and COVID-19 vaccines to children ages five and older.
HB 2702 provides authorization for the capital projects itemized to be constructed by the Department of Transportation and to be financed by the incurring of debt or from current revenues of the Motor License Fund in the amount of $7,136,410,325.
HB 2709 further provides for definitions for lessee’s right to acquire ownership and for advertising and display of property.
SB 251 amends Title 3 (Agriculture), repealing provisions relating to fertilizer, in soil and seeds, further providing for disposition of fund, establishing the Agronomic Regulatory Account; imposing duties on the Dept. of Agriculture.
SB 382 requires that any proposed transportation project that provides for an optional user fee must be approved by the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) Board unanimously. This bill does not prohibit public private partnerships or optional tolling and allows the bridge projects to go forward without mandatory tolling.
SB 588 amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), in general provisions, further providing for when prosecution barred by former prosecution for different offense.
SB 764 amends the Department of State provisions related to publication of proposed constitutional amendments under the Administrative Code.
SB 818 amends the Health Care Facilities Act for the purpose of allowing ambulatory surgical facilities to seek an exception or waiver from the Department of Health for certain surgical procedures and allows the performance of cardiac catheterization in ambulatory surgical facilities.
SB 1093 amends the Outdoor Advertising Control Act relating to energy efficiency lighting.
SB 1094 amends various provisions of the Vehicle Code, including the provision known as Christine’s Law, requiring drivers to clear snow and ice from their vehicles after winter storms.
SB 1171 provides for restrictions on use of highways and bridges, for securing loads in vehicles, for widths of vehicles and for permit for movement during the course of manufacture, and for the promulgation of rules and regulations by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
SB 1183 further provides for asset forfeiture and providing for disposal of forfeited property; in snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, further providing for operation.
SB 1222 amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921, by adopting the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) model creating a Group Capital Calculation (GCC) and Liquidity Stress Test (LST) for enhanced supervision and regulating peer-to-peer car sharing insurance.
SB 1235 amends the Insurance Company Law, in comprehensive health care for uninsured children, further providing for contracts and coverage packages.
The governor vetoed SB 275. Read the veto message here.