Governor Wolf Signs Bills Raising Tobacco Age to 21, Supporting Rural Health Model, and Allowing Hunting on Three Sundays

November 27, 2019

Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 97 and Senate Bill 473, which amends tobacco legislation to prohibit the sale of any tobacco, nicotine or related item to anyone under 21 years of age. The legislation also expands the definition of a tobacco product to include e-cigarettes and other vaping products, and expressly prohibits the possession of these items on school grounds.

“Numerous studies have shown tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, are particularly harmful and addictive to youths and young adults,” said Gov. Wolf. “Raising the age to 21 in combination with barring e-cigarettes at our schools will help us prevent young Pennsylvanians from engaging in this dangerous behavior.”

Gov. Wolf further supported public health by signing Senate Bill 314, which establishes the Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund. The authority and fund will support the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a program unrolled in March that supports the financial stability of hospitals in rural communities by transitioning them from fee-for-service to global budget payments.

“Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to quality health care within a reasonable distance from home,” said Gov. Wolf. “The Rural Health Redesign Center Authority and Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Fund will help ensure the hospitals that serve rural Pennsylvanians can provide necessary services even with a lower patient volume.”

The governor also signed Senate Bill 147, which lifts the prohibition on hunting for three Sundays in Pennsylvania.

“This legislation carefully balances the needs of landowners with an expanded opportunity for hunters who work or attend school during weekdays,” said Gov. Wolf.

Gov. Wolf also signed the following bills:

House Bill 17, which establishes a 10-year collection window for assessed personal income taxes.

House Bill 49, which includes school safety amendments and allows public school students to earn credits toward graduation by taking courses in personal financial literacy.

House Bill 57, which abolishes various boards, commissions, committees and other entities and makes related repeals.

House Bill 227, which amends the election code to require 10 petition signers to nominate a candidate for school director in a primary race, eliminate ballot stubs and add provisions for privacy.

House Bill 754, which amends the state lottery law to extend the cost of living adjustment moratorium to Dec. 31, 2021.

House Bill 917, which repeals a law passed in 1929 containing guidelines for municipal-funded hospitals.

House Bill 956, which sets the rate of return for the state lottery to 20 percent until June 30, 2024.

House Bill 1016, which amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 providing for solvency and further providing for benefit contract and for injunction, liquidation and receivership of domestic society.

House Bill 1203, which amends existing law regarding auditing municipal authorities.

House Bill 1402, which establishes sexual extortion as a crime.

House Bill 1410, which establishes a Military Installation Remediation Program providing funding to remediate areas affected by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and related substances.

House Bill 1547, which names numerous bridges and roadway segments.

House Bill 1772, which allows landowners to identify property as no trespassing by painting purple stripes on trees or posts.

House Bill 1896, which allows real estate to be transferred from the Owen J. Roberts School District to the Pennsylvania American Water Company.

House Bill 1982, which allows employers participating for the State Employee Retirement System to pre-fund all or a portion of their pension liability.

Senate Bill 146, which allows online training for firefighters.

Senate Bill 317, which makes changes to the timeline for a Second Class Township to pass its annual budget.

Senate Bill 456, which allows branch campuses of private licensed schools to operate in multiple counties.

Senate Bill 572, which requires patients beginning a new opioid prescription to sign an agreement with their prescribers ensuring they understand the risks of addiction and dangers of overdose. The legislation also requires new patients to undergo baseline drug testing.

Senate Bill 733, which directs $2 million per year for 10 years be paid from the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund to fund debt service on the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown.

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