Governor Wolf Signs Multiple Bills

July 02, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf signed the following bills:

House Bill 24, which amends the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act, further providing for bonds, issue of bonds and notes, maturity and interest.

House Bill 65, which makes the following designations:
• A portion of State Route 3047 over the South Branch of Blacklick Creek, Blacklick Township, Cambria County, as the Private First Class Steve L. Klosz Memorial Bridge.
• The 2100 to 2200 block of Castor Avenue, State Route 1005, in Philadelphia County as the Police Officer Raymond Diaz, Jr., Memorial Highway.
• The portion of Interstate 376 from the end of the bridge identified as Bridge Key 3522 to the exit at State Route 51 in Beaver County, as the Richard L. Shaw Memorial Highway.
• The bridge identified as Bridge Key 3522 on that portion of Interstate 376 over the Ohio River in Vanport Township, Beaver County, as the USAF Combat Controller Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin Memorial Bridge.
• The first block of West Main Street, State Route 1010, in Fleetwood Borough, Berks County, as the Alex J. Szoke Highway.
• The bridge identified as Bridge Key 15986 on that portion of Interstate 79 northbound over West 16th Street in the City of Erie, Erie County, as the Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr., Memorial Bridge.
• The bridge on that portion of State Route 4011 over Pine Creek, Hegins Township, Schuylkill County, as the A. Donald Buffington Memorial Bridge.
• A portion of Pennsylvania Route 144 beginning at the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 64 in Pleasant Gap and ending at the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 45 in Centre Hall, Centre County, as the Duster-Quad 50-Searchlight Highway.
• A portion of Pennsylvania Route 50 in Independence Township, Washington County, as the Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman Memorial Highway.

House Bill 131, amending the Liquor Code to match new federal definitions for hard cider that raise the alcohol by volume from 5 percent to 8.5 percent.

House Bill 195, which allows pharmacies to dispense partial quantities of a patient’s medication to synchronize all medications to have the same fill date.

House Bill 235, which amends Pennsylvania’s adoption laws to explicitly state correctional staff are permitted to serve as the witnesses to the consent of incarcerated parents wishing to give permission for their children to be adopted.

House Bill 423, which would allow dry municipalities to vote by referendum to explicitly opt-in or opt-out from allowing facilities that manufacture alcohol to make on-site sales, for example, at breweries.

House Bill 448, which adds a representative from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and a representative from the Pennsylvania State Police as ex-officio members to the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial to provide for public safety oversight of festivities.

House Bills 547 and 548, which allows First Class Townships (HB 547) and Boroughs and Third Class Cities (HB 548) to set millage rates at equal to or less than current rates through a resolution, which will eliminate the additional costs of creating an ordinance.

House Bill 615, which will define a Game Commission officer as an “enforcement officer” in the State Employees Retirement Code to better reflect the strenuous nature of the job.

House Bill 751, which:

• Expands the definition of a “service line” to include the pipe and appurtenances of a water utility or a wastewater utility.
• Permits the use of email when agreed to for the servicing of complaints and the related hearings, investigations and proceedings pending before the commission.
• Makes a water or wastewater public utility solely responsible for funding the income taxes on taxable contributions in aid of construction and customer advances for construction. The income taxes paid by the water and wastewater company must be recorded as accumulated deferred income taxes for the purposes of accounting and ratemaking.

House Bill 786, which makes changes to the funding formula for Pennsylvania trauma centers to encourage better quality of care regardless of patient volume.

House Bill 807, which equalizes the salaries of Deputy Adjutant Generals and General Officers to federal military base pay and assists with determining cost of living adjustments.

House Bill 826, which creates the Sports Raffles Charity Act to allow collegiate teams to raise money through 50/50 raffles.

House Bill 1524, which will permit the transfer of restaurant liquor licenses from counties with an excess number to counties with planned mixed-use town centers, which create a demand for restaurant licenses.

House Bill 1614, which will allow the Attorney General and officers from an assisting municipal police department to prosecute a person for possessing a firearm when not permitted.

Senate Bill 117, which makes the following designations:
• A bridge on that portion of State Route 3016 (Bedford Street) over Solomon Run in the City of Johnstown, Cambria County, as the Seaman Apprentice Kenneth D. Scaife Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of Peg Run Road, Pennsylvania Route 240, over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, Susquehanna Township, Cambria County, as the United States Army Sergeant Scott O. Henry Memorial Bridge.
• A portion of U.S. Route 220 in Sullivan County from the intersection with Pennsylvania Route 87 to the Bradford County line as the T.W. “Doc” Shoemaker Memorial Highway.
• A bridge on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 14 over Fall Brook, Troy Borough, Bradford County, as the Troy Area Veterans Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 305 over Shaver’s Creek in Barree Township, Huntingdon County, as the Private Harold E. “Jim” Knode Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 453 over the Little Juniata River, Tyrone Township, Blair County, as the Robert E. Gensimore Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 899 over the Clarion River connecting Barnett Township, Jefferson County, and Barnett Township, Forest County, as the PFC Patrick T. Cassatt Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of State Route 4018 over the Little Mahoning Creek, South Mahoning Township, Indiana County, as the SP4 Franklin Delano Meyer Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge identified as Bridge Key 54683 on that portion of State Route 3009 (Kushequa Avenue) over the Kinzua Creek in Kushequa, Hamlin Township, McKean County, as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.
• The bridge identified as Bridge Key 18676 on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 747 over the Juniata River in Mount Union Borough, Huntingdon County, as the Captain Joseph S. Giacobello Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of State Route 2016 over the Casselman River in Rockwood Borough, Somerset County, as the PFC Alton Glenn Sterner Memorial Bridge.
• A bridge on that portion of Pennsylvania Route 96 over the Little Wills Creek, Bedford County, as the Staff Sgt. Roger (Rod) Guy Holler Memorial Bridge.

Senate Bill 128, which enhances the standing of the Civil Air Patrol within the commonwealth by codifying the Civil Air Patrol under the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Senate Bill 130, which:
• Releases a portion of the use restriction and reversionary interest affecting certain real property situate partly in the Township of Mahoning and partly in Danville, Montour County;
• Authorizes the Department of General Services to grant and convey to Mifflin County certain lands at the State Fire Academy in Lewistown, Mifflin County.
• Authorizes the Department of General Services, to grant and convey to the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails Council a permanent easement of land at Shippensburg University to create a parking lot for the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.

Senate Bill 298, which earmarks fines for violators of the “Stolen Valor” statute to the Veterans’ Trust Fund.

Senate Bill 321, provides municipalities with the option to prohibit video gaming terminals (VGTs) at truck stops within its borders.

Senate Bill 440, which allows schools to provide flexible instruction days, also referred to as “cyber snow days.”

Senate Bill 478, which creates a beginning farmer tax credit.

Senate Bill 585, which establishes the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission and provides for it powers and duties.

Senate Bill 621, which clarifies existing law to mandate explicit and more robust training requirements for armed school security personnel and further prevent the arming of untrained non-security personnel, including teachers.

“My administration worked to amend this bill to prevent it from allowing teachers to be armed. Pennsylvania law now makes clear that teachers may not be armed. Moreover, this bill now standardizes training and clarifies my administration’s guidance against arming teachers – guidance that some school districts attempted to ignore. This bill will make training requirements for armed security stricter, more comprehensive and based on modern practices for security, trauma and other essential skills and knowledge for security personnel. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will immediately send updated guidance to all school districts to clarify that this new law bars teachers from being armed.”

Signing Statement from Governor Wolf:

“Today, I am signing Senate Bill 621, Printer’s Number 1081 of 2019 (SB 621), which amends Article XIII-C (School Police Officers and School Resource Officers) of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code). This legislation passed the General Assembly on June 28, 2019 and provides for additional training for school security personnel.

“In signing this bill, I am cognizant of the fact that the School Code, as a whole, continues to set forth a comprehensive scheme that prohibits the arming of individuals except through the processes set forth in Article XIII-C.

“In fact, section 1301-C of SB 621 defines “school security personnel” to clarify that only school police officers, school resource officers, and school security guards are “security personnel.” As such, teachers may not be considered “security personnel,” and therefore are not authorized to be armed in schools through this legislation or any other law in the commonwealth.

“Notably, the School Code provides that “nothing in this article shall be construed to preclude a school entity or nonpublic school from employing other security personnel as the school entity or nonpublic school deems necessary.” See, 24 P.S. § 13-1312-C. This legislation removes any ambiguity about whether teachers may be designated as “security personnel.” SB 621 clearly and plainly establishes that they may not. In fact, only school police officers, school resource officers, and school security guards trained and hired pursuant to Article XIII-C may be designated as “security personnel.”

“The students, parents, and educators in this Commonwealth can now be secure in the knowledge that teachers can dedicate themselves to teaching our children, and that the security of school facilities rests in the hands of trained, professional security personnel.”

Senate Bills 698 and 699, which amends the Medical Practice Act (SB 698) and Osteopathic Medical Act (SB 699) to allow physicians to designate another person to enter written agreements and the related documents into the PALS licensing system.

Senate Bill 700, which establishes the legislative Higher Education Funding Commission; updates the PlanCon program which reimburses school districts for construction, reconstruction, and the lease of public school buildings; and establishes a grant program for small building and maintenance projects.

Senate Bill 701, which permits the sale of the lands that currently house the Allentown State Hospital after it is demolished.

Senate Bill 724, which makes changes to the statutes regarding the Public School Employees Retirement System.

Gov. Wolf vetoed the following bill:

House Bill 915, which provided exemptions for milk haulers from travel restrictions on highways during a declaration of a disaster emergency.

View Governor’s Wolf’s full veto message.

July 2, 2019

TO THE HONORABLE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA:

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 15 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, I am returning herewith, without my approval, House Bill 915, Printer’s Number 1487.

After careful consideration, I must veto this legislation due to very serious public safety concerns. A declaration of disaster emergency carries the gravest considerations insofar as the traveling public is concerned. Furthermore, prior declarations have proven effective in lessening the danger to the public at-large during precarious time periods. Providing for an exemption to the travel ban under the declaration puts the public in jeopardy, which, in turn, endangers our State Police and first responders and even our milk haulers. In my view, such an exemption runs counter to the safety of the driving public.

I think it is important to note several things about the travel ban under consideration in this legislation. Typically, the bans are short in duration; however, they may be extended due to vehicle accidents or stranded motorists due to hazardous conditions on the highways. For example, on November 15, 2018, a severe winter weather event occurred in this Commonwealth. Interstates 83, 81, 80, and 78 were closed for up to 15 hours while commercial vehicles were removed from the snow and ice that had built up around their stopped vehicles. Commercial vehicle bans were then initiated for the next five storms spanning from January to March 2019. With the bans in place, there were no significant closures on the interstate highways in this Commonwealth. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the commercial vehicle bans implemented during this time averaged only 18 hours in duration. This time seems like a small price to pay when considering the public safety benefits of the travel bans.

For the reasons set forth above, I must withhold my signature from House Bill 915, Printer’s Number 1487.

Sincerely,

Tom Wolf
Governor

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