Governor Receives Liquor Stores Privatization Plan

The study for proposed privatization of Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board has been delivered to the governor. Governor Tom Corbett, who has said he supports the concept of privatization, will now review the study and evaluate the options, including how to best disburse revenue from license sales.


Tort Reform - Venue Shopping Bill Debated

A bill to impose limits on venue decisions was debated during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. H.B. 1552 (Cutler, R-Lancaster), would allow personal injury civil lawsuits to be brought only in the county where the death or injury occurred.


Development of State Health Information Exchange Making Progress

It was previously called the Pennsylvania Health Information Exchange (PHIX). Now it is referred to as the eHealth Collaborative. No matter the title, the fate of the system that would electronically share patient records and other health information remains uncertain, but a recommendation for the advancement of a statewide health information exchange is forthcoming.


Education Reform Bill S.B. 1 Faces Uncertain Future in the House

The Senate passed its education reform plan, S.B. 1 (Piccola, R-Dauphin), by a vote of 27 to 22. However, the bill, which includes publicly funded school vouchers for low-income students in the state’s poorest performing schools, faces an uphill battle in the House.


A Call for Transportation Funding

Pennsylvania must act now to repair its crumbling transportation network, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-Centre). The senator recently introduced legislation that encompasses many of the funding recommendations of a state commission appointed by Governor Tom Corbett. Auditor General Jack Wagner also held a news conference to call upon the General Assembly to make spending on the state’s roads and bridges among its top priorities this fall.


Philadelphia to Change Business Taxes

Philadelphia City Council passed two bills, 110548-A and 110554, related to targeted tax relief and economic development.


State Takes Over City of Harrisburg

Governor Tom Corbett signed into law S.B. 1151 (Piccola, R-Dauphin), a measure that authorizes the governor to declare a fiscal emergency and appoint a receiver to develop and implement a fiscal recovery plan when a distressed third-class city fails to do so under Act 47.


Approved by the Governor

Act 81 - H.B. 9 (Watson, R-Bucks) amends Title 75 (Vehicles) to limit the number of passengers under age 18 in a vehicle driven by the holder of a junior driver's license. The bill also makes failure to use a booster seat for children four years of age or older but under eight years of age a primary offense and makes it a primary offense for anyone under age 18 to not use a seat belt.


Legislative Actions

H.B. 244 (Grove, R-York) Amends the Public School Code to allow reimbursement for professional construction management services to be included in a project's cost and to allow school districts to receive reimbursement despite the current "20-year rule." The bill passed the House by a vote of 195 to 0 and has not yet been referred to a committee in the Senate.


Committee Actions

Learn more about the status of bills and resolutions on issues dealing with Marcellus Shale, business tax credits, professional employer organizations, health care, public safety, gaming and more.


Executive Nominations

The nomination of Joseph "Skip” Brion to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Upon being sworn in, Governor Tom Corbett appointed Brion Chairman of the PLCB. After his swearing-in ceremony, Brion said he supports the concept of privatization but that he would work to modernize the state store system until any legislative proposals are approved.


Political Grapevine

The legislative reapportionment maps were made public. Be sure to check out the redistricting website at redistricting.state.pa.us to follow the public comment period and any changes that may be made before the lines are approved by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The commission’s next public meeting is Friday, November 18, at which time the commission invites testimony on the proposed reapportionment plan. Any citizen or organization interested in providing testimony at the hearing should submit a written summary of the proposed comments on or before November 14, 2011 to Commission Executive Director Charles E. O’Cozmor Jr., Room 104, North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120.


Committee Meeting Calendar

Monday, November 14

House Transportation Committee 10:00 a.m., Room 140 Main Capitol The committee will hold a public hearing on the Red Light Camera Program.