A Report on the Legislative Session of
September 26, 2016
I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This
e-newsletter features legislative activities during the Session Week
of September 26, 2016.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website
www.senatordonwhite.com for more information about your state government. If
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Remembering Arnold Palmer
On Monday, the Senate paused to honor and remember a great Pennsylvanian and
true sports legend, Arnold Palmer. Palmer, a native of nearby Latrobe, passed
away on Sunday at the age of 87. One of the greatest golfers of all time, Palmer
was a true gentleman and philanthropist who cared for the people of our
watch my comments from the floor of the Senate in honor of Arnold Palmer.
Juvenile Detention Board Membership Bill Sent to Governor
My bill adding a judicial position to juvenile detention boards in Third
Class Counties recently received final legislative approval and was sent to the
Governor for enactment into law.
County juvenile detention boards are usually empowered with reviewing matters
regarding the operation of the juvenile detention/probation programs.
Senate Bill 1038 was drafted in cooperation with the County Commissioners
Association of Pennsylvania and was reviewed and agreed to by the Juvenile Court
Senate Approves Legislation to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis
The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved three measures addressing the
state’s growing opioid addiction crisis.
Senate Bill 1212 would establish the School Aged Children Opioid Awareness
Education Program. The Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and
Education will work together to design a request for proposals for organizations
that can provide opioid awareness education programs to be delivered in schools.
Senate Bill 1367 limits the amount of opioids that children may be
prescribed, with reasonable exceptions for cases involving chronic pain, cancer
treatment or for palliative care or hospice care. It also requires a health care
professional to obtain written consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian
to prescribe a medical treatment containing opioids, and provide information on
the risks of addiction and dangers of overdose associated with the medication.
Senate Bill 1368 implements the Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in all of
Pennsylvania’s medical schools. The plan calls for a focus in four key areas
including pain management; multimodal treatments for chronic pain that minimize
the use of opioids, or when opioids are indicated, to prescribe them in a way
that is safe and that follows guideline-based care; focusing on patients who
have been identified as at-risk for developing problems with prescription
opioids; and teaching medical students how to manage substance abuse disorders
as a chronic disease.
The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
In June, the Senate approved
Senate Bill 1202, a measure that requires licensed medication dispensers and
prescribers to receive two hours of continuing education in pain management or
in the prescribing practices of opioids.
The Senate also approved a Drug and Alcohol Recovery High School Pilot
Program to provide instruction meeting state academic standards for students in
grades 9 through 12 who are in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse or addiction.
The measure was included as part of the School Code passed as part of the state
Special License Plate for Military Members Sent to Governor
I am pleased to report that the Senate gave final approval on Monday to a
bill that recognizes and honors Pennsylvania’s military personnel and sent the
measure to the Governor for enactment into law.
Senate Bill 1155 establishes a special vehicle license plate for members of
the United States Armed Forces adding special recognition for current members of
the military, reserves, and Pennsylvania National Guard. This would be in
addition to the currently available license plates with special recognition for
World War II veterans, Purple Heart recipients and Operation Iraqi Freedom
Two additional bills received final legislative approval this week and were
sent to the Governor.
House Bill 380 reduces the mandatory separation period that is required
prior to entry of a no-fault divorce from two years to one year.
House Bill 665 makes technical changes to Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and
Fiduciaries) concerning powers of attorney.
Senate Approves Cybersecurity Bill
With reports of hacking appearing in the news on an almost daily basis, the
Senate acted on Wednesday to ensure citizens will be expeditiously notified if
their information in state databases is compromised.
Senate Bill 1048, which updates Pennsylvania’s Breach of Personal
Information Notification Act, now goes to the House of Representatives for
consideration. Specifically, the measure sets the following:
- Requires a state agency, county, school district or municipality to
notify the subject of a breach of security within seven business days
following the discovery of a breach of security.
- Requires a state agency to notify the state Attorney General and the
Office of Administration within three business days following the discovery
of a breach of security.
- Requires a county, school district or municipality to notify the
respective district attorney’s office within three business days following
the discovery of a breach of security.
Senate Bill 1048 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Eight additional bills were approved by the Senate this week and sent to the
Senate Bill 340 amends the Local Government Unit Debt Act to provide
adequate regulatory oversight and enforcement.
Senate Bill 341 amends the Municipality Authorities Act and the Public
Official and Employee Ethics Act to coordinate the conflict of interest
provisions as they relate to municipal authorities.
Senate Bill 344 requires 100 percent security from a contractor prior to the
awarding of a contract for the construction, reconstruction, alteration or
repair of any public building or other public work or public improvement where
the contract exceeds $10,000.
Senate Bill 869 amends Titles 4 (Amusements), 18 (Crimes and Offenses), 30
(Fish), 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 75 (Vehicles) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to address the seizure and forfeiture of
property that is related to criminal offenses.
Senate Bill 1086 provides for the display of registration plates and for
surrender of registration plates and cards upon suspension or revocation and
providing for suspension of registration upon unpaid tolls and, in fees, further
providing for reinstatement of operating privilege or vehicle registration.
Senate Bill 1341 establishes a performance-based budget component to enhance
and improve budget development and decision making associated with the annual
Senate Bill 1352 provides a rate increase for the river pilots who navigate
along the Delaware River and its navigable tributaries.
Senate Bill 1353 permits the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River
and its Navigable Tributaries to increase fees for the issuance of original and
renewed pilots’ licenses.