Legislation 2011-2012 Session

Senate Bill 474 and Senate Bill 475 15 year tax abatement.

Enabling legislation to spur construction by extending the property tax abatement for 15 years in areas most needing development. Previously introduced as SB 1397 and 1398 of 2010.

Senate Bill 619Mandatory sentence for carrying firearm without a license.

Requiring minimum one-year sentence for carrying an unlicensed firearm outside the home. Previously introduced as SB 412 of 2009.

Senate Bill 620 – Bar on those charged with violent felonies from possessing firearms.

Would temporarily bar those charged with violent felonies from purchasing or possessing firearms. Previously introduced as SB 415 of 2009.

Senate Bill 621 – Correcting disparate treatment of juvenile offenses for purposes of possessing firearms.

Adults convicted of certain serious crimes and drug offenses are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.  Juveniles adjudicated delinquent for crimes involving the same conduct are not similarly prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms when they turn 21.  This legislation would correct that disparity.  Previously introduced as SB 416 of 2009.

Senate Bill 622 – Closing the Florida Loophole.

Legislation to require Pennsylvania residents to apply for a license to carry firearms through Pennsylvania.  Many are turned down for a license in Pennsylvania, and seek to obtain a license through another state.

Senate Bill 698 – Expansion of the Alternative and Clean Energy Program (ACE).

Legislation to expand project eligibility under the ACE program, a Commonwealth Financing Authority grant initiative to promote the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects, plus energy efficiency and energy conservation projects in the Commonwealth.  Part of the Senate Democrats’ “PA Works” agenda.

SB 748 – Good Samaritan Law.

Would exempt someone from liability in civil cases where there is a reasonable belief that circumstances would result in death or serious bodily injury of the victim if no action were taken.  Previously introduced as SB 855 of 2009.

Senate Bill 886 – Direct Shipment of Wine.

This legislation would allow consumers to purchase wines from any winery that has the capability to ship directly.  Consumers’ ability to obtain wines through direct shipment has been restricted since a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Senate Bill 888 and Senate Bill 889 – Tougher penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

Increased sentencing to discourage hit-and-run drivers. Previously introduced as SB 1267 and 1268 of 2010.

Senate Bill 892 – Limitations on “pay-to-play” political contributions.

Legislation that would limit political contributions from those seeking to do business with the state.  Previously introduced as SB 1351 of 2010.

Senate Bill 893 – Closing municipal pension loophole.

Legislation prohibiting city employees from buying time in pension plan if they are not vested in the plan, as occurred with a former City Managing Director.  Previously introduced as SB 1352 of 2010.

Senate Bill 908 – Attacking the bed bug epidemic in hotels and apartment buildings.

Requiring property owners and hotel managers to inspect and certify premises.  Previously introduced as SB 1493 of 2010.

Senate Bill 909 – Banning “bath salts.”

Legislation banning chemical compounds improperly labeled as “bath salts.”  Language incorporated into SB 1006 of 2011.

Senate Bill 910 – Expanding the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to include Sexual Orientation.

Legislation that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited discrimination factors under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Senate Bill 921 – Animal Abuse Registry.

Legislation creating a self-funded animal abuse registry for those convicted of animal abuse crimes.

Senate Bill 1020 – Philadelphia Community Court Fee.

Enabling legislation allowing Philadelphia Community Court to impose a $25 fee on defendants who plead or are found guilty.

Senate Bill 1028 – Straw Purchasing Mandatory Minimum.

Legislation to correct judicial interpretation of existing laws which impose mandatory minimum sentence for a second illegal straw purchase of a handgun.  This bill would make clear that defendants making multiple purchases are subject to a minimum sentence even when the multiple purchases are made in a single transaction.

Senate Bill 1063 – Maternity Care Coverage and Preexisting Condition Exclusion.

Expands requirement to offer maternity care coverage and limits insurer ability to consider prior pregnancy as a preexisting condition.

Senate Bill 1078 – Prohibiting Divorce.

Many legislators have introduced so-called “defense of marriage” bills to enshrine discrimination in our state constitution by amending it to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.  Proponents of this approach claim they only want to protect the institution of marriage.  My legislation which would prohibit divorce – also a threat to the institution of marriage – except in cases where a spouse’s safety is at risk.

Senate Bills 1101, 1102 and 1103 – Stolen Homes and Fraudulent Deeds.

Legislation to combat the problem of house theft through the use of false names, fraudulent notary certifications, or consumer deception.

Senate Bill 1203 – Caylee’s Law.

Strengthens penalties against those who conceal the death of a child by creating a new class of offense for knowingly or intentionally concealing death and increases the penalty from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

Senate Bill 1290 – Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act.

Preventing anyone convicted of a sex crime, requiring registration under Megan’s Law, from collecting their public pension.

Senate Bill 1314 – Assessors Certification Act.

Philadelphia is the only county in Pennsylvania that is not required to have its property assessors certified by the State Board of Real Estate Appraisers.  Legislation would ensure more uniform qualifications and put Philadelphia assessors on par with their colleagues throughout the Commonwealth.

Senate Bill 1368 – Philadelphia Armory land transfer.

To encourage economic development on Broad St. this act authorizes the Department of General Services, with the approval of the Governor, to remove the restrictions imposed on Philadelphia Armory.

Senate Bill 1424 – Liquor control agent funding.

Legislation to increase liquor license fees and penalties to fund nuisance bar enforcement efforts of the State Police Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) unit. License fees have not been increased since 1991 and fines have remained unchanged since 1987.

Out for Cosponsor – Liquor control agent powers.

Legislation would give LCE power to immediately close a licensed establishment when there is evidence of violence or drug activity on the premises.

Out for Cosponsor – Limited Liquor Licenses

Legislation that would create a pilot program of private liquor store licenses to enable boutique wine and spirits to be sold, enabling greater consumer choice.

Out for Cosponsor – Next Generation Infrastructure Technology

See co-sponsorship memo