To keep you informed, I am highlighting recently introduced bills that I will be following closely. I broke them down into categories so you can find your specific interests. The short descriptions beside each bill are what the bill's sponsor has claimed. If you click on the link for the bill number, you can find out more information about the bill. If you would like to advocate for the bill, follow the link, then click on the link for which committee the bill has been assigned to. This will bring up information about the chairs and other members of that committee, who you can contact and advocate for or against the bill.
HB1903: would provide a mechanism for loved ones, family members, or law enforcement to ask a Judge to hold a hearing to temporarily disarm someone in crisis.
HR137: would urge the Biden and Wolf Administrations to work together in resettlement efforts in Pennsylvania for Afghan refugees.
HB1885: would direct courts to sentence primary caretakers and parents with children under the age of 18 to an individualized community-based sentence in instances where the offense is considered low-level and non-violent.
HB1419, [SJE1] with exceptions, would: Prohibit the shackling of pregnant women; Prohibit solitary confinement of pregnant women; Provide for trauma informed care training of corrections officers interacting with pregnant and postpartum women; Provide for up to three days of post-delivery bonding time between mother and newborn child; Provide for accommodation of adequate visitation time between minor children and incarcerated individuals (male or female) who were the sole legal guardian of those minor children at the time of their arrest; Prohibit full body searches of incarcerated females by male guards; Provide for appropriate amount of feminine hygiene products at no cost to incarcerated women; Provide for limited coverage of cost to transport individuals to a safe location upon release.
HB1928: would make the appointment of counsel mandatory in adult guardianship cases.
HB1907: would permit other electric vehicle manufactures to market vehicles directly to the public. Currently only Tesla is allowed to sell direct in PA.
HB1925: would provide clear authority for the state government to consider prospective contractor performance in other states and with other public entities.
HB1876: would allow a BYOB restaurant to collaborate with a local limited winery to sell wine to enjoy with their meal in the restaurant. Limited wineries would be permitted to apply for and obtain an off-premises catering permit which they could use to partner with community restaurants to benefit both local businesses as well as their customers.
HB1887: would require state agencies and state-affiliated agencies, including state-owned universities, to significantly increase contracting opportunities for disadvantaged businesses.
HB1915: would set up a one-time survey for school districts to report their deferred, current, and anticipated capital needs. It would then require the Department of Education to compile the information and report the total capital and infrastructure requirements of schools to the General Assembly. That report would break down the capital needs by those which school districts have already paid for and those which are predicted through the 2025-2026 school year.
HB1917: would require the Department of Education to create an integrated curriculum that includes AAPI persons, history, and contributions to American society and to provide AAPI-related materials to schools. This bill would also commission a study by the State Board of Education to see how school districts in Pennsylvania are teaching AAPI curriculum across the state and ensure our students are receiving robust instruction on AAPI history and social contributions.
HB1878: would require schools which receive funding through EITC and OITC have a written policy of nondiscrimination protecting LGBTQ+ students.
HB1879: would require the creation of a paper and online form for students, parents, and guardians to use to request that a school district seek an official evaluation of a potentially hazardous walking route. The sponsor of the bill believes students, parents, and guardians would be more aware if a walking route is hazardous than school districts, so it is important that they are given the opportunity to notify their schools of these hazards.
HB1892: would ensure that payments due to a charter school are accurate, as well as update the process used to reconcile the payments due to a charter school from school districts, including addressing any disputes that arise.
HB1939: would direct the Department of Education to work with the state board and establish a pilot program utilizing new approaches to testing and technology to improve education. In particular, the program will allow school districts to use adaptive testing which tracks student performance and measures academic growth throughout the school year. Additionally, these tests will provide teachers with assessment results faster as school districts currently using adaptive testing have the results available within 24 hours.
HB1943: would create the Pennsylvania Retaining Educated Workers Incentive Program (PREWIP) Act to allow individuals to receive either student loan forgiveness or zero percent interest rate on their student loans if they agree to live in a distressed zone of the state. Loan forgiveness requires a 10-year residency in a distressed area while 0% interest is a more flexible option for those who cannot commit to 10-year residency. A distressed zone is a municipality that:
(1) Is designated by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) as eligible for the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) Loan Program; and
(2) Is experiencing population loss over two percent as determined by the United States Census Bureau.
HB1916: would provide county boards of elections with the option to recruit qualified individuals for poll worker service, like the way we currently summon individuals to report for jury duty, when polling places are facing a volunteer shortage.
HB1942: would ban the distribution and dissemination of deepfake political ads within 90 days of an election. Those in violation of the ban can be held civilly liable and exemptions will be made for media outlets disseminating deepfakes accompanied by a disclosure statement or as part of a newscast.
HB1921: would allow family members to receive an overpayment of Personal Income Tax for a loved one who passes away intestate. This is already allowed at the Federal level and would make PA tax law consistent with it.
HB1851: would allow the General Assembly to establish standards and qualifications to exempt a taxpayer from the payment of the portion of real property tax levied by a local taxing authority that exceeds a percentage threshold amount of the household income of the taxpayer.
HB1923: would limit the types of items law enforcement agencies are allowed to acquire from federal military surplus programs, including tracked, armored, and militarized vehicles, weaponized aircraft, vessels, and vehicles, and grenades or similar explosives. In addition, the legislation would require that any other military-style equipment purchase, or acquisition be paid for with state or local funds and be approved by the local civilian governing body.
HB1848: would create a statewide tracking system for sexual assault evidence, housed within the Pennsylvania State Police. This system would allow victims to log-in any time to access the status of their evidence—where it is currently located, when it was submitted, and who to contact for help and more information. Additionally, the legislation will convene an advisory committee to come up with best practices in creating and maintaining the tracking system.
HB1926: would provide financial assistance to qualified individuals participating in internship placement programs if they agree to continue practicing Clinical Social Work in areas across the Commonwealth suffering from a lack of mental health services.
HB1852: would allow those that work seasonal occupations to select a prior base year of wages for their unemployment compensation claim.
HB1927: would require the Department of Health to develop triage guidelines and procedures that actively address unfair decisional bias in our health care systems.
HB1886: would make The Office of Health Equity within the Department of Health permanent.
HB1899: would keep Power of Attorneys (POA) informed of important healthcare insurance decisions being made by the older adults who they represent in important life decisions. This bill would require insurers to notify the older adult’s POA of any changes to an older adult's health insurance policy.
HB1866: would make expectations clearer, and to ensure that the requirements for assisting older foster youth are fully and effectively implemented
HB1869: would give uninsured drivers the ability to pay a $500 civil penalty in lieu of the three-month license suspension.
HB1895: would waive vehicle registration fees for any person who has been injured or captured while serving their country, or who has received the Congressional Medal of Honor or the Purple Heart.
HB1888: would give legislators the ability to request the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to prepare a demographic impact statement for any legislative measure that would amend the Crimes Code or Judicial Code prior to its final consideration by the Senate or House of Representatives.
HB100: would enact policies to begin transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
HB1937: would direct the Department of Human Services (DHS) to update their regulations regarding facility licensure. The sponsor believes this will allow resources to address root causes that trigger neglect and abuse.