Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of May 12. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session June 2.
Signed Into Law
Gov. Tom Corbett signed HB 434, which requires school employees to report suspected child abuse. The sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks, said the new law closes the school reporting loophole and applies the same standards for reporting suspected child abuse to school employees as those that exist for other employees of other workplaces.
• State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Delaware, has introduced HB 2248, which would require offenders to pay county costs incurred with collections.
Donatucci said in a sponsorship memo: “In 2011, the Office of the Victim Advocate convened the Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force to study and develop recommendations for improving the restitution process in Pennsylvania on both the state and local levels. The Restitution Task Force issued its final report (February 2014) with a series of administrative, operational and legislative recommendations. One legislative recommendation evolved from the belief that counties would have more resources to fund their collections enforcement activities, if the expenses they incurred were borne by offenders.”
• State Rep. Dan Truitt, R-Chester, introduced HB 2250, which would increase the penalties for those who ignore “do not call” lists. The current statute sets the penalty at a maximum of $1,000, or $3,000 if the “victim” is 60 or older. The Truitt legislation seeks to raise those limits to $10,000 and $15,000, respectively.
• State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, introduced HB 2253, which would restrict questions a prospective employer can ask about prior arrests. In a sponsorship memo, Caltagirone said existing law was intended to be protective of applicants’ rights but has gone astray.
“Too many employers are now using blanket disqualifying questions on their applications, regardless of the nature or relevance of the offense in question,” he said. “By returning to the prior understanding, that such prior offenses are only to be considered where they are relevant to the position being sought, we can make more people who have had minor prior run-ins with the criminal justice system more employable in more positions, and less of a burden to the taxpayers.”
• State Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Allegheny, introduced HB 2247, which would streamline the process for local travel agencies to sell travel insurance to their customers.
Under current law, every individual who sells travel packages that include travel insurance is required to hold a limited lines producer license, which authorizes the sale, solicitation or negotiation of a line of insurance other than a major line of insurance. To obtain this license, they must pay a $55 fee, as well as undergo fingerprinting for a federal background check, Evankovich said.
Under his proposal, a limited lines license would be required solely by a travel retailer in the state, and that license would authorize each employee or authorized representative of the agency to offer travel insurance.