Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of Oct. 21. Members of the General Assembly are set to return to session Nov. 12.

Volunteer Loan Assistance

• HB 1706 would increase the loan amounts available for volunteer fire and ambulance companies under the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program. The bill would increase loans for establishing and modernizing facilities from $200,000 to $400,000, or 50 percent of the total cost, whichever is less.

The bill would also increase loans for aerial apparatus from $150,000 to $300,000.

House Judiciary Committee

The following bills have been approved by the House Judiciary Committee:

• HB 710 would amend current law, which prohibits possession of certain chemicals if the actor’s intent is to illegally manufacture a controlled substance. The bill would add the term “precursor substances” to the list of prohibited chemicals, and define that term to include any substances added by the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

• HB 204 would define “autopsy audiovisual material” as a photograph of the body taken during an autopsy or a video or audio recording taken during an autopsy. The bill requires that a person must have the consent of the physician performing the autopsy or the medical examiner or the coroner who ordered the autopsy prior to creating any autopsy audiovisual material.

• HB 1154 would close current loopholes that give unions an exemption from criminal charges for “harassment, stalking and threats of mass destruction.”

• HB 1662 would add “grandchild” to the list of family members who may receive the amount in a deceased depositor’s bank account. Current law only provides that an amount on deposit in a bank or other savings organization be paid to the spouse, any child, or the father or mother of a deceased depositor, in that order, when the amount does not exceed $10,000.

• SB 731 would provide that where a person has been admitted to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for a retail theft and commits retail theft again, the ARD will count as a first offense for purposes of grading the subsequent offense.

Debt ‘Swaps’

• SB 904, approved by the Senate local government committee, would restrict local governments and school districts in their use of the financial transaction known as a “swap”—a derivative arrangement in which the parties agree to exchange cash flows of one financial instrument for those of another.

The bill seeks to limit the size of swaps in relation to debt, set a maximum 10-year expiration date, provide for more disclosure on deals and require that outside financial advisers on swaps be free of conflicts of interest.