Following is a listing of legislative action for the week of March 31. Members of the General Assembly were set to return to session April 6.
Bills and resolutions approved
• The state House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to legislation, HB 431, that would require two categories of mandated reporters of child abuse to receive training. The measure is now before Gov. Tom Corbett.
• The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved SB 1237, which seeks to prohibit a gas company from retaliating against leaseholders by threatening to shut off production or terminate a lease agreement if the landowner makes “a good-faith action” to question a royalty payment.
• The committee also approved SB 1238, which wouldrequire a gas company to file a surrender document within 30 days after the expiration, termination or forfeiture of an oil and gas lease in a court recorder of deeds office. The bills join SB 1236, which is already awaiting action on the floor and would allow leaseholders to audit post-production costs to verify royalty payments.
• The Senate has approved SR 250, paving the way for the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the pros and cons of merging school district health care plans. The study, which is due by Nov. 30, is set to examine the cost of current health care plans and the cost of the current benefits over the next five years. The report is also set to examine the cost of regionalizing health care plans compared to one overall state plan for all school employees and provide the anticipated administrative, technological and staffing costs associated with implementing such reforms, including the impact of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
• Newly introduced Senate legislation, SB 1273, would require a closer review of plans to deactivate coal-fired power plants by the Coal-Fired Electric General Deactivation Commission established in the bill. The measure was introduced by state Sen. Timothy J. Solobay, D-Washington.
• State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has introduced legislation, HB 2137, that calls for a non-binding statewide referendum to consider whether marijuana should be legalized.
• Murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, stalking, arson, burglary and robbery would all be added to the same Tier III sexual offense category when they are committed for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification under HB 1448, introduced by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks.
• Property disclosure statements would be required to contain a description and location of storm water facilities under legislation, HB 2133, introduced by state Rep. Mauree Gingrich, R-Lebanon.
• HB 2134, introduced in the House by state Rep. Kurt Masser, R-Columbia, would provide more money for services to victims by raising the costs assessed against offenders.