Below are summaries of some bills of interest to the disability community from the end of the 2013-2014 session. For more information about these or any other state bills, go to:www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm. At the top of the page is a box labeled, “Legislation Quick Search,” enter the bill number and click on “Search”.
The 2013-14 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly ended (the official term is “sine die”) on November 30, 2014. Any bill which did not pass by then is dead, and can only be revived by being reintroduced in the new 2015-16 session which begins in January 2015.
HB 993. Introduced by Representative Thomas R. Murt (R-Montgomery). This is the bill which changes the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services. It was signed by the Governor on September 24, 2014 becoming Act 132 of 2014. See also SB 840 introduced by Senator Bob Mensch (R-Bucks). The Act takes effect 60 days from September 24, but, to minimize costs, the old name can continue to be used on stationary, signs, etc. until they need to be replaced.
HB 1702. Introduced by Representative Chris Ross (R-Chester). The bill empowers the Department of Aging to license and inspect community adult respite service providers. It passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on October 22, 2014 becoming Act 166 of 2014.
HB 2111. Introduced by Representative Jim Marshall (R-Beaver). The bill requires a doctor, who receives positive test results on a test for Down syndrome, to provide the expectant or new parent with educational information prepared by the Department of Health (DOH). The DOH educational information is to include up-to-date, evidence-based information about Down syndrome and contact information for resources to assist in treatment options, education and support services. The information on the website must conform to the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care as adopted by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The bill, also known as Chloe’s Law, passed both chambers and was signed by Governor on July 9 becoming Act 130 of 2014. See also SB 1339 introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) which was referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, April 17, 2014.
HB 2451. Introduced by Representative Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery). This bill would raise the cigarette tax by four cents to provide for an Adult Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Waiting List Restricted Account. It was introduced and referred to the House Finance Committee on August 28, 2014.
HB 2511 through 2514. Introduced by Representative Margo L. Davidson (D-Delaware). These four bills relate to mental health treatment.
SB 428. Introduced by Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). This bill provides for pooled trusts for people with disabilities. It passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on October 27, 2014 becoming Act 186 of 2014.
SB 1470. Introduced by Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery). This bill rewrites the Mental Health Procedures Act. It was introduced and referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on September 15, 2014.
SB 1497. Introduced by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne). The bill provides for the establishment of the Work Experience for High School Graduates with Disabilities Act. It would require the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to ensure that local education agencies and private employers work together in order to successfully transition high school students with disabilities into competitive employment after graduation. It was introduced and referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee on October 14, 2014. See also HB 2405 introduced by Representative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) which was referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee, July 1, 2014.
HR 241. Introduced by Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks). The resolution directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to review Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Programs to look at barriers to family caregiving. It was adopted on September 16, 2014.
HR 1064. Introduced by Representative Richard R. Stevenson (R-Butler). This resolution directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to review programs providing intervention for young athletes who sustain a brain injury, as required under the Safety in Youth Sports Act. It was adopted on October 15, 2014.
Source: Slice of PIE newsletter