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Senator Scott Hutchinson

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the session week of October 19, 2015.

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Senate Passes Union Intimidation Bill

The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would prohibit harassment, stalking or making threats by parties involved in a labor dispute. House Bill 874 returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

The measure does not impact unions engaged in lawful disputes or protests, but addresses issues in previous labor disputes in which violent protests by the union workers ensued, including intimidation and harassment in the form of physical abuse of on-site contractors and property damage.

The measure is supported by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association.

Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Bonus Extension Goes to Governor

A measure extending the deadline for Pennsylvania veterans to apply for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Bonus received final legislative approval and was sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

House Bill 175 extends the application filing deadline for the program to August 31, 2018.

The bonus pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000. More information is available by clicking here.

Senate Votes to Give Firefighters “The Boot”

The Senate voted Wednesday in favor of giving local volunteer firefighters “the boot” - in a good way.

The Senate approved House Bill 138, legislation which would allow first responders -- after getting local approval -- to fundraise on local roadways, with programs such as those in which firefighters collect donations in a boot. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

The Senate sent four other bills to the House this week.

Senate Bill 751 prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Senate Bill 857 provides new penalties for illegal household goods movers.

Senate Bill 931  amends Title 26 (Eminent Domain) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes regarding moving and related expenses of displaced persons, replacement housing for homeowners and replacement housing for tenants and others.

House Bill 1275 authorizes dentists from other states and countries to take clinical continuing education courses at Pennsylvania dental schools, and permits dentists from other countries to obtain restricted faculty licenses authorizing them to teach at dental schools in Pennsylvania. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Measure Strengthening Right-to-Know Law Sent to House

Legislation that will significantly strengthen Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law was unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday. Senate Bill 411 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The measure strengthens the law for both requesters and agencies by simplifying the appeals process for requesters, giving the Office of Open Records much-needed flexibility in addressing complex appeals, and reducing the burden of requests from inmates.

Senate Bill 411 also establishes a new, reasonable fee structure for commercial requests and ensures that requests made to campus police departments receive the same treatment as requests to municipal police departments. The bill clarifies that entities such as economic development authorities and industrial development authorities are covered by the Right-to-Know Law.

Contact: Justin Leventry (717) 787-9684.

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