State Legislature Concludes For The Year


The Pennsylvania Senate and House were in session this past week, finishing the 2023-2024 state budget, and dealing with multiple other legislative subjects in the last session of the year. Specific components of the commonwealth’s budget were overdue since June 30th due to a number of disagreements between the Republican controlled Senate and the Democrat controlled House. Governor Shapiro ultimately signed the legislation late Wednesday night which coincided with the end of the 2023 legislative session. Two bills of interest to PPA member companies were reported out of House Committees last week prior to the end of the session.

 

  • House Bill 1889 (Malagari-D Montgomery) would permit information on heating oil delivery tickets to be transmitted electronically. This bill was approved by the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee by unanimous vote The plan was to have the measure be voted on by the full house later in the week, but time ran out as the legislature finalized the state budget bill a day earlier than initially expected. The PPA supports this legislation and will continue to work on the bill with Rep. Malagari and the Department of Agriculture.

 

  • Senate Bill 656 (Rothman-R Cumberland) This bill passed the Senate earlier this year and would impose a $290 annual fee on a non-commercial electric vehicles. The bill was reported by the House Transportation Committee but was not voted on by the House because agreement could not be reached between the House and the Senate regarding the amount of the fee. Environmental groups and EV manufacturers argued that $290 (which would be the largest in the country) is too high. The Senate Republicans estimate the proposed EV fee is a comparable amount to what motorists who drive gasoline powered vehicle pay on an annual basis in fuel taxes. The PPA supports this legislation.

 

Both House and Senate will return for a non-voting session on Jan 2. The constitution requires the chambers to meet the first Tuesday of the year. However, it is unclear when legislative activity will resume.

In a controversial move, the House Democratic announced that they would not convene the House for three months due to needed water leak repair in the House chamber. Critics charge that the reason for that action is that -once again -the House is currently tied (101 R’ s – 101 D’s) until a special election to fill a vacant Bucks County seat is held in February.

In any case, since the PA General Assembly had two-year sessions -all unfinished bills will carry into 2024.