Senate Finance Committee approves bill that would help Pennsylvanians who commute to work in Maryland, Phillips-Hill says

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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania residents who work in Maryland may soon be able to participate in telework opportunities under a bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), would make the temporary guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue during the pandemic permanent. The guidance allowed for employees who work for out-of-state corporations to work from home without triggering state tax laws that would require the company to pay Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT).

Phillips-Hill noted there are a lot of lessons that can come out of the pandemic but said this is a major opportunity to get ahead of the teleworking trend.

“We can attract new residents to this state and allow them the flexibility to work from home for part of the year without significant tax implications for their employers,” she said. “The measure has strong bipartisan support, but the most important support comes from the dozens of constituents who would benefit from this commonsense change to our tax laws.”

The measure advances to the full Senate for consideration.

Phillips-Hill’s effort to allow liquor license holders to have outdoor amplified sound becomes law

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HARRISBURG – A measure championed by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) that was signed into law this week gives restaurants, bars, breweries, hotels and clubs more outdoor options for guests.

The new law extends a provision of the state’s liquor laws that only allowed for limited wineries to have outdoor amplified sound.

Act 67 of 2022 gives the option to all liquor license holders to offer amplified sound, up to 75 decibels, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m.

“Our hospitality industry was hit exceptionally hard during the pandemic and this new law allows our local establishments to have greater flexibility and provide new guest experiences throughout the summer months,” Phillips-Hill said.

The new law also allows malt or brewed beverages produced by a brewery to be sold to non-licensees and to licensees that sell malt or brewed beverages.

The law takes effect immediately.

Election Integrity Legislation Signed into Law

(HARRISBURG) – Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) and Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) issued the following statement following Governor Wolf’s signing of election integrity legislation, Senate Bill 982.

“We are pleased Governor Wolf has signed Senate Bill 982 into law.

“Pennsylvania needs to see action on actual reforms – necessary, justified, practical – that will improve an election system that has been severely tried and tested in recent years.

“The election amendments we have pushed forward are substantial structural improvements.  Some came to light as a result of concerns expressed over improvisations undertaken to conduct a high turnout election during pandemic times.  Others respond to long-time requests from county election officials, who have been hampered by restrictions in election law that are proving unworkable with changes in voting practices and the expectations for timely determination of outcomes.

“For us, reform begins with prohibiting private groups from funding election administration.  Voting is among our basic rights, and the responsibility for properly running and funding elections is vested in government.  No matter who on the outside is contributing, no matter their expressed motivations, millions of dollars coming in from national figures or organizations naturally raises suspicions of hidden agendas. 

“This new law creates the Election Integrity Grant Program to provide the resources to upgrade election security measures to help counties adopt new security and personnel requirements quickly.  The program comes with accountability measures to ensure our elections process is above reproach.”

Bill Goes to Governor to Help Restaurant Industry

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HARRISBURG – The General Assembly passed legislation that includes language to give bars, taverns, restaurants, breweries, clubs and hotels the option to have amplified sound outdoors, according to Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York).

House Bill 1615, which would allow malt or brewed beverages produced by a brewery to be sold to non-licensees and to licensees that sell malt or brewed beverages, was amended to include legislative language originally sponsored by Phillips-Hill.

As amended, House Bill 1615 would allow all liquor license holders to offer amplified sound, up to 75 decibels, Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and midnight. The law currently only allows for wineries to have amplified sound.

“These commonsense approaches will help an industry that has been devasted by the massive economic shutdown these locally owned businesses and their employees had to endure,” Phillips-Hill said. “We are grateful for the swift passage of the amended bill, which will add a major boost during these summer months to small businesses throughout York County and our Commonwealth.”

Senate approves significant health care overhaul on prior authorization, step therapy

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HARRISBURG – The Senate unanimously approved landmark legislation that streamlines the prior authorization and step therapy processes for medical treatment, according to Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), who sponsored the measure.

Senate Bill 225 would set standards for commercial insurance plans as well as Medicaid plans when seeking prior authorization approval, as well as step therapy protocols. The legislation would also provide a timely process for appeals determinations.

Prior authorization refers to any process by which physicians and other health care providers must obtain advance approval from a health plan before a specific procedure or service is delivered to the patient to qualify for payment coverage. The process was initially created to control costs for experimental or new procedures. Step therapy requires patients to try one or more prescription drug treatment option(s) chosen by the patient’s insurance provider.

“This measure will strengthen relationships between doctors and patients, as well as cut red tape that will ultimately lead to better health care outcomes,” Phillips-Hill said. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue – this is about finding efficiencies and negotiating between health care providers and insurers to come up with reforms that will ultimately benefit patients across the Commonwealth.”

The legislation would require insurers to provide timely approval for both non-urgent and emergency health care services to health care providers before services and treatment are rendered. The proposal would also spell out guidelines for prescription drug step therapy, as well as options for patients and heath care professionals to obtain an exception to best serve the patient and his or her treatment plan.

A recent survey of physicians by the American Medical Association found 78% of doctors note that prior authorization delays can lead to their patients to abandoning their treatment, while 91% of doctors indicate prior authorization delays can lead to negative clinical impacts on patients.

The bill goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Senate approves legislation to boost hospitality industry during summer months

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by York County’s two state senators was unanimously approved by the Senate of Pennsylvania that would allow for amplified sound during certain hours at restaurants, bars, breweries, clubs and hotels.

The measure, sponsored by Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland), would expand on a 2019 law that currently allows only limited wineries to offer amplified sound, like outdoor music, up to 75 decibels at the property line.

Under the bill approved by the Senate today, all liquor license holders – including bars, taverns, restaurants, hotels, clubs and breweries – would be allowed to offer amplified sound, up to 75 decibels, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m.

“Our Commonwealth experienced the second most restrictive economic shutdown during the pandemic. The hardest hit industry was our hospitality sector,” Phillips-Hill said. “This legislation will help our locally owned restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries, clubs and hotels continue to recover, offer greater experiences for guests, and provide these entities with the same opportunities that our limited wineries have had for the last three years.”

“There are inconsistencies in our Liquor Code that pick winners and losers between licensees,” stated Regan. “This bill brings consistency among licensees with regard to onsite music events and offers these small businesses more opportunities to attract customers and to not only remain open but to succeed.”

The legislation heads to the House of Representative for further consideration. If approved by the House and signed by the governor, the measure would take effect immediately.

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Legislative hearings set for Tuesday and Wednesday on data breaches in state government, blockchain technologies

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee and House State Government Committee will hold two joint public hearings this week.

On Tuesday, June 7, at 9 a.m., the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), will hold a joint public hearing with the House State Government Subcommittee on Government Information Technology and Communication, chaired by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-102), to review Senate Bill 696.

The legislation would require timely notification to victims of a data breach within state government.

On Wednesday, June 8, at 9 a.m., the Senate Communications and Technology Committee will hold a joint public hearing with the House State Government Subcommittee on Government Operations, chaired by Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-46), on blockchain technology and its role in state government.

Both hearings will be held in Hearing Room No. 1 of the North Office Building at the state Capitol.

The public hearings will be livestreamed on facebook.com/SenatorKristin and PAHouseGOP.com

Fairness in Women’s Sports News Conference Set for Tuesday, June 7

WHAT: Members of the House and Senate, along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, held a press conference on Tuesday, June 7, to discuss the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.  Introduced as Senate Bill 1191 by Sens. Judy Ward (R-30) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and House Bill 972 by Reps. Barb Gleim (R-199), Martina White (R-170), Dawn Keefer (R-92), Valerie Gaydos (R-44), and Stephanie Borowicz (R-76), the legislation proposes that school athletic teams designated for women should not be open to those of the male sex. The legislation defines “sex” as the biological distinction between male and female, based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up.

WHO:  Sen. Judy Ward, other members of the Senate and House, and the Pennsylvania Family Institute

WHERE:  Main rotunda of the Capitol building

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 7, at 2:00 p.m.

CONTACT:  Nathan Akers, 717-787-5490

Joint public hearing on SB 696 (Update to the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act)

JOINT HEARING

Senate Communications and Technology Committee AND House State Government Committee

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 | 9:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room #1

Agenda

Public hearing on SB 696 (Update to the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act)

Schedule

Welcome and Housekeeping 

Member Introductions 

Opening Remarks of Senator Dan Laughlin, Prime Sponsor of SB696

Testifiers

  • Ken Hess, Deputy Secretary for Procurement, Department of General Services – Testimony
  • Andrew Kingman, Of Counsel, State Privacy and Security Coalition – Testimony
  • Scott R. Davis, President and CEO, Cybersecurity Association of Pennsylvania – Testimony

Adjournment

Additional Written Testimony:

County Commissioners Association of PA – Testimony

Pennsylvania Office of Administration – Testimony

Joint public hearing on Blockchain Technology and its Impact on Government Operations

JOINT HEARING

Senate Communications and Technology Committee AND House State Government Committee

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | 9:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room #1

Agenda

Joint public hearing on Blockchain Technology and its Impact on Government Operations

Schedule

What is Blockchain?

Welcome and Housekeeping

Member Introductions

Testifier

  • William C. Price, Esq., Clark Hill – Statement

Adjournment