Legislative Update

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  • Week Ending April 12, 2019

    by PICPA Government Relations | Apr 12, 2019


    PICPA Members Confirmed to State Accountancy Board 

    PICPA members David Stonesifer, CPA, and Michael Rollage, CPA, were recently confirmed by the state Senate for another term on the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy. Both have been members of the board for four years.

    Stonesifer is a partner with Herbein + Company Inc. in Reading. He provides consulting services to clients in the dairy and food processing industries. He is a member of the Albright College Business Advisory Council and a past president of the PICPA Reading Chapter, among other activities.

    Rollage is a retired partner from Baker Tilly in Pittsburgh. He has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, including more than a decade as a controller and CFO for two major construction companies.

    The State Board of Accountancy regulates the accounting profession in Pennsylvania. It promulgates, amends, and enforces requirements for continuing education and standards of professional conduct.

     

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    Hassell Gains Support from Senate Panel as Revenue Secretary

    The state Senate Finance Committee this week advanced to the full Senate the nomination of Dan Hassell as Secretary of Revenue with a favorable recommendation.

    Hassell has served as revenue secretary since June 2017. He has more than three decades of experience with the Department of Revenue, and was a budget specialist for the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Hassell is an Erie native. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College and a master’s degree in public management and policy from Carnegie-Mellon University's Heinz School of Urban and Public Affairs.

    The Senate returns to session the week of April 29, and may consider Hassell’s nomination at that time.

     

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    A Look at the Week of April 15 in Harrisburg

    The state House is in session this week. The Senate is in recess.

    On Monday, April 15, the House Consumer Affairs Committee holds a public hearing with panelists representing electric power generators and resources on House Bill 11, Rep. Tom Mehaffie’s (R-Dauphin) legislation amending and updating the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act. The House Children and Youth Committee meets to consider House Bill 835, Rep. Joe Petrarca’s (D-Westmoreland) youth services legislation, and House Bill 1051, sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), which clarifies penalties for failing to report child abuse. The House Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 1171, sponsored by Rep. Tara Toohil (R-Luzerne), which addresses confidentiality agreements.

    On Tuesday, the House State Government Committee convenes a voting meeting. It will consider two bills championed by PICPA member Rep. Frank Ryan, CPA (R-Lebanon). House Bill 985 clarifies which types of audits the state Department of the Auditor General shall conduct, and what professional qualifications each department employee shall possess in order to work on these various types of audits. The legislation will require the auditor general to provide a transition period that allows current department employees to attain the necessary qualifications to continue employment. House Bill 1053 provides for performance audits.

    The House Finance Committee meets on Wednesday to consider a number of bills, including Rep. Seth Grove’s (R-York) SMART Act 2.0, an outcomes-based budgeting measure (House Bill 93), as well as a number of clean up measures. These include:

    For a complete list of meetings and public hearings, visit the state legislature’s website.

     

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    Changes to Abuse Statutes of Limitation Approved by Pa. House

    The Pennsylvania House approved two bills, including a proposed constitutional amendment, that alter the state’s laws related to the statute of limitations following childhood sexual abuse.

    House Bill 962, sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), would remove the statute of limitations for criminal cases. It also allows childhood victims to file suit until they reach age 55. The current age limit is 30. A companion bill, House Bill 963, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair), would provide a two-year window to submit claims in civil court if the statute of limitations has expired for that victim. This constitutional amendment must be approved in two consecutive sessions of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, then by voters as a referendum question. The two-year window would open immediately after voters’ approval.

    Across the Capitol, members of the Senate Democratic Caucus introduced legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual offenses and open a window for civil liability. Senate Bill 540, sponsored by Sen. Tim Kearney (D-Delaware), would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse, assault, and misconduct perpetrated on victims of any age; would provide a two-year civil window to revive previous statute-expired claims, and would provide a six-month delay to the window in which survivors, who wish to voluntarily settle a claim outside the court system, are able to do so.

     

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    State Senate Committee Approves Redistricting Bill

    The Senate State Government Committee approved Sen. Lisa Boscola’s (D-Northampton/Lehigh) statewide redistricting reform legislation.

    Senate Bill 22 would amend the state’s constitution to establish an 11-member independent citizen’s commission to redraw Congressional and state legislative district maps. It would require significant public input, apply sound map-drawing standards, and establish a fair process for final map adoption.

    The bill goes to the full Senate for consideration.

     

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    Crime Victims Protection Measures Clear Senate

    The state Senate passed a package of bills this week designed to protect crime victims and ensure they have more opportunities to participate in the judicial process.

    The package of bills includes measures to give crime victims more rights to attend criminal trials (Senate Bill 425 by Sen. Wayne Langerholc); expand the rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism to provide testimony (Senate 469 by Sen. Daniel Laughlin); provide hearsay exceptions for statements made by young witnesses of cases of sexual assault (Senate Bill 479 by Sen. Lisa Baker); shield rape victims against irrelevant cross examinations (Senate Bill 431 by Sen. Langerholc); and provide for a bill of rights for sexual assault survivor (Senate Bill 399 by Sen. Langerholc).

    The bills now go to the state House for consideration.

     

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    Bill to Protect PACE and PACENET Benefits Passes State House

    Legislation introduced by Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) to prevent seniors from losing their PACE and PACENET benefits due to an increase in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) has passed the House.

    House Bill 754 would allow these seniors to continue to receive their benefits through Dec. 31, 2021. Act 62 of 2017 permitted about 13,000 PACE and PACENET cardholders to retain the benefit that they would otherwise have lost as a result of Social Security COLA increases. The COLA moratorium under Act 62 is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

    House Bill 754 moves to the Senate for consideration.

     

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    Kosierowski Takes Seat in State House

    Standing before family and friends in the state Capitol, Bridget Kosierowski (D) took the oath of office on April 8 to become the newest member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The chamber now stands at 109 Republicans, 93 Democrats, and one vacancy.

    “It’s inspiring to join a group that includes Benjamin Franklin among its earliest members. I’m also fortunate to follow such a dedicated and beloved public servant as Sid Kavulich. And it’s exciting to be the first woman to represent Lackawanna County in the General Assembly in more than 50 years,” said Kosierowski.

    She won a special election in March to replace Kavulich, who died unexpectedly last year following complications from surgery.

     

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    U.S. House Approves Bipartisan IRS Reform Bill

    The U.S. House approved the first significant reforms and redesign of the IRS in more than 20 years. The measure, HR 1957, now heads to the Senate for consideration.

    The Taxpayer First Act takes steps to redesign the IRS with one singular mission: taxpayer service. It also seeks to modernize the IRS and improve the ease and efficiency of the taxpayer experience when filing taxes, retrieving information, resolving issues, and making payments.

    The proposal includes more than 45 provisions across a range of IRS programs. Some of the notable changes the bill seeks to put in place include creating an independent appeals process, strengthening the IRS’s ability to proactively combat identity theft tax refund fraud, and improving the taxpayer experience across the IRS’s suite of taxpayer services.

     

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Contact Government Relations

governmentrelations@picpa.org
Peter Calcara | 717-232-1821
Alexandra Fabian | 717-232-1821
Annette Knapp | 717-232-1821

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Rep. Mary Jo Daley: Attend Day on the Hill and Get Your Legislator's Attention
2018 Q&A with the DOR

The PICPA met with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue on Oct. 24, 2018. View the full transcript, watch the recording, or view past discussions from 2010-2017.

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