Prime Sponsored Bills
SB 108 The re-introduction of this legislation (SB 619 of last session)
would address the "revolving door" employment of executive-level employees of a
State agency by businesses which have contracts with that agency. The Ethics
Act currently prohibits the following:
1. A former official or employee from representing a person before the governmental
body with which he was associated for one year.
2. An executive-level State employee from being employed by a business that he is
actively participated in recruiting to or inducing the expansion of in
Pennsylvania for two years.
My legislation would prohibit a
former executive-level State employee with responsibilities related to the
awarding of a contract, the development of policies or requirements relating to
a contract, the negotiation of a contract or other participation in the
development or award of a contract from seeking or accepting employment with an
entity that contracts or intends to contract with that same agency. The
prohibition shall be for a two year period.
SB 299 - Legislation that will amend Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, providing for the duty of passengers in a vehicle to
render aid to any person injured in an accident. Currently, the only
requirement of a passenger to render aid to an injured person in an accident is
if the driver is physically unable to do so. My legislation would require a
passenger to give reasonable assistance, including making arrangements for the
injured person to get to a physician, if the driver is physically unable or
refuses or neglects to render aid.
SB 300 - Legislation that will amend the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.
130) to end a significant loophole in the Hotel Occupancy Tax for counties of
the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes. Currently,
large corporations are able to rent a block of hotel rooms and rotate workers in
those rooms for a significant period of time. This action allows them to
circumvent the 3% tax collected by the counties. The collection is primarily
used for tourism promotion and marketing promotion. By introducing this
legislation, we will fix a loophole which was never intended by allowing the
counties to collect their rightful share of the hotel occupancy tax, and in turn
will again provide the vital revenue stream for our local tourism.
SB 301 - Legislation that will amend the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest
Land Assessment Act of 1974 (Clean and Green).
Pennsylvania has a rich history of
bluestone production. A large number of our farming constituents, many that are
currently enrolled in Clean and Green, have mined for bluestones on their
properties for over 100 years. Mining for bluestone, as it now stands, has
spurred confusion and inconsistency among the counties in how to apply roll-back
taxes under the program. In an effort to encourage the development of the
bluestone on a small scale, while not penalizing landowners who may seek to
develop their mineral rights, my bill would provide that if certain mining
activities are conducted on enrolled land, roll-back taxes are due only on the
portion of the enrolled tract that is subject to a permit for small noncoal
surface mining under the Noncoal Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. A small noncoal surface mining permit limits the permit area to no more than five acres
and extraction of no more than 10,000 tons of noncoal minerals per year. The
value of this portion will be adjusted to reflect fair market value and such use
will not invalidate the preferential assessment status of the remainder of the
property that continues to be eligible for it. Only one small noncoal surface
mining permit may be active at any one time per Clean and Green parcel.
SB 445 - Legislation which will create a period of time in determining when
an owner has officially abandoned their mineral rights. Currently, landowners
across the state are facing the dilemma of owning surface rights, but not owning
his or her mineral rights. Furthermore, the subsurface owner of the mineral
rights may not even know they are the owner. Ultimately, this abandonment is an
obstacle for the current landowner who would like to use their property for the
development of natural gas.
My legislation would deem mineral
rights in real property abandoned after a period of 21 years of nonuse of the
mineral rights by a subsurface owner. Nonuse of mineral rights is the absence
of an issuance of a permit to drill a well by the Department of Environmental
Protection, actual production or withdrawal of minerals from the property and
the underground storage of minerals. If the subsurface landowner chooses to
simply not develop the mineral rights, they could record a claim of interest
with the county Recorder of Deeds within three months of the effective date of
this legislation or 21 years from the nonuse, whichever is later. The 21year
period is similar to current Pennsylvania abandonment law relating to adverse
SB 446 - Legislation amending Megan's Law which will address a problem noted in the Pennsylvania Superior Court's holding in the case of
Commonwealth v. Wilgus. In Wilgus, the Superior Court held that Megans Law did not apply to sexually violent predators and sexual offenders who are homeless, because the Registration of Sexual Offenders Act did not specifically address transients or homeless persons. My legislation will overturn the court case by specifically including transients under Megan's Law. Once the legislation is enacted, sexually violent predators and sexual offenders who must register under Megan's Law will not be outside the law even if they are homeless.
Currently, eight states possess registration requirements for transients. Just as in California, this legislation will require transients who are sexually violent predators to register every 30 days at approved registration sites. The duty to register every 30 days within 48 hours of becoming a transient and remains in effect until the sexually violent predator establishes a residence.
SB 447 Company to company pooling is another proposal I will be
introducing. Encouraging development of the Marcellus Shale with a minimum
number of well sites provides well-known environmental benefits. What has been
discovered is that the majority of pooling issues involve inter-company dealings
with leased land. For example, one company declines to cooperate in developing
a leased area for its own competitive advantage to the detriment of the
environment and stranded landowners whose gas development may be blocked by the
uncooperative company. Unlike earlier pooling suggestions, this type of pooling
would affect only leasehold interests and would have no impact on private
landowners who decline to lease their land. I am told that this type of pooling
will solve about 90% of the pooling issues. If I can solve 90% of any issue, I
will be extremely satisfied with the result.
SB 460 - legislation to require gas companies to list all deductions on
royalty check pay stubs. Currently, the state of Pennsylvania does not require
gas companies to list deductions from royalties paid to the landowner on monthly
My legislation would require companies producing natural gas to show on each check stub, attachment to a
payment form, or other remittance advice:
- lease identification number or reference to appropriate agreement with identification of the well or unit from which production is attributed;
- the month and year of sales or purchases included in the payment;
- the total amount of gas sold;
- Owner's final realizable price per MCF;
- the total amount of state severance and other production taxes paid; with the exception of windfall profit tax;
- any other deductions or adjustments;
- the net value of total sales after deductions;
- the owner's interest in sales from the lease, property, or well expressed as a decimal;
- the owner's share of the total value of sales before any tax deductions; and
- the owner's share of the sales value less deductions his share of the production and severance taxes, as applicable.
By introducing this legislation,
we will provide openness and transparency for mineral rights owners as seen in
other natural gas producing states.
SB 601 Increases the distance that a natural gas drilling company would
be presumed liable for any contamination of a water supply within a year after
completion or alteration of a well within 1,500 to 2,500 feet. The legislation
would also further increase the horizontal distance from a Marcellus well and an
existing building or water supply from 200 feet to 500 feet.
SB 722 Establishes a Pugh Clause in regards to natural gas wells in
Pennsylvania which provides the landowners and gas companies the option to
develop the acreage not included in a production unit, allow the lease to expire
with respect to the unused portion, renegotiate the lease as to the unused land
or include the unused land in another production unit.
SB 723 Designating the bridge that connects South Williamsport to
Williamsport, known as the Market Street Bridge, carrying U.S. Route 15 over the
Susquehanna River in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County, as the Carl E. Stotz
Memorial Little League Bridge.
SB 744 Legislation which would grant authority to local taxing authorities
to assess royalty interests as real estate. This would apply only to producing
wells. Until 2002, gas wells were subject to the assessment laws in
Pennsylvania, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that gas wells were not
to be included in the law. This legislation would fill the hole noted by the