May 23, 2014
Re: Legislative Recap for Assembly Voting Session May 22
The General Assembly took action on the following bills supported by the League.
A-1396, the "Reader Privacy Act" passed by a vote of 62-16. Currently, library records which contain the names or other personal identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and protected from disclosure except in certain circumstances. This bill extends similar protections to the readers and purchasers of books and e-books. It will now join its Senate companion, S-967, which is referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
A-1726, which amends the "Flood Hazard Area Control Act" to require DEP to take certain actions concerning delineations of flood hazard areas and floodplains, passed by a vote of 72-6 and now joins its Senate companion, S-308, which is referenced to the Senate Environment and Energy committee.
A-1883, which revises exemption from license requirement for raffles for door prizes of donated or purchased merchandise; increases total retail value from $50 to $200 or higher if permitted, passed 78-0. It joins its Senate companion, S-1941, which is referenced to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee
A-2479, which requires elevators in new buildings be at least a certain size, passed 78-0. This legislation was prompted by concerns raised by emergency and first responders. To date there is no Senate companion bill.
The Assembly also took action on the following bills opposed by the League.
A-2280, which mandates certain police vehicles to be equipped with cameras, passed by a vote of 48-24 with 5 abstentions. This bill is an unfunded State mandate, based on the fiscal estimate prepared by the Office of Legislative Services (OLS), which indicates that the revenues generated by this bill will likely be insufficient to cover the costs. It now joins its Senate companion, S-1305, which is referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. If you recall, a similar unfunded mandate was sent to the Governor during the “lame duck” session and was pocket-vetoed by the Governor.
A-1244, which permits sale of home-baked goods under certain circumstances, also passed 78-0.
Without inspection of facilities by a qualified health officer there is no way to ensure the quality and type of ingredients used, nor the sanitation standards in place in the kitchen. Standards currently in place have evolved over decades, too often in response to incidents resulting from a casual disregard of basic hygienic practices. We believe the public should continue to enjoy the protection provided by inspections designed to ensure compliance with those standards. This bill now joins its Senate companion, S-136, with the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
The Assembly did not consider the legislation extending the 2% on interest arbitration. The General Assembly is next scheduled to meet for a voting session on June 16. For more information, please contact Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.