Senate Approves Bill to Strengthen Oversight of Proposed Government Regulations

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a bill on Tuesday to strengthen the review process for government regulations and provide for better oversight by lawmakers, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13), who supported the bill.

Senate Bill 398 would ensure state agencies deliver proposed regulations to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to lawmakers in a timely manner to ensure a thorough review. The bill would also extend the time period for review to coincide with days the General Assembly is in session.

In current practice, state agencies could submit proposed regulations at a time when the General Assembly is in recess, preventing lawmakers from undertaking a comprehensive review and scheduling hearings to air concerns about how those regulations could affect Pennsylvania families and businesses.

The legislation would also ensure Statements of Purpose submitted by state agencies are not published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. This provision will remove confusion in the courts regarding the intent of the General Assembly.

“Essentially, this bill would ensure state agencies are implementing the law and not trying to make the laws themselves,” Martin said. “Government regulations can have an enormous impact on industries, employees and families if they are not implemented properly. Improving the process for reviewing these regulations will help make Pennsylvania more competitive and eliminate some of the red tape that plagues our government and hurts its citizens.”

Similar legislation was approved during the 2015-16 Legislative Session, but was vetoed by the Governor. Senate Bill 398 was changed to address a number of the concerns raised in the Governor’s veto message.

The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535

Martin and Aument Offer Assistance to Municipalities Pursuing VGT Opt-Out

HARRISBURG – After a bill sponsored by Senators Scott Martin (R-13) and Ryan Aument (R-36) was signed into law this week to allow Lancaster County municipalities to opt-out of allowing video gaming terminals (VGTs) into their truck stops and gas stations, both lawmakers are now offering assistance to local municipalities who are interested in pursuing that option.

Martin and Aument sent a letter today to every municipality in Lancaster County to offer more information on the opt-out process. Municipalities that wish to opt-out are required to pass a resolution to that effect and deliver it to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board no later than August 31, 2019.

The letter, which was also signed by members of Lancaster County’s House delegation, included a copy of the new law and additional details regarding the decision to opt-out of allowing VGTs.

Every municipality in Lancaster County took advantage of a similar opt-out provision for the location of mini-casinos in local communities as part of a 2017 state law that expanded gambling opportunities throughout the state.

“Due to the short time frame that municipalities have to opt-out, it is critical for municipal officials to review all of the available information and make a decision as soon as possible,” Aument said. “Our offices stand ready to assist any municipality that needs help in navigating the opt-out process.”

“With passage of the new law, local municipalities face a decision that will affect our people, our communities and our economy,” Martin said. “Ensuring our communities could make this choice was the right thing to do. As local officials work to make the best choice for the people they represent, we are ready to help any.”

Senate Bill 321 was signed into law Tuesday as Act 63 of 2019.

CONTACT:  Terry Trego (717) 787-6535 (Senator Martin)

Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420 (Senator Aument)