HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf signed several bills into law today including HB 1459, which establishes a mental wellness and stress management program for emergency responders who experience post-traumatic stress injuries or traumatic brain injuries on the job.
The legislature passed the bill unanimously.
“This COVID-19 emergency has been another reminder of how all of us depend on first responders during a crisis,” said Gov. Wolf. “First responders face traumatic situations on the job that can have lasting consequences and this new program gives them access to the help they need. It is the right thing to do and I’m proud to sign the legislation.”
Support for first responders under the bill includes peer-to-peer programs, training for peer support efforts, a toll-free helpline, statewide and regional stress management support, trauma and suicide awareness training, and support for nonprofit organizations offering the services.
“We know that some groups are more likely to suffer from serious mental health issues and suicide,” said Rep. Mike Schlossberg. “Our first responders are in that category. We must do more to protect our heroes and I am grateful to the governor for his support of these efforts.”
The governor also signed into law today:
HB 256, which strengthens state law to make an assault on a corrections employee at a local, county or state facility a felony of the second degree. It is a felony of the first degree if a weapon likely to cause serious injury is used. The bill also establishes a third-degree felony if a law enforcement officer or correctional facility employees engages in a sexual act with an inmate or detainee.
HB 943, which is intended to improve transparency and reduce prescription drug costs by ensuring that pharmacies and pharmacists may inform customers about lower priced alternatives, including generic medications. The bill prohibits pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacy services administration organizations from restricting these discussions.
SB 836, which requires student athletes and parents to receive information each school year about sudden cardiac arrest and electrocardiogram (EKG) testing to detect underlying heart conditions. The bill requires students and parents to sign an informational sheet before students participate in athletic activities.
HB 632, which expands the use of a secure power of attorney for the transfer of vehicles by licensed dealers and insurers including the use of electronic signature and extends the time period during which a limited power of attorney may be used for the sale, purchase or transfer of manufactured homes during a disaster emergency.
HB 672, which amends the act of February 13, 1970 (P.L. 19, No.10), entitled “An act enabling certain minors to consent to medical, dental and health services, declaring consent unnecessary under certain circumstances.” Specifically, the bill amends the provisions relating to consent for voluntary inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment for minors.
HB 732, which establishes a local resource manufacturing tax credit and exempts transfers of real estate to or by a volunteer EMS company, volunteer fire company or volunteer rescue company from real estate transfer tax.
HB 1437, which amends the Tax Reform Code of 1971 concerning the City Revitalization and Improvement Zones program and the Rural Jobs and Investment tax credit program.
HB 2455, which requires the governor and Department of Health to submit information to the legislature about COVID-19 testing.
HB 2484, whichincreases the cap on the percentage of the value of assets held by or for an electing charity from 7 percent to 10 percent for fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022. The bill adds a new provision regarding nonjudicial settlement agreements.
SB 320, which enacts the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act; providing for user direction and agreements, for disclosure of digital assets and electronic communications, for functions of fiduciaries and for compliance and immunity for custodians of digital assets and electronic communications; and making conforming amendments.
SB 927, which provides the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shall independently validate documentation of veteran status and immediately issue a driver’s license or identification card displaying veteran designation without submitting the documentation to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for review and approval.
SB 1125, which gives school districts the option during the 2020-21 school year to extend the real estate property tax discount period, waive penalties for late payments or both.
SB 1188, which provides for delegation of taxing powers and restrictions thereon and for tax limitations.