New Laws Tackle Liquor, Sex Offenders and Abortion

Do you know all of the new laws that went into effect in Pennsylvania last week?

Last week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed 24 bills into law, including 17 that are listed below.  

The Liquor Code

  • House Bill 242 – This bill amends The Liquor Code to expand Sunday sales from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Previously, distributors were allowed to operate on Sundays only between noon and 5 p.m. It also allows licensees who offer meals to begin serving alcohol at 9 a.m. on Sundays. The code previously did not permit licensees to offer alcohol before 11 a.m. on Sundays.  Distilleries producing less than 100,000 gallons of spirits now may sell distilled spirits to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board , other licensees and the general public.  For a full story from Patch on this legislation, click .

Megan's Law

  • Senate Bill 1183 - The “Adam Walsh Bill” strengthens the state’s rule on convicted sex offenders by imposing tougher reporting standards. The bill also closes loopholes in Pennsylvania’s current Megan’s Law that in the past allowed transient and out-of-state offenders to evade criminal prosecution by ignoring requirements for registering home, school and work addresses with police. For a full story on this legislation from Patch, click .

Pennsylvania Congressional Districts

  • Senate Bill 1249 – The congressional redistricting bill apportions the state into congressional districts to conform with constitutional requirements and makes other related changes. The congressional district that Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, now represents has been redrawn and changed substantially in this new Republican-drawn plan. For a full story on this legislation from Patch, click here.

Regulations on Abortion Clinics

  • Senate Bill 732 – Labeled the  “Back-Door Ban” on abortion by its opponents, this bill will take effect in six months. It requires the state Department of Health to regulate abortion facilities as ambulatory surgical facilities. The department also must perform at least one unannounced inspection of each abortion facility annually. The law also modifies the definition of "abortion facility" and makes other changes.

Other bills signed into law Dec. 22 by Corbett include: 

  • House Bill 210 – This bill amends the Family Caregiver Support Act by changing its name to the Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Act. It also addresses approved out-of-pocket expenses incurred by caregivers, allows reimbursement of non-relative caregivers and adult family members, and makes other changes.
  • House Bill 332 – This bill amends the Medical Practice Act and provides for regulation of genetic counselors.
  • House Bill 333 – This bill amends the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act and provides for regulation of genetic counselors.
  • House Bill 344 – This bill provides for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines and for powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; it also imposes civil penalties.
  • House Bill 715 – This bill amends the Local Tax Collection Law to change  definitions and provide for vacancies in tax collectors' offices and agreements between municipalities and counties.
  • House Bill 755 – This bill amends the County Code to increase the annual meeting and dues expenses allowed for county directors of veterans' affairs, in third- through eight-class counties, from  $100 to a maximum of $400.
  • House Bill 1052 – This bill establishes an independent informal process for long-term care nursing facilities to dispute results of Department of Health inspections.
  • Senate Bill 366 – This bill amends the Board of Vehicles Act to address "mobility vehicles," changes definitions and provide for representation on the state Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, among other changes.
  • Senate Bill 638 – This bill amends the Public Welfare Code to limit the costs for providing transportation for individuals receiving methadone treatment by a licensed provider. It also provides an exceptions process and makes other changes.
  • Senate Bill 957 – This bill amends the Osteopathic Practice Act to provide for licensing athletic trainers, changes the term used to describe athletic trainers from "certified athletic trainer" to "licensed athletic trainer," provides definitions and make other changes.
  • Senate Bill 967 – A companion bill to SB 957 (see above), this bill amends the Medical Practice Act and further provides for licensing and oversight of "licensed athletic trainers."
  • Senate Bill 1054 – This bill provides for the capital budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012. The bill specifies the maximum principal amount of additional debt to be incurred during the fiscal year for capital projects. The state constitution limits outstanding capital budget debt to 1.75 times the average tax revenues generated during the previous five fiscal years. Voter-approved and disaster-relief debt are not subject to the constitutional debt limit.
  • Senate Bill 1276 – This bill amends the County Code by further providing for classification of counties.


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