The Senate was in session this week, with multiple committee meetings and three days of voting by the full chamber.
I was pleased that the Senate approved by legislation establishing the position of Pennsylvania Chief Nursing Officer, recognizing the crucial role that registered nurses play in the delivery of health care.
Under Senate Bill 848, the duties of the Pennsylvania Chief Nursing Officer would include:
- Advising the governor and Secretary of Health.
- Participating in the decision-making process of the Department of Health (DOH) on policies related to nursing and public health issues.
- Reviewing professional standards and practices in nursing and public health.
- Consulting with recognized experts on nursing and public health matters which are within the jurisdiction of the DOH.
- Providing advice on nursing and public health issues to the secretary and to other executive branch agencies.
- Coordinating educational, informational and other programming for the promotion of wellness, public health and nursing issues.
Senate Bill 848 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Senate also approved and sent to the House Senate Bill 230, which closes a loophole that made many senior citizens ineligible for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The bill would allow retirees to transfer those retirement account investments between accounts within 60 days without counting toward income when applying for property tax or rent relief. If those funds are not invested into another qualified retirement plan within 60 days, the funds will be considered income.
Other notable bills passed by the Senate:
- Senate Bill 1186 allocates a portion of the fee from the sale of the special USA semiquincentennial registration plate to the Pennsylvania Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial.
- House Bill 889 updates international nursing licensure exam requirements.
- Senate Bill 1043 reduces the amount of paperwork required by the Steel Products Procurement Act.
- Senate Bill 1163 protects the identities and other personal information of Pennsylvania lottery prizewinners.
CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore firstname.lastname@example.org (215) 541-2388