Legislative Coordinator

IMG_20220202_155650544

Scott Crum

lc@abatepa.org

Monthly Letter to the membership

December 2022 A.B.A.T.E. Legislative and Government Relations Update

2022 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

November: 14, 15, 16

 

2022 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE

November: 15

A.B.A.T.E Legislation Update

Legislation of interest to A.B.A.T.E is listed below. Wojdak Government Relations is working with our allies in the House and Senate to move these bills from their committee and ultimately to the Governor's desk.

HB 69

Pam Snyder (D)

Amends the Automobile Lemon Law, further providing for definitions, for repair obligations, for manufacturerl s duty for refund or replacement and for presumption of a reasonable number of attempts.

Last Action:     6-24-21 Approved by the House and referred to Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee

HB 113

Perry Stambaugh (F)(R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in general provisions, for obedience to authorized persons directing traffic and providing for drivers in organized motorcycle processions; and, in rules of the road, providing for following too closely.

Last Action:                                3-22-21 S Received in the Senate and referred to Senate Transportation

HB 478

Clint Owlett (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in snowmobiles & ATVs, for registration, for certificate of title, for transfer, for exemptions, for fees, for records, for operation on streets, for liability, for enforcement; & making editorial changes.

Last Action:               2- 9-21 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Tourism and Recreational Development

HB 1083

Tim O'Neal (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), further providing for request for lower limits of coverage, for coverages in excess of required amounts, for stacking of uninsured and underinsured benefits and option to waive.

Last Action: 04-05-21 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Insurance.

 

HB 1290

Kurt Masser (R)

Amends act of February 2, 1966, "An act encouraging landowners to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting liability in connection therewith and repealing certain acts."

Last Action:               4-27-21 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Tourism and Recreational Development

HB 1504

Zachary Mako (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in rules of the road in general, further providing for prohibiting use of hearing impairment devices.

Last Action:                                  6- 1-21 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Transportation

HB 2398

Donna Oberlander (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles) in highly automated vehicles, further providing for Highly Automated Vehicle Advisory Committee, for vehicle operation, transportation network, and for licensing, registration, insurance, & regulations.

Last Action:                         6-8-22 H Rereferred to House Rules

SB 82

Michele Brooks (R)

Amends the Automobile Lemon Law, further providing for definitions, for repair obligations, for manufacturer's duty for refund or replacement and for presumption of a reasonable number of attempts,

Last Action:                        6-8-22 H Set on tabled calendar

SB 481

Michele Brooks (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), relating to operation of vehicles, further providing for obedience to authorized persons directing traffic and providing for drivers in organized motorcycle processions, rules of the road in general.

Last Action:                                 3-25-21 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Transportation

 676

Joe Pittman (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), further providing for request for lower limits of coverage, for coverages in excess of required amounts, for stacking of uninsured and underinsured benefits and option to waive

Last Action:               07-08-22 Received in the House and referred to House Insurance

 

SB 688

Patrick Stefano (R)

Amends the Automobile Lemon Law, for definitions, for disclosure, for repair obligations, for manufacturer's duty for refund or replacement, for presumption of a reasonable number of attempts, for itemized statement required.

Last Action: 5-14-21 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure

 

SB 965

Wayne Langerholc (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), for operation of highly automated vehicles without a highly automated vehicle driver on board, for operation of highly automated vehicles with a highly automated motor vehicle driver on board.

Last Action:               6-13-22 S Set on the Senate Calendar

 

SB 1045

Mike Regan (R)

Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), further providing for registration of snowmobile or ATV, for certificate of title for snowmobile or ATV, for transfer to or from dealer, for transfer of snowmobile or ATV by operation of law, and for liability.

Last Action: 02-07-22 Introduced and referred to the committee on Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development

 

SB 1183

Patrick Browne (R)

Amends Title 42 (Judiciary & Judicial Procedure), in forfeiture of assets, further providing for asset forfeiture and providing for disposal of forfeited property; in snowmobiles & all-terrain vehicles, further providing for operation.

Last Action:               07-11-22 Approved by the Governor (Act 92)

 

SR 113

Camera Bartolotta (R)

Resolution designating the month of May 2021 as "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.

Last Action: 5-17-21 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Rules and Executive Nominations. Senator Bartolotta spoke about Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month on the Senate Floor during a session day in mid-May.

 

In the News

Department of Revenue: Revenue Department releases October 2022 collections.

Pennsylvania collected $3.1 billion in General Fund revenue in October, which was $188.8 million, or 6.4 percent, more than anticipated, Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell reported. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $12.9 billion, which is $385.1 million, or 3.1 percent, above estimate.

Sales tax receipts totaled $1.3 billion for October, $94.2 million above estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $4.8 billion, which is $137.3 million, or 2.9 percent, more than anticipated.

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in October was $1.3 billion, $68.7 million above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $5.0 billion, which is $0.5 million, or 0.0 percent, above estimate.

October corporation tax revenue of $183.4 million was $17.4 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $1.5 billion, which is $214.6 million, or 16.1 percent, above estimate

Inheritance tax revenue for the month was $123.3 million, $2.1 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $478.4 million, which is $10.5 million, or 2.1 percent, below estimate.

Realty transfer tax revenue was $64.3 million for October, $0.7 million below estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $250.0 million, which is $12.3 million, or 5.2 percent, more than anticipated.

Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor, and gaming taxes, totaled $156.8 million for the month, $2.1 million below estimate and bringing the year-to-date total to $598.2 million, which is $10.2 million, or 1.7 percent, below estimate.

Non-tax revenue totaled $45.4 million for the month, $13.5 million above estimate, bringing the year-to date total to $155.2 million, which is $41.0 million, or 35.9 percent, above estimate.

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $217.6 million for the month, $0.7 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund — which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues — total $951.1 million, which is $8.9 million, or 0.9 percent, above estimate.

Law aimed at helping foster development of highly-automated vehicle industry includes provision increasing penalty for stealing catalytic converters.

Legislation primarily aimed at helping the state foster the burgeoning highly-automated vehicle industry also includes language aimed at slowing the surge of catalytic converter thefts plaguing communities across the state.

The legislation, House Bill 2398, was amended in the Senate Transportation Committee to include

  • provisions creating new penalties for the theft of catalytic converters.

It was one of the dozens of bills signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf the beginning of November.

Catalytic converter theft has spiked across the country in recent years, from 1,298 reported thefts in 2018 to 52,206 in 2021, according to claims data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Catalytic converters are a component of an automotive vehicle's exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle's internal combustion engine into safe emissions, according to the U.S„ Department of Justice. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center, or "core", and are regularly targeted for theft due to the high value of these metals, especially the precious metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years, according to the DOJ.

The black-market price for catalytic converters can be above $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle and what state it is from. They can be stolen in less than a minute. Additionally, catalytic converters often tack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owner. Thus, the theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings, according to the DOJ.

Federal prosecutors this week announced arrests associated with what they described as a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring — with arrests, searches, and seizures taking place in California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Under the provisions of HB 2398, now Act 130, stealing a catalytic converter is a third-degree felony if the value of the catalytic converter exceeds $1,000. An offender will also face a felony count if his or her arrest is a third offense, regardless of the value of the catalytic converter.

Automated vehicle provisions

HB2398 would change the Motor Vehicle Code to allow an HAV to be tested under an automated driving system without a human in the driver's seat. It would change a current requirement that a licensed human driver drive or be in actual physical control of an HAV even when it's being tested.

The legislation reflects an effort by a Pittsburgh-based coalition of vehicle tech companies, research firms, universities and PennDOT to make Pennsylvania a center for developing autonomous vehicles and build on its reputation as a research leader in this field.

Several Democratic senators have complained about the lack of bill provisions providing for jobs in the HAV industry to go to unionized workers.

HB2398 will help Pennsylvania compete with other states that have already changed their HAV laws, said bill sponsor House Majority Whip Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion.

HB2398 would preempt ordinances, policies, and rules of a local government regarding HAVs but would require a certificate holder to give written notice to a municipality of plans to operate an HAV within its boundaries at least 10 days in advance and have a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage.

Turnpike reform measures signed into law.

Several measures from the Turnpike Reform Package have been signed into law under Act 112 of 2022

The Act, among other measures, includes provisions that will help recoup some of the more than $150 million in uncollected Turnpike tolls and reestablish public confidence in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Specifically, the law will:

  • Require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to submit an annual report to the General Assembly that outlines revenue from collected tolls as well as missed revenue from uncollected tolls during the prior fiscal year.
  • Lower the threshold needed to trigger a registration suspension from six unpaid tolls to four, or from $500 in total unpaid dues to $250.
  • Raise the statute of limitations from three years to five years, so Turnpike officials have a longer window to pursue offenders.
  • Make it unlawful to obstruct, manipulate, or remove a license plate from a vehicle to impede electronic toll collection.
  • Require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to conduct a feasibility study to assess alternative electronic toll collection payment options

Act 112 of 2022 will take effect in 60 days.