Governor Signs PBA-Supported Legislation
In late October, the governor signed into law three pieces of PBA-supported legislation, House Bill 1616, Senate Bill 79 and Senate Bill 1442.
With Gov. Tom Corbett at the Nov. 19, 2012, ceremonial signing of Act 152 are sponsor Rep. Gordon Denlinger, R-Lancaster County, to the governor's left; William H. Clark Jr. of the PBA Business Law Section, to the governor's right; and standing, from left, Francis J. O'Rourke, PBA deputy executive director; Fredrick Cabell Jr., PBA director of legislative affairs; Forest N. Myers, PBA president-elect; Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr., PBA president; and Barry M. Simpson, PBA executive director
Act 152 of 2012 (HB 1616) provides an important addition to Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by creating a new form of business entity known as a benefit corporation and redefining the fiduciary duty of the directors of such a corporation allowing them to take non-financial interests into consideration when making decisions for the corporation. Under the act, a benefit corporation is able to operate in a manner that produces benefits for society. The directors must still consider the interests of the shareholders, but the directors are also required to consider the interests of society. The directors are required to balance those interests. This bill was introduced for the first time during the present legislative session, and would likely not have become law in such an expeditious manner but for the hard work on the part of the Business Law Section Council, including William H. Clark Jr., and the strong and almost exclusive support of the PBA. Pennsylvania joins 11 other states in now allowing for benefit corporations.
Act 183 of 2012 (SB 79) adds to Title 42 (the Judicial Code) the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). The UIDDA covers situations where a case will be tried in one state but discovery in another state is needed in preparation for that trial. While each state has rules to govern such situations, the rules are not uniform across the country. The UIDDA establishes a uniform, easy to follow, cost effective, and fair procedure for the taking of such discovery. The Bar played an important role in the enactment of this legislation, suggesting needed amendments to the original bill, which were adopted prior to the legislation's passage into law.
Act 192 of 2012 (SB 1442) amends Title 51 (Military Affairs), repealing and adding sections to the Pennsylvania Code of Military Justice. National Guard units serve in state or federal status. In federal status they are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); in state status discipline is by the governor, and a consistent code does not exist. Act 192 remedies this lack of uniformity. It follows the Model State Code of Military Justice, which draws from the UCMJ as its seminal body of law, and has Department of Defense approval. Uniformity facilitates force integration and inter-operability between units serving in state and units serving in federal status, helps maintain order and discipline parity, and prepares Guard members for federal status duty.
PBA-Supported Bills Signed by the Governor, July 5, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed the following PBA-supported bills into law.
Senate Bill 100, which passed the Senate unanimously on a concurrence vote on June 25. Sen. Greenleaf's bill amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses), 42 and 61 (Prisons and Parole), making statutory changes relating to the powers and duties of the Commission on Sentencing; the definitions of "burglary" and "crime of violence"; the county intermediate punishment program; sanctions for probation violators; the definition of "official visitor"; eligibility of offenders for alternative sentencing programs; a comprehensive re-entry program; parole to deportation; and community corrections centers and facilities.
House Bill 970, which passed the Senate as amended unanimously on June 25 and passed the House on concurrence unanimously on June 29. Rep. Longietti's bill authorizes county recorders of deeds to receive electronic documents as a means for recording real property. The bill also creates the Electronic Recording Commission.
House Bill 1720, which passed the Senate unanimously on June 26. Rep. Hennessey's bill amends Title 20 by adding the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). The UAGPPJA provides a uniform mechanism for addressing multi-jurisdictional adult guardianship issues.
PBA-Supported Bill Passes the House
H.B. 2159 passed the House unanimously on June 25. Rep. Grell's bill amends secured transactions law. Most significantly, it defines an individual borrower's correct name on the relevant paperwork - the name on the borrower's Pennsylvania driver's license or non-driver's license PennDOT-issued ID card. For those without either ID, the borrower's individual name or surname and first personal name is to be used. The bill also further defines a business's correct name. In addition, the bill provides updates for electronic technology.
The Sales Tax Bill Moves from One Committee to Another in the House
H.B. 1776 was reported from the House Finance Committee with request to be re-referred to the House Appropriations Committee and then was re-referred to the Appropriations Committee on June 27. Rep. Cox's bill eliminates school property taxes and replaces lost revenue with, among other things, a broadening of the sales and use tax base. The sales/use tax would apply to legal services (with some exclusions), personal care services, transportation services, basic TV, veterinary fees, parking lots and garages, food, newspapers, magazines, clothing, footwear, non-prescription drugs, textbooks, etc. For a full listing of the newly taxable goods and services see H.B. 1776. The bill also authorizes each school district to impose personal income tax. The PBA opposes the imposition of any sales, business receipts or other form of transaction tax on legal services.
Please note that the Legislative Boxscore is updated each night to reflect the legislative activity of bills during the previous session day. If you are tracking particular bills on which the PBA has a position, the Legislative Boxscore will provide you timely information.
Courtesy of Pennsylvania Legislature Web site at
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