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Saturday, April 9, 2011

PA House Of Representatives Schedule For Week Of April 11, 2011

Lawsuit Abuse Reform to Save Taxpayer Dollars, Self and Public Protection, and Mandate Relief for Municipalities on Tap at PA House

The state House returns to session on Monday, April 11, to deal with various issues of importance.

Lawsuit Abuse, the Fair Share Act
Commonsense lawsuit abuse reform tops the House agenda next week as House Bill 1 is set for its third and final vote in the House. Each year, according to the acting attorney general, the Commonwealth is sued; currently, more than 1,300 tort cases are pending against the state. The majority of these cases involve the Pennsylvania Department (PennDOT) where an uninsured, or under-insured, driver caused death or bodily injury. The plaintiffs are just looking for someone to pay, regardless of fault.

Current Pennsylvania law allows a defendant, who may be only 1 percent responsible for the injuries to a plaintiff to be held liable for 100 percent of the damages if others are unable to pay. For instance, a plaintiff can include a tour bus operator which brought a customer to a mall, and while at the mall, the customer slipped and fell on a wet floor. The customer, becoming the plaintiff, sues the janitor, the mall, the stores within sight of the accident, and the bus company for bringing the plaintiff to the mall in the first place.

Is that fair? The Pennsylvania House will vote to decide just that on Monday when it votes HB 1.
The Fair Share Act passed the General Assembly twice, first in 2002 when Gov. Mark Schweiker signed the legislation, only to have the Supreme Court overturn the law on technical grounds. The second time the Fair Share Act passed the General Assembly in 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell broke his promise to sign the legislation and instead vetoed it.

Castle Doctrine: It is Simple, Protecting Victims Instead of Criminals
Tuesday, April 12, the House will vote whether to send House Bill 40, the Castle Doctrine, to the Senate for consideration. The Castle Doctrine legislation would allow citizens to defend themselves and their families while in their homes, vehicles and any place they have a lawful right to be. It will be taken up by the House this coming week. The legislation gives the benefit of the doubt to the victim of a crime, rather than the criminal as current law allows. The bill also strengthens the penalties related to the trafficking of stolen guns.
Raising Bid Limits for Local Government Mandate Relief

On Monday, April 11, the House will debate amendments to a 13-bill package to increase non-bid contract maximums, saving municipalities from the costs of advertising and bidding low-costing contracts and services.

As various state programs will experience budget cuts this year due to the economy, helping municipalities save money is one of the priorities House members are working together to accomplish.

Third consideration is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12.

The Weekly Schedule

Bill numbers will be used to identify the legislation being considered either in committee or on the House floor. The bills, sponsors and summaries are posted HERE.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

If townships and boroughs don't have to advertise for bids there will be alot more crooked deals here in southern potter!