Oct. 28, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Bill to Make No Trespassing Markings Easier to Spot Approved by Committee

My bill to give landowners, particularly farmers, more options to post their property as areas not to trespass on was approved by the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support on Tuesday.

Under my House Bill 1772, landowners would be able to use special purple paint to mark their property boundaries and alert others not to trespass on it. The paint, which is in use in other parts of the country, is specially labeled and available in stores.

A landowner’s only option to post his or her land now is to use signs, some of which are made of cardboard, that deteriorate over the years, or are removed either by accident or through nefarious acts. This bill gives landowners another viable, cost-effective option to dissuade trespassing.

To learn more, click here.
 
 
Protecting Innocent Lives

I attended a press conference to protect babies with beating hearts. The legislation would require physicians, before proceeding with an abortion, to determine whether the baby has a heartbeat. If the baby has a heartbeat, then the abortion cannot be performed. This will eliminate the need to establish a gestational age in legislation and will reflect the science showing that more than 90 percent of pregnancies in which a heartbeat is detected are viable.

To learn more about House Bill 1977 and its companion in the Senate, Senate Bill 912. To watch the full press conference, click here.
 
 
Committee Approves Bill to Help Policymakers Better Manage State Pensions

Legislation I introduced to give members of the General Assembly information critical to ensuring sound fiscal management of Pennsylvania’s employee pension funds was approved by the House State Government Committee on Tuesday.

Taxpayer dollars used to fund state employee pensions are tied up in various investments and the return on these investments fluctuates with the markets. Though predicting how investments will do is never a sure thing, this would help lawmakers better manage the two state pension systems.

Under House Bill 1962, the actuaries for Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) would each be required to conduct annual stress tests. Each test would include various scenario analyses, simulation analyses and sensitivity analyses.

A stress test is a simulation designed to determine the ability of a given financial investment program to withstand economic crisis. For pension plans, this would entail analyzing key assumptions about future investment returns under various economic conditions and scenarios. Conducting stress tests allows policymakers to identify unsustainable financial practices and risks before they become critical.

The fiscal health of our state pension plans has been challenged since the 2008 recession. Another economic downturn could be devastating to the funds, and it is incumbent upon policymakers to assure responsible investment practices and sound fiscal management are being utilized by fund managers.

To learn more, click here.
 
 
Victims Bill of Rights Question on Ballot Nov. 5

Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution when they head to the polls on Nov. 5.

The question reads as follows: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to grant certain rights to crime victims, including to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity; considering their safety in bail proceedings; timely notice and opportunity to take part in public proceedings; reasonable protection from the accused; right to refuse discovery requests made by the accused; restitution and return of property; proceedings free from delay; and to be informed of these rights, so they can enforce them?”

The question is being placed on the ballot after lawmakers approved legislation known as “Marsy’s Law” in two consecutive legislative sessions.

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California. She was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Just days later, her mother and brother were confronted by the accused murderer in a grocery store. They were unaware the defendant had been released on bail.
 
 
House in Session This Week

The House is back in session this week. You can stay up on all the latest news on my website, www.RepKeefer.com and the House GOP site, www.PAHouseGOP.com, where you can also find this week’s schedule.
 
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Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com
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