Apr. 14, 2017

Discussing Health Care Legislation with the Allegheny County Bar Association 

As House Speaker, I travel across the state to discuss issues that constituents and businesses deal with regularly. This week, I met with the Allegheny County Bar Association Health Law Section in Pittsburgh.

We had a substantive conversation about medial liability reform, including our success in passing the Fair Share Act in 2012. In such cases, a defendant will be held responsible only for his or her proportionate share of the total damages. A reform known as the “apology legislation” also passed in 2013, which allows a doctor to express empathy without fearing their statements will be used against them. We also discussed House Bill 1037, legislation that would cap punitive damages to long-term facilities.

Finally, we conversed about the opioid crisis – an important issue to many Pennsylvanians. The General Assembly has already passed several laws to address this drug epidemic. Click here to view the latest efforts.

I enjoyed speaking to my many friends at the Allegheny County Bar Association Health Law Section. Thank you for the invitation.
Touring Duquesne Light Company


Pictured with me are (from left) David Fisfis, vice president and general counsel; and Rich Riazzi, president and chief executive officer.

This week, I toured the Duquesne Light training center in Pittsburgh. I got an up-close and personal look at how the staff serves nearly 600,000 customers in Allegheny and Beaver counties in a productive and safe manner. The company is investing more than $2.6 billion in infrastructure and technology upgrades between 2010 and 2020. After my tour, I spoke at a luncheon about my legislative priorities and answered questions from the staff.

I want to thank Duquesne Light’s management team for giving me the opportunity to learn about their outstanding company.
Road Maintenance in Pine Township

To repair a landslide, Brown Road in Pine Township will be closed between Pineview Drive and Reynolds Road beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 17.

Traffic will be detoured using Pearce Mill Road, Wexford Road and Perry Highway. Traffic trying to access Wexford Middle School should follow the detour to Perry Highway to Brown Road.

The work is anticipated to last for one month.
Protecting Taxpayers

To give taxpayers greater peace of mind that their tax money is being deposited in the appropriate accounts, the House passed legislation recently to prohibit checks from being made payable to an individual.

House Bill 16 would require checks to be made payable to the name of the tax collector along with the office, title, or position and be deposited into a separate bank account only used for tax money.

Current law does not specify how taxes are to be paid, so it is left to individual tax collectors to determine how they want checks made out for the payment of taxes and in which account the tax money is to be deposited.

The legislation is now with the Senate for review.
Ending the Death Tax on Children

Legislation to eliminate the inheritance tax for transfers of property from a parent to a child age 21 and younger passed the state House recently. Currently, property transferred from a parent to a minor child is subject to an inheritance tax rate of 4.5 percent. House Bill 291 seeks to exempt property transfers from the tax.

This is a continuation of our efforts to reform the inheritance tax. We passed Act 52 of 2013 to eliminate the inheritance tax for small business and family farm assets under $5 million.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.