Legislative Developments

  • PA Capitol BuildingOn February 10, the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee reported House Bill 188 (Sonney-R-Erie) adding wind power generation to the list of permissible right of ways for preserved farmland owners under the Agricultural Area Security Law. Sponsors include six Republicans and seven Democrats.  Another easement bill (HB 458 (Ross-R-Chester) allowing for a trail easement was referred to the committee February 12.
  • Senate Bill 50 (Schwank-D-Berks) permits cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in PA.  Six of the eight sponsors are Democrats. The hemp legislation was referred to the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.
  • Taken up by the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee are two bills:
  • Senate Bill 352 (Vogel-R-Beaver) consolidates the State Racing & Harness Racing Commissions into one regulatory entity, a new commission comprised of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Of the bill’s 10 sponsors, six are Republican and four are Democrats.
  • Senate Bill 201 (Schwank-D-Berks) is a re-introduction of legislation to more closely align standards for PA’s Farmland Preservation and the PA Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act (Clean and Green.) Legislation would amend Clean-and-Green to allow a landowner to lease an area to a third-party for a rural enterprise as currently defined for Farmland Preservation purposes. Of the bill’s sponsors, five are Republican and six are Democrats. Sponsors include both Majority and Minority Chairs of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.

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