Budget Wraps Up Spring 2021 Legislative Activity

Governor Tom Wolf indicated he will sign the $40.8 billion state budget passed by the state legislature last week.  With bipartisan support, it was approved by the House on a 140-61 vote and passed the Senate by a 43-7 vote. There are no increases to personal or business taxes. Investments are made in continuing Covid-19 economic relief, schools, and a $2.52 billion deposit into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The budget season in Harrisburg was made significantly easier thanks to a surplus of revenue plus the $7.3 billion in federal COVID-19 relief dollars the state received.

In the flurry of activity last week, PCCJR backed HB 101 is headed to the governor. The bill will provide farmers engaged in pick-your-own businesses, corn mazes and other Agritourism activities with protections from liability risks. The bill protects Agritourism businesses from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injuries or damages. We urge the governor to sign this farm-saving bill!

Lost in the legislative shuffle of bills going to the Governor before summer recess was HB 605 – much-needed liability relief related to Covid-19. HB 605 passed the House in March but a combination of factors conspired to hold it up in the Senate. The bill would provide targeted and temporary relief for health care, businesses, and companies exposed to liability during the pandemic emergency. The targeted, temporary relief from the opportunistic lawsuits that are coming is desperately needed. PCCJR will be evaluating whether there is a path forward for this bill.

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