What Municipalities Need to Know in 2019: Newly Signed Pennsylvania Legislation

January 29, 2019

Act 78 of 2018: UNLAWFUL USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT AND PROHIBITING LOCAL REGULATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to prohibit the intentional or knowing use of a drone to: conduct surveillance of another in a private place; operate in a manner which places another person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, or; to deliver, provide, transmit or furnish contraband.  There are several enumerated exceptions to this amendment relating to law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical responders, utility employees, and others while engaged in the performance of their official duties.

Act 78 of 2018 preempts and supersedes any regulation of a municipality relating to the ownership or operation of drones. However, “nothing under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3505 prohibits a municipality from using unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of the municipality for municipal purposes and regulating that use.”

 

Act 103 of 2018: EMERGENCY SERVICES AND QUALITY EYE CARE FOR INSURED PENNSYLVANIANS

Amending the Insurance Company Law of 1921, act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.682, No.284) (40 P.S. § 991.2116), to require managed care plans to “pay all reasonably necessary costs associated with emergency services provided during the period of emergency, subject to all copayments, coinsurances or deductibles” and to prohibit such plans from denying a claim for payment “solely because the enrollee did not require transport or refused to be transported” by a licensed emergency medical services agency.

 

Act 142 of 2018: LETTING CONTRACTS

Amending the Second Class Township Code, Section 3102(h)(8) (53 P.S. § 68102(h)(8)), to exclude from competitive bidding requirements the purchase of used “personal property” (i.e., equipment, articles, apparatus, etc.) from a volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service, or volunteer rescue squad, in addition to other entities previously enumerated in section (h)(8).

 

Act 145 of 2018: RESTITUTION FOR INJURIES TO PERSON OR PROPERTY AND VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS

Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to include “an affected government agency” in the definition of “victim” and to allow restitution to be made to “any affected government agency” secondary only to the individual victim of a crime.

 

Act 156 of 2018: EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

Amending the Sunshine Act, Section 708(a) of Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to allow executive sessions to be held to discuss matters that are “deemed necessary for emergency preparedness, protection of public safety and security of all property in a manner that if disclosed would be reasonably likely to jeopardize or threaten public safety or preparedness or public protection.”

For more information about municipal laws, please contact Alexis M. Wheeler at awheeler@smgglaw.com  or at (412) 281-5423.