PA is getting almost a dozen new laws, including prohibition of late fees for those who have died and more

02 July 2024- Over the last few days, the Pennsylvania budget, or lack thereof, has made headlines across the state. What hasn’t gotten the attention, however, is a series of bills signed into law that affect everyone in the Commonwealth. The full list that has been signed in the last week is below.

Act 29 of 2024, aka Prohibiting Early Termination Fees for Deceased Individuals

After the death of a loved one, family members and friends often have to end services that the deceased was using like phone bills, cable bills, and more. Authored by Rep Joe Ciresi, Act 29 mandates that businesses cannot charge an early termination fee for the conclusion of services to a person who has passed away.

Act 30 of 2024, aka Allowing Recycled Materials in Stuffed Toys

Authored by Representative Jason Dawkins, the Act directly makes amendments to the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act, which was originally passed in 1961. Toys at that time did not have recycled materials in them, and that has since changed, says Dawkins and the other authors of the Act. The new Act provides manufacturers and retailers the ability to, “make and sell stuffed toys with recycled materials in our state, as they do throughout the rest of the country.”

Act 31 of 2024, aka Strengthening the Self-Service Storage Facility Act

Authored by Representative Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, the act expands upon the 1982 Self-Service Storage Facility Act. The Act amends the previous bill by changing language involving lack of payment. Focusing on the sale of the contents of the unit, it changes language to help storage unit companies and businesses get delinquent units emptied and regain rental income from the property instead of sitting in limbo.

Act 33 of 2024, aka Free Credit Monitoring for Victims of Data Breaches

Penned by Senators Tracy Pennycuick and Jimmy Dillon, the bill provides enhancements to Pennsylvania’s Breach of Personal Information Act. The Act requires businesses and organizations to notify the Attorney General’s Office of a data breach that impacts more than 500 individuals, as well as offering a free credit report once a month for six months following the breach and credit monitoring services for one year post attack.

Act 34 of 2024

Authored by Senator Scott Hutchinson, the bill changes regulations around the initial deposits for newly organized cemetery companies in the state of Pennsylvania. The Act exempts municipalities and counties from some deposit and registration requirements for the cemetery companies.

Act 36 of 2024, aka Operation Inherent Resolve License Plate

Authored by a man currently deployed to the Horn of Africa with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Act 36 provides PennDOT to create a license plate that can be chosen by vets to remember those who served in Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. Rep Joe Kerwin, the Act’s author, says the Act provides for, “a registration plate for these veterans to proudly display their service on their vehicles.”

Act 37 of 2024, aka Native Vegetation Along Pennsylvania’s Highways

Authored by Representative Brett Miller, the Act directs PennDOT to “plant vegetation which has been identified by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as being native to Pennsylvania”. Additionally. PennDOT is required to develop a list of native vegetation species that can go on the roadway and have a plan in place for the future of vegetation along the highways.

Act 38 of 2024, aka Modernizing Pennsylvania’s Acupuncture Law

As acupuncture practices have exploded in recent years, the Act authored by Rep Pat Gallagher amends the existing Acupuncture Licensing Act, “to provide title protection for licensed acupuncturists and practitioners.” Additionally, the Act provides changes to those who are licensed in other states to practice in certain capacities in the state of Pennsylvania.

Act 39 of 2024, aka Precision Medicine: “Biomarker” testing

Authored by Representatives Kyle Mullins and Bryan Cutler, the legislation requires health insurance coverage for a bevy of “biomarker” tests. These tests can identify proper treatment regiments for a number of disease, including cancer and ALS.

Act 40 of 2024, aka Including Elder Abuse under the Slayer Statue

Authored by Representatives Liz Hanbidge and Paul Schemel, the Act amends the Slayer Statue. That statute, ” was enacted in 1972 to effectuate a policy that individuals should not profit from the wrong they commit”. By adding Elder Abuse to the statute, it would make beneficiaries of a deceased elderly person ineligible to gain those benefits. That person, though, would need to be convicted of elder abuse in a court of law.

Act 41 of 2024, aka Uniform Commercial Code Amendments

Amending and modernizing the Uniform Commercial Code, this bill authored by Senator Greg Rothman provides, “clear and uniform rules to govern digital asset transactions.”