Law­mak­ers rush to wrap up fi­nal ses­sion votes

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Marc Levy and Mark Scol­foro

HARRISBURG >> Penn­syl­va­nia law­mak­ers re­turned to the Capi­tol on Wed­nes­day to face a rush to wrap up work on dozens of bills on what was ex­pected to be their last day of votes in the two-year leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

Mea­sures up for fi­nal pas­sage could in­clude Repub­li­cans’ long-sought leg­is­la­tion to over­haul ben­e­fits in Penn­syl­va­nia’s two mas­sive public pen­sion plans and another to tem­po­rar­ily ex­tend a man­date that casi­nos pay tens of millions of dol­lars to host com­mu­ni­ties.

Law­mak­ers ex­pected to work late into the night. Bills that do not pass Wed­nes­day will die when the leg­isla­tive ses­sion ends Nov. 30, un­less House or Sen­ate leaders make an 11th-hour de­ci­sion to sched­ule votes on another day be­fore then.

Other items on tap in­clude mea­sures to fight opi­oid ad­dic­tion; to ban elec­tive abor­tions af­ter 20 weeks, com­pared to 24 weeks in cur­rent law; and to make it eas­ier for gun own­ers and groups — in­clud­ing the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion — to sue mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties over their firearms or­di­nances.

The abor­tion bill and the firearms bill both face a likely veto by Demo­cratic Gov. Tom Wolf. He has been non­com­mit­tal about the pro­posed pen­sion changes.

Also pend­ing is a bill that would lift time lim­its for some per­pe­tra­tors of child sex­ual abuse to be sued by their vic­tims and pros­e­cuted by author­i­ties. How­ever, a bone of con­tention was the Sen­ate’s re­jec­tion of a pro­vi­sion ap­proved over­whelm­ingly by the House to retroac­tively re­store the abil­ity of for­mer child vic­tims to sue for dam­ages if they are now older than the cur­rent le­gal age limit of 30.

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