Controversial minimum royalty bill reintroduced in the House

Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) is once again leading the charge on legislation that would protect natural gas leaseholders against drilling companies deducting post-production costs from royalties due to the leaseholders to the point where the royalties fall below those guaranteed by the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act.

Last session, Rep. Everett was the prime sponsor of House Bill 1684, which was heavily debated but failed to get a full vote from the House of Representatives after it was dogged by industry concerns.

“We fought for this legislation in the previous session in the form of House Bill 1684 and did not get a full floor vote,” said Rep. Everett in a statement. “We were able to get bipartisan support from the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee last session and hope to get that again, but we will also press very hard for the full House to consider it. I believe it is imperative that we gain fairness for conventional and Marcellus natural gas land owners and operators.”

The bill is co-prime sponsored by Representatives Matt Baker (R-Tioga), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford), and Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Capitol Quick Hits for 6.23.15

Capitol Quick Hits for 6.23.15

Here are the highlights from news conferences, rallies, and advocacy days held in the Capitol today: 

  • Pennsylvanians from manufacturing, small business, education, labor and supply chain companies stood with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business in the Main Capitol Rotunda today to highlight the economic and job creation benefits of responsible shale gas development.
  • Hundreds of parents, students, clergy, local community leaders, and educators from across the state joined members of the Campaign for Fair Education in the Main Capitol Rotunda to urge lawmakers to create a basic education funding system to ensure that all students have access to a quality education no matter where they live.
  • The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provided an update on the “Fill a Glass with Hope” Campaign in the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Grove behind the Capitol building. The campaign is a fresh milk distribution program, which currently supplies more than 3,000 quarts of fresh milk to individuals each week.
  • Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) was joined by Reps. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna), Matt Baker (R-Bradford), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford) and Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna) in the Main Capitol Rotunda to reintroduce legislation to guard natural gas royalty owners from unjustified post-production cost deductions. Rep. Everett said the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act states that a lease for oil or natural gas shall guarantee a minimum one-eighth (12.5 percent) royalty.
  • A coalition of reformers and legislators announced a campaign to reform Pennsylvania’s civil asset forfeiture laws. A 501c organization called Fix Forfeiture will spearhead the drive, aimed at curbing abuse of laws that permit law enforcement to seize and keep the assets of suspected criminals. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central
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VIDEO: "We're going to continue to talk until I have a budget that I can sign"- Gov. Wolf after latest budget meeting

VIDEO: "We're going to continue to talk until I have a budget that I can sign"- Gov. Wolf after latest budget meeting

After Tuesday's scheduled budget meeting with Republican leaders, Gov. Wolf highlights what was discussed. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Bills aimed at more transparent collective bargaining make their way to the House Floor

Bills aimed at more transparent collective bargaining make their way to the House Floor

Two Senate bills that sponsors say would bring more transparency to collective bargaining negotiations made their way out of the House State Government Committee Tuesday morning and now head to the House Floor for consideration.

Senate Bill 644 by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) would require the Independent Fiscal Office to conduct a fiscal impact study of any collective bargaining agreement before it is officially enacted.

“Senate Bill 644 represents an ongoing effort to bring openness and transparency to state government,” Sen. Folmer said of his bill. “[It] does this by focusing on the cost, not on the details associated with the Commonwealth’s collective bargaining agreements.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Impasse or progress? Budget negotiators spin status of talks

Impasse or progress? Budget negotiators spin status of talks

Budget principals left Tuesday’s closed-door discussion calling the relatively short meeting a planning session to set the stage for the coming week’s negotiations.

However, the progress of the overall negotiations was cast in different shades by different negotiators.

Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) continued to say there remains a wide gulf on issues that should be on the table for discussion.

“If the governor is not willing to move, we are prepared to move on pension reform and liquor privatization,” he said. “The Senate leadership and the House leadership—the Republicans—are moving forward together on making sure we have a responsible budget done on time if the governor is not willing to move on important issues.”

He said that budget will be done by the June 30 deadline.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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