LEG REG REVIEW 2015, 2nd Issue *** January 16, 2015

LEG REG REVIEW is a periodic newsletter produced by PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES, a professional lobbying and consultant firm located near the State Capitol.  It contains news on the legislative and regulatory scene in Pennsylvania that may be of interest to the Insurance and Business Communities.  It is a free member benefit for those who are members of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU).  Subscription information may be obtained by contacting PHILLIPS ASSOCIATES at 717/728-1217 FAX 717/232-7005 or e-mail to xenobun@aol.com.  Please email jtrout2792@aol.com supplying both your name and e-mail address if you wish to be removed from or added to this list.

 

WOLF MAKES MORE NOMINATIONS

Incoming Governor Tom Wolf is nominating several more Cabinet Secretaries. 

–          Agriculture — Russell Redding, Dean of the Ag Department at DelawareValleyUniversity and former Secretary of Agriculture in the Rendell Administration.  He is a strong Crop Insurance advocate.

–          Banking & Securities — Robin Weissmann, Artemis Capital Group/ vice president, Goldman Sachs

–          Budget — Randy Albright, Democratic Executive Director, Senate Appropriations Committee

–          Corrections — John Wetzel, a holdover from the Corbett Administration

–          Conservation & Natural Resources — Cindy Dunn, president PennFuture environmental group

–          Environmental Protection — John Quigley, former Sec. of Dept. Conservation & Natural Resources

–          Dept. General Services — Curt Topper, GeorgetownUniversity’s head of purchasing and contract functions

–          Insurance Department — Teresa Miller, former HHS exchange official and Oregon insurance regulator

–          Transportation — Leslie Richards, MontgomeryCounty Commissioner

–          Others include former Senator Tim Solobay (D-Washington) as Fire Commissioner, Richard Flinn, FEMA deputy director as head of PA Emergency Management Agency, Major General James Joseph to be Adjunct General, Dept. Military & Veterans Affairs, and Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Marcus Brown as PA State Police Commissioner.

 

SENATE’S TURN: COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Last week’s Leg Reg Review listed House committee chairs. 

Committee                                          Majority (Republican)                      Minority (Democrat)                        

Aging & Youth                                                Michelle Brooks (Mercer)                  Arthur Haywood (Montgomery)

Agriculture/Rural Affairs                     Elder Vogel (Beaver)                           Judy Schwank (Berks.)

Appropriations                                     Pat Browne (Lehigh)                          Vincent Hughes (Phila.)

Banking & Insurance                           Don White (Indiana)                            Matt Smith (Allegheny)

Communications/Tech.                                    Scott Hutchinson (Venango)                Larry Farnese (Phila.)

Community/Economic/Rec. Dev.        Kim Ward (Westmoreland)                  Sean Wiley (Erie)

Consumer Protection/Prof. Licensure  ‘Tommy’ Tomlinson (Bucks)              Lisa Boscola (Northampton)

Education                                            Lloyd Smucker (Lancaster)               Andy Dinniman (Chester.)

Environmental Resources/Energy        Gene Yaw (Lycoming)                        John Yudichak (Luzerne)

Finance                                                            John Eichelberger (Blair)                  John Blake (Lackawanna)

Game & Fisheries                                Mario Scavello (Monroe)                   James Brewster (Allegheny)

Intergovernmental Operations              Ryan Aument (Lancaster)                  Sean Wiley (Erie)

Judiciary                                              Stewart Greenleaf (Montgomery)         Daylin Leach (Montgomery)

Labor & Industry                                 Lisa Baker (Luzerne)                         Christine Tartaglione (Phila.)

Law & Justice                                      Charles McIlhinney (Bucks)                James Brewster (Allegheny)

Local Government                               Dominic Pileggi (Delaware)               Rob Teplitz (Dauphin)

Public Health & Welfare                      Pat Vance (Cumberland)                      Shirley Kitchen (Phila.)

Rules                                                   Jake Corman (Centre)                                   Jay Costa (Allegheny)

State Government                                Mike Folmer (Lebanon)                     Anthony Williams (Phila.)

Transportation                                     John Rafferty (Montgomery)               John Wozniak (Cambria)

Urban Affairs/Housing                                    Scott Wagner (York)                          Wayne Fontana (Allegheny)

Veterans Affairs/Emerg. Prep.             Randy Kulakovich (Allegheny)          Jay Costa (Allegheny)

 

ON THE NATIONAL FRONT…

  • Property/Casualty:  Reauthorization of TRIA (Terrorism Risk Insurance Reauthorization Act) passed both chambers of the new Congress and was signed into law by President Obama.  TRIA’s authority had expired December 31, 2014.  HR 26 puts the next TRIA expiration date to December 31, 2020 and is retroactive to January 1st of this year.  Every PA Member of Congress in both House and Senate voted for passage.  The House vote was 416-5 and the Senate vote was 93-4.
  • Health:  A PPACA-related piece of legislation passed the US House on January 8.  HR 30 changes PPACA’s definition of full-time to 40 hours (now 30 hours).  Vote was 252-172 with all PA Republicans voting yes and all PA Democrats voting no.  The White House has already threatened to veto the measure.  PA sponsors include Representatives Barletta, Costello, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Pitts, Perry and Rothfus — all Republicans.
  • Health: Also passed by the US House January 6 by a 412-0 vote was HR 22 to exempt veterans receiving VA health benefits from being counted towards the threshold triggering the PPACA employer mandate.  Pennsylvania sponsors include Representatives Barletta, Costello, Fitzpatrick, Meehan, and Thompson — all Republicans.
  • Reinsurance:  According to the national Professional Insurance Agents Association (PIA), the Federal Government may be moving to preempt state laws governing regulation of reinsurers.  According to PIA, this was found in a memo issued January 2, 2015, by the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), an entity created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act (financial regulation) to study state regulation and determine where Federal action might be sought to ensure uniformity.

 

POLITICS

  • A special House election has been set for March 24 to fill the Philadelphia seat vacated by Brendan Boyle who is the new Democratic US congressman from the 13th district.
  • Mike Stack will resign his Philadelphia Senate seat on January 20 when he is sworn in as Lt. Governor.
  • Outgoing Lt. Governor Jim Cawley will be named president & CEO of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia.  Governor Corbett’s plans have not been announced.

 

NARAB II SIGNED INTO LAW

A national producer license was created by HR 26 (the TRIA reauthorization bill) which passed the US Congress and was signed into law.  National Association of Agents and Brokers (NARAB) would allow a producer to seek national standing, meaning that he/she could potentially have a non-resident license in every state by applying once nationally.  States would still be able to veto a NARAB licensee in their state if that person does not meet criteria for licensing.  NABAB would be governed by a Board of eight insurance commissioners and five private sector representatives appointed by the President and confirmed by the US Senate.  States would be prohibited from imposing discriminatory laws, regulations, or licensing fees on NARAB members.  The Big I published a more detailed summary of the legislation.  https://www.iamagazine.com/docs/default-source/Legislative-Activity/narabdetails.pdf?sfvrsn=0

 

INDUSTRY NOTES

  • Date for Pittsburgh I-Day has been set for April 24.  Details: https://www.insclubpgh.com/I-Day.php
  • Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the Nation in 2014 dog bite claims according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm with 180 claims and $5.8 million paid.  The top four states are California, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.  Nationally, dog assaults cost the insurance industry $483.7 million in 2014.
  • Per a January 14 Insurance & Financial Advisor article, natural catastrophic losses hit a five-year low in 2014 according to Aon Benfield.  Losses were $132 billion, 37% lower than a ten-year average of $211 billion.  The costliest US losses were severe thunderstorms in May ($2.9 billion).  Details: https://thoughtleadership.aonbenfield.com/Documents/20150113_ab_if_annual_climate_catastrophe_report.pdf

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