PA General Assembly reconvenes to discuss dozens of bills

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HARRISBURG, Pa.--  Several Pennsylvania House and Senate committees are scheduled to meet Monday morning before the general assembly reconvenes in the afternoon.

One bill could decide what it might take for kids to be able graduate high school.

A joint public hearing of the Education and the Veteran Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees will discuss House Bill 1858.

The bill it proposes, beginning with the 2020 school year, that in order for kids to graduate high school, or for someone to get their general equivalency diploma, or GED, they have to pass a test.

Students would have to be able to correctly answer 60 percent of the questions that are the same as the civics test given to immigrants hoping to become by U.S. citizens.

Meanwhile, the House Transportation committee will take a look at bills allowing for the use of automated license plate readers, as the senate consumer protection committee looks at ensuring safe opioid prescriptions.

A series of gaming oversight bills take a look at regulating games of chance.

House Bill 1313 may seem like an unlucky number for some, but it would allow the authorization of new games such as pull tabs, providing for distributor licenses and major league sports drawings, as well as vertical wheel and poker run permits.

The bill eliminates the weekly prize limit, creates new licensing procedures and a new tax on small games purchased by club and tavern licenses.

House Bill 1925 would provide excess money to the compulsive and problem gambling fund.

In regards to gaming and the general assembly closing the state's $1 .3 billion dollar budget gap, Pennsylvania lottery cash winnings are now subject to state income tax to help pay for that shortfall.

Many of the bills up for discussion also focus on benefits for retiring state workers and consumer protection, as well as the safety of people and animals.

A consumer affairs bill would establish statewide licensing requirements and service standards for transportation network companies.

Senate Bill 874 would modify the way cemetery and funeral products are sold and prohibit delivery before its needed in most cases.

Senate Bill 594 would provide for a first degree misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals.

House Bill 1064 would provide immunity to health care providers who deliver emergency health care services.