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Act 12 - A Brief Legislative History

Act 12 originated as HB1326 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  It passed through the legislative process pretty quickly.  The key events were:


#1 - The bill was introduced by Representative Robert Godshall on June 11, 2015.  On the same day it was referred to the Consumer Affairs Committee. 

#2 - Only 13 days later on June 24, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Committee voted 13 ‑ 0 to approve the bill.  This seems unusually quick, but Robert Godshall was the chairman of the committee.  The committee chairs have a lot of control over what the committee processes.  So that bill flew through. 

#3 - The bill next went to the House Appropriations Committee.  Four months later, on October 20, 2015, that committee also approved the bill 36 ‑ 0.

#4 - On the same day that the bill was approved by the Appropriations Committee, the full House voted on the bill.  It passed 176 ‑ 21. 

#5 - The bill was sent to the PA Senate and assigned to the Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee.  After five months, on March 15, 2016, the committee voted to approve the bill 13 ‑ 0.

#6 - Just seven days later, on March 23, 2016, the full Senate voted to approve the bill 48 ‑ 0.

#7 - Governor Wolf signed the bill and it became law on April 14, 2016.

Subsequently, the Big Water companies started their acquisition binge in Pennsylvania. 

An interesting footnote to this story is that, after shepherding the bill through the legislative process, House Speaker Mike Turzai retired from the legislature in 2020 and took a job as Chief Counsel for Peoples Gas. Coincidentally(?), Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Aqua’s parent company Essential Utilities.

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