This week’s three state Senate session days will determine which high-profile bills become law and which will have to wait until 2011.
The Senate meets today, Wednesday and Thursday before it adjourns for the rest of 2010.
Any bills that don’t become law during a two-year General Assembly session need to be reintroduced the next year.
It’s not clear whether the Senate will vote on a natural gas severance tax this week, but lawmakers are expected to approve an amended version of a bill reducing pension benefits for future state employees.
Under the language passed by the House, employees would need to work longer before they become vested in the state pension system, and the retirement age would be increased. Pennsylvania is facing a multi-billion dollar spike in pension payments, beginning next year.
Votes are also expected on a bill expanding a person’s right to self-defense, a measure fighting urban blight, and legislation aimed at reducing Pennsylvania’s state prison population.
The prison bill would divert non-violent inmates with short sentences to community corrections centers.