FILE - PA Dan Hassell 2-11-2019

Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell addresses a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee on Feb. 11, 2019, in Harrisburg.

October tax collections exceed expectations in most areas

Pennsylvania tax collections exceeded their expectations in October by 4.7 percent, Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said.

The state collected $2.7 billion for its general fund, bringing the year-to-date total to $10.4 billion, 1.6 percent above estimates.

The best results came from sales and personal income taxes, both of which were $27.4 million above estimates, according to figures from the Department of Revenue.

The only decrease in October was seen in inheritance taxes, which were at $91 million, 1.2 percent below estimates. Inheritance taxes are still 2.3 percent above estimates for the year.

The Motor License Fund was up by $5 million for the year but remains below annual estimates by $15.7 million, or 1.7 percent.

Wolf says he will veto 'Heartbeat Bill' if it passes

Gov. Tom Wolf reiterated his opposition to a proposed “Heartbeat Bill” at an event in Philadelphia, saying he would veto it if it passes the General Assembly.

Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County, and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clinton County, announced they will introduce a bill that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Wolf was joined by several Democratic lawmakers and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who all stated they opposed the bill.

Other states have passed similar bills but all are facing court action and have not taken effect.

Still adjusting to this weekend’s time change? One lawmaker wants to fix that

A bill by state Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, would eliminate the need to adjust your clocks twice year.

Martin wants to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

“Studies have shown that the time change does more harm than good for our economy and for the safety of our citizens,” Martin said. “There is no good reason why we need to continue to move the clocks forward and backward every few months. It only robs us of daylight in the evenings when most families spend time together and creates more dangerous driving conditions when many people are going home from work.”

Arizona and Hawaii did not make adjustments for Daylight Saving Time and three other states are considering similar proposals.

House approves bill requiring home inspector licensing

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill that would require home inspectors to be licensed by the state.

“Home inspectors are the only individuals that are unlicensed during the entire real estate transaction,” said Rep. Sue Helm, R-Dauphin, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “Since other professionals who are prominent in the home-buying process are licensed, such as real estate agents and appraisers, many consumers incorrectly assume that home inspectors are licensed as well.”

The bill also would require inspectors to report any mold they find in a residence.

“We have heard stories from across Pennsylvania of home inspectors who never notified prospective home buyers of widespread internal mold,” said Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, another co-sponsor. “As a result, these consumers were forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars remediating the mold, suffering financial devastation and risking their health.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.