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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 19, 2017 10:39 AM
From: Senator Richard L. Alloway, II
To: All Senate members
Subject: Administrative Law Procedure and Office of Administrative Hearings
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation that will amend Titles 2 (Administrative Law and Procedure), 4 (Amusements), and 13 (Commercial Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The legislation will extensively revise provisions on the practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies, establish the Office of Administrative Hearings, and extensively revise provisions on judicial review of Commonwealth agency action.

This legislation would also create a panel of administrative law judges in the executive branch in place of agency employee hearing officers. In addition, the legislation would create an agency within the executive branch that conducts virtually all formal hearings for Commonwealth agencies. Administrative law judges from a central hearing panel would hear these matters and would replace present agency hearing officers in most instances.

The implementation of this structure would ensure impartiality in the affected adjudications and prevent command influence of administrative law judges in many instances. Additional benefits include substantial protections for the independence of administrative law judges and an appointment of a chief administrative law judge who can monitor the performance of the central hearing panel.

Currently, 26 states have implemented a central hearing panel/Office of Administrative Hearings.

This bill will mirror SB 413 of last session, which was the subject of a State Government Hearing on June 14, 2016.



Introduced as SB774