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Legislative Priorities
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Real Estate Taxation of High Tunnels and Hoop Houses

In December 2013, Governor Corbett signed into law Act 114 and Act 130. These two new laws clarify that high tunnels are not subject to real estate taxes. PLNA brought this problem to the attention of the General Assembly and worked with a coalition of agriculture groups to get them passed.


  • Check your real estate tax bill to make sure you are not being taxrd on your high tunnels.
  • If your high tunnels are on your tax bill, call Gregg Robertson at 717.238.2033 and we'll work with you to explain the new laws to your county.
High Tunnels and the Uniform Construction Code
PLNA supports HB 1440 which clarifies that high tunnels are not subject to the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The bill has passed the state House and now awaits final action by the state Senate.
  • Some local government are requiring that high tunnels be built to UCC specifications, requiring fire suppression sprinklers, handicapped bathrooms, etc.

Lawn Care Fertilizer Legislation
PLNA opposes SB 1149 the fertilizer bill proposed by Senator Mike Brubaker

  • A recent report by EPA's Expert Panel on Urban Nutrient Management recommends that lawns achieve a "dense vegetative covering of turf grass" to reduce runoff and pollution from lawns. The research shows that thin, sickly lawns produce more runoff and pollution.
  • According to data in EPA's Expert Panel Report, the bill could actually make the Bay worse.
  • The bill is not based on sound science developed by Penn State for producing healthy turf grass that reduces pollution.
  • The bill unnecessarily regulates the lawn care industry, since the lawn care industry does the best job of producing healthy turf which reduces runoff and pollution, according to EPA's Expert Panel Report. The bill will increase the costs of lawn care companies, which they will either have to eat, or pass on to their customers.
  • The bill is unenforceable since it regulates application rates, which cannot be easily or reliably field-measured by enforcement personnel.

Government Competition with Private Nurseries
PLNA opposes state-owned nurseries competing with private sector nurseries. 

  • In 2012, PLNA was successful in having the DCNR Penn Nursery halt seedling sales to the general public.
  • PLNA is working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to have them cease public sales at their Howard Nursery.
PLNA opposes state-level immigration laws.
  • In the 2011-12 session of the General Assembly, many bills were introduced that would preempt federal control of immigration;
  • Many of these bills would have created a paperwork blizzard and legal jeopardy for small businesses from overlapping and conflicting jurisdiction of state and federal enforcement;
  • The U.S. Constitution reserves immigration control and regulation to the federal government;
  • PLNA is monitoring legislative activity on this issue in the current General Assembly session and the recent activity at the federal level seems to have quelled the state initiatives.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform
PLNA supports comprehensive immigration reform now under consideration by Congress that follows these principals:

  • Strengthen border security;
  • Provide a pathway to legal status for those undocumented workers now in the country who have committed no other crime;
  • Include workable guest worker programs to meet the unmet labor needs of the nursery, floriculture and landscape industries.

2014 Farm Bill
PLNA supported the 2014 Farm Bill which was signed by the President on February 7, 2014. The bill has the following provisions:

  • Specialty Crop Block Grants, funded at $70 million per year;        
  • Specialty Crop Research Initiative, funded at $25 million (FY2014), $30 million (FY2015-2016), $65 million (FY2017), $50 million (FY2018);        
  • Coordinated Plant Management Program (pest and disease prevention) funded at $60 million (FY2014-2017) and $65 million (FY2018). 
PA Fish and Boat Commission "White List" for Aquatic Plants
PLNA opposes the PFBC's initiative to ban the sale, transportation and propagation of all aquatic plants in Pennsylvania, except those that they specifically approve.
  • This proposal would bring the water gardening segment of our industry to a grinding halt.
  • PFBC does not have the staff or expertise to review and approve the hundreds of aquatic plant species and cultivars introduced into the water gardening industry each year.
Redraft of the Noxious Weed Law
PLNA opposes the rewrite of the Noxious Weed Law as it is currently drafted.
  • The current draft gives too much power to the secretary of agriculture to add plants to the list;
  • The current draft has an inadequate public review process when new plants are added to the list;
  • The Noxious Weed Control Committee does not have adequate public and industry representation;
  • The current draft does not require a science-based process for adding plants to the list.
Monitoring Plant Pests and Diseases
PLNA advocates for appropriate state regulatory reactions to plant pests and diseases.
  • PLNA, through its contacts and relationships with the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission and Penn State, monitors the introduction and spread of plant pests and diseases in Pennsylvania.
  • PLNA advocates for policies that do not adversely impact the industry, yet provide for appropriate state regulatory reactions to these pests and diseases.
  • Updates to the PLNA membership and industy are provided thorugh and PLNA e-News.
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