HARRISBURG - Internet gambling, the opioid crisis, and safety requirements for driverless vehicles are among the items on the agenda for the General Assembly, which eased back into its first fall session Monday after a more-than-two-month break.

Gov. Wolf has asked to deliver a speech on the opioid crisis to a joint session of the Assembly, and legislative leaders said they want to pass bills designed to discourage abuse of addictive medications. The governor wants to require doctors to check a new prescription monitoring database each time they prescribe, and limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to emergency room patients, among other proposals.

Republicans in the House and Senate want to make changes to retirement benefits promised to future state and public school workers, a topic that saw legislative action in both chambers - but not agreement between them - within the last year. Jennifer Kocher, spokeswoman for Senate Republicans, said members are "keenly interested" in making changes to reduce risk to taxpayers.

Democrats say they are open to changes. House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D., Allegheny) said his members were willing to talk about pension reform so long as the changes maintain retirement security for workers, and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) said his members are committed to resolving the issue. Mark Nicastre, spokesman for Wolf, said the pension bills passed by the House and Senate are both acceptable to the governor.

Interest in expanding gambling has been intensified by the fact that the current state budget was balanced in part with $100 million in revenue from a gaming proposal that has not reached the governor. Given the July 1-June 30 fiscal year, legislative leaders said that a gambling bill does not necessarily need to reach the governor in the fall.

"Because the initial money is mostly license-fee money, it would not be the end of the world if it went into the spring, but certainly we'd prefer to have it done this fall," said House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana).

The House in June backed a bill that would legalize online wagering and permit slot machines in airports and offtrack betting locations, but that legislation has not moved in the Senate.

Costa said he would like to see action this fall on proposals to prohibit discrimination in employment and housing against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Nicastre said the governor concurs.

Whatever legislators wish to do this fall, they have scheduled a limited number of days to do it. The House is scheduled to meet in session through Wednesday and next week for another three days, followed by six session days in October. The Senate is scheduled to meet for three days next week and six days in October.

Then comes the general election, with all 203 House seats and half the 50-seat Senate on the ballot. Proximity to the election can make it more difficult to pass politically sensitive legislation.

This week, the House is scheduled to consider proposals to require landlords and sellers to disclose if a property had previously been used as a methamphetamine lab and a bill that would set penalties for people with protection-from-abuse orders who commit animal cruelty against the pet of their spouse or partner.

Another bill on the House calendar this week would set safety and reporting requirements for testing autonomous vehicles on Pennsylvania roads.

klangley@post-gazette.com 717-787-2141@karen _langley