Last Week in the Legislature

The House and Senate were in session last week, considering proposals related to education, paid leave, workforce data, and more. Here is a rundown of some of last week’s legislative action relevant to employers.


Reducing Educational Choices for Students (H.B. 2370)

The House of Representatives voted 107-94 to pass House Bill 2370 last Monday.

This legislation would implement the recommendations of the majority Basic Education Funding Commission report, including adjustment to the funding formula, drastic charter school reforms, and increases in K-12 spending.

Many charter schools provide a valuable alternative to traditional public schools, often offering specialized programs and innovative teaching methods that cater to the diverse learning needs of students. Charter schools have experienced dramatic increases in enrollment over the past two decades, and we have serious concerns with any proposals that would have the effect of restricting access to these unique educational opportunities, particularly for students who are not thriving in conventional school environments.

We opposed this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which now heads to the Senate Education Committee for consideration.


Sharing Workforce Data (S.B. 761)

The Senate voted unanimously (48-0) to pass Senate Bill 761 last Wednesday.

This legislation would direct the Department of Labor & Industry to share already collected workforce data on wages, new hires, and Unemployment Compensation claimants with local workforce development boards.

Local workforce development boards are on the front lines working with claimants to search for work and apply for and accept jobs. These boards are seeking more timely access to existing data sets, including Unemployment Compensation claim data, to better support their pathway to re-employment through targeted services and activities.

Unemployment Compensation and new hire data currently takes up to 24 months to access from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. This legislation is part of a broad strategy to help address labor shortages.

We supported this legislation which now heads to the House of Representatives for committee consideration.


Prohibiting Essential Manufacturing Materials (H.B. 2238)

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted along party lines (14-11) to pass House Bill 2238 last Tuesday.

This legislation would impose a sweeping prohibition on the use of PFAS in the production of a broad range of consumer products.

PFAS refers to thousands of diverse chemistries that are necessary to produce a wide range of products used by consumers and in practically every industry. A Pennsylvania-specific ban could discourage investment in the Commonwealth and force existing Pennsylvania employers to leave for other states.

The bill also includes numerous vague terms and broad definitions that will complicate compliance and potentially apply the prohibition to an even broader range of products.

House Bill 2238 is pending in the House Rules Committee


Establishing Consumer Protections for Automatic Contract Renewals (H.B. 2196)

The House voted 200-1 on an amendment to House Bill 2196 last Monday.

This legislation would require consumers to be notified of the existence of an automatic renewal clause before executing a contract and before any automatic renewal occurs. Sellers would also be required to notify the consumer and allow the consumer to opt out of the automatic renewal provision.

The bill adds new notice requirements for contracts with automatic renewals and uses the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law as the enforcement mechanism. Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams) filed an amendment to remove the private rights of action and leave enforcement to the Attorney General and District Attorneys, which passed with broad support.

The underlying bill has been re-committed, as amended, to the Appropriations Committee.


Mandatory Paid Leave (S.B. 580)

The Senate Labor and Industry Committee voted 8-3 to advance Senate Bill 580 last Tuesday.

This legislation would establish the Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, which would require all employers to deduct a portion of their employees’ wages for a statewide fund to be made available as wage replacement benefits for family or sick leave. Eligible employees would generally be entitled to up to 20 weeks per year to care for themselves or 12 weeks per year to care for a family member.

The bill would require employers of all sizes to adopt a one-size-fits-all mandatory policy related to time off regardless of a company’s size or industry and prohibit employers from developing customized leave policies that benefit their employees while still accommodating their own unique staffing requirements.

While the employee-financed approach may mitigate costs to the employer, businesses would likely still experience higher costs related to wages, staffing, and administration.

We opposed this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which is now pending before the full Senate.




Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.