Bad For Business: State House Advances Trio of Overreaching Proposals

Last week, House lawmakers advanced several bills with the potential to significantly impact Pennsylvania employers:

H.B. 950

Would amend the state constitution for the stated purpose of prohibiting future lawmakers from enacting “Right to Work” legislation, which guarantees that individuals cannot be forced to join or contribute financially to a union as a condition of their employment. The language of the bill, however, is ambiguous and could have far broader implications. Prior to  House consideration of the bill, the PA Chamber sent a memo to the House of Representatives, outlining concerns about its potential unintended consequences and the committee’s decision to prioritize this initiative.

This legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 102-99. It now awaits Senate action.

H.B. 930

Would increase employer workers’ compensation costs by significantly expanding benefits for permanent injuries or disfigurement, informally known as the “scar benefit.” Under current state law, employers are responsible for paying medical costs and wage-loss benefits for individuals who are injured on the job, as well as additional benefits for various reasons. Last month, the PA Chamber sent a memo to the House of Representatives, detailing how H.B. 930 would expand the scar benefit far beyond its original purpose, leading to higher insurance and related costs for Pennsylvania employers.

This legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 112-88. It now awaits Senate action.

H.B. 577

Would require businesses with five or more full-time or part-time employees (and that do not offer a retirement savings plan) to participate in a government-run auto-IRA retirement program for their employees. While the PA Chamber fully supports encouraging citizens to save for their retirement, we expressed a desire for lawmakers to delay voting on this proposal until it can be subject to thorough vetting, discussion, and transparency to ensure the proper safeguards are in place.

This legislation advanced out of the House Commerce Committee by a vote of 12-9. It now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration.


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.