A Look Ahead for the Week of April 8, 2024

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate are back in session  this week and, as always, the PA Chamber is currently monitoring several pieces of legislation with the potential to impact the business community.

Artificial Intelligence Disclosure (H.B. 1598)

House Bill 1598 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would amend the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) to require a disclosure statement when Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used to generate any written, visual or audio content.

The bill creates a broad disclosure requirement that does not differentiate between deceptive content and non-deceptive content. As such, it would require widespread use of disclosure statements across the thousands of ways that AI technology is currently used. Additionally, since the UTPCPL allows for private lawsuits and the potential for treble damages, the bill would create a significant expansion of liability exposure for Pennsylvania businesses.

Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (S.B. 831)

Senate Bill 831 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would establish a legal and regulatory framework for carbon dioxide capture, utilization and sequestration.

Establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for the deployment of carbon capture technology is vital to ensuring the deployment of billions of dollars in private capital, as well as potentially leverage federal infrastructure funding, to innovate in low-carbon manufacturing, agricultural and energy production projects. Carbon capture holds great potential to be added to Pennsylvania’s diverse energy portfolio, which has helped the Commonwealth lead the nation through every major energy transition in its history.

Critical Infrastructure Trespass and Vandalism (S.B. 819)

Senate Bill 819 may also receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would increase criminal penalties against individuals who knowingly trespass onto and vandalize critical infrastructure facilities. The legislation also establishes civil liability and allows the owner of a critical infrastructure facility to recover damages from someone convicted of trespass or vandalism.

Assets such as water treatment facilities, pipelines, telecommunications, dams, ports, and manufacturing facilities are vitally important to the well-being of our economy and to the health and safety of our citizens. This legislation puts in place reasonable measures to protect these assets.

Proprietary Information Disclosure (H.B. 1943)

House Bill 1943 is expected to receive a vote in the in House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee this week.

This legislation would impose new disclosure requirements for chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Current law requires energy companies to disclose to the PA Department of Environmental Protection the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process – even those chemicals considered proprietary. Additionally, federal law requires access to confidential information for health professionals and employees. Federal and state law, however, have always recognized the right of private companies to maintain proprietary information or trade secrets and therefore does not provide that proprietary information disclosed may be accessible to the general public and does not require disclosure of chemical blends if they are considered proprietary or a trade secret.  This legislation would remove these reasonable exemptions and disrupt the balance that existing law has attempted to achieve.

Discouraging Water Infrastructure Investment (H.B. 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865)

Several bills related to water and wastewater infrastructure are expected to receive a vote in the House Consumer Protection, Technology, and Utilities Committee this week.

This package of bills seeks to significantly amend and restrict Act 12 of 2016, which was passed to provide for healthy and environmentally safe water infrastructure by helping municipalities that struggle to maintain water infrastructure to sell water and wastewater systems.

Some publicly owned and operated entities and authorities can grapple with budgetary constraints and struggle to maintain healthy and environmentally safe water infrastructure, which is necessary for residents, and employers within communities. Act 12 of 2016 provided an option to sell municipal water and wastewater systems, thereby encouraging private sector investment, fostering more efficient and technologically advanced water and wastewater systems, enhancing operational efficiency, and providing improved service to consumers. This legislative package would therefore discourage critical investment in water infrastructure upgrades.

Discouraging ‘Ghosting’ Interviews/Jobs (S.B. 1109)

Senate Bill 1109 is expected to receive a vote in the Senate Labor & Industry Committee this week.

This legislation would clarify existing Unemployment Compensation eligibility standards to codify that an individual is not eligible for benefits if they discourage their own employment.

Under current law, UC claimants are generally required to engage in an active search for work, including applying for open positions in their field, engaging in other work search activity, and interviewing for jobs. Unfortunately, employers report interviewing job candidates who admit they are only applying in order to comply with the work search requirement and often fail to show up for job interviews or work, known as “ghosting”. This legislation would clarify the law to disqualify claimants who discourage their own employment. It would not create any additional requirements for claimants who are searching or applying for work in good faith.

Sharing Workforce Data (S.B. 761)

Senate Bill 761 is also expected to receive a vote in the Senate Labor & Industry Committee this week.

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

Local workforce development boards are on the front lines working with claimants to search for work, apply for and accept jobs. These boards are seeking more timely access to existing data sets, including UC claim data, in order 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 one part of a broad strategy to help address labor shortages.


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.