A Look Ahead for the Week of July 1, 2024

House and Senate lawmakers are back in Harrisburg this week and, as always, the PA Chamber is currently monitoring several pieces of legislation with the potential to impact the state’s business community. Here is some of the legislation that employers should look out for in the week ahead. 

Anti-Trust Expansion (H.B. 2012)

House Bill 2012 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would create a Pennsylvania anti-trust statute that would expand anti-trust provisions and require pre-merger notifications to the Attorney General’s Office for health care facilities. The language of what constitutes a violation is sweeping and ambiguous, subjecting the Commonwealth’s employer community to severe criminal penalties and costly civil liability based upon undefined standards.

The bill expands anti-trust powers for the Attorney General and creates private causes of action that will allow for private anti-trust lawsuits in state courts across the Commonwealth. Additionally, the pre-merger notification requirement will subject health care mergers to additional scrutiny well below the current thresholds for reporting to the FTC and the DOJ. An amendment is pending that would address some of our concerns; however, the provisions allowing for private causes of action and pre-merger notifications would still remain in the bill even with the adoption of this amendment. 

Health Care Transactions (H.B. 2344)

House Bill 2344 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would empower the Pennsylvania Attorney General to unilaterally determine the fate of every health care transaction in Pennsylvania and decide whether the transaction is “against the public interest”.

The bill creates a new, duplicative, and bureaucratic review process while placing the sole financial cost for the process back onto our health care systems, with no limits.  This legislation is duplicative of existing state and federal processes and adds power to a single government agency to subjectively determine if health care transactions are “against the public interest”.

Ready-to-Drink Products (S.B. 688)

Senate Bill 688 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would authorize the private sector to sell “Ready to Drink” canned beverages.

“Ready to Drink” canned cocktails are a popular adult beverage product that currently can only be purchased through state stores.  It is simply unfair to deny local convenience stores and supermarkets the ability to respond to their customers and sell these products.

Direct Deposit for Workers’ Compensation Payments (S.B. 1232)

Senate Bill 1232 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would allow workers’ compensation claimants to request payment of benefits by direct deposit or employers to require payment of benefits by direct deposit.

The bill will modernize the Workers Compensation Act by establishing a regulatory framework to allow employers to make worker’s compensation payments by direct deposit, streamlining the process. These reforms were unanimously recommended by the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council.

Data Privacy (H.B. 1201)

House Bill 1201 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would regulate the collection and use of consumers’ personal data by providing consumers with certain rights and requiring businesses to protect and limit the collection of personal data.

The PA Chamber believes a national framework for data privacy regulation would be preferable to protect consumer data, promote transparency, and provide regulatory certainty in the marketplace. Congress, however, has not yet advanced consumer data privacy legislation and in the meantime, eleven states have adopted a patchwork of data privacy laws.

We have advocated that if lawmakers are to advance data privacy legislation at the state level, they look to states such as Virginia and Connecticut, which crafted their laws with input from the business community.  Some concerns remain that the low threshold for covered entities (having the data of 50,000 individuals) and short compliance window (6 months) will make it difficult for small businesses.

Allowing Highly Qualified Individuals to Receive CTC Certificates (S.B. 700)

Senate Bill 700 is expected to receive a vote in the House Education Committee this week.

This legislation would amend the requirements to receive a CTC teaching certificate to more readily allow highly qualified individuals to transition from the private sector to the classroom.

The bill will help ease the Commonwealth’s workforce shortage, particularly in technical and trades jobs, by ensuring Pennsylvania’s career and technical centers are equipped with the brightest educators.


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.