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A Look Ahead at Legislation in Harrisburg

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.

Prevailing Wage Expansion (H.B. 2153)

House Bill 2153 may receive a vote on the House Floor this week.

This legislation would expand the PA Prevailing Wage Act to include custom fabrication and prohibit the practice of split-rates.

The PA Prevailing Wage Act requires pre-determined wages to be paid on public construction projects and can substantially increase project costs. This legislation would expand this requirement to custom fabrication work – which will raise costs on taxpayers and potentially divert projects to out-of-state competitors – and also prohibit the practice of paying “split rates,” which companies utilize to promote efficiency on a worksite. Both changes will increase costs and create administrative challenges for employers.

Anti-Trust Expansion (H.B. 2012)

House Bill 2012 may also 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 adoption of this amendment.

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.

Increasing the Vendor Discount in Sales Tax Collection (S.B. 1225)

Senate Bill 1225 may receive a vote on the Senate Floor this week.

This legislation would increase the vendor discount for businesses that collect sales tax to one percent on the first million dollars in sales tax collected and one-quarter percent for any sales tax revenue collected after that.

Businesses in Pennsylvania used to be able to keep one percent of the total sales tax they collected to cover their administrative costs of collecting the tax on behalf of the state. The vendor discount was capped at $300 a year in 2016. This legislation would provide relief for businesses by compensating them more for the costs associated with collecting sales tax on behalf of the state.

Work Schedule Mandates (H.B. 2356)

House Bill 2356 is expected to receive a vote in the House Labor and Industry Committee this week.

This legislation would require all employers to provide employees at least 30 minutes of rest after five hours of work.

This bill prompts concerns from multiple perspectives. For example, employers with “exempt” employees (i.e. not subject to overtime requirements) are concerned this mandate would require them to initiate new systems and force their salaried employees to begin tracking their hours and breaks.

Employers who serve vulnerable populations or aging services providers have expressed concerns with a new unfunded mandate that could exacerbate existing funding and workforce crises as they work to ensure access to care. Even employers who already provide similar or more generous break times have urged opposition based on the removal of flexibility, which is often necessary (e.g. when coworkers are late or unexpected circumstances arise), and the harsh penalties that could amount to thousands of dollars per day.

Verification of Construction Contractors (H.B. 2360)

House Bill 2360 is also expected to receive a vote in the House Labor and Industry Committee this week.

This legislation would require employers in the construction industry to complete additional verification forms.

The PA Chamber appreciates the intent of this bill, but it includes vague language, creates new private rights of action, and adds new administrative challenges to employers already burdened with significant bureaucratic requirements.

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

Senate Bill 831 is expected to receive a vote in the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee 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 leveraging 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.

Food Processing Residuals (H.B. 2393)

House Bill 2393 is also expected to receive a vote in the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee this week.

This legislation would add additional regulations and restrictions on Food Processing Residuals.

A Food Processing Residual is an incidental organic material generated by processing agricultural commodities for human or animal consumption. The food processing industry currently sources FPRs to the agriculture sector to improve soil health and increase yields. Concerns have been raised by both the food processing and agricultural industries that this legislation would make it difficult to maintain this practice.

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

Senate Bill 688 is expected to receive a vote in the House Liquor Control Committee 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.

Consolidation Feasibility Studies (H.B. 2386)

House Bill 2386 is expected to receive a vote in the House Education Committee this week.

This legislation would expand the resources available to school districts for administrative partnerships, ensuring that they encompass instructional programming partnerships and consolidation feasibility studies.

School district consolidation feasibility studies and shared administrative services are beneficial as they provide potential cost savings, improved resource allocation, and enhanced educational opportunities. Encouraging school districts to evaluate possible shared services and consolidations allows stakeholders to make informed decisions that can lead to more efficient operations.

Local Development Projects (H.B. 782)

House Bill 782 is expected to receive a vote in the House Local Government Committee this week.

This legislation would add new requirements and obstacles to local development projects.

Development companies are already governed by significant regulations at the state and local level. This bill would add new requirements and obstacles that could unduly complicate the ability to advance projects, raising costs and causing delays.


The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce closely monitors proposed legislation and its potential impact on the local business community. Businesses are encouraged to offer feedback to Chamber President Chris Berleth, at

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.


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