Labor & Industry 2017-2018

The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Thursday, June 21, 2018 to consider the following:

HB 1469, PN 2186 (Heffley) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to further provide for the use of third-party code officials, and for the filing and review of complaints of code officials.  Senator Laughlin offered amendment A08519, which increases the number of third-party code enforcement agencies a municipality would be required to contract with to perform inspections- or other construction code requirements- for permitting purposes.  Beginning July 1, 2019 municipalities will be required to use at least two third-party agencies unless they are unable to obtain multiple offers.  The amendment was approved unanimously.  The bill was reported from committee as amended by a vote of 10-1.

HB 298, PN 292 (Delozier) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to allow the Department to create a code official trainee program.  This program will be optional for anyone seeking certification.  Senator Ward offered amendment A08280, which clarifies that on-the-job training will be done under direct supervision.  The amendment was approved unanimously and the bill was reported from committee as amended (also unanimous).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Monday, June 18, 2018 to consider the following:

SB 714, PN 840 (Blake) – This legislation creates the Pennsylvania Career Readiness Council Act tasked with improving the transition from school to the workforce and addressing industry needs.  This includes developing proposals aimed at improving employment opportunities, improving the transition from school to the work force and making sure programs are aligned with the needs of business and industry.  The council can set goals and make recommendations (including recommended legislation and rules) to state, local and private entities, the legislature and groups and associations that are involved in education, job skills development and career training.  Senator Tartaglione offered amendment A07713, which does the following:

  • Clarifies that the Pennsylvania Career Readiness Council will be established within the Department of Community and Economic Development.
  • Provides that the executive director of the Career Readiness Council may actively solicit funds for its operations.
  • The council will not be eligible to receive funding from the General Fund after three fiscal years. The council may only receive funds from federal grants, Commonwealth grants and private entities. If the council does not receive funding from remaining available sources the council will sunset.  The executive director will provide notice via the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
  • Adds a public-school representative to the council (recommendations will be provided by PA State Education Assoc.). In exchange one of the Governor’s two business CEO appointments is removed.
  • Replaces the chief school administrative representative with a representative of career and technical education.
  • Amends the definition of “high-priority occupation” to remove jobs that have higher skill needs as a category. High-priority occupations will continue to include those jobs, as identified by the Department, that are in demand and are likely to provide family-sustaining wages.

The amendment adopted unanimously and the bill was reported from committee as amended (also unanimous).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 to consider the following:

SB 934, PN 1300 (Baker) – This bill amends the Administrative Code of 1929 to establish an Elevator Safety Board to consider regulations on the construction, maintenance and operation of elevators.  Senator Ward offered amendment A07229, which makes changes to the administrative operations of the board.  The amendment was approved unanimously and the bill was reported as committed (also unanimous).

HB 1641, PN 2734 (Cutler) – This bill establishes Employment First- a policy initiative that promotes the employment of working-age Pennsylvanians with a disability who participate in publicly funded education, training and employment services.  The preferred outcome of these publicly funded programs is employment for these individuals.  State agencies will focus efforts on this employment initiative.  The bill was reported favorably from committee (unanimous).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 to consider the following:

HB 566, PN 1928 (Santora) – This bill amends the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act to allow a contractor to suspended work on a construction project if payment is not received per the terms of their contract.  The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 9-3.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to consider the following:

SB 963, PN 1352 (Ward) – This legislation reestablishes the Impairment Rating Evaluations process under the Workers’ Composition Act.  The section detailing this process- Section 306(a.2)- was recently struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Protz v. Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board due to lack of specificity regarding physicians’ use of American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines.  The bill was reported as committed by a party line vote of 8-4.

HB 1001, PN 2587 (Helm) – This bill creates the Home Inspector Licensing Act, establishing a 13-member board to oversee the licensure of home inspectors.  The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 11-1.

The Committee also approved the nomination of W. Gerard Oleksiak as Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry by a vote of 9-3.  The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Monday, December 11, 2017 to consider the following:

HB 1915, PN 2735 (Kauffman) – This bill amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to provide an additional $115.2 million to the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund through 2021.  $30.2 million is earmarked for technological upgrades to the UC delivery system, with the rest going towards general operations and services for claimants and employers.  Senator Wagner offered amendment A05158, which would have added a definition for “abuse,” provided for claim dispute hearings over the phone, and prohibited additional SIIF transfers in the future.  The amendment was rejected by a vote of 4-7.  The bill was reported as committed, 8-3.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 to consider the following:

SB 21, PN 1053 (Mensch) – This bill establishes Employment First- a policy initiative that promotes the employment of working-age Pennsylvanians with a disability who participate in publicly funded education, training and employment services.  The Act also creates an oversight Commission (Employment First Oversight Commission), as well as the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities to review policies and regulations at the state agency level.  Senator Ward offered amendment A04683, which adds two positions to the proposed Employment First Oversight Commission and makes technical changes.  The amended was approved (unanimous) and the bill was reported as amended (unanimous).

HB 1597, PN 2106 (James) – This bill amends the Unemployment Compensation Law to extend from 15 to 21 days the time allotted for parties to appeal a decision of an Unemployment Compensation Service Center or Unemployment Compensation referee.  During the meeting, Senator Tartaglione asked if this bill would potentially be used as a vehicle for a State and Infrastructure Improvement Fund (SIIF) funding agreement.  Senator Ward confirmed that it would.  The bill was not amended at this time, and was reported as committed (unanimous).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Monday, October 23, 2017 to consider the following:

SB 537, PN 651 (Wagner) – This bill amends the Public School Code of 1949 to provide for athletic leaves of absence when employees are chosen to participate as a member of a United States athletic team, including the Olympics.  The bill was reported as committed, 8-4.

SB 538, PN 652 (Wagner) – This bill amends Titles 24 (Education) and 71 (State Government) to provide for athletic leaves of absence when employees are chosen to participate as a member of a United States athletic team, including the Olympics.  The bill was reported as committed (unanimous).

SB 936, PN 1281 (White) – This legislation amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to require the Department to select an evidence-based prescription drug formulary to resolve issues related to drugs prescribed for the treatment of work-related injuries.  This includes guidance and standards on the type, dosage and duration of prescription drugs.  The bill was reported as committed, 7-5.


The Senate Labor and Industry Committee met on Saturday, July 8, 2017 to consider the following:

HB 176, PN 1818 (Pickett) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to exempt roadside stands used to sell seasonal agricultural products.  The bill was reported as committed (unanimous).


The Senate Labor and Industry Committee met on Monday, June 26, 2017 to consider the following:

HB 409, PN 1235 (Evankovich) – This legislation amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act by adding two additional seats to the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council, extensively revising the code review process and increasing the building permit fee.  Senator Ward offered amendment A02305, which permits the City of Philadelphia to enact an ordinance that adopts the 2018 ICC triennial commercial building code, and increased the building permit fee from $4.00 to $4.50.  The amendment was approved and the bill was reported as amended (unanimous).

SB 676, PN 795 (Gordner) – The bill amends the Workers’ Compensation Act to reform the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund (UEGF) and strengthen liability and compensation provisions for out-of-state employers.  Senator Ward offered amendment A01759, which: increases the yearly UEGF assessment, from 0.1 to 0.25 percent, of the total compensation paid by all insurers in the previous year; and adds a provision requiring the UEGF to reduce the current year’s assessment if there’s an excess in the fund (this will apply when the previous year’s assessment exceeds 130% of expenditures).  The amendment was approved and the bill was reported as amendment (unanimous).


The Senate Labor and Industry Committee met on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 to consider the following:

SB 663, PN 781 (Laughlin) – This bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act to increase the number of third party code officials a municipality would be required to contract with and sets limitations on fees.  The bill was reported as committed (9-2).


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 to consider the following:

Reported as amended:

SB 183, PN 173 (McGarrigle) – This bill creates the Plumbing Contractors Licensure Act.  A nine-member board– the State Board of Plumbing Contractors– would be responsible for authorizing plumbers to perform services and supervise apprentices and journeyman plumbers.  The Board will create a registry of licensed plumbers and provide access to the public.


The Senate Labor & Industry Committee met off the floor on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 to consider the following bill:

SB 241, PN 281 (McGarrigle) – This bill amends the Equal Pay Law to explicitly allow employers to pay employees with similar job functions differently based on the level or amount of education, training or experience they have.  It also prohibits discharge or discrimination if an employee makes a complaint under the Law.  The bill was reported as committed (unanimous).

Senator Christine Tartaglione

Senator Christine Tartaglione

Committee Chair