How I Voted

Last updated Oct. 31, 2022

As your elected representative in Harrisburg, I feel it is important to share information about the bills that come before the House, how I’ve voted on those bills, and why I voted the way I did.

On this page, you’ll find a recap of my voting record for the legislative session, with brief descriptions of each bill and brief explanations for my votes. This page does not include “bridge-namer” bills or summaries of other uncontested votes (including some bills that pass the House unanimously), although you can always find my votes on those here.

While state legislators’ votes are always public record, the reasons behind those votes are not always clear. My goal on this page is to help inform constituents about the bills that come before the House and create more transparency around the legislative process. We strive to update this page as quickly as we can following the end of each session week.

To find the current status of a bill, click on the bill number, then click “History” on the bill information page. You can find scheduled session dates and more information here. If you have questions or would like more information on the bills below or any other legislative issue, please contact my office at


HB 1059 (Hickernell)Raising Payment Threshold for Estimated Personal Income Tax Tax Breaks for Hydrogen Hubs
How I voted:
No (Bill passed the House 139-59)

I was a “Yes” on the underlying bill, which passed the House unanimously in January 2022 and simply increased the Personal Income Tax threshold requiring estimated payment of income taxes from $8,000 to $20,000. However, this bill was amended in the Senate Appropriations Committee on October 25, adding $1 billion in tax breaks for fracked hydrogen facilities (hydrogen hubs). The amended bill came back to the House on October 26, the same day it was passed in the Senate, and was rushed through on a concurrence vote.

Pennsylvania taxpayers should not be subsidizing the profits of the fossil fuel industry. I voted No for this reason, and because I remain opposed to proposals that further increase or expand our reliance on fossil fuels. If Pennsylvania wants to take decarbonization and public safety seriously, then we need to make significant investments in renewable resources like wind and solar. Investments in clean energy would lead to a more sustainable economy, good-paying jobs, and a truly energy-independent Pennsylvania.

SB 1152 (Mastriano) – Drug Overdose Mapping and Response
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 150-49)

While I support the goal of improving our response to drug overdoses, this bill raises concerns about further stigmatizing and criminalizing addiction and violating patients’ privacy.

The legislation is extremely vague about the details of the information technology platform it proposes. Advocacy groups have raised concerns that even if the name of the patient who suffers an overdose is omitted from a report submitted under this bill, cross-checking of reports against local law enforcement data entry platforms would likely reveal personal medical information, resulting in HIPAA violations and potentially requiring disclosure under the Criminal History Record Information Act. Inserting law enforcement into what should be a public (and very private) health concern may have a chilling effect on the reporting of overdoses.

SB 225 (Phillips Hill) - Prior Authorization of Medical Services in Pennsylvania:
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

I co-sponsored the House version of this bill, and I was glad to vote in favor of the Senate proposal that ultimately came to the floor.

Too often patients are denied coverage for medical care ordered for them by doctors and left wondering why they were denied coverage for appropriate care. This legislation will allow doctors to bill insurance companies for “closely related procedures” without having to get a second authorization for a service. In addition, it will improve transparency and accessibility by simplifying the appeal process for denied claims and allow the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to advocate on patients’ behalf to ensure patients receive the protection and care they need.

SB 522 (Baker) - Universal Lead Testing for Children
How I voted
: Yes (Bill passed the House 193-6)

I co-sponsored the House version of this bill, as well, and I was glad to vote in support of the Senate proposal.

The effects of lead poisoning are irreversible and severe. Exposure to lead is especially harmful to children under the age of 6. Healthcare professionals believe that all children may be at risk due to potential exposure at home, school, and other public gathering spaces; however, in recent years only about 30% of children have been screened for blood-lead levels. This legislation will ensure that all children at ages 1 and 2, as well as pregnant women, are tested for exposure to lead.

HB 1988 (Owlett) - Certification of State System Campus Police Officers
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

I am a co-sponsor on this legislation, which aligns the requirements for campus police officers with those for municipal officers, streamlining the hiring process for campus police.

Police officers seeking employment with the Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education are currently required to complete the same Municipal Police Officers’ Education Training and Commission (MPOETC) that all municipal officers must complete. However, unlike municipal officers who can immediately become employed, new State System officers must seek and obtain approval from the governor before they can conduct police duties, creating a backlog in the hiring process.


HB 1486 (O’Neal) - Blue Star Family License Plate
How I voted
: Yes (Bill passed the House 198-0)

I voted in support of this legislation, which incorporates language from two other House bills that I co-sponsored (HB 2437 and HB 1759). This bill creates specialty license plates and corresponding funds in support of military families, Children’s Trust Fund grants, and the creation of pollinator habitats.  


HB2425 [Flood] - Reporting of Older Adult Abuse
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 202-0]

This bill would ensure that any report of elder abuse brought to the Department of Health or Department of Human Services must be shared with the Department of Aging and the local (county) Area Association on Aging for investigation. It does not change current investigatory practices but simply closes communication gaps between the agencies tasked with protecting our most vulnerable population. (Currently, several agencies can be involved in reports and investigation of allegations of abuse, but communication protocols between those agencies are unclear.)


HB143 [Diamond] - Removing Deceased Individuals from the Voting Rolls
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 201-0]

This bill streamlines the current process for removing deceased individuals from the voting rolls and provides for closer coordination between the Department of State and county election boards. This will result in more accurate voter rolls.

HB2484 [Mizgorski] - Financial Disclosure for Write-in Candidates
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 201-0]

This bill closes a campaign finance law loophole. Currently, write-in candidates who win primary or general election contests are not required to report campaign contributions or expenditures. This would impose the same requirements for write-ins as for candidates who appear on the printed ballot.


HB1419 [Mizgorski] -- Dignity for Incarcerated Women
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 202-0]

I co-sponsored this bill, which takes an important step toward ensuring dignity for incarcerated women. This legislation prohibits shackling or solitary confinement of pregnant women; prohibits full-body searches of incarcerated women by male guards; provides for trauma-informed training of corrections officers and up to three days of post-delivery bonding time between mother and newborn. The bill also provides for additional visitation time between minor children and incarcerated men or women who are the sole legal guardian of those children. It also requires the Department of Corrections to provide feminine hygiene and incontinence products for incarcerated women free of charge.

HB2499 [Pickett] Pennsylvania Insurance Data Security Act
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 202-0]

I co-sponsored this legislation, which would require most Pennsylvania insurers to conduct an annual cybersecurity risk assessment and report their findings to the state. The bill also requires insurers to notify policyholders and the state in the event of a cybersecurity breach. At least 18 other states have so far adopted this legislation, which seeks to create a national cybersecurity standard for the insurance industry.


HB 1693 [Bonner] - Medicaid Legal Assistance Notifications
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 201-0]

This bill requires long-term care facilities to notify residents or their representatives upon admission that they can ask for legal help when applying for Medical Assistance. Facilities are currently required to post notices, but this would add another layer of notification. 


HB1092 [Kauffman] - Catalytic Converter Scrap/Recycling Tracking
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 177-23]

This bill seeks to address the growing problem of catalytic converter theft by requiring scrap processors and recycling facilities to ask for specific information from sellers of catalytic converters, including the year, make, model, and VIN number of the car from which the converter was removed. It also imposes a 48-hour hold on payments to the sellers. 

HR 227 [Lawrence] – Resolution finding Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner in contempt of the House of Representatives
How I Voted: Yes [Resolution passed the House 162-38]

This vote related specifically to whether DA Krasner appropriately responded to a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives. For me, this vote was about equal application of the law. This was not a vote to remove DA Krasner from office; this was a procedural vote about responding to a lawfully issued subpoena. Any person before a select committee would be subject to subpoena power, and we all need to play by the same rules.

I stand by my previous votes opposing the creation of the Select Committee and supporting the right of Philadelphia voters to determine their own representation..

Motion to Table HR 227 until the Case is Resolved in Court
How I voted: Yes. (Motion failed, 117 “No” to 83 “Yes”)

This was a vote to remove the resolution from consideration until DA Krasner’s challenge to the subpoena could be heard and the case resolved in court. Despite support from myself and most of my Democratic colleagues, the motion failed on a near-party-line vote.


HB 1534 [M Mackenzie] -- Simplifying Unclaimed Property Process for Heirs
How I voted: Yes [Bill passed the House 200-0]

This updates the law to make it easier for lineal descendants (primarily grandchildren) to receive unclaimed property for deceased relatives without having to go through probate. This will enable more heirs to get money owed to their relatives without jumping through process hoops.

HB 2331 [Gleim] - Municipal Wastewater Storm Management Plans
How I voted: No [Bill Passed House 117-83]

While this bill purports to make it easier for small municipal storm sewer systems to deal with paperwork, it would create burdensome water testing requirements for the DEP. The DEP would be required to annually test these small storm sewer systems without adding the necessary staff.


SB106 (Argall) – Constitutional Amendment Package
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 107-92)

After being pushed through a Senate committee, a Senate floor vote, and a late-night House committee meeting, all in under 18 hours with no public hearings, this bill proposing five unrelated constitutional amendments was brought up for a vote on the House floor late on a Friday night.

While most of the attention on SB106 has centered on a measure that would alter the state constitution to explicitly state that there is no constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion “or any other right relating to abortion,” in Pennsylvania, this bill also contains other harmful proposals regarding regulatory powers, voter suppression, and more.

Because this legislation proposes amendments to the constitution, Governor Wolf will not have the chance to veto. It would instead need to pass another session of both the House and Senate. These measures will not be on the November general election ballot, but if the language passes both the House and Senate in the next legislative session, we would see the proposed amendments on the ballot as soon as the May 2023 municipal primary election.


SB 1100 (Browne) – General Appropriations Act (2022-2023 state budget)
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 180-20)

This is the main budget bill, appropriating $45.2 billion from the state’s general fund. While it’s not perfect, this year’s budget makes meaningful investments in childcare, mental health (both K-12 and adult), long term care, and support for individuals with disabilities and the workers who provide their care. For these and other reasons, I voted Yes. You can read my full statement on the budget here. This passed both chambers of the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor July 8 as Act 1A.

HB1342 (Rader) – Tax Code Fiscal Year 2022-23
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 184-16)
The Tax Code is part of the package of bills that make up the budget each year. This year’s Tax Code included a number of elements, including a childcare tax credit, a reduction of the corporate net income tax, and expansion of miscellaneous existing tax credits. I support childcare tax credits, but this one does not go far enough, amounting to less than one week of childcare for the average family.

The decrease in corporate net income tax failed to address the Delaware tax loophole, meaning that huge multi-state corporations continue to avoid this tax, while our locally owned businesses still pay one of the highest taxes in the country. Our tax system is a reflection of our state’s priorities, and these tax credits continue to prioritize out-of-state corporations over Pennsylvania families and local small-business owners. The tax code passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor July 8 as Act 53.

HB1642 (White) – Education Code FY 2022-23
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed House 181-19)

Like the Tax Code, the Education Code is part of the annual package of budget bills. Key provisions include extended special education enrollment for students who reached the age of 21 during the pandemic, a survey of school mental health services, the creation of a school mental health grant program, talent recruitment grants for school employees, funding for community colleges, and development of a state-related university performance-based funding model. This legislation passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor July 8 as Act 55.

SB982 (Baker) – Prohibiting Outside Groups from Contributing to Election Operations
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-90)
This legislation is a reaction to the rampant disinformation about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election. The bill was introduced in response to the Center for Tech and Civic Life grants that assisted counties with COVID-19-related preparation for the 2020 elections. As ACLU-PA reported, “there were no restrictions on those grants; all counties were free to apply for those funds. Had that money not been available, some counties would not have been able to run elections in 2020.”

The CTCL grants were necessary because the General Assembly has consistently failed to properly fund elections. While SB982, as amended, does provide a system for state funding of county election operations, the new system is grant based and imposes conditions and restrictions that will create hardships for some counties. For this reason, I voted No. This bill passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor July 11 as Act 88.


SB275 (Yaw) – Energy policy preemption legislation
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 117-83)

This bill would preempt local governments by barring them from setting restrictions on the type of heating allowed in new construction. Although positioned as “choice” legislation, this is another attempt by Republicans to keep local communities from deciding what’s best for them. This bill passed both chambers but was vetoed by the Governor on July 11.

SB442 (Phillips-Hill) – Broadband and State-Related University Funding Restrictions
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 109-91)

This bill demonstrates how convoluted the legislative process can be. SB 442 was originally a bill to inventory broadband assets throughout the state. In the House, it was amended to include language from a bill on funding state-related universities that directly targets and attempts to defund the University of Pittsburgh. This bill was at the center of a major fight and delay in approving state support for in-state tuition discounts at Pitt, Temple, Penn State and Lincoln University. This legislation passed the House but did not advance in the Senate.

SB 1284 (Browne) – Funding for State-Related Universities
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 145-55)

SB 1284 contains the actual funding provisions for our state-related universities. This funding requires a two-thirds vote, not a simple majority. I joined all of my Democratic colleagues in voting to fund our state-related universities: Lincoln, Penn State, Pitt, and Temple. The bill passed the House 145-55, passed the Senate 43-7, and was signed by the Governor on July 8 as Act No. 3A of 2022.


HB2157 (Ferry) – Fireworks Law Updates
How I voted: Yes (House concurred with Senate amendments 163-37)

Expanded use of fireworks has been a concern for many pet owners, farmers, individuals with PTSD, and others since the state relaxed fireworks laws in 2017, and my office has received frequent complaints and concerns from constituents and municipalities. House Bill 2157 does not completely repeal the 2017 changes, but it sets minimum distances from buildings and vehicles and gives more power to municipalities to regulate the use of consumer fireworks, allowing local governments to set time restrictions and prohibitions on their use and sale.? This bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor July 11 as Act 74.

HB 2039 - (Pennycuick) – Victim Testimony at Bail Hearings
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 141-59)

This bill amends the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act to require that alleged victims are notified of and have an opportunity to comment at bail hearings. Alleged victims already have the right to information regarding the granting or denial of bail to a defendant. They do not have the right to testify at bail hearings because bail hearings are not set up or equipped to function as criminal trials where guilt or innocence is determined.

I voted No because this legislation undermines the fundamental presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the Constitutional right to due process. It allows prejudicial information to be presented at a bail hearing, with no provisions to establish standards of proof or clarify whether defendants would have an opportunity to cross-examine or even a right to counsel. (For a more in-depth explanation, visit
ACLU-PA.) This bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Wolf July 11 as Act 71.  


HB2401 (Wheeland) – Home Health Care Regulatory Relief
How I voted: Yes (House concurred with Senate amendments 200-0)

This bill codifies common-sense regulatory waivers created during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to order home health care services. (Previously, only a physician could issue those orders.) It also allows for tele-supervision of home health aides. The bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor June 30 as Act 30.

SB814 (Yudichak) – Evading Arrest of Detention by Foot
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 127-73)
This bill creates two new felony offenses: fleeing on foot from a police officer and harming a police animal while evading arrest or detention. However, both these acts can already be charged under several existing sections of the Pennsylvania criminal code. (Evading or resisting arrest and intentionally or knowingly harming a police animal are already criminal offenses.) I voted against SB814 because it creates unnecessary and duplicative offenses and invites selective interpretation and application of the law by including unclear definitions and culpability requirements. This bill passed both the House and Senate and became law without the Governor’s signature July 18 as
Act 95.


HR212? (Farry) – Studying State Office of Developmental Programs
How I voted: Yes (Adopted by House 123-27)

This resolution authorizes a study of the delivery of state services relating to autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities. We know there are many issues; this study will recommend possible legislative solutions and policy improvements.

HR 216 (Kail) – Creation of a Select Committee
How I voted: No (Resolution adopted by House 114-86)

This resolution creates a committee to study the possible impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Krasner was duly elected by the voters of Philadelphia voters. The General Assembly should not interfere with that decision.


SB573 (Mastriano) – Poll Watcher Empowerment Act
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 111-89)

This bill would open the door to voter intimidation by allowing poll watchers from anywhere in Pennsylvania to scrutinize voting locations outside their home counties. This bill passed both the House and Senate and was vetoed by the Governor July 8.


HB1988 (Owlett) State System Campus Police Officers
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-0)

This bill would put police departments at state universities under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOTEC). I co-sponsored and voted for this bill because it will put campus police departments on par with state-related institutions and provide the same benefits of training and certification available to municipal police departments.

HB2679 (Hickernell) – COVID-19 and Flu Immunization Administration
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 170-30)

This bill allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer flu and COVID-19 immunizations to individuals ages 5 years and older. This preserves regulatory waivers put into effect during the COVID-19 pandemic and will make these vaccinations more widely available. This bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor July 11 as Act 80.

SB861 (Stefano) – EMS Compact
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 172-28)

This bill enters the state into the Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact to facilitate the movement and operation of Pennsylvania EMS personnel across state boundaries during the performance of their duties. Joining the compact will make Pennsylvania more attractive to out-of-state EMS personnel to locate here. This bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor July 7 as Act 45.


HB2649 (Grove) – Politicizing the Independent Regulatory Review Commission
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-89)

This would skew the makeup of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission by adding appointments by the House and Senate majority leaders. It would eliminate the IRRC’s independence and centralize even more power to the legislature.


HB2104 (Rapp) Decommissioning of Solar/Wind Energy Facilities
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 121-79)

This bill would require operators of solar and wind energy facilities to post bonds to cover the cost of decommissioning their facilities at the end of life. This bill would place an unfair and uncompetitive burden on the development of alternative energy. I voted No in ERE Committee and on the House floor.


HB2528 (Struzzi) – DEP Well Plugging Contracts
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 122-78)

This bill would require DEP to give Pennsylvania businesses the opportunity to bid on well plugging contracts before out of state firms could bid. I voted against this bill in ERE Committee and on the House floor because it was written to benefit a single company.

HB2644 (Causer) – Plugging Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 109-91)

This bill, which I also voted against on both the House floor and in Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, is problematic because it has inadequate bonding requirements that fail to cover the actual cost of plugging wells. It would also allow money to be awarded to operators with outstanding compliance issues. This bill passed both the House and Senate and became law without the Governor’s signature 7/19 as Act 96.


HB 1866 (Boback) – Helping Older Foster Youth Find Permanency
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 203-0)

Each year, about half of all foster youth age out of the foster care system without ever having found permanency through adoption, permanent legal custodianship, or reunification with their family of origin. Young adults leaving the child welfare system without a family support system experience high rates of incarceration and homelessness. This bill seeks to improve outcomes and prevent homelessness when older youth are discharged from the child welfare system by taking steps to enhance permanency planning prior to discharge and ensure that transition planning requirements are being followed.


HB 2097 (Hamm) – Emergency Responder Staffing Flexibility
How I Voted: Yes (Passed House 201-0)

This bill makes permanent a COVID waiver that decreased the number of EMTs required on basic medical support ambulance runs. This will give EMS agencies staffing flexibility, particularly in rural areas, without compromising safety. This bill was signed by Gov. Wolf on July 11 as Act 72.

HB 2159 (Ortitay) - Reforming the Emergency Procurement Process
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 113-89)

This legislation adds burdensome and impractical requirements to emergency procurement procedures, creating bottlenecks that would be problematic in emergency situations, particularly for regional or distributed operations like PEMA, DHS, DOH, DMVA and PennDOT.

HB 2169 (Owlett) “Lifeline Scholarship” Program
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 104-98)

I oppose this proposal that would send more of our public tax dollars to private schools, particularly when we are still fighting hard to fund our public schools fully and equitably. This legislation would take money directly from school districts’ state subsidy and sets no income restrictions nor requirement that scholarships would go to students with the greatest financial need.

HB 2275 (White) – Firearms Task Force
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 151-49)

This bill would extend concurrent jurisdiction of the state Office of Attorney General to prosecute certain gun crimes in Philadelphia. The Office of Attorney General has had this power for two years and has not used it; extending it is unnecessary and cynical.

HB 2449 (Gillespie) – Publishing Legislative Expenses
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 202-0)

I am pleased to support this legislation, which will require quarterly publication of individual expenses for House members, including per diems, travel allowances and reimbursements, meals and lodging, and district office expenses. I am in favor of any bill that promotes government transparency and accountability. Note that in its current form, the bill does not cover the Senate.


HB 1960 (Kail) Corporate Net Income Tax Reform
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 195-8)

This bill would reduce Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) from 10% to 9%, with an additional cut possible in the future, depending on state revenues.

Governor Wolf and House Democrats have long advocated for a stronger version of this legislation that would help small, locally owned businesses by further lowering the CNIT while closing the “Delaware loophole” that allows multi-state corporations to avoid paying this tax.

I voted for this bill even though it does not include these much-needed reforms in our corporate tax structure. I am hopeful that this is the first step in a long-overdue conversation about meaningful tax reform in our commonwealth, and my colleagues in the majority have indicated their openness to taking up that discussion at budget time.

(Update, July 2022: This bill did not advance in the Senate. The CNIT cut was included in the 2022-23 budget; however, the provisions to close the tax loophole were not addressed or included.)

HB 2271 (Tomlinson) – Lindsey’s Law
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 180-23)

This bill enhances the sentence for individuals convicted of sexual extortion if the victim attempts suicide or dies by suicide within 90 days of the offense being reported. This legislation arises from a tragic case, and I understand the impulse behind it. However, I agree with the position of ACLU Pennsylvania that prosecutors already have sufficient tools to punish offenders several times over without enacting duplicative and unnecessary new legislation. This legislation was signed by Gov. Wolf on July 11 as Act 75.

HB 2238 (White) – Term Limit for Philadelphia District Attorney
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 115-88)

Although this bill does not reference Philadelphia by name, the proposal applies only to cities of the first class, and Philadelphia is the only city of the first class in Pennsylvania. This legislation is essentially an attack on the current Philadelphia District Attorney. It would limit the term of the current DA to four years, and future DAs could serve only two terms. I voted no because this bill would undermine and pre-empt the will of Philadelphia voters.

HB 2525 (Kaufer) – Crime Victim Access to Criminal History Information
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 160-43)

This bill provides crime victims or their legal representative access to criminal history investigative information for use in civil actions. This bill raises privacy concerns and questions as to whether some information is privileged or confidential, as well as concerns about protecting the secrecy of investigations. The bill does contain some “guardrail” language to prevent abuse of the information; however, it fails to provide consequences for spreading or sharing information outside the scope for which it is intended, and individuals affected by privilege or confidentiality provisions lack a mechanism to intervene to protect their privacy rights.

HB 2464 (Delozier) -
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 170-33)

This bill creates legal standing for victims to assert and enforce a right enumerated in the Crime Victims Act or by law. While I support some of the goals of this legislation, I voted no because I am concerned that it interferes with the constitutional rights of the accused, which are intended to limit the state’s power against individuals and protect against wrongful convictions. I am also concerned about the potential for this bill to be used by perpetrators of abuse against their victims, as expressed by my colleague Rep. Emily Kinkead in discussion of the bill during Judiciary Committee on April 12. (See her comments here, beginning at the 9:09 mark.) This legislation was signed by Gov. Wolf on July 11 as Act 77 of 2022.

HB 2209 (Major) - Adding Virtual Option To Establish Quorum of Land Bank Board
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 185-18)

HB 2210 (Pennycuick) - Adding Land Banks To Conservatorship Law
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 174-29)

Land banks are a tool used by municipalities to facilitate the return of vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties to productive use. HB 2209 and 2210 seek to prevent blighted properties and blighted communities by adding land banks to the list of entities eligible to be conservators under the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act (HB 2210) and allowing land banks to establish a virtual quorum to conduct meetings via Zoom or similar platform. I voted yes in support of these bills that will help us to combat blight in Pennsylvania communities.


HB2458 (White) – Taskforce on Exporting LNG from Philadelphia
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-91)

This bill would create a task force to study the possible export of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from Philadelphia. While the stated purpose of this legislation is to help reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and oil, realistically it would take years to build out the infrastructure and expand the supply, by which time Europe may have reduced its demand for gas as European countries continue their transition away from fossil fuels. The oil and gas industry knows this. They use the “energy security” message because more government investment in new infrastructure means more multi-year contracts that help to ensure corporate profits.

SB478 (Dush) – Awarding of Service Contracts by Municipalities
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 197-1)

This bill would allow municipalities and other political subdivisions to enter into contracts for services if no bids are received after two properly placed advertisements for bids. Communities already have this flexibility for the purchase of goods and sale of real or personal property; this is a common-sense extension of that power. This legislation was signed by Gov. Wolf on April 19 as Act 18.


HB746 (Roae) – Abolish Providing State Paid or Leased Vehicles to Legislators
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 183-16)

Currently only about 20 members of the House of Representatives have state-leased cars. This would end that practice and require legislators to file for reimbursement for mileage on personal cars. There is no reason to have taxpayers buy cars for legislators. This bill would help to create a better and more transparent government.

HB972 (Gleim) – Fairness in Women’s Sports Act
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 115-84)

This harmful bill was put forth solely as a distraction by lawmakers who would rather stir up a culture war against transgender children and young adults than address their own failures to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians. I will continue to stand up for the rights of girls who are simply trying to be accepted and understood. I spoke on the House floor in opposition to HB 976. Gov. Wolf vetoed this bill as promised on July 8. Read his veto message.

SB1020 (Gebhard) – Marsh Creek State Park Expansion
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

This bill authorizes certain land swaps and land conveyances in Pennsylvania, including a transaction that will add approximately 10.5 acres to Marsh Creek State Park without subtracting any acreage from the park. This addition will link Marsh Creek State Park with the Struble Trail and will allow for additional trailhead parking on the Dorlan Mill side of the park. (I am a co-sponsor on the House bill authorizing this transaction, but that bill will no longer need to run now that we have passed the Senate version.) This bill passed the House and Senate unanimously, and Governor Wolf has signed it into law as Act 20 of 2022.

HB2419 (Pickett) –Telehealth: Outpatient Psychiatric Oversight
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

During the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth became a vital tool to help keep patients connected with their providers. This bill will give the Department of Human Services flexibility to issue waivers for telehealth in psychiatric outpatient clinics. I believe this is particularly important given our ongoing mental health crisis, including the challenges around access to care. This bill was signed by Gov. Wolf on July 11 as Act 76.

HB2401 (Wheeland) – Home Health Care Regulatory Relief
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

This is another bill formally enacting some of the regulatory relief granted during the COVID-19 emergency. It will allow Certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to order home health services and allow for remote supervisory visits for home health patients. Both these measures will help maintain access to quality care. This bill was signed by Gov. Wolf on June 30 as Act 30.


HB604 (Fritz) – “Timely” Issuance of Permits by the DEP
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 115-85)

This is yet another attempt to undermine the DEP’s authority and ability to protect our clean air and water. Under this legislation, environmental permits would be automatically approved if the DEP does not move fast enough for industry. If we want the permitting review process to move faster, DEP must be adequately funded.

HB2450 (Fritz) – Delaware River Basin Commission Voting Reform
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 116-84)

HB2451 (Fritz) – Ending DRBC Fracking Ban
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-90)

HB2461 (Owlett) – Requiring DCNR to Allow Fracking on State Lands
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 116-84)

These three bills (HB 2450, 2451, and 2461) are among several proposed by Republicans that exploit the Ukraine crisis for the sake of oil and gas interests. They are cynical, unnecessary, and would do nothing to address the crisis, help the citizens of Ukraine, or lower our gas prices. Further, individual states cannot unilaterally change the policies of the Delaware River Basin Commission, as DRBC is a multi-state compact.


SB 1019 (Brooks) – Temporary Regulatory Flexibility
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 198-0)

This bill extends through June 30, 2022, certain suspensions of regulations and statutes issued by agencies under the COVID-19 emergency declaration. One of the most important, extensions, allows the continued use of telemedicine. The bill also asks agencies to report on which regulations they believe should be permanently suspended.

Both the House and Senate passed SB 1019, and it was signed by Governor Wolf on March 30 as Act 14 of 2022.


HB 637 (Struzzi) – Legislative Authority Over RGGI

How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 126-72)

This is yet another attempt by the majority to keep Pennsylvania out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which, while not a perfect solution, is an important step in reducing carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. HB 637 would completely strip DEP of its authority to "adopt a measure or take any other action that is designed to abate, control, or limit carbon dioxide emissions." This restriction over DEP’s authority applies even if the measure is already in effect as of the effective date of this legislation.

I voted no on this bill, both in the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and on the House floor. (HB 637 is virtually identical to HB 2025, which Governor Wolf vetoed in 2020.)


HR 187 (Saylor) – Ending pipeline bans
How I voted: No (Resolution passed the House 134-64)

This resolution urges the governors of New York and New Jersey to end their states’ policies prohibiting the construction of any new pipelines.

HR 189 (Metcalfe) – Banning Russian Energy and Supporting Pennsylvanian Energy
How I voted: No (Resolution passed the House 126-76)

Like HR 187, HR 189 is a cynical attempt to exploit the crisis in Ukraine for the purpose of advancing fossil-fuel interests. HR 189 calls on the United States Congress and President Biden to increase oil and gas drilling and associated infrastructure, despite the fact that U.S. oil and gas companies have admitted that they are not fully utilizing the permits they already have.

I voted NO on both these resolutions, both in ERE Committee and on the House floor. Despite the bill sponsors’ assertions, neither resolution would have any impact on gasoline prices.


HB 1440 (Millard) - Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professional Licensing
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 132 – 67)

House Bill 1440 requires licensure for medical imaging professionals, radiation therapists, and radiologist assistants. This bill requires the State Board of Medicine to assess the “good moral character” of applicants. I support the goals of the bill and agree with the need for licensure; however, I also believe we need to be mindful of the unintended consequences of the legislation we pass.

I voted No because I am concerned about creating obstacles that would shut off this career path for rehabilitated individuals seeking to rebuild their lives and enter a skilled profession following a period of incarceration. While the bill does not impose an outright ban on people with prior criminal convictions, the requirements of the “individualized assessment” are subjective enough that they are difficult to apply equitably, and institutional bias remains a concern.


HB 1614 (Warner) – Increasing the Required Number of Ballots on Election Day
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

During the May 18, 2021, primary election, some precincts across the Commonwealth, including right here in Chester County, ran out of ballots, resulting in delays for voters, long lines, and possible disenfranchisement for voters who were unable to wait for more ballots to be delivered.

House Bill 1614 requires each precinct to be supplied with enough ballots for 50% of all registered voters in that precinct for a primary election, and for 100% of all voters in that precinct for a general election (less the number of voters who have requested mail or absentee ballots). Our right to vote is among our most sacred constitutional rights, and this legislation will help to ensure access to voting and the integrity of our electoral process. Gov. Wolf signed the bill July 11 as
Act 66.


SB739 (Stefano) – Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-0)

This bill expands the Fire/EMS loan program to cover municipal fire departments and emergency services companies with paid staff. The expansion was approved by voters in 2020, and this bill is necessary to enact the program. Governor Wolf signed this legislation into law on Feb. 10 as Act 10 of 2022.

HB1082 (Lewis DelRosso) – Early Detection and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-0)

Under this bill, the state departments of Health and Aging will work with other public and private organizations to create an education program for primary care providers to underscore the value of an early diagnosis of dementia for patients and their families. Governor Wolf signed this bill into law on February 9 as Act 9 of 2022.


HB19 (Mehaffie) – Create professional licensing for behavior analysts
How I voted: Yes (Passed the House 134-66)

This bill would officially recognize and create a licensing structure for applied behavior analysts, recognizing this profession and those Behavior Analysts who are Board Certified. This legislation also establishes the Behavior Analyst Advisory Committee to assist the State Board of Medicine in promulgating regulations for the practice of applied behavior analysis. Licensure under the State Board of Medicine would enable ABA professionals to work with insurers and receive insurance reimbursements.


HB2072 (Mackenzie, Milou) – CHIP Premium Repayments
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill would allow families with CHIP coverage to use money from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to catch up on delinquent payments. An emergency moratorium on canceling coverage for these families will soon expire, and thousands of families could face cancellation without this assistance.

HB1059 (Hickernell) – Raising Payment Threshold for Estimated Personal Income Tax
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill increases the Personal Income Tax threshold requiring estimated payment of income taxes from $8,000 to $20,000.

HB253 (Owlett) – COVID Relief for Healthcare, and task force on opioid Abuse Epidemic
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

The original bill, which passed the House unanimously in June 2021, created a task force to identify strategies and make short-and long-term recommendations to prioritize prevention of substance abuse in pregnant and parenting women and promote the health, safety and permanency of opioid exposed infants and young children. It was amended in the Senate to provide $225 million in COVID relief funds to healthcare facilities and workers, then came back to the House for concurrence and final approval. HB 253 was signed by Gov. Wolf on Jan. 26 as Act 2 of 2022.

HB1947– (O’Neal) Energy Policy Pre-Emption
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 118-83)

This bill would prohibit municipalities from banning natural gas hookups in new construction. I voted against this legislation for two main reasons: First, it restricts the ability of municipalities to implement policies to decrease emissions, stifling progress toward clean energy when many municipalities in Chester County and other regions are working to transition away from fossil fuel, and second, it is another example of an attempt by the majority party to pre-empt the authority of local government.


HB624 (Schroeder) – Strengthening Protection Against Elder Abuse
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-0)

This bill would require the Attorney General to notify the Department of Aging of investigations into and enforcement actions against telemarketers when a consumer 60 or older is involved. This will allow better coordination between agencies to identify patterns of financial exploitation and hopefully prevent seniors from being scammed.


HB1760 (Heffley) – Enhancements to C-PACE program
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House200-0)

This bill expands the C-PACE program, which supports building energy efficiency and clean energy projects, to cover multifamily commercial buildings, indoor air improvements and resiliency improvements.


HB 2146 (Grove) – Congressional Redistricting Act of 2021
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-91)

This bill would set new district boundaries for 17 U.S. Congressional districts in Pennsylvania. Because of population changes recorded in the 2020 U.S. Census, Pennsylvania is losing one congressional seat in 2022. The map presented in HB 2146 has been characterized as a “citizens map,” but the process was not transparent, and it resulted in an unfair map that places the interests of elected officials above the goal of fair representation.

This legislation passed the Senate but was vetoed by Governor Wolf on January 26, 2022. The Congressional maps will now be determined by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.


(Note that this legislation and this map affect only U.S. Congressional districts. The process to draw new maps for the state General Assembly is entirely separate and does not go through the legislature.)


HB 293?- (Oberlander) Medicaid coverage for FDA-approved anti-obesity drugs
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill requires the state Medicaid program to cover FDA-approved anti-obesity drugs. Obesity is officially classified by the AMA as a disease, and it is important that state Medicaid patients have access through their insurance to anti-obesity medications, just as they do for diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.

HB 1280?(Jozwiak) - Patient Test Result Information Act
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill clarifies 2018 legislation that requires diagnostic imaging providers to directly notify patients of test results. Current law requires notification if the test results indicate a “significant abnormality” This vague language has led to varying interpretations and confusion.

HB 2180 would require patients to be given written notice at the time of a test urging them to follow up with their ordering provider if they are not contacted by their provider within 21 days.


HB 2148? (B. Miller) -- Local Government Public Notices
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-1)

Current state law requires that local governments advertise in newspapers for public meetings, proposed ordinances, procurement, and other procedural actions. If the newspaper fails to publish a notice, the proposed meeting or action must be delayed.

This bill would allow localities to meet the publishing requirement by posting these notices on their websites in addition to placing public notices. This legislation modernizes the notification process and provides important additional flexibility for local governments to efficiently conduct business.


HB1366?- (Klunk) Pennsylvania Family Law Arbitration Act
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

This bill establishes a statutory framework for arbitrating family law disputes such as disagreements over marital property, spousal support, and child support. This would provide an efficient alternative for the resolution of family law disputes by keeping them out of the judicial system.

HB 2046- (Klunk) Bail Bondsman Licensure
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 111-88)

This bill would redefine the definition of bail bondsman in such a way that community bail funds would be severely restricted. The legislation would require community bail funds to function as professional bail companies, with all the attendant licensing requirements. This bill would result in more poor people being kept in jail, merely because of an inability to make bail. To read more about this problematic bill, visit the ACLU PA website.

SB565?– (Dush) Concealed Firearms Carry
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 107-92)

This bill would repeal the licensure requirement for carrying a concealed weapon and would lower the age to carry a concealed firearm from 21 to 19. I was particularly concerned about lowering the age and the potential impact on firearm suicides in this age group. I spoke against this bill on the House floor. This legislation was vetoed by Governor Wolf on December 2, 2021.


HB1308? (Schlossberg) -Localized Overdose Fatality Review Teams

How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 200-0)

This legislation would allow agencies and local communities to establish multi-disciplinary review teams to respond to and develop strategies to stem the overdose epidemic.


Supporting Veterans

I joined my House colleagues in unanimously approving several bills designed to support our veterans and their families. These included:

HB1055?(Webster) - Extending privacy protection for veterans’ discharge records held by county recorders of deeds from 75 years to 85 years after filing. This will protect more veterans from identity theft.

HB1220?(Gregory)Increasing disability pensions for blind veterans and disabled/amputee veterans to $250/month and providing for biennial increases indexed to inflation.

HB1868?(Mako) – Streamlining the process for military members and their families who apply for professional licenses.


HB1561?(Farry) and HB1563 (Cutler) – Amending the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act and Amending the Mental Health Procedures Act
How I voted: Yes on both bills (both passed the House unanimously, by votes of 200-0)

These bills update portions of Pennsylvania mental health and drug & alcohol abuse laws to allow providers, facilities and health plans to more easily share pertinent medical information about patients, while still preserving patient privacy. It is vitally important for providers and rehab facilities to see a patient’s complete history in order to make better treatment recommendations.


HR 148? (White) – Renewable Fuel Standards
How I voted: No (Resolution passed the House 192-8)

This resolution calls on the US Environmental Protection Agency to revise nationwide Renewable Fuel Standards to make it easier for small refineries to maintain profitability. The renewable fuel standard (RFS) program was established under the federal Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil. I voted No because I believe we must continue to work toward standards that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and advance our short- and long-term clean air goals.

HB 1041?(Topper) – Homeschool Hybrid Educational Access Act
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 136-64)

This bill would require public school districts to allow home schooled students to participate in any co-curricular activity at a public school, take as many as four academic courses at a time, and participate in career and technical programs on the same basis as other students in the school district.

Many public school districts already do allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities and academic courses. I voted against HB 1041 because it places a financial and administrative burden on public schools as they try to plan and fund their staffing, programming, and facility needs. While I respect a parent’s decision to homeschool their child, with four academic courses, extracurricular activities, and participation in career and technical programs, a home-schooled student could effectively become a full-time student of the district.


HB 1260 (Thomas) – PACE/PACENET Eligibility Expansion
How I voted: Co-sponsored this bill and voted Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

PACE and PACENET are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults. HB 1260 raises income limits for PACE eligibility from $27,500 to $33,500 for a single person and from $35,300 to $41,500 for a married couple.

I was glad to co-sponsor this bill, which passed the House unanimously. While we still have more work to do to make prescriptions affordable for Pennsylvanians of every age, this legislation is a necessary step in the right direction. This bill unanimously passed the Senate and was signed into law by Governor Wolf on December 22, 2021.

HB 1819 (Labs) - Unemployment Compensation Eligibility Clarification
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 176-23)

Under current Pennsylvania unemployment law, case law, and Department of Labor & Industry policy, an Unemployment claimant may already be considered ineligible for benefits if they “discourage their own hire” by failing to attend a job interview or meet other job search requirements. I voted against HB 1819 because it creates more red tape in an already overburdened unemployment system and allows employers and the UC system, rather than jobseekers, to determine whether the remuneration, hours, and other conditions of work are suitable for the claimant/jobseeker’s needs.


HB 598 (Oberlander) – Limitations of Prescriptive Easements for Public Use
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 190-9)

This bill would remove the ability of non-profit organizations to seek easements for the benefit of the public. This type of easement has been an essential tool in the development of Pennsylvania’s extensive network of public trails.

I voted against this bill for several reasons, including that it appears to be an attempt to interfere with active litigation and may be unconstitutional.

I echo the concerns
voiced by my colleague, Rep. Liz Hanbidge, who opposed the bill because it will limit access to Pennsylvania trails and will cost taxpayers money by making the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) an obligatory litigant. A retroactivity provision in the legislation would mean that trails that have been in use for the last 21 years will be called into question and potential litigation.

HB 1615 (Topper) Adding Barriers to Sales of Malt or Brewed Beverages Between Facilities
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 137-61)

Pennsylvania is the nation’s top producer of craft beer, thanks in part to the state’s friendliness to small brewing operations. This bill would force companies that have brewpubs in Pennsylvania and produce beer in other states to use the same three-tier distribution system that is used by completely out-of-state brewers.

This legislation disincentivizes business growth and harms our craft beer industry, and
I spoke against it on the House floor. I am hopeful it will be amended in the Senate to ensure it protects the interests of small and medium craft brewers.

HR 142 (Heffley) Study of the State Board of Nursing and Nurse Licensing in Pennsylvania
How I voted: Yes (Resolution passed the House unanimously)

This resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to compile a report on delays in processing licensure applications by the State Board of Nursing.

I have heard from many constituents regarding delays in processing their nursing license applications. I am glad that this issue will now be studied with an eye toward improving the system.


HB 488 (Boback) – Providing for the Offense of Endangering Children
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 155-44)

This bill would create a new offense for failure to report the disappearance of a child to a law enforcement agency within 24 hours, classifying it as child endangerment. However, endangerment of a child is already criminalized and punishable under existing Pennsylvania law.

HB 488 is unnecessary, duplicative legislation. The 24-hour figure is arbitrary, and the bill fails to define when the 24-hour clock would begin ticking (When the parent leaves for work? When the parent drops the child at the home of a friend or caregiver?), raising concerns that the law could be weaponized in shared custody arrangements or disputes.

HB 930 (Schlegel-Culver) – National Missing and Unidentified Persons System
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 190-9)

This bill would require law enforcement agencies to deliver DNA samples of missing children, high-risk missing persons and unidentified decedents to the Pennsylvania State Police for DNA analysis and submission to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), with the goal of resolving missing-persons cases and bringing closure to families and loved ones. (Samples would be collected from personal items or biological relatives of missing persons.)

If this legislation is enacted, Pennsylvania will join several nearby states, including New York and New Jersey, in requiring that DNA profiles be submitted to NamUs.

HB 1196 (Ecker) – Cases Challenging State Statutes
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 113-86)

This bill would give either or both the House and Senate standing to intervene as parties in judicial proceedings challenging the constitutionality of state laws.

This is an unnecessary intrusion of the legislative branch into the judiciary and would allow legislative caucuses to spend taxpayer dollars to defend laws that promote their political agendas. The Attorney General and Governor’s office have the standing needed to defend statutes.

HB 1332 (Lewis) – Empowering Parents with Curriculum Transparency
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 110-89)

This bill would require school districts to post all curriculum and educational materials online, including an internet link or title for every book used by the school.

I voted against this legislation for several reasons. The Pennsylvania School Code already gives parents and guardians access to curriculum materials, including academic standards, instructional materials, and assessment techniques. The bill’s definition of educational materials is vague, and the requirement to post every instructional material online is overly burdensome and impractical for schools and educators. Given that parents and guardians already have the ability to access curriculum materials, requiring schools to make this information available to parties outside the school community is an invitation for censorship in the guise of transparency.

HB 1829 – (Ecker) – Work Permits for Minors
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 198-1)

This bill gives minors the option to get work permits approved remotely without having to appear in person before an issuing officer. These requirements were waived as part of the COVID emergency declaration, and it makes sense to permanently continue this flexibility.


HB 1642 (White) -- Expanding School Tuition Tax Credits
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 116-84)

This bill would change the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) supplemental scholarship program for students attending an economically disadvantaged school by increasing the scholarship amount, lowering the threshold to qualify as an economically disadvantaged school, and moving the supplemental scholarships from the OSTC program to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

While this bill does not directly increase the EITC cap, it adds language to make an open-ended exception for whatever amount is needed to meet the obligations of the scholarships, which could amount to a blank check for the expansion of the EITC program and the redirection of more public tax dollars to nonpublic schools.


HB 1893 (Staats) – Updates to the Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1955
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 113-87)

This bill would open health records on a number of conditions to Right-to-Know requests. This is a troubling piece of legislation that would invade Pennsylvanians’ privacy and create a chilling effect on day-to-day public health work. If private health information becomes sharable under the Right-to-Know law, Pennsylvanians’ may be hesitant to share that information with health officials. If this bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would be the only state to subject public health and disease records to such public disclosure.


HB 1861 (Lewis) – Extension of COVID regulatory waivers
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-0)

This bill temporary extends nearly 500 regulatory waivers made by state agencies throughout the pandemic, including waivers related to telemedicine, occupational licensing, and public meeting requirements. The waivers will now be in place through March 31, 2022. For a complete list of the regulations extended by this bill, click here.


HB 591 (Zimmerman) – Amendments to Clean Streams Law
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 115-84)

This bill would allow construction sites that result in land disturbance of more than one acre and less than five acres to waive discharge permit requirements. I first voted against this bill when it came before the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in June.

HB 591 would allow oil and gas infrastructure projects in densely populated areas (like many in the 155th Legislative District) to operate without a discharge permit. We have unfortunately seen numerous occasions when operators dumped drilling mud into trout-stocked streams or stormwater management systems. I voted no because this legislation fails to protect densely populated areas that are significantly impacted by these projects.

HB 1350 (James) – Amending Borough Code
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 196-3)

This bill modernizes the state law governing boroughs, making it more consistent with the law governing first class townships. It gives boroughs greater flexibility to contract for management services and removes the requirement that a preliminary budget be prepared at least 30 days prior to adoption of a budget.

HB 1350 provides further consistency among municipalities and gives jurisdictions such as the Borough of Phoenixville greater flexibility in administrative procedures.


HB 1660 (Sonney)— Amending the Temporary Emergency Provision in the School Code
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 118-82)

Current law allows a school board dealing with an unforeseen emergency to enact temporary emergency provisions for a period of up to four years. This legislation amends the school code by limiting the board’s temporary emergency powers to 60 days. I voted against this bill because it removes local control and too narrowly restricts the ability of school boards to respond to an emergency.

As defined in the bill, an emergency means an event that prevents a school building from opening, including communicable health issues, hazardous weather, law enforcement emergency, damage to school building, or other temporary circumstance rendering any portion of a school building unfit or unsafe for use.

In the midst of a global pandemic that has lasted far longer than 60 days, and in a time when Pennsylvania’s school buildings have been begging the legislature for the funds they need to repair and remediate mold, lead, asbestos, and other egregiously unsafe conditions, we cannot take away board directors’ authority or ability to respond, adapt, and keep their school communities safe.


HR 139 (Labs) –Resolution extending the Hurricane Ida Disaster Emergency
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

The constitutional amendment approved by Pennsylvania voters in the May 2021 primary limits gubernatorial disaster declarations to 21 days. This left Governor Wolf’s disaster declaration for Hurricane Ida set to expire on September 21, with thousands of Pennsylvania residents still dealing with damaged businesses, uninhabitable homes, and road or bridge closures.

This is the first time the General Assembly has opted to use its new power to extend a disaster declaration, with House and Senate leadership having allowed Wolf’s opioid emergency declaration to expire in August without a vote.

I voted in favor of this resolution to extend the disaster declaration through October 27 because the cleanup from Hurricane Ida is far from complete. If the disaster response is still ongoing at the end of October, the General Assembly would need to vote again to further extend the declaration in order to ensure that PEMA and our impacted counties—including Chester County—can continue to receive the support they need.

HB 184 (Keefer) – Causing or Aiding Suicide ("Shawn's Law")
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 152-49)

HB 184 requires the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to establish a sentence enhancement for causing or aiding suicide when, at the time of the offense, the person who died by suicide was under 18 years old or had an intellectual disability.

The incident that led to the creation of this bill was deeply tragic, and I understand the impulse to react with this legislation. However, causing or aiding suicide is already heavily criminalized in Pennsylvania. At its most severe, this offense is already punishable by death or life without parole. This bill is poorly drafted, in that it fails to adequately define or clarify the situations under which it would apply. If the legislature wishes to enact sentencing enhancements this severe, we have a responsibility to ensure that the scope and limits of the legislation are clearly defined.

I voted No on this bill because it limits and restricts judicial discretion, is vague in its language and definitions, and bases punishment on the age and ability of the victim rather than on the intent or brutality of the crime.



SB 255 (Browne) – State budget, Fiscal year July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 140-61)

Although this budget includes increased funding for education and level-funding for many environmental funds and other state programs, it falls far short of our obligation and ability to fully fund our schools and help Pennsylvanians and small businesses truly recover from the COVID pandemic. Furthermore, it irresponsibly leaves BILLIONS of dollars in revenue unallocated and unaccounted for. For these reasons, I voted No.

With $7 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds and more than $3 billion in greater-than-expected state revenues, the General Assembly had a once-in-a-generation opportunity this year to invest in Pennsylvania and put us on a path for economic recovery and strong tax revenues for the next fiscal year. Instead, we are curling up in the fetal position, squirreling away money, and waiting for the next shoe to drop.

The budget leaves 85% of our federal ARP funds unused, sending about $2.6 billion in federal funds to the state’s Rainy Day fund and leaving $2.7 billion unallocated in the General Fund for undisclosed purposes. We backfilled budget holes from the last legislative session, but we failed to make the responsible investments in our economy that would have helped our restaurants and small businesses right now and prevented the same holes in next year’s budget.

Read more in my full
budget statement and budget priorities statement.


SB 664 (Corman) – Optional Year of Education Due to COVID-19
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

SB 664 gives parents the option to have their child repeat a grade level during the 2021-2022 school year. This legislation also gives parents the option to extend special education enrollment through the 2021-2022 school year for students who reached 21 years of age on or after the issuance of the proclamation of disaster emergency in March 2020. This bill is intended to ensure that students do not lose educational opportunities due to COVID-19.

HB 1302 (Mako) – Solid Waste Management Act
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 199-2)

This bill amends the Solid Waste Management Act (Act 97 of 1980) to require the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to notify municipalities when certain violations occur. Under current law, if the DEP receives a notice of noncompliance about a facility from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the DEP is under no obligation to share the information with the municipality where the violation occurred. This legislation requires DEP to forward the notice of noncompliance from EPA to the affected municipality within 14 calendar days.

SB 618 (Phillips-Hill) – Prohibiting the requirement of vaccine passports in Pennsylvania
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 112-89)

SB 618 prevents any Commonwealth agency, local government, or institution of higher education from requiring documented COVID-19 vaccination for entry into a facility or location. This legislation also blocks the Secretary of Health from implementing public health measures to protect Pennsylvanians from contagious diseases.

I voted no because this legislation impedes the ability of our public health officials to do their job of protecting Pennsylvanians. Requiring proof of immunization against communicable diseases is nothing new – Pennsylvania has had
laws on the books for decades. Our youngest and most vulnerable citizens depend on vaccine requirements to keep them safe. For video of my remarks on this legislation during the House debate, click here.


SB 89 (Pittman) – Repeal: Balanced Multimodal Transportation Policy Commission
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill repeals a section of the PA Transportation Code (section 2107 of Title 74) in order to eliminate an inactive state commission, the Balanced Multimodal Transportation Policy Commission.

HB 1452 (Cutler) – Flexibility in Emergency Publication of the Pennsylvania Bulletin
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)
This bill adds the Pennsylvania Bulletin to the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act and allows for its different publication as circumstances require.


HB 975 (DelRosso) – Protecting Elders and Other Care-Dependent Adults from Sexual Assault

How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 170 – 32)

This bill amends Pennsylvania’s criminal statute by creating a new offense of sexual assault by a caretaker of a care-dependent person. To be sure, sexual assault against a care-dependent person—like any sexual assault—is a serious and reprehensible offense, and existing Pennsylvania law reflects that severity. House Bill 975 is problematic, as it assumes that all care-dependent individuals, who may be care-dependent for any number of reasons related to their physical or cognitive ability, are incapable of giving consent.

Engaging in sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of giving consent already falls within the state’s existing rape and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse statutes, which carry severe penalties and up to lifetime sex-offender registration. This bill is one of many new proposals this legislative session that may have the appearance of being “tough on crime,” but are not actually smart on crime. I voted no because the bill fails to provide any substantial new protections for care-dependent individuals, because the conduct addressed in this bill is already covered by existing criminal statutes, and because the bill fails to recognize care-dependent individuals as equal members of and participants in society, who in many cases are fully capable of consent.


HB 1428 (Masser) – Placement of Electronic Monitoring Devices
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 160-42)

HB 1428 would allow residents of long-term care nursing home facilities or their guardians to install video surveillance devices in the resident’s room. I share the concerns expressed by the PA Department of Aging about allowing another individual, even a guardian, to make a decision that infringes on an older adult’s privacy and potentially exposes that adult and their roommate(s) in vulnerable or intimate situations. I also have concerns about the privacy rights of residents’ roommates, visitors, and guests.

During discussion of this bill in Aging Committee, my colleagues and I raised multiple questions about the legislation’s practical and ethical implications. While I supported an amendment that improves the bill by removing the ability of an individual with power of attorney to install a device in a resident’s room, ultimately too many of my other concerns about the legislation remain unaddressed, and I voted No.


HB 253 (Owlett) - Establishing a Task Force on Opioid Abuse Epidemic's Impact on Infants and Children
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

This bill authorizes the establishment of a Task Force that will focus on the impact the opioid abuse epidemic is having on children, with the objective of improving the safety and well-being of substance-exposed infants and other young children adversely affected by their parents’ substance abuse disorders.

HB 1024 (Schemel) – Medical Cannabis Law Revisions
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 164-38)

This bill updates and revises Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis law by adopting some of the recommendations offered in the Dept. of Health’s two-year review of the medical cannabis program. Among other changes, the legislation modernizes definitions and codifies several provisions that were in place under the COVID-19 emergency order, including allowing dispensaries to provide limited on-site outdoor pickup, remote consultations, and medical dosages for no more than 90 days’ supply.


HB 1144 (Causer) – Conventional Oil & Gas Act
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 113-88)

HB 1144 is yet another example of placing the profits of corporate polluters over the health and constitutional rights of Pennsylvanians and our communities. Among several other egregious provisions, HB 1144 rolls back protection of water supplies, weakens protection of public resources, allows more spills to go unreported, and allows the spreading of untreated oil and gas wastewater to de-ice and suppress dust on dirt and gravel roads in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania drilling activities produce some of the most carcinogenic wastewater in the nation. Pennsylvania already has some of the weakest laws to protect people, communities, and the environment from the disposal of this wastewater, and HB 1144 would take us back decades in terms of environmental and public health protections.

I spoke in opposition to HB 1144 in the House chamber. View my remarks

HB 1154 (Masser) – Legislation to make Mixed Drinks To Go permanent
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 187-14)

Take-out and to-go orders, including to-go cocktails, provided a much-needed source of income for local restaurants throughout the pandemic and have remained a popular option even as restrictions have eased. I voted Yes on this bill to enable businesses to continue to provide this option for customers and continue to make up for funds lost during the COVID crisis.

HB 1096 (Kaufmann) - Reforming Venue for Human Trafficking Victims to Sue Their Offenders
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 843 (Rowe) – Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 580 (Schroeder) - Expert Testimony in Sexual and Domestic Violence Cases
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 246 (Mihalek) – Protecting Human Trafficking Victims
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 753 (Jozwiak) – Increasing Grading for Trafficking of Infants
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 196-5)

This bill raises the penalty for trafficking in infant children from a misdemeanor of the 1st degree (maximum of 5 years imprisonment and $10,000 fine) to a felony of the 1st degree (maximum 20 years imprisonment and $25,000 fine) and defines an "infant" as a child one year of age or under. (The existing statute does not define “child” or “infant.”)

HB 231 (Mustello) – Expanding list of prohibited activities
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 184-17)

This bill expands the list of prohibited activities that constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor. While I believe that some portions of this bill are well-intended, I voted No because the overall impact of the bill is problematic. HB 231 creates 18 new criminal offenses by adding a new element to 18 existing offenses. Every crime listed within this bill is already an existing criminal offense, and 11 of the 18 already increase the grading of the crime if committed against a minor.

Creating separate offenses allows prosecutors to charge two separate offenses for the same act, once under the existing statutes and then separately under Section 6318(a) of Title 18. This would result in an escalation of penalties and could result in felony convictions and sexual offender registration for non-sexual and non-felony offenses. More information is
available at ACLU PA.

Further, my Republican colleagues voted down an attempt to amend this bill by removing homosexuality from the state’s obscenity statute, meaning that undefined “acts of homosexuality” are included as a criminal offense.

HB 1130 (C. Williams) – Sexual Offender Registration
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 186-15)

HB 1147 (Gaydos) – Sex Offender Treatment
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 183-18)

HB 1130
and HB 1147 add non-sexual offenses, specifically human trafficking offenses, to the Megan’s Law sex offense registry and expand the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to attend and participate in Department of Corrections programs of counseling or therapy designed for incarcerated sex offenders.

Here again, I understand that these bills are well-intentioned; however, the sentencing does not address the root causes of the crime. Human trafficking offenses are extremely serious offenses and are treated accordingly under existing Pennsylvania law. HB 1130 and HB 1147 make the assumption that all human trafficking is sexual trafficking, which is simply not the case. Children are, tragically, trafficked for many different reasons, including illegal adoption, farm work, and domestic work. The psychological factors that drive human trafficking are simply not the same as the factors that drive sexual assault.

As ACLU PA notes, offenders convicted of human trafficking are not necessarily sex offenders, and these crimes require different approaches to sentencing, counseling, and treatment. Requiring human trafficking offenders to complete specialized treatment for which they have no medical need or diagnosis takes spots in these extremely limited programs from those who truly need them, causing unintended risks to the communities we want to protect.

Additionally, Megan’s Law is designed to let people know who lives in their community, and traffickers frequently prey on victims who live in vulnerable communities, sometimes states or countries away -- often not where they themselves live. In the decades since Megan’s Law was enacted, data and research collected and carried out by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and Human Rights Watch indicates that increasing the number of registrants does not result in safer communities and may even have the opposite effect. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of sexual assaults are not perpetrated by strangers. The truth is, approximately 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. For more information, please see the
position statement by ACLU PA.

HB 406 (Cox) – Work Search Requirements for Unemployment Compensation Claimants
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 130-71)

This bill requires the Department of Labor and Industry to reinstate all work search and CareerLink registration requirements for unemployment compensation (UC) eligibility that were waived during the pandemic no later than June 8, 2021. June 8, 2021 is also the scheduled launch date for the Department of Labor’s updated “BenMod” unemployment claim filing website. The existing UC system will be taken down for a period prior to launch in order to prepare for this transition. The Department of Labor and advocates for workers and UC claimants have expressed concerns that reinstating work search requirements at this time will cause additional confusion for claimants during the transition to the new BenMod portal and place an additional burden on the already backlogged UC system.


HB 523 (Day) – Maintenance Agreements for Private Roads
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 464 (Boback) – Updating the Family Caregiver Support Act
How I voted: Co-sponsored this bill and voted Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

Families caring for adults with disabilities or providing at-home care to older adults or those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders face a significant need for support services. Additionally, a growing number of grandparents and other older adults are increasingly tasked with providing care to young children whose parents are unable to care for them. I co-sponsored and voted for House Bill 464, which amends the Family Caregiver Support Act and updates the Caregiver Support Program to expand eligibility and program flexibility.


HB 827 (Gillespie) – Micro-Enterprise Development
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 264 (Heffley) – RETSL Bidder Registration
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 185-16)

HB 335 (Mackenzie) – Permanent Daylight Savings Time
How I voted: No (Bill passed the House 103-98)

HB 427 (Pyle) – Increase Restaurant Licensee Discount
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)

HB 425 (Dowling) - Licensee to Sell Liquor to Another Licensee
How I voted: Yes (Bill passed the House 201-0)


HB 803 (O’Neal) - Establishing – Keystone State Challenge Academy Special Fund
How I voted: Yes

Legislation passed in 2018 established the National Guard Youth Challenge Program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a community-based program operated under the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and known in Pennsylvania as the Keystone State Challenge Academy. HB 803 strengthens this program by establishing a nonlapsing fund in the State Treasury, meaning that any funds in the account carry over from one fiscal year to the next, rather than lapsing at the end of a fiscal year and needing to be re-appropriated in the next fiscal budget. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 491 (Boback) -Exclusion of Veterans' Compensation Benefits from Income Calculations
How I voted: Yes

This bill exempts veterans’ federal disability compensation or pension from income calculations for any program or benefit administered by the Commonwealth that considers income as a condition of eligibility. This would ensure that income from veterans’ benefits would not prevent a military veteran or their surviving spouse from eligibility in programs such as LIHEAP, Property Tax/Rent Rebate, PACE Prescription Assistance, or similar state-run programs. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 325 (Greiner) - Advisory Opinions from Licensing Boards
How I voted: Yes

Current state law lays out the powers and duties of licensing boards and commissions within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, but it does not give these boards and commissions authority to provide advisory opinions to licensees about the meaning or interpretation of an act or regulation. For example, if a licensed professional accountant has a question on whether a certain action is permitted by their licensing board and asks the licensing board for advice, the board or commission cannot currently provide this guidance.

This legislation allows licensing boards to answer inquiries through the form of an advisory opinion, helping licensees avoid violations by giving them a dependable means of determining whether an action is permissible. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 649 (Rapp) - Creating an Essential Caregiver in Long-Term Care Facilities
How I voted: Yes

Separation from loved ones throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was extremely isolating, confusing, and depressing for many residents of long-term care facilities and their families. This bill directs the PA Department of Health and PA Department of Human Services to create rules to allow one designated essential family caregiver to be named for each resident of a licensed long-term care facility during a declaration of disaster emergency. Under the bill, residents may select a caregiver to provide in-person support, so long as they follow protocols (such as testing and use of safety equipment) designed to protect the residents of the facility. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 63 (Lawrence) - An Act relating to the administration and distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in this Commonwealth
How I voted: Yes

HB 63 seeks to improve and expedite vaccine rollout in Pennsylvania, including vaccine distribution to the Southeastern counties. This bill:

  • expands the categories of health professionals permitted to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to include all those covered by the most recent federal declaration
  • sets additional vaccine reporting requirements for the PA Department of Health
  • gives county health departments more control over and involvement in mass vaccination clinics
  • requires more vaccine allocation to the Southeastern “collar counties.”

This bill passed the House by a vote of 135-66.


HB 245 (Kaufer) - Update to International Medical Graduate Requirements
How I voted: Yes

This bill reduces the graduate medical training required for international medical graduates from 3 years to 2 years, modernizing the licensing process and eliminating unnecessary delays for qualified physicians. In the past, the education provided in international medical schools was not considered equivalent to that provided in the United States. As a result, an additional year of residency training was required. However, international standards have changed for the better, making the existing requirements outdated and overly restrictive. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 192 (Topper) - Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)
How I voted: Yes

In 2016, Pennsylvania joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC), which provides a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states. However, Pennsylvania has not been able to fully participate in the IMLC because it does not fully comply with the compact’s background check requirement. This legislation corrects that inconsistency by requiring licensed physicians who wish to participate in the IMLC to submit to a national criminal background check rather than just a state criminal background check. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 183 (Fee) - Farm Succession Planning Grants
How I voted: Yes

This bill allows the PA Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board, to use funds in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund to issue small grants (up to $5,000) for succession planning on preserved farms. The goal of this bill is to help the next generation of farming families continue agricultural operations on farms preserved under conservation easements. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.


HB 365 (Harkins) – Removing derogatory terms from Pennsylvania school code
How I voted: Yes

This bill updates language in the Pennsylvania School Code, which was originally written in 1949, to remove derogatory language and terminology related to intellectual, physical, and developmental disabilities. This bill passed the House by a vote of 200-1.

HB 113 (Stambaugh) – Organized Motorcycle Processions
How I voted: No

This bill would allow organized motorcycle processions to proceed past a red signal or stop sign, similar to a funeral procession, without a permit from PennDOT (except in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). The bill would authorize a designated member of the procession to direct, control, or regulate traffic. I voted No on this bill out of concern for motorcyclists’ safety and potential impact on local municipalities and police departments.

Any procession, whether cars or motorcycles, has the potential to create enormous strain on local police departments, often requiring extra officers on duty to direct traffic and resulting in other logistical challenges and non-budgeted costs. Current PA law requires motorcyclists wishing to organize a procession to apply for a Special Event Permit from PennDOT, allowing the procession route to be reviewed in advance by PennDOT and the affected municipalities for safety concerns or conflicts with other events or construction activities. This process ensures proper traffic control and protection for participants and ensures that the concerns of any affected municipalities are considered.

While HB 113 contains a requirement for procession sponsors to notify municipalities ahead of an event, there is no requirement to notify PennDOT, no requirement for affected municipalities to approve the procession, and no ability for municipalities to prevent the procession from taking place. This bill passed the House by a vote of 157-44.

SB 86 (Martin) – Succession in the Office of District Attorney – Home Rule Counties
How I voted: No

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows municipalities and counties to determine the structure and authority of their local governments. Counties and municipalities that opt for “home rule,” as opposed to being governed by the PA municipal code, have the most control over and flexibility in their local decisions.

Under current law, some Pennsylvania counties operating under home rule charter have set their own procedures for filling vacancies in their respective county offices of District Attorney. SB 86 strips home rule counties of this power, requiring them to instead follow the procedures laid out within the County codes section of the PA municipal code for filling District Attorney vacancies.

I voted No on this legislation because I believe local and county governments operating under home rule charter should retain their ability to determine the procedures that best serve the needs of their communities. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 171-30.

SB 85 (Martin) – Succession in the Office of District Attorney – Second Class Counties
How I voted: Yes

Under current law, if a county District Attorney’s office becomes vacant due to death, resignation, removal from office, or other reason, the judges of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas are directed to appoint “a competent person” to fill the office for the remainder of the term. SB 85 amends the state’s Second Class County Code to require that the judges appoint the county’s first assistant district attorney to fill the vacancy until the next municipal election, as long as the first assistant meets the minimum requirements of the office. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 181-20.

SB 84 (Martin) – Succession in the Office of District Attorney – Second Class A and Third Class Counties
How I voted: Yes

This legislation is essentially the same as SB 85; however, it addresses Second Class A and Third Class counties, whereas SB 85 is strictly for Second Class counties. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 416 (Quinn) – Seizure Recognition Legislation
How I voted: Yes

This legislation allows (but does not mandate) school nurses and other professional employees of a school district to receive approved online or in-person training in seizure recognition and first aid. This bill requires the PA Department of Health to identify and approve online courses of instruction or in-person trainings and make them available to school personnel at no cost. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.

HB 412 (Gleim) - Substitute Teacher Shortage (day-to-day substitute teachers)
How I voted: Yes

This bill seeks to address Pennsylvania’s substitute teacher shortage by giving school districts more flexibility in hiring day-to-day substitute teachers. The bill allows those with inactive teaching certificates to serve as substitute teacher for up to 180 days per school year, instead of the current limit of 90 days; makes it easier for subs with day-to-day permits to serve in schools, and extends the authorization for prospective teachers enrolled in teacher preparation programs to serve as day-to-day subs. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.


HB 196 (Day) - Employment Protections for Members of National Guards
How I voted: Yes

Current Pennsylvania law protects members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces from discrimination in employment because of their required military duty. HB 196 extends this protection to individuals in Pennsylvania who are members of a National Guard or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces in another state. This legislation passed the House unanimously, 201-0.

HB 140 (Maloney) – Protected Pedestrian Plazas and Pedalcycle Lanes (Susan’s and Emily’s Law)
How I voted: Yes

This bill protects pedestrian and bicyclist safety by establishing requirements for vehicles parking along a designated pedestrian plaza or curbside bike lane. This legislation passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 201-0.


HB 185 (Struzzi) – Cody’s Law
How I voted: No

HB 185 would make it an automatic aggravated assault (a felony of the second degree) if a person “attempts to cause or knowingly or intentionally causes bodily injury to an individual with a physical disability, an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder.” While I believe this bill is well-intentioned, it is problematic for several reasons, and I believe the negatives outweigh the positives. This bill passed the House by a vote of 154-58. My reasons for opposing the bill are below:

  • The bill’s sponsor acknowledged that he did not consult disability advocates in drafting this legislation. Disability rights groups have expressed concerns that in many cases, all parties involved in a physical incident involving a person with disabilities may be disabled themselves, meaning that there is a strong likelihood that this legislation would be used to criminalize the actions of disabled individuals more than any other community.
  • This bill does not require knowledge of a person’s disability. Since many disabilities are not visible or apparent by looking at an individual, it is problematic to base the application of this proposed new law—and a potential eight additional years in prison—on invisible characteristics.
  • Current Pennsylvania law distinguishes “bodily injury” (a misdemeanor) from “serious bodily injury” (a felony). HB 185 eliminates the “serious” requirement, automatically treating a simple assault as aggravated, and increasing penalties from up to 2 years in prison to up to 10 years in prison for a single offense.
  • This bill is one of several before us this week that would create “more law, less justice.” Judges and prosecutors already have the ability to consider a victim’s physical or intellectual disability as an aggravating factor in charging and sentencing. (For example, the teens who assaulted Cody Overdorff, for whom this bill is named, were each charged with multiple offenses under existing law, resulting in possible sentences of nearly 10 years.)

HB 163 (Staats) – Upskirting: Justice for Children Victimized in Schools and Elsewhere
How I voted: Yes

This bill elevates the charge for invasion of privacy from a third-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for teachers or other adults who share or transmit illicit images or videos of students or other minor children. This bill passed the House unanimously, by a vote of 202-0.

HB 156 (Owlett) – Amend the Tender Years Hearsay Act
How I voted: Yes

The “Hearsay Rule” prevents the use of out-of-court statements as evidence in court. Pennsylvania law currently makes an exception to this rule for children 12 years of age and younger, allowing their statements to be entered into evidence without their presence in the courtroom if certain conditions are met. HB 156 raises the hearsay exception age from 12 years to 16 years for certain offenses and under certain circumstances. I voted Yes because, while I understand and have weighed the due process concerns of those opposed to this legislation, I believe 16 years old is still “tender,” particularly for testimony in sexual assault and abuse cases. This bill passed the House 173-29.


HB 146 (Bernstine) – “Markie’s Law”
How I voted: No

HB 146 prohibits parole of an inmate at the expiration of the minimum sentence if the inmate was convicted of certain offenses while incarcerated. At its core, HB 146 is a mandatory minimums/resentencing bill that would add additional years to a sentence after a judge has already sentenced the person. I voted no because sentencing is correctly placed within the purview of the judicial branch of our government—this should not be a legislative role. The Parole Board already has the ability and the authority to consider an incarcerated person’s behavior when considering parole. The PA Parole Board and the PA Department of Corrections are among the agencies and organizations opposed to this legislation. HB 146 passed the House 144-58, but was ultimately vetoed by the Governor.

HB 103 (Schmitt) - Harassment of Law Enforcement Officer
How I voted: No

This bill expands the PA crimes code to create a new offense of harassment of law enforcement officer. I voted No on this bill for several reasons.

First, this bill unnecessarily adds a new criminal offense for actions that could already be charged under current laws surrounding spitting on any person or aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. I agree with the majority of Pennsylvanians who do not believe that Pennsylvania needs more criminal laws. Second, this bill too loosely defines how knowledge or intent will be “proven.” Given our current political climate, I fear there is too much room for this law to be weaponized against citizens exercising their right to free speech, and too little assurance that this law would be applied fairly or equitably. Third, this bill reinforces false and harmful misinformation about HIV transmission, adding to the fear and stigma too often turned against HIV-positive individuals and the LGBTQ+ community.

Ultimately, in my judgment, this is an unnecessary and deeply flawed bill that creates more potential for harm than for good.

HB 230 (Ryan) – Dynamic Scoring for the Fiscal Impact of Proposed Legislation
How I voted: No

This bill would require the Independent Fiscal Office to include “dynamic scoring” in its revenue estimates for any proposed legislation with an estimated impact of more than $50 million. It’s important to understand two things:

  1. Dynamic scoring, which looks at the estimated macroeconomic impacts of proposed legislation, has often been used to justify huge corporate tax cuts and giveaways, with the promise of substantial expected returns to our economy in the form of jobs, tax revenues, or other economic boosts. If and when those expected returns fail to materialize, there is no means of clawing back the tax forgiveness we’ve extended.
  2. There is currently nothing preventing the Independent Fiscal Office from using dynamic scoring as one of the tools it uses to evaluate proposed legislation. But this bill would mandate the use of dynamic scoring.

I voted No because I believe this bill gives undue weight to dynamic scoring and unnecessarily mandates a practice that is already available to be used at the discretion of the Independent Fiscal Office. This bill passed the House 128-74.


SB 2 (Ward) - Constitutional Amendments - Legislative Approval of Emergency Declarations
How I voted: No

This bill is the Senate version of HB 55, which I voted against in January. This bill seeks to limit the powers of the executive branch during a disaster emergency by giving the legislature the last say over whether a disaster declaration could extend beyond 21 days. I believe this bill is irresponsible and reactionary, and I voted against it. I further explained the reasons for my vote on HB 55 here and here.

HB 326 (O’Neal) – Pennsylvania National Guard Assistance with Distribution of COVID Vaccine
How I voted: Yes

This bill allows the Pennsylvania National Guard to work with the PA Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to develop plans for the establishment and operation of community vaccination clinics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 187 (Rowe) - Limited Liability for Donating Food Past Recommended Label Codes
How I voted: Yes

This bill expands the current immunity and liability protection for donated food to include to food that is past its labeled shelf-life date but is still safe and fit for human consumption. This bill is similar to a bill I introduced in the 2019-20 legislative session (HB 1950). I voted in favor of this bill, which I hope will help to reduce waste and get safe, nutritious food to those in need. This legislation passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 101 (Gleim) - Providing Agritourism Business with Limited Liability Protection
How I voted: Yes

This bill protects “agrotourism” businesses such as corn mazes and other farm attractions from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injury or damages. As farmers in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania have turned to agrotourism as a much-needed source of income, farmers face huge liability risks. This legislation requires farm owners to post signs informing visitors of inherent risks and/or have visitors sign a waiver before participating in activities on the property. This bill does not interfere with a visitor’s right to sue if a farm owner acts in a negligent manner. This bill passed the House 142-60.

SB 109 (Pittman) – COVID-19 Economic Relief
How I voted: Yes

SB 109 brings crucial economic relief to Pennsylvania business owners, renters, schools and more. This bill allocates more than $43 million to Chester County, including funds for impacted restaurants, taverns, hotels, caterers, and others in the hospitality industry; nonpublic schools; career and technical schools; and rent, utilities, and other housing costs. This funding gets money into our communities and helps individuals, families, and local businesses hit hard by the pandemic. This is an important and necessary step in putting us on the road to recovery. This legislation passed the House unanimously, 202-0.


HB 284 (Metcalfe) – Archives Legislation
How I voted: Yes

This bill updates and modernizes sections of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museums code pertaining to archival records. This legislation adds language concerning the protection and recovery of historical Commonwealth and local government records and opens access to older public records after 75 years. The bill passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 203 (Toohil) – Living Donor Protection Act
How I voted: Yes

This bill creates the Living Donor Protection Act and protects living organ donors by providing for family and medical leave and prohibiting unfair insurance discrimination. The legislation prohibits insurers from declining or limiting coverage or engaging in other discriminatory actions based solely on a person's status as a living donor. The bill also requires employers subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide live donors with access to leave related to organ or tissue donation. The bill passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 178 (James) – Lengthening Time Periods for Unemployment Compensation Appeals
How I voted: Yes

This bill increases the period of time for both claimants and employers to appeal Unemployment Compensation determinations. The bill extends the appeal window from the current 15 days to 21 days. This legislation passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 186 (Causer) - Milk Hauling Legislation
How I voted: No

This bill exempts milk haulers from travel restrictions on highways during a declaration of disaster emergency. The same legislation moved through the legislature in 2019 as HB 915 and was vetoed by Governor Wolf. While I appreciate that milk production does not stop for a snowstorm, the governor already has the power to modify the provisions of an emergency declaration on any or all highways, effective hours, and all types of classes or vehicles. I believe this power is properly placed within and should remain within the executive branch. This legislation passed the House 125-77.


HB 108 (Owlett) - Bipartisan Reforms to Prevent Fraud and Stop Improper Payments
How I voted: Yes

This bill establishes a Do-Not-Pay Initiative in the PA Treasury Department for the purpose of preventing fraud by monitoring improper payments across Commonwealth agencies. The Do-Not-Pay Initiative created by the bill stops state funds from going to any individual, entity, or organization deemed ineligible to receive funds. This bill passed the House unanimously, 202-0.

HB 104 (Gaydos) – Preventing Improper Payments Within State Programs
How I voted: Yes

This bill improves government accountability by providing for the assessment of improper payments by Commonwealth agencies and for public information on payments and programs of Commonwealth agencies. This bill passed the House 182-20.

HB 55 (Grove) - Constitutional Amendment - Limiting Emergency Declarations to 21 days w/ legislative approval
How I voted: No

This bill seeks to limit the powers of the executive branch during a disaster emergency by giving the legislature the last say over whether a disaster declaration could extend beyond 21 days. I believe this bill is irresponsible and reactionary, and I voted against it. I further explain the reasons for my vote here and here. This bill passed the House 116-86.

HB 14 (Gregory) - Civil Sex Abuse (Former HB 963)
How I voted: Yes

House Bill 14 seeks to amend the state constitution to temporarily lift the statute of limitations for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, allowing them to file civil suits. This bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support, 187-15, and was expected to easily pass the Senate; however, because of a technical oversight by the Department of State, the legislature is now considering other options for temporarily lifting the statute to ensure that justice for adult survivors is not further delayed.