Legislative Update

To keep you informed, I am highlighting recently introduced bills that I will be following closely. I broke them down into categories so you can find your specific interests. The short descriptions beside each bill are what the bill's sponsor has claimed.

If you click on the link for the bill number, you can find out more information about the bill. If you would like to advocate for the bill, follow the link, then click on the link for which committee the bill has been assigned to. This will bring up information about the chairs and other members of that committee, who you can contact and advocate for or against the bill.

First, I want to highlight bills I have co-sponsored which have passed the House recently and are now in the Senate.

Passed House

HB293 would require the medical assistance program to pay for approved anti-obesity medication.

HB2045 would create a statewide early literacy program focused on the science of reading.



HB2244 would provide that every qualified health care facility may distribute handicap placards upon application to do so, as well as expand the definition of “health care providers” to include licensed occupational and physical therapists. This way, more specialists can certify an individual’s disability so that they may qualify for a placard.  This legislation is designed to cut down on bureaucratic delays. 

HB2130 would exempt duplicate Identification card fees for homeless Pennsylvanians.

Emergency Services

HB2237 would provide cost of living adjustments (COLA) automatically calculated for retired police officers and firefighters.  These pensions have not received anything but stagnation since 2002 without annual COLA.

HB1853 would provide a new grant pathway for fire companies who choose to require annual physical examinations. It would cover up to $650 for each firefighter who complies with the requirements. The bill would preserve personal medical privacy, assure collective bargaining rights, and would be available for every firefighter in every department that answers at least 15 calls a year. Examinations are important to catch issues such as cancer, heart-disease, and suicidal thoughts early, and fire companies have recognized that.

HB2161 would allow for active first responders to be eligible for student loan forgiveness. For those who no longer have student loans, the bill would also provide for a benefit transfer to a child of the eligible worker.  The intent is to provide some limited time financial security during COVID.


HB2218 would change the date of Pennsylvania’s presidential primary from the fourth Tuesday of April to the third Tuesday of March.  The intention is to make the Pennsylvania primary more significant to national elections.

HB2217 would allow early voting to start 30 days before an election and end on the day before Election Day. The intention is to provide more opportunities for Pennsylvanians to exercise their right to vote.

HB2090 provides for comprehensive election reform.


HB2179 would require that workers of are provided with severance pay, health insurance coverage, and other necessary protections.  Specifically, it would require companies with more than 50 full-time employees to pay one week’s pay for each year of service during a mass layoff or plant closing that impacts more than 50 employees. 

HB2202 would require larger companies and personal information aggregators to share more information with our constituents about what data of theirs is gathered, tracked, and sold.

HB2131 would extend price gouging protections to cover periods of disruption caused by disease. They would be expanded to apply to housing rental rates and fees charged by contractors performing clean-up services after a disaster. Additionally, private citizens and district attorneys would gain the ability to file civil actions for violations.

HB2120 would require the disclosure of any kind of audio or visual recording devices in short-term lodging whether hidden or in plain sight. 


HB2152 would establish the Pennsylvania Preferred Organic Program under the Pennsylvania Preferred Program.

HB2167 would allow plots of land within urban centers to be used for agricultural purposes, limited to small and mid-size farming operations, beginning farmers, and members of traditionally disadvantaged groups.  Incentivizing urban agriculture would help to fight hunger and improve the health, create opportunities, cut down on the carbon footprint.


HB2206 would establish a “Grow Our Own Educators” Program in Pennsylvania. The program would provide financial assistance, including pathways for educators to help support high-need schools in geographic areas that have hard-to-staff teaching positions. The intent is to combat the decline in the number of people seeking a teaching certification in this Commonwealth, and to increase the pipeline of high-quality and diverse future educators.

HB2198 would establish the Skill Up PA program. With this program, Pennsylvania residents who earn less than $50,000 would receive $5,000 in an education benefit to pay their student loans, and there would be a gradual phase out for individuals who earn up to $75,000.  The intention is so those seeking higher education or a new skill in the trades should not be crippled with unmanageable debt stagnating their ability to buy a home or start a family.

HB2197 would create a grant program to help schools implement high-impact tutoring programs. The sponsor of the bill claims high-impact tutoring is a cost-efficient way to improve student academic success by providing students with small group tutoring in addition to their normal class time.  The bill is intended to combat COVID-19 learning loss.


HB2192 would allow our courts to order community service upon plea and proof of a person's inability to pay a vehicle code.  Court-ordered community service may be imposed in lieu of payment of up to 50 percent of the fine and costs initially set. The intent of the bill is to save the criminal justice system money that would otherwise be spent on collections efforts and to circumvent some of the societal damages caused by long-term imprisonment resulting from an individual's inability to pay.

HB2189 would require a law enforcement agency that arrests an individual because of mistaken identity, but does not file charges, to petition the court for the expungement of that individual’s related criminal history record, at no cost to the individual. The legislation would also require review and expunge the wrongful arrest within 90 days.

HB2165 would increase juror payments and update juror payment options.

State Government

HB2173 would create the “Office of New Pennsylvanians” with the task of attracting, retaining, and embracing immigrants in our Commonwealth.

HB2119,  HB2117, and HB2118 would provide the Attorney General with concurrent jurisdiction in environmental crimes.


HB2215 would create a Startup Investor Tax Credit.  To be eligible, businesses must have a plan to commercialize a new product or ideas and have fewer than 100 employees. Upon approval, it would provide those who invest in qualified startup businesses with a 25% tax credit.  The intention is to spur job creation and be a leader in tech innovation.

HB2137 would exclude Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program cancelled principal or interest from Pennsylvania personal income taxes.


HB2168 would allow the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF) to offer health insurance as a public option, it would make a quality insurance product available to Pennsylvanians at a lower cost than current private insurance rates because of its lower administrative overhead.

HB2166 would provide emergency relief to those who previously received support through the eliminated General Assistance program.

HB2155 would allow schools in Pennsylvania to stock asthma medication or inhalers that can help save the lives of children experiencing asthma attacks in schools or respiratory distress.

HB2145 would allow for Workers’ Compensation payments to be paid to claimants by a direct deposit to a bank account or to a debit card.

HB2132 would expand disability benefits under the Heart and Lung Act to campus police officers employed with participating State-owned colleges and universities. 


HB2128 would require, as part of the permitting process for the construction of residential and nonresidential buildings, information be submitted and reviewed to determine whether threatened or endangered species may be negatively impacted by such construction.