On March 12, I wrote a blog about the “Shenanigans in the PA Senate.” The day before my blog, the PA Senate essentially eviscerated a bill that makes it illegal for communities to evict a domestic violence victim from her home for calling 911 “too often.” The Senate Local Government Committee gutted HB 1796 by denying local communities creating paid and/or unpaid sick leave ordinances which threatens victims of domestic violence with loss of their livelihood if they have to take off from work to protect themselves or their family members and cannot get paid or unpaid sick leave that goes beyond federal or state law.
Because of concerns raised by advocates, the Senate so far has not taken the bill to the floor for debate and a vote. However, this morning, the Senate posted their floor calendar for Tuesday, September 16. On the agenda is this bill for third and final consideration. That means that it is likely to be voted on after some debate.
Over the last month, 157 individuals and human rights, anti-violence, public health, and legal services organizations signed onto a letter to the entire Senate calling on them to remove the preemptive employment leave language adopted in Senate Local
Government Committee and pass a clean bill as originally passed in the House.
Here is that letter; FYI, I am one of the signees:
Please take a moment and call your Pennsylvania State Senator and tell him/her to remove the preemptive employment leave language and pass a clean bill. You can find your Senator’s contact information here.
I contacted Senator Jake Corman’s office this morning and asked him to vote to “revert HB 1796 to the original printer’s number (HB 1796 PN 2870.” That means get rid of the sick leave preemption amendment added by the Senate Local Government Committee and pass a clean bill.
Senator Corman’s assistant took down my request and then said that the Senate had moved the bill “off the table.” Which means that the bill was not debated on the floor today. Apparently our calls and requests are starting to have an effect. Keep them coming and let your Senator know that removal of the sick-leave preemption language is necessary for the safety and economic survival of domestic violence victims.
WE DID IT! Yesterday, the sick leave preemption language was removed from the bill. Today, HB 1796 was brought back to the floor and voted out unanimously! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL and thanks for your help that resulted in this brilliant success and vital protection for victims of domestic violence! The bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.