Advocacy Blog_ABC_Keystone

By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs

The House concluded the first half of the 2017-2018 legislative session this week with a flurry of bills that were championed by some of the state’s most conservative lawmakers.  At the top of the list was Senate Bill 166, introduced by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), which would prohibit the automatic collection of political funds from public sector union employees.

SB 166, known as paycheck protection, passed the Senate in February by a sweeping 28-22 margin.  The bill was referred to the House State Government Committee, where it sat until this year’s lengthy budget process concluded in November. After dealing with nearly 40 potential amendments to the bill last week, the House brought the bill for a full vote on Tuesday. While the legislation would only affect the ability of public sector unions to deduct political funding – exempting dues and fair share fees – the House failed to produce the votes needed for final passage.

The 90-102 vote fell far short of the votes needed for passage, which would have sent SB 166 back to the Senate for concurrence and on to the Governor, who had promised he would veto the bill.  All 76 House Democrats who were present voted against the bill and were joined by 26 Republicans:

  • Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe)
  • Rep. Alex Charlton (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester)
  • Rep. Michael Corr (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks)
  • Rep Frank Farry (R-Bucks)
  • Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. Harry Lewis (R-Chester)
  • Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver)
  • Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin)
  • Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Dave Millard (R-Columbia)
  • Rep. Duane Milne (R-Chester)
  • Rep. Tom Murt (R-Bucks)
  • Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks)
  • Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Jamie Santora (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery)
  • Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia)
  • Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
  • Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks)
  • Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia)

While the House still could consider House Bill 1174, introduced by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), which also prohibits the automatic collection of political funding, the effort to secure sufficient votes would likely be monumental as Republicans head into the 2018 election year with incumbent Democrats Sen. Bob Casey and Governor Tom Wolf running for re-election.