How a Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Bill Became Anti-Worker and Anti-Survivor

Introduced in September in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, HB 1796 was written to protect survivors of domestic violence, crime, or abuse from having police calls requesting emergency assistance used as cause for eviction or penalization under certain municipal ordinances.

At the time, the bill was seemingly non-controversial and garnered bipartisan support. It seemed on the fast track for approval through the assembly after the bill passed the state house unanimously in January.

But as Bryce Covert at ThinkProgressrecently reported, what was a well-intentioned and straightforward bill meant to strengthen protections for survivors became a “political football” when, earlier this month, state senators added an amendment to the bill preventing local governments from passing new work leave policies.

The controversial amendment would prohibit municipalities from enacting mandates requiring employers to provide paid or unpaid leave, such as vacation time or paid sick days, to their employees.

While the preemptive language would unevenly affect all Pennsylvania workers, there’s distinct concern among women’s health experts in the commonwealth, who believe it would have far greater ramifications for the survivors HB 1796 intended to help…

Read the rest of my RH Reality Check article here.

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