The Pennsylvania Senate has passed House Bill 874 by a vote of 30-18. The version agreed upon by the Senate will now go back to the Pennsylvania House for a concurrence vote and then on to Governor Wolf to sign. Because the legislation passed through the Senate in substantially the same form as it left the House, there appears little chance the legislation will be hung up again before it hits Governor Wolf’s desk.
The new law will close a loophole in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code that exempts stalking, harassment, and threats to use weapons of mass destruction if done during the course of a labor dispute.
The governor has three options when the bill arrives in his office. He can veto the legislation, sign it into law, or table it. Should he table the bill for 10 days, the legislation automatically becomes law without his signature. It is widely believed in Harrisburg that the Governor does not believe that he can veto the bill given its common sense nature, but that he will not want to anger those in the labor movement who have been big supporters. As a result, it is anticipated that the Governor will take no action in an attempt to let the legislation quietly become law without his approval. Regardless of how it occurs, this change in the law now appears inevitable.