Senate Committee Advances Measures to Support Workforce Development, Combat Opioid Crisis

HARRISBURG – The Senate Labor and Industry Committee approved several bills today to promote workforce development and fight back against Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic, according to Committee Chair Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

The committee supported Senate Bill 69, sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc (R-35), which would create the Recovery to Work program to connect individuals in recovery with jobs through local workforce development boards. The pilot program would also include career development opportunities, interview and soft skills training, and exposure to high-demand occupations.

The committee also approved Langerholc’s Senate Bill 147, which helps reduce the risk of Pennsylvanians falling victim to opioid dependency by requiring employers who have a certified safety committee to provide employees with information about the consequences of addiction.

“Pennsylvanians face a much greater risk of mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, so combatting the addiction crisis has never been more important than right now,” Bartolotta said. “These bills accomplish the key goals of providing a pathway for individuals in recovery to find quality jobs to rebuild their lives, while also making sure more Pennsylvanians do not fall victim to addiction.”

Other bills approved by the committee include:

  • Senate Bill 191, legislation sponsored by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) that would exclude historic agricultural buildings from certain mandates if the buildings are used for weddings, receptions and similar social events.
  • Senate Bill 168, sponsored by Senator Vincent Hughes (D-7) and Senator Bob Mensch (R-24), which requires the Department of Labor and Industry to collect and publish forward-facing employment data to better identify future training needs and emerging career opportunities.
  • House Bill 157, a bill sponsored by Representative Mindy Fee that would repeal Act 109 of 1978, which created the outdated Milrite Council that expired in 1994.

CONTACT: Eric Kratz (717) 787-1463

Back to Top