The Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session for a few votes last week on a wide range of issues. Here’s how your Delaware Valley delegation voted:



In May 2019, 25-year-old Shawn Shatto took her own life in her parents’ York County home after years of struggling with depression and anxiety. Her mother discovered after her death that Shawn was encouraged to take her own life and given a step-by-step guide on how to poison herself from an online forum.

The Pennsylvania House passed HB 184, also known as Shawn’s Law, last week 152-49 on concurrence with Senate Amendments.  The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.  Shawn’s Law passed the Senate 34-16 in late June.

Shawn’s law would add a sentence enhancement when an offender is found to have taken actions causing a minor or person with intellectual disabilities to die by suicide.

Final House Vote:     


Bucks: Davis (D), Farry (R), Galloway (D), Labs (R), Polinchock (R), Schroeder (R), Staats (R), Thomas (R), Tomlinson (R), Warren (D)

Chester: Hennessey (R), Lawrence (R), Sappey (D), Shusterman (D), Williams, Craig (R), Williams, Dan (D)

Delaware: Krueger (D), O’Mara (D), Quinn (R), Williams, Craig (R)

Montgomery: Bradford (D), Ciresi (D), Guenst (D), Hennessey (R), Mackenzie, M (R), Malagari (D), Pennycuick (R), Shusterman (D), Stephens (R), Webster (D)


Chester: Herrin (D), Howard (D), Otten (D)

Delaware: Delloso (D), Kirkland (D), McClinton (D), Vitali (D), Young (D), Zabel (D)

Montgomery: Boyle (D), Briggs (D), Daley (D), DeLissio (D), Hanbidge (D), Sanchez (D), Vitali (D)


Final Senate Vote (6/25/21):


Bucks: Collett (D), Mensch (R), Tomlinson (R), Santarsiero (D)

Montgomery: Collette (D), Mensch (R)


Chester: Comitta (D), Kane (D), Kearney (D), Muth (D)

Delaware: Cappelletti (D), Kane (D), Kearney (D) Williams, A (D)

Montgomery: Cappelletti (D), Haywood (D), Hughes (D), Muth (D)



School districts across Pennsylvania have been using emergency protocols to alter school instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the Pennsylvania School Code allows for those emergency protocols to be used for up to four years. House Education Chairman Curtis Sonney (R-Erie) introduced HB 1660 to limit the length of emergency protocols to 60 days, and limit its use to an event where in-person instruction is not available for more than five days. The bill also requires a two-thirds vote of the School Board to extend the emergency after 60 days. The school board also must hold a vote on a written emergency plan before its execution. While several school districts have contemplated returning to 2020 mitigation efforts – including returning to in-home instruction – this legislation could limit their ability to achieve that. The bill passed the House 118-82 along largely party lines and has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

Final House Vote:


Bucks: Farry (R), Labs (R), Polinchock (R), Schroeder (R), Staats (R), Thomas (R), Tomlinson (R)

Chester: Hennessey (R), Lawrence (R), Sappey (D), Williams, Craig (R)

Delaware: Quinn (R), Williams, Craig (R), Zabel (D)

Montgomery: Ciresi (D), Hennessey (R), Mackenzie, M (R), Pennycuick (R), Webster (D)


Bucks: Davis (D), Galloway (D). Warren (D)

Chester: Herrin (D), Howard (D), Otten (D), Sappey (D), Shusterman (D), Williams, Dan (D)

Delaware: Delloso (D), Kickland (D), Krueger (D), McClinton (D), O’Mara (D), Vitali (D), Young (D)

Montgomery: Boyle (D), Bradford (D), Briggs (D), Daley (D), DeLissio (D), Guenst (D), Hanbridge (D), Malagari (D), Sanchez (D), Shusterman (D), Vitali (D)




The Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law has been a vital tool to provide citizens with insights into government actions. Without it, journalists and citizens alike may be left in the dark. However, some Right-to-Know requests may not have the interest of transparency in their intent according to one state senator.  SB 552 introduced by Sen. Cris Dush (R-Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, and Tioga) would allow the Office of Open Records, established in part to help mediate Right-to-Know requests, to label a “vexatious requestor” after a requested review. Ruling a request from a vexatious requestor would permit an agency, local government, or school board, to ignore the requestor moving forward. The bill passed the Senate along largely party lines 34-15.

Senate Final Vote:


Bucks: Mensch (R), Tomlinson (R)

Montgomery: Haywood (D), Mensch (R)



Bucks: Collett (D), Santarsiero (D)

Chester: Committa (D), Kane (D), Kearney (D), Muth (D)

Delaware: Cappelletti (D), Kane (D), Kearney (D), Williams, A (D)

Montgomery: Cappelletti (D), Collett (D), Hughes (D), Muth (D)



PFAS chemicals went from a term used by firefighters to a household term for residents near the Willow Grove Air Force base when high levels of contaminants were found in the ground and drinking water in 2019. Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Union) offered SB 302 to restrict PFAS chemicals in firefighter training and testing. It would however allow for use in emergency situations. The legislation passed 39-10 and now moves to the House for consideration.


Final Senate Vote:


Bucks: Collett (D), Mensch (R), Tomlinson (R)

Chester: Comitta (D)

Montgomery: Collette (D), Haywood (D), Hughes (D), Mensch (R)


Bucks: Santarsiero (D)

Chester: Kane (D), Kearney (D), Muth (D)

Delaware: Cappelletti (D), Kane (D), Kearney (D), Williams, A (D)

Montgomery: Cappelletti (D), Muth (D)