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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2022 09:22 AM
From: Senator Devlin J. Robinson and Sen. Chris Gebhard
To: All Senate members
Subject: E-Verify Improvements
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to amend the Public Works Employment Verification Act (Act 127 of 2012) to improve its enforcement and ensure that penalties are meaningful and effective deterrents.
As you may know, this law currently requires all public construction contractors and their subcontractors to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the legal employment eligibility of new hires.  However, since it took effect in 2012, the law has been subject to inconsistent, and often futile, enforcement.  For example, the Laborers’ International Union of North America submitted a complaint identifying over 200 public construction contractors who had not even registered to use the E-Verify system; to date, only about 30 of these contracts have since been audited, and only a few received a meager $250 fine.
In an effort to improve this law and ensure compliance, our legislation seeks to make the following changes:
  1. It would increase existing, nominal fines and debarment penalties to meaningful levels.
  2. It would provide some revenue to the Department of General Services to fund enforcement.
  3. It would streamline enforcement and reduce the need for time-consuming audits by requiring construction contractors to be enrolled in E-Verify up front and make it a punishable offense if they are not.
We hope that our legislation will help to level the playing field for contractors who follow our state laws and guarantee that only workers who are legally authorized to work in the United States are employed on public construction jobs.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation to ensure any business profiting from a public contract hires workers with the authorization to work in the United States.
If you have any questions, please contact Allie Dutrey of Sen. Robinson’s office, or Matt Urban of Sen. Gebhard’s office.

Introduced as SB1147