- 17th District
- Daylin’s Issues
Human Trafficking and B-Corps Bills Become Law
On October 25, 2012
Bills signed by governor after unanimous approval in the legislature
HARRISBURG, October 25, 2012 – Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) announced that two companion bills to legislation he sponsored in the Senate have been signed into law by Gov. Corbett. H.B. 235 calls for the posting of a human trafficking hotline number in certain establishments across the state and H.B. 1616 allows Pennsylvania businesses to practice corporate activism.
“I’d like to thank Representatives Clymer and Denlinger for their efforts to help get these bills passed, and I thank Governor Corbett for signing them into law so quickly,” Leach said. “While these two bills address very different issues, they are both issues of great importance. House Bill 235 will save thousands of lives in our state and bring criminal perpetrators to justice, while House Bill 1616 will allow companies to give back to their communities without fear of fiduciary repercussion. I appreciate the support we received from the individuals and organizations that fought alongside us to champion these causes. We couldn’t have done it without your help.”
House Bill 235 was introduced by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks) as a companion bill to Leach’s Senate Bill 338. The bills would require the Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number to be placed prominently in certain establishments and locations in an effort to curb the incidence of human trafficking in Pennsylvania and help victims.
The Department of Health and Human Services funds the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline — a resource for the community to report suspicious activity that may be trafficking-related. The hotline is free to call, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This resource saves lives and comes at no cost to the Commonwealth or its citizens.
House Bill 1616, introduced by Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster) and inspired by Leach’s B-Corps bill, would create a new business class that would provide for the recognition of Benefit Corporations (“B-Corps”) — companies that have the ability to more positively impact their communities and create a new incentive structure to encourage corporate activism. The Benefit Corporation class would reclassify the fiduciary duties of corporation directors, allowing them to take non-financial interests into consideration when making decisions for the corporation.
The bill would allow companies that aim to make a positive social and environmental impact on their communities to make those “for benefit” operations part of their corporate mission. Currently, other corporation classes must make decisions based exclusively on maximizing profits. Under the new corporate classification model, Benefit Corporations could not be held liable for lost monetary value as a result of socially-conscious decisions made.
Under the bill, the process of becoming a Benefit Corporation is entirely voluntary and based on shareholder desire. If a business chooses to become a Benefit Corporation, it must provide yearly disclosures of the public benefit efforts the company has undertaken to shareholders.
The Human Trafficking Hotline law and the B-Corps law will go into effect within 60 days and 90 days, respectively.