On National CROWN Day, Mayes urges state Senate to act on bill that would ban hair discrimination

PA CROWN Act legislation has been stalled in Senate committee for nearly one year

HARRISBURG, July 3 – On National CROWN Day, state Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes is urging the Pennsylvania Senate to stop stalling and bring the PA CROWN Act bill she introduced with Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton up for a vote to fight an insidious and misunderstood form of racial discrimination.

Mayes said H.B. 1394 – which would update Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination law to ban discrimination based on hair type, hair texture or hairstyle in employment, schools and other public settings – passed the House with a strong bipartisan majority last year but has been stuck in the Senate for over 330 days.

“As we uplift National CROWN Day today, residents in nearly half the United States will be able to celebrate the day knowing that their states have enacted legislation designed to protect them from racial discrimination based on how they choose to wear their hair,” said Mayes, D-Allegheny.

“Sadly, PA residents won’t be among them. That’s because our bill to establish a CROWN Act in Pennsylvania is still stuck in the state Senate Government Committee chaired by Senator Cris Dush, stalled in committee as thousands of Pennsylvanians continue to face race-based hair discrimination which is a highly personal and cultural matter of expression – and they are looking to us for justice.

“I’m urging everyone who wants to end all forms of racial discrimination to tell the state Senate that it’s time to bring the Pennsylvania CROWN Act up for a vote. It’s time to tell the world that our commonwealth values and respects the principles of equality and freedom – through protections in our laws and everyday practice.”

Mayes said that more than 100 groups have already joined the PA CROWN Act Coalition, including Black Voters Matter Fund, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Community Colleges of Allegheny County and Philadelphia, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Education Law Center, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Regional Transit, Pittsburgh Penguins, SEIU Healthcare PA, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, numerous unions, governmental entities and many other organizations and entities led by Black women.

Mayes said people can urge action by the Senate by visiting this page: https://pahouse.com/crownact, and can join the PA CROWN Act Coalition by visiting this page: https://pahouse.com/Mayes/Form/?id=1585.

Mayes and McClinton’s bill passed the House in July 2023 by a vote of 182-21 and remains in the state Senate State Government Committee waiting for a vote.

Mayes plans to host a CROWN Act news conference calling on the state Senate to act on July 10 at the City County Building in Pittsburgh.