By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — With another contract deadline having passed, a local lawmaker is once again introducing legislation that would prohibit SEPTA workers from going on strike.

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Montgomery County House Republican Kate Harper says her legislation would add SEPTA workers to the list of public employees already prohibited from walking off the job.

“Well, there’s certain critical workers that we don’t allow to strike. I mean, among them would be police officers,” she said. “And I believe that SEPTA is essential to the functioning of the southeastern Pennsylvania region.”

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Harper introduced similar legislation when SEPTA last went on strike, in 2009. While that bill, obviously, did not become law, Harper believes the mood of the legislature has changed since then, noting that just last week, the House passed legislation that would eliminate an exemption from the state’s anti-harassment law for people involved in labor disputes.

Harper believes banning strikes would “change the dynamic” of how SEPTA workers deal with the public.

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