2022 Candidate Questionnaire

To the Candidate:

 

ChamberPAC, the Political Action Committee of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, supports and endorses incumbents and candidates for the state legislature and other candidates for certain statewide offices who:

 

  • Demonstrate that they are supportive of Pennsylvania’s job creators;
  • Embrace and adhere to the tenets of free enterprise and;
  • Pledge to make Pennsylvania a more competitive home for business.

 

The Pennsylvania Chamber is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy organization, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes throughout the Commonwealth. Through ChamberPAC, the Pennsylvania Chamber provides endorsed candidates with direct financial support and “in-kind” services to promote their position as a pro-business candidate for office.

 

The following questionnaire is designed to measure your qualifications for and interest in receiving a ChamberPAC endorsement.  Section one seeks background information, section two addresses affiliation and section three briefly describes and solicits your views on key business issues and concerns.

Please complete and submit the electronic questionnaire by Friday, August 12, 2022.

ChamberPAC

Allison Coccia, Director of Political Engagement
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
417 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA  17101

Please contact Allison Coccia at (518) 265-7429 or acoccia@pachamber.org should you have any questions.

Candidate Information

Section 2: Chamber Affiliations

Are you a PA Chamber member, or have you been affiliated with a business or association that is a PA Chamber member?

If yes, company name and city:

Are you, or have you been, affiliated with a local or another state chamber of commerce?

If yes, chamber name and city:

Committee or leadership positions you hold/held:

Are you, or have you been, affiliated with any other business organization(s)?

If yes, organization(s): 

Section 3: Issue And Policy Positions

As a candidate, what are your top three policy priorities?

In your view, what are the three most important issues that businesses in the Commonwealth are facing?

What are the most important issues affecting businesses in your community/district?

COMPETITIVENESS

Corporate Net Income Tax
Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax rate at 9.99 percent, is the second highest CNI Tax rate in the nation, and is often cited as one of the state’s single-greatest drawbacks for attracting and retaining business in Pennsylvania. As part of Act 53, legislators voted in a bipartisan fashion to enact a reduction of the CNI to 8.99 in the taxable year 2023 with .5 percentage point annual reductions until it reaches 4.99 in 2031.

Do you support the continued reduction of the CNI Tax rate as enacted? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Corporate Net Income Tax
Historically, the PA Chamber has opposed granting the Department of Revenue additional powers to expand the corporate tax base through increased audit and assessment.

Do you oppose legislation that gives the Department more power to increase taxes on employers through the practice of subjective audit and assessment?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Net Operating Loss
The Net-Operating Loss (NOL) provision of the CNI gives businesses the ability to offset losses in one year against taxable income in a subsequent year. Start-up and cyclical businesses tend to record significant losses in their first few years of operation. A full-functioning NOL deduction is an important way of smoothing out the effect of volatile economic conditions on cyclical businesses and helping new start-up companies. Pennsylvania is one of only a few states that has a statutory permanent cap on its NOL provision.

Do you support the removal of the cap on NOL deductions? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Severance Tax
Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry has been a driving force in creating jobs, lowering energy costs, improving air quality and securing our nation’s energy supply. To date, the industry has paid $2 billion in local impact fees, in addition to many other state taxes.

Do you support a new tax on natural gas extraction?   Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Property Tax
Local school property taxes are increasing in many school districts throughout Pennsylvania as pension spikes, unfunded mandates and other policies have driven up costs. Proposals have been introduced to “eliminate” school property taxes and replace the lost revenue with increased personal income and small business taxes and an increased and expanded sales tax.

Do you support raising small business, individual and sales taxes to offset school district property taxes?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Alcohol Sales
Pennsylvania laws related to the sale of alcohol are largely based on 1930s-era policies, including a state-run wholesale and retail system. While recent reforms have provided for limited expansion to certain grocery and convenience stores, a range of bills have been introduced to provide for greater customer choice and convenience, including comprehensive privatization.

Do you support expanding and/or privatizing the sale of alcohol?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Legal Reform
A state’s legal climate is an important factor businesses consider when deciding to locate or expand in PA. The business community supports legal reforms that will help bring fairness, balance and common sense to the civil justice system and reduce lawsuit abuse while protecting the right of legitimate plaintiffs to seek justice. The PA Chamber supports proposals that would eliminate the practice of “venue shopping;” require a certificate of merit in all professional liability actions; and bring about more transparency in litigation.

Do you support legal reforms to help improve the state’s business climate?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

INFRASTRUCTURE

Regulatory Reform & Flexibility with Environmental Regulation
Federal regulatory burdens have increased substantially in recent years, restricting employers’ ability to reinvest and grow in our state. Projects have been delayed or cancelled due to a protracted permitting process and spurious litigation from third parties, and existing facilities have struggled under a punitive, restrictive and subjective regulatory environment. The PA Chamber supports reforms to attract and retain investment and expand opportunity in the state.

Do you support efforts to increase the General Assembly’s ability to provide greater flexibility on regulatory compliance and to streamline the permitting process? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Advancing Energy Infrastructure and Competition
Pennsylvania’s businesses have been deploying billions of capital into low- and zero-emissions energy technology, and the state’s competitive electricity markets have helped reduce costs and emissions significantly over the past two decades. However, some legislative and regulatory proposals would impede the ability of companies to build and expand energy infrastructure and impair individuals’ ability to choose the energy source that works best for them.

Do you support efforts to increase investment in energy infrastructure and preserve competition in the energy marketplace? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

WORKFORCE

Minimum Wage
Currently, the minimum wage rate in Pennsylvania is set at the national rate of $7.25. Legislation has been introduced to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, require annual increases and eliminate the tip credit system.

Do you support this legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Prevailing Wage
Pennsylvania law requires contractors working on construction or renovation projects that cost more than $25,000 and are financed with any public funds to pay workers pre-determined “prevailing wages and benefits,” which can drive up project costs and local taxes.  Some have even proposed expanding prevailing wage into the private sector.

Do you support prevailing wage policies such as increasing the $25,000 threshold, allowing local governments to “opt out” of prevailing wage requirements and/or preventing expansion into the private sector?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Unemployment Compensation
Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation system has endured multiple periods of insolvency despite employers paying among the highest UC taxes in the country.  Various proposals seek to bring financial stability and fairness to UC, , encourage re-employment and ensure that benefits are focused on those who lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively seeking new employment.

Do you support reforms to improve the UC system, encourage re-employment and ensure benefits are directed to those for whom the program was intended to support?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Workers’ Compensation
While the frequency of workplace injuries continues a steady decline, the cost of individual workers’ compensation claims, including exceptionally high litigation costs, continues to rise, with no correlation to better outcomes for workers.  Pennsylvania’s WC system lacks sufficient safeguards to prevent misuse and abuse and reform efforts are opposed by plaintiffs’ attorneys who benefit under the status quo.

Do you support legislation to improve Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation system by rooting out misuse and abuse?                            Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Marijuana
Employers report significant confusion with Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law and their rights and responsibilities, particularly with respect to safety-sensitive positions.  Concerns are often exacerbated at the prospect of lawmakers legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use and thereby likely increasing incidents of potential impairment at the workplace.

Do you support the rights of employers to manage marijuana use among their workforce in order to promote workplace safety?               Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Workplace Safety and Health Policies
Employers are responsible for safeguarding their workplaces and protecting the health and safety of their employees and customers.  Various proposals have been put forth to limit the ability of employers to enforce certain safety policies, including those related to vaccination or testing of COVID-19, the flu, etc.

Should employers retain their existing rights to enforce lawful health and safety policies?  Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

The Government’s Role in Healthcare
The PA Chamber supports efforts to reform our current health care system by improving the existing private system and providing maximum flexibility to employers in the provision of insurance.  Another approach seeks to compete with private, employment-based plans through a government run health care system.

Do you support a further expansion of the government’s role in the health care delivery system such as new coverage mandates including a public option? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments: