2024 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 Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

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 that may be unique compared to the rest of the state?

COMPETITIVENESS

Corporate Net Income Tax

As part of Act 53 of 2022, legislators voted in a bipartisan fashion to enact a reduction of Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax from a rate of 9.99 percent to 8.99 in the taxable year 2023 with .5% annual reductions until it reaches 4.99 in 2031.

Pennsylvania’s CNI tax rate at its current 8.49 percent, is still one of the highest flat CNI tax rates in the nation, and is often cited as one of the state’s single-greatest drawbacks for attracting and retaining business in Pennsylvania.  Legislation receiving bipartisan support has been introduced that would accelerate a reduction in the CNI tax rate via one point reductions annually until it reaches 4.99 in 2026.

Do you support an accelerated reduction of the CNI tax rate? 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:

Combined Reporting
States determine the corporate income tax base for multistate corporations through either a separate filing approach, in which a corporation’s various entities are treated as a separate taxpayer, – or combined reporting, which treats parent companies and subsidiaries as a single taxpayer. Opponents say combined reporting significantly increases cost and the complexity of filing tax returns, increases tax appeals and litigation and creates an overall disincentive to do business in Pennsylvania.

Do you support changing Pennsylvania’s filing method to combined reporting? 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:

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 Chamber supports proposals that would eliminate the practice of choosing a court or jurisdiction to hear a case based on where the most favorable outcome is likely to be achieved, more commonly known as venue shopping.

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

Yes
No
Comments:

INFRASTRUCTURE

Permitting and Regulatory Reform 
State regulatory burdens have increased substantially in recent years, restricting employers’ ability to reinvest and grow in Pennsylvania. 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, such as 3rd party review of permit applications and deeming an application approved if a decision is not rendered in a predetermined time frame.

Do you support efforts to add predictability and uniformity to 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 is pending to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, require annual adjustments and significant increases to the tipped wage typically paid by restaurants.

Do you support this legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 and significantly increases labor costs on restaurants? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Disqualifying PA Construction Companies
Pending legislative proposals would effectively prohibit merit-shop construction companies that are not union-affiliated from performing state construction work.

Do you believe only union-affiliated companies should have the right to bid for public work on should state policy promote a level playing field? 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:

Paying Workers to Strike
Historically, individuals who voluntarily go on strike are not eligible for unemployment benefits unless the conditions of their workplace have changed or there are safety concerns.

Would you support unemployment benefit eligibility for anyone who voluntarily goes on strike? 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:

Healthcare Costs
Employers and employees constantly struggle with the cost and complexity of health care coverage and compliance.  Balancing cost, quality, and accessibility within the health care system remains a challenge for all stakeholders in the process, including government, insurers, providers, purchasers and consumers. 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 is one where the government seeks to add new benefit mandates that increase costs for employers and reduce flexibility.

Do you support government mandating additional health care coverage mandates? Please explain why or why not.

Yes
No
Comments:

Nursing Ratios
Hospitals are struggling to find qualified workers, particularly nurses, to fill open positions.  One approach to addressing this challenge is strict government-mandated nurse staffing requirements on hospitals, which could prompt financial penalties, reduction in services, or even closure.

Do you believe this is the best approach to addressing nursing challenges?  If not, what would you recommend?

Yes
No
Comments: