Legislative Agenda

PA Chamber member businesses want to operate in a state that allows them to thrive and grow. Pennsylvania has the talented workforce and resources necessary for companies to compete with their counterparts in other states and around the world. We urge lawmakers to pursue a public policy agenda that will improve the Commonwealth’s business climate and reinforce optimism among Pennsylvania employers. Our member-driven advocacy agenda is outlined below.

RESPONSIBLE STATE SPENDING

The PA Chamber urges the legislature and Governor to work collaboratively on a responsible, on-time state budget that exhausts all opportunities for cost-savings and more efficient spending. Lawmakers should continue to focus on reforming state government operations, particularly where the investment of resources is greatest, including public pension systems, the criminal justice system and mandated programs. The PA Chamber also supports collaborative and thoughtful public-private partnerships and opportunities to privatize those government services that could be more efficiently provided by the private sector.

TAXES

Policymakers should build on recent reforms and continue to reform the Commonwealth’s tax structure with pro-growth initiatives that will make the Commonwealth more competitive, like improving the treatment of Net Operating Losses. Our corporate net income tax rate must continue to be reduced as the legislature intended or at an accelerated rate, in order to attract new investment, create family-sustaining jobs and spur economic growth. The PA Chamber will advocate for comprehensive changes to the state tax structure that embody the principles of competitiveness, predictability, fairness and simplicity and that better align our laws with the pro-growth provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. These changes include addressing the manner by which local taxes are levied and administered.

HEALTH CARE

High health care costs remain an impediment for many businesses who wish to offer a high level of quality care and accessibility for employees at affordable prices and without undue bureaucracy. The PA Chamber will continue to advocate for policies that will encourage competition in the provision of health care while also giving employers the most flexibility when making health care decisions.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL

Numerous state and federal environmental regulations and energy mandates are hindering the state’s economic positions. The PA Chamber opposes the imposition of new and the expansion of existing, mandates and will continue to advocate for thoughtful, science-based development and flexible implementation of environmental law. The PA Chamber supports a regulatory approach that encourages greater investment in the Commonwealth, including for projects that facilitate voluntary emission reduction strategies.

CIVIL JUSTICE

Pennsylvania’s legal climate lacks protections that create a fair, balanced and common-sense civil litigation system. The business community supports legal reforms that help prevent lawsuit abuse while protecting the right of legitimate plaintiffs to seek justice, including safe harbor from unwarranted pandemic-related lawsuits for those adhering to safety guidelines. The PA Chamber supports lawsuit abuse reform proposals that provide for full and timely compensation of parties legitimately injured; give employers predictability and certainty; prevent unfair tactics like “venue-shopping,” and change the judicial system to achieve greater efficiencies and unbiased justice.

TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Pennsylvania must construct and maintain reliable transportation, telecommunications, wireless and utility systems, and other infrastructure, as these assets provide for a modern economy necessary to maintain a robust economic base, attract new employers and facilitate the movement of goods and people in our state and to domestic and international markets. The PA Chamber will continue to advocate for greater efficiencies in their construction, maintenance, and delivery, including streamlined permit and regulatory processes. The business community supports expanded reliance on public-private partnerships to help the Commonwealth meet its infrastructure needs in a manner consistent with the imperative for fiscal restraints.

LABOR

The PA Chamber supports labor, workplace and employment standards that help foster a productive and safe work environment, and which are structured to promote fair resolution of disputes and avoid negative unintended consequences. This includes eliminating misuse of improving the unemployment compensation system.We support facilitating a workers’ compensation system that focuses on returning injured workers to full health and function and roots out abuse. Employers oppose excessive mandates; artificial wage inflators, like prevailing wage, forcing individuals to pay union dues as a condition of employment, or labor relations policies that unfairly tilt the playing field.

EDUCATION

The PA Chamber supports a public education system based on rigorous standards, with appropriate transparency and robust accountability measures, to help ensure Pennsylvania students graduate high school as prepared as possible for the next phase of their lives. The PA Chamber further supports initiatives that help provide families with options to fit the specific education needs of students, so they are best qualified to ultimately enter the workforce.

GENERAL BUSINESS

The PA Chamber's policy priorities reach beyond the Legislative Agenda to encompass issues ranging from state/local government concerns and liquor reform, to technology and general commerce – all of which have implications for Pennsylvania's job creators and overall economy.

WORKFORCE

Employers in Pennsylvania continue to experience severe workforce challenges that are detrimental to our economy and prospects for growth. We urge lawmakers to build on past efforts and focus on policies that will help students prepare for a future career; facilitate upskilling opportunities for incumbent workers; encourage those on the sidelines to transition back into the workforce; and make Pennsylvania an attractive destination for individuals starting careers or relocating.