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.
The PA Chamber urges the legislature and Governor to work collaboratively toward enactment of a responsible, on-time budget, while understanding that all opportunities for cost-savings and other reforms should be exhausted before new or higher taxes are considered. The PA Chamber supports efforts to fairly address the unfunded liability in the state pension systems and provide for the long-term solvency of these programs.
Pennsylvania’s corporate tax policies and tax rate put the Commonwealth at a competitive disadvantage. Our Corporate Net Income Tax rate must be reduced in order for our employers to prosper in a global economy. The PA Chamber continues to advocate for elimination of the cap on Net Operating Losses, along with other changes to the state tax structure that embody the principles of competitiveness, predictability, fairness and simplicity and help stimulate economic development.
The PA Chamber believes that employers should be able to offer their workers high quality, affordable health care either through traditional coverage or through alternative options in the marketplace. Job creators continue to seek reforms to the medical liability climate and limits on the expansion of costly health-care coverage mandates and the PA Chamber will continue to advocate for policies that will encourage competition in the provision of healthcare while also giving employers the most flexibility when making health care decisions.
Numerous state and federal environmental regulations and energy mandates are hindering the state’s economic competitiveness. The PA Chamber believes that economic development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive objectives and will continue to advocate for thoughtful, science-based development and flexible implementation of environmental law.
Pennsylvania’s legal climate is conducive to frivolous lawsuits and lacks protections that create a fair, balanced and common sense system. The business community supports legal reforms that help prevent lawsuit abuse while protecting the right of legitimate plaintiffs to seek justice.
Pennsylvania must construct and maintain adequately funded and reliable transportation and utility systems and other infrastructure. The PA Chamber advocates for greater efficiencies in their construction, maintenance and delivery, including streamlined permit and regulatory processes.
Changes to Pennsylvania’s labor relations and employment policies are necessary to address abuses and facilitate a fair work environment. The business community supports improving the unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation systems while opposing mandates that increase the cost of doing business. In addition, the PA Chamber also supports legislation that would prohibit forced union dues collection in the private sector as a condition of employment and prevent public resources from being used to collect union dues and political contributions.
Pennsylvania’s prosperity depends upon a well-educated workforce. The PA Chamber supports an education system that establishes clear accountability and provides every child with the opportunity to receive a quality education that will adequately prepare them for gainful employment or further education. This includes initiatives that provide families with options to best fit the specific education needs of students. We also promote workforce development programs that aim to close the jobs skills gap.
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.
In order to ensure that Pennsylvania can continue to boast a skilled and inspired workforce and remain competitive in the global market, the PA Chamber has made workforce development a cornerstone of its mission. To that end, we are working to close the jobs skills gap through our dynamic “Start the Conversation HERE” initiative that is connecting students, educators and employers and informing them about in-demand jobs. We are also working with policymakers to strengthen existing workforce development programs and ensure that the Commonwealth is fully developing and harnessing the talent, skills and capacities of its citizens.