Chamber Minute

September 2019

Hi, I’m Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber.

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

The fall legislative session is in full swing as lawmakers return to Harrisburg following the summer recess.  We anticipate a packed legislative agenda that will focus on a number of policy areas that could impact the state’s business community.  The Pennsylvania Chamber is urging elected officials to build on the positive economic momentum that aided in an overall smooth budget process this past June.  To that end we are advocating for a reduction in the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax – which remains one of the highest in the nation – as well as reforms that would streamline and simplify the state’s Tax Code and regulatory environment. 

At the same time, we are closely monitoring several proposals currently being pushed by the Wolf administration – including charter school reform, regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a severance tax on natural gas and continued calls for a government mandated minimum wage increase.    We continue to remind lawmakers that in order to remain competitive in the global marketplace, we need a well-educated workforce that takes into account individual educational needs; as well as policies that improve our business climate and promote one of the state’s greatest advantages – access to abundant and affordable energy resources.

One issue that has brought together elected officials from both sides of the aisle is workforce development.  Over the past year and a half, we’ve been pleased to work with a broad coalition of organizations and lawmakers dedicated to finding innovative solutions to address the Commonwealth’s jobs skills gap.  We will continue to lead on this issue throughout the fall.

In fact, last month we were pleased to announce that through our partnership with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, this year 24 Pennsylvania students have been awarded a total of $75,000 in Work Ethic Scholarships.  This is the third year that we have teamed up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation as part of our far-reaching workforce initiative, Start the Conversation Here.  For more information – including how to make a tax-deductible donation – visit www.StartTheConversationHere.com.   

Here are your key takeaways from this month’s message:

  • This fall elected officials are set to take up several policy issues that would greatly impact the state’s business community.
  • The Pennsylvania Chamber is pushing for tax and regulatory reform that will help to boost the state’s competitiveness and grow the economy.
  • As part of our workforce development efforts, the Pennsylvania Chamber is proud to once again partner with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to help provide scholarships to Pennsylvania students interested in a job in the skilled trades.

 Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.