The growth and advancement of technology has created valuable new opportunities for businesses, job growth and economic stimulus for our Commonwealth and communities. It is imperative that Pennsylvania’s legislative and regulatory climate encourage access to and adoption of enhanced technology by all Pennsylvania residents and employers, as well as encourage the expansion and location of technology-oriented companies, as well as the life sciences and biotechnology industries, to enhance the attractiveness of the Commonwealth.

The advancement of technology has created valuable new opportunities for businesses, job growth and economic stimulus for our Commonwealth. It is imperative that Pennsylvania’s legislative and regulatory climate, at the state and local level, encourages access to enhanced technology for all Pennsylvania residents and employers, and allows the technology sector to grow and thrive while balancing community priorities. Policymakers should encourage the expansion and location of technology-oriented companies by improving the Commonwealth’s business climate and promoting community partners, including educational and cultural institutions, which also help attract employers and talent, and the diverse technology workforce already present in the commonwealth.

In addition, Pennsylvania’s life sciences and biotechnology industries have driven significant economic growth in the Commonwealth and employ over a hundred thousand Pennsylvanians in manufacturing, research and development and other capacities. Public policy should encourage the continued strength and expansion of these sectors.

The Pennsylvania Chamber further supports:

  • Efforts to coordinate development and implementation of technology infrastructure for all Pennsylvanians, including fostering a positive tax and regulatory climate that encourages private investment in key business technology needs, like data centers and secure broadband in all regions of the Commonwealth, while ensuring scarce public resources are not used to overbuild or compete with private sector investment;
  • State agencies establishing and sharing plans to encourage and facilitate technology transfers among academia, local, state and federal government agencies, military and private industry;
  • Innovations, such as distributed cloud computing, adaptive security, internet of things, big data analytics and artificial intelligence, electric mobility, as well as legislative and public procurement policies that encourage companies and government to invest in and use the newest technologies that drive lower costs, greater efficiency, enhanced security and attract technology-oriented companies to the Commonwealth;
  • Public policy, and tax policy in particular, that fosters an environment conducive to technology-focused venture capitalism and technology startups, such as raising or eliminating the cap on carrying forward net operating losses;
  • Balanced and reasonable cyber-security measures applied to the private and public sectors that protect consumers and industry without imposing on Pennsylvania’s businesses any onerous mandates or costs;
  • Regular review and, when appropriate and possible, elimination of impediments, such as excessive taxes and regulations, to the technology industries that may hinder their ability to compete in today’s global marketplace;
  • Promote statewide policies that streamline and reduce costs and timeframes for the permitting and siting of technology infrastructure, such as small cells and fiber-optic cable for the transition to 5G; and future generations of wireless technology, which will enhance the connectivity increasingly necessary for business operations, as well as emerging practices like telemedicine and remote communication.
  • Effective economic and workforce development programs that recognize and support technology as a critical aspect of business development in a global economy;
  • The promotion of e-permitting to streamline and simplify the regulatory compliance process for citizens and businesses; and
  • A robust, efficient Health Information Exchange infrastructure that allows Pennsylvania‘s high quality health care system to share information in a transparent, secure manner in order to enhance the delivery and outcome of health care services.

The PA Chamber urges policymakers to carefully consider and avoid actions that would create unnecessary bureaucracy or regulations to govern and administer technology infrastructure development. State policymakers should further refrain from adopting public policy more burdensome or stringent than Federal policy, which could hurt Pennsylvania’s competitiveness. Moreover, it should generally be the policy of government to defer to the private sector on the creation and operation of technology infrastructures.