Lawmakers return to Harrisburg this week to kick off the fall session, and the PA Chamber is leading advocacy efforts in support of policies that will advance business growth and job creation. Our latest edition of “Chamber Chats,” a conversational interview program, features PA Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Alex Halper describing the top three pro-business issues our team is focused on as the General Assembly returns to Harrisburg: tax reform, permitting reform, and workforce development.
As Halper explains to Director of Member Communications Lindsay Andrews, these issues take center stage because of the tremendous impact they have on Pennsylvania’s overall competitiveness – and advancing our competitiveness now and for future generations is the PA Chamber’s overarching mission.
First, we need to build on the progress we achieved in last year’s monumental tax reforms – including continuing to accelerate the reduction of our Corporate Net Income Tax rate and improve the treatment of Net Operating Losses to help startup and cyclical businesses.
Workforce development – a strong, bipartisan issue – also requires a multi-faceted approach. The PA Chamber is supporting legislation that would build on Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate law, as well as efforts to reform the state’s probation systems. “There are no silver bullets to solving Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s workforce crisis,” Halper said, “but these are some specific solutions that we think will help a lot of Pennsylvanians but also a lot of Pennsylvania employers.” You can learn more about the PA Chamber’s support for numerous workforce development strategies here.
Lastly, the PA Chamber is zeroed in on the critical, broad-based issue of permitting reform. Pennsylvania’s burdensome, lengthy, and confusing permitting processes have long been a detractor to development and need to be reformed. Fortunately, there is consensus on both sides of the aisle that this needs to be addressed. In addition to supporting legislation that would codify an executive order by Gov. Shapiro to improve permitting in the Commonwealth, the PA Chamber also supports bipartisan legislation to streamline our permitting systems, create efficiencies, and improve transparency. “Employers want to know how long it is going to take and how and when to make key investments. This is not about cutting corners as it relates to environmental regulations, this is about understanding and having uniformity with the process and transparency,” Halper said about Senate legislation that we’re now urging the House to pass without delay.
Should these three issues be adequately addressed in the fall session, we’ll have a lot to celebrate in terms of bringing jobs and economic prosperity to Pennsylvania in 2023 and beyond!