As a first order of business in the 2021-22 session, House Republican Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, was joined by Republican colleagues last week to announce measures to help Pennsylvania’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic era. At a news conference in Harrisburg, Benninghoff announced that a new Economic Recovery Task Force chaired by state Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Luzerne, will be charged with analyzing input from their constituents and developing policies for moving the economy forward again. According to a Pennlive article, this includes providing regulatory relief for businesses, restraining executive power during emergency declarations and reforming the state’s tax structure – in particular, lowering Pennsylvania’s uncompetitive 9.99 percent Corporate Net Income Tax rate.
Benninghoff stressed that he is ready to work with Democratic and Senate colleagues to see these priorities achieved, and get people safely back to work. He acknowledged the short-term benefit of the second round of COVID-19 stimulus dollars, while stressing that this money is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. “It’s not just about government, at any level, cutting checks; those are temporary, we see that with people getting stimulus checks – it’s a one-time hit – yes they can spend a little bit of money [but] this is really about getting people back to work,” Benninghoff said.
PA Chamber President Gene Barr was quoted in an Allentown Morning Call story regarding the House Republican effort, saying that our organization has also been focused on getting Pennsylvania’s economy back on track through our “Bringing PA Back” initiative.
Rep. Kaufer also said he hopes that the working group he’s leading will have their economic proposals completed in time for the upcoming 2021-22 state budget discussions, which are informally kicked off with the governor’s budget address in early February.