While last week’s midterm elections produced a mixed bag for both parties, the results were marked by one consistent theme: change.
For starters, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey will now be held by Democrat John Fetterman, and Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro will take over as Governor in January. While Republicans retained the majority in the state Senate, the state House is likely to flip to the Democrats by a narrow, one or two seat majority. And Pennsylvania will send nine Democrats and eight Republicans to Congress after losing a seat during redistricting.
Harrisburg will have many new faces come January. At least 51 state House members, or 25 percent, will be serving their first term; and, 118 members, or 58 percent, will have been elected in the last three election cycles. Only 27 state House members, or 13 percent, held office the last time the Democrats were in the majority. Of that number, 13 are Republicans and 14 are Democrats.
For the PA Chamber, this means our role as the leading statewide voice of business is more important today than ever. In the weeks and months ahead, our team will be reaching out to newly elected members of the General Assembly and Gov.-Elect Shapiro’s team to discuss public policy priorities and how we can work collectively to move our economy forward. We look forward to continuing to work with our member companies and local chambers to educate lawmakers on the importance of pro-growth policies and serve as a resource for information and guidance on key issues.
While Harrisburg will have a divided government, we know from experience that pro-business policy can advance in a bipartisan manner. In the past six months alone, we successfully enacted substantive legislation, including reducing our Corporate Net Income tax rate in half; preventing an unfair unemployment compensation tax rate hike on nearly 3,000 small businesses; and providing a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicle testing and deployment.
There is more progress to be made, including ensuring the state sticks to, or expedites, the planned CNI phase-down schedule and enacts additional reforms to make Pennsylvania’s tax code more competitive, and the Commonwealth more attractive to investment; advancing regulatory and permitting reform that will provide certainty to businesses and encourage investment; improving our infrastructure, including broadband expansion; and addressing ongoing workforce challenges , among many other issues.