The PA Chamber is always looking for opportunities to improve Pennsylvania’s business climate – both now and in the future. As the 2021-22 legislative session came to a close this month, we were instrumental in enacting a number of bills that are doing both. Here are two great examples.
In short term successes: Working with our local chamber allies, we helped nearly 3,000 Pennsylvania businesses across Pennsylvania that had suffered pandemic-related shutdowns avoid an imminent increase in their UC tax rates. A small business owner in Schuylkill County brought this issue up during a policy hearing hosted by state Rep. Tim Twardzick in late August. The Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce notified our organization, and working with state Rep. Twardzick, state Sen. Dave Argall, and a coalition of 60 local chambers of commerce, we crafted and advanced legislation to Gov. Wolf’s desk that provides a targeted, temporary exemption from the UC rate hike for these business owners. This example of leadership through partnerships underscores the importance of businesses influencing positive change at the local chamber level – proving the adage that “all politics is local” and every business should get engaged and stay engaged with their local chamber!
In future-focused areas: We are celebrating having led the charge on Act 130 of 2022 which provides a pathway for the safe testing and deployment of highly autonomous vehicles. This advancement will leverage PA’s strengths in logistics and manufacturing for new growth and investment. In a recent op-ed, PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein touted the law as putting the Commonwealth in the driver’s seat of opportunity and innovation – as the autonomous vehicles sector is expected to capture 5,000 jobs and have a $10 billion impact in the Pittsburgh region alone by 2026 (according to a report by the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.)
These two policies – one focusing on a short-term resolution and one looking down the road at long-term gains – are a small sample of the many times the PA Chamber secured wins for our members during the 2021-22 session. As we finalize our 2023-24 legislative agenda and reach out to lawmakers before the new session gets underway, know that our line of communication is always open and we value your insights and experiences, as they help us live up to our name as the leading Statewide Voice of Business. Your insight matters.