Press Releases

Workforce Development, State Budget Discussed at 2019 Chamber Day

June 4, 2019 | Tricia Harris

More than 90 state and local chamber representatives from across the Commonwealth gathered in Harrisburg today for the 2019 Chamber Day at the State Capitol.  The annual event is co-hosted by the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals during one of the busiest times of the year in the Capitol, as state elected officials work to finalize the 2019-20 budget.  The event provides a forum for constructive dialogue between local chamber officers and policymakers on key issues important to the state’s business community and the best ways to improve the Commonwealth’s business climate.

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PA Chamber: Administration’s ‘Restore PA’ Initiative Threatens Pennsylvania’s Competitiveness

May 15, 2019 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to the Wolf administration's continued calls for an additional tax on the natural gas industry to fund the ‘Restore PA’ initiative.  This proposal would float a $4.5 billion bond in order to spend a few billion dollars in infrastructure related projects now, paid back over decades by higher energy taxes on businesses and consumers.

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PA Chamber Applauds State Supreme Court Dismissal of Appeal in Zoning Case

May 15, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement today in response to the state Supreme Court’s dismissal of an appeal in the case of Dolores Frederick, et al, v. Allegheny Township Zoning Hearing Board. The appeal sought reconsideration of a Commonwealth Court decision that upheld a local municipality’s zoning ordinance to allow oil and gas drilling.  The PA Chamber had filed an amicus brief to the Commonwealth Court case representing the interests of its broad array of members.

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PA Chamber Hires New Workforce Development Executive to Expand Workforce Efforts

May 3, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry is proud to announce an expansion of its far-reaching workforce development efforts with the hire of Allen Norton as the organization’s first workforce development executive.

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PA Chamber Applauds House’s Passage of Regulatory Reform Legislation

April 30, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry – the state’s largest broad based business advocacy association – today hailed the House’s passage of a regulatory reform package that aims to streamline and make Pennsylvania’s permitting process and regulatory environment more efficient.

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Senate Candidates Mastriano and Pittman; House Candidate Mustello Receive ChamberPAC Endorsement

April 22, 2019 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced three legislative endorsements for upcoming Special Elections.  The endorsements include: Doug Mastriano for the 33rd state Senatorial District; Joe Pittman for the 41st state Senatorial District; and Marci Mustello for the 11th state House District.  All three of the Special Elections will coincide with the May 21 Primary Election.  Additional information on each candidate can be found below.

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PA Chamber Urges DEP to Fully and Carefully Evaluate Cap and Trade Petition

April 16, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Following the Environmental Quality Board’s vote today to accept for further study a rulemaking petition that seeks to establish an economy-wide cap and trade program, the PA Chamber urged the Department of Environmental Protection to carefully evaluate the far-ranging impacts of such a program.  In early April, the PA Chamber joined more than a dozen business and industry groups in sending a letter  to the board raising a number of policy and regulatory concerns with the petition – including its constitutionality and the impact that such a program would have on the state’s economy.

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PA Chamber’s Lori Renne Selected for U.S. Chamber Foundation's Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

April 4, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber is proud to announce that the organization’s Director of Marketing, Lori Renne, has been selected to participate in the second cohort of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers and builds their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

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PA Chamber: IFO Report Backs Up Concerns Over Mandated Minimum Wage Increases

March 28, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the recent publication of the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office’s analysis of a proposed minimum wage increase being pushed by the Wolf administration and certain lawmakers.  The plan calls for a wage increase to $12 - a 65 percent increase – as early as July 1, with incremental increases to $15 in the years ahead. Additionally, the plan calls for elimination of the tipped wage – which means many employers like restaurants would have only a few months to comply with an immediate 235 percent increase in labor costs and an increase of over 500 percent in just a few years.

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PA Chamber: Nuclear Mandate Legislation Would Increase Costs, Stifle Innovation

March 11, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding House Bill 11 – legislation that would alter Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act to require electric utilities purchase 50 percent of customer demand from nuclear energy, in addition to the existing 18 percent mandate for other types of energy resources:

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Report Reveals Startling Increase in Compound Cream Prescribing

March 6, 2019 | Tricia Harris

A report to the state legislature by the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council uncovered dramatic spikes in costs associated with non-FDA approved compound pain creams and the emergence of so-called “new pharmacies,” described as those beginning operation since 2013 and which appear to specialize in dispensing these questionable medications at staggering costs to employers.

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ChamberPAC Endorses D. Raja for Special State Senate Election

March 4, 2019 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced its endorsement of D. Raja for state senator of the 37th Senatorial District. 

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PA Chamber Endorses Changes to Regional Electricity Market Pricing Rules

February 27, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding changes to the electricity market auction rules being proposed by the regional grid operator, PJM Interconnection. The proposal, addressing reserve pricing and procurement in regional energy markets, will soon to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for be sent for formal consideration.

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PA Chamber Educational Foundation, PA Bankers Association Annual Economic Forecast and Business Leadership Summit to Feature Linda McMahon, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration

February 19, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber Educational Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association are again joining forces to present the Seventh Annual Economic Forecast and Business Leadership Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey.  This year’s program will feature a “State of the Nation” address by U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon.  As a member of President Trump’s Cabinet, McMahon advocates on behalf of 30 million small businesses across the country. 

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PA Chamber Unveils New Member Benefit to Help Companies Prepare for Critical Threats

February 12, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber is pleased to announce a partnership with Close Quarters Defense to provide a new member benefit offering comprehensive solutions to help employers protect their businesses and employees from critical threats.  From assessments and crisis planning to hands-on response training, CQD’s programs provide organizations with the ability to enhance their overall safety and security posture. 

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PA Chamber Applauds Governor’s Focus on Workforce Development, Warns Against Policies that Will Hurt State’s Competitiveness

February 5, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in regard to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2019-20 budget address:

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PA Chamber: Calls for Severance Tax Threaten Economic Growth

January 31, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to place an additional tax on the natural gas industry to help pay for a bond that would fund his new “Restore Pennsylvania” initiative:

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PA Chamber: Aggressive Mandated Wage Push Ignores Economic Realities for Pennsylvania Employers, Workers

January 30, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to a press conference by Gov. Tom Wolf calling for a government mandated minimum wage increase to $12 an hour in July with incremental increases to $15 and elimination of the tipped wage:

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Ambassador Nikki Haley to Headline 35th Annual Chamber Dinner

January 30, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is pleased to announce that Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2017-2019), will serve as the keynote speaker at the 35th Annual Chamber Dinner.

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PA Chamber Unveils New Member Benefit to Help Increase Business Profitability by Reducing Costs

January 29, 2019 | Tricia Harris

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is pleased to announce a new benefit for its broad-based membership – a free initial consultation with BottomLine Concepts – a no risk, contingency-based cost-savings company.

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PA Chamber Member Companies Step Up to Help Federal Employees Impacted by the Government Shutdown

January 25, 2019 | Tricia Harris

As the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history continues into its fifth week, businesses throughout the Commonwealth are rising to the challenge and offering various programs to help federal employees who are negatively impacted by the inability to work and receive their paycheck.  A wide range of industry sectors – including energy and utility companies; financial institutions and food banks – have announced various promotions or programs they are offering to assist federal employees until the shutdown is resolved.

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PA Chamber Foundation Unveils New Executive Leadership Training Program

January 22, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Every day 10,000 experienced Baby Boomers leave the workforce, creating a “silver tsunami” that will result in a shortage of executive talent, less-experienced workers transitioning into decision-making roles and high rates of millennial turnover.  As part of its multi-pronged workforce development effort, the PA Chamber Foundation is proud to partner with Solutions 21 and their “Next Leader Now” program to help companies address the “silver tsunami” by preparing their next generation of leaders.

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PA Chamber Expresses Condolences on Passing of Karen Coates

January 18, 2019 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement today following news of the passing of Karen Coates, chief of staff to House Speaker Mike Turzai:

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PA Chamber Urges Balance in Greenhouse Gas Regulations

January 8, 2019 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s signing of an Executive Order calling for a reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions: 

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PA Chamber Applauds Trump Administration Replacement of “Waters of the United States” Regulation

December 11, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement today regarding the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it will be replacing the Obama administration’s controversial “Waters of the United States” rule with a new regulation:

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PA Chamber Expresses Disappointment with Amazon’s HQ2 Decision

November 13, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding Amazon’s decision to split its second headquarters between New York and northern Virginia.

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PA Chamber Unveils 2017-18 Legislative Scorecard

November 2, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Ahead of the 2018 General Election, the PA Chamber of Business and Industry today unveiled its 2017-18 Legislative Scorecard.  This new publication, which is available online, highlights elected officials’ voting percentages on several business-centric public policies over the course of the two-year session.   

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PA Chamber Applauds Commonwealth Court Decision in Zoning Case

October 30, 2018 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement today in response to the Commonwealth Court’s decision in the case of Dolores Frederick, et al, v. Allegheny Township Zoning Hearing Board. The Court upheld a local municipality’s zoning ordinance that allowed oil and gas drilling.

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PA Chamber Statement on Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

October 29, 2018 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement following the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday:

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Governor Tom Wolf’s Veto of Senate Bill 1172 Puts Pennsylvania Consumers, Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers at Risk

October 25, 2018 | Tricia Harris

A diverse coalition of the state’s leading business and trade associations issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s veto of S.B. 1172, which aimed to bring clarity to the Price Gouging Act for the state’s business community.

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PA Chamber Applauds Enactment of Critical Cost-Saving Workers’ Comp Legislation

October 25, 2018

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the passage and enactment of H.B. 1840, significant workers’ comp legislation that provides a fix to a state Supreme Court decision in the Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board case, which has been financially detrimental to employers.  Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed Impairment Rating Evaluations from the law, which for more than 20 years has provided a structured process for state-designated physicians to determine a patient’s level of impairment and how long wage-loss benefits should be paid. As a result of the ruling, the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau took the unprecedented action of filing for a mid-year loss cost increase, which industry experts are conservatively estimating is costing employers hundreds of millions of dollars each year in higher insurance costs.

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PA Chamber Urges Governor to Sign Important Workers’ Comp Legislation

October 18, 2018 | Tricia Harris

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry applauded the General Assembly for passing significant workers’ comp legislation that will save employers hundreds of millions of dollars and urged the governor to quickly sign the bill into law. 

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PA Chamber Applauds Passage of Legislation Addressing Price Controls During Emergencies, Urges Governor to Sign Bill

October 16, 2018 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber applauds the General Assembly for passing S.B. 1172 – legislation that would bring more clarity and certainty to employers during disaster emergencies.

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Forge The Future: Pennsylvania Business Leaders Call For A New Era Of Economic Growth

October 11, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Forge The Future, an initiative of Pennsylvania businesses across the state, today called for a new era of economic growth in Pennsylvania, releasing Ideas for Action, a report that highlights specific actions the Commonwealth can and should implement to capitalize on its world-class energy assets and grow its way to more revenue, population and job growth.

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ChamberPAC Endorses Scott Wagner for Governor

October 11, 2018 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced its endorsement of Scott Wagner for governor.  Wagner, the Republican candidate, is running on a pro-jobs, pro-growth platform.

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ChamberPAC Endorses Todd Polinchock for 144th House District

October 11, 2018 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced its endorsement of Todd Polinchock for state representative of the 144th House District.  Polinchock, a Republican, is vying for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. Kathy Watson.  The 144th House District consists of parts of Bucks County.

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ChamberPAC Endorses Tom McGarrigle for 26th Senatorial District

October 10, 2018 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced its endorsement of Tom McGarrigle for state senator of the 26th Senatorial District. 

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PA Chamber Recognizes October as Local Chamber of Commerce Month

October 4, 2018 | Tricia Harris

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is proud to join Gov. Tom Wolf in recognizing October 2018 as “Local Chamber of Commerce Month” in the Commonwealth. 

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PA Chamber’s 28th Economic Survey: Despite Record Confidence, Concerns Over Skills Gap, Healthcare and State Tax Structure Continue to Burden Employers

October 3, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Employers are reporting record high confidence in the state’s business climate, and are making investments in their facilities and workers that reflect this optimism.   However, a jobs skills gap was listed for the first time as the biggest hurdle facing their business, and ongoing concerns about the state’s tax structure and rising healthcare rates still create barriers to economic opportunity.  These indicators are among the responses from the PA Chamber’s 28th Annual Economic Survey, which was conducted in August 2018 by Susquehanna Polling and Research, a Harrisburg-based public opinion polling company.

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Former Cong. Charlie Dent and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Honored With ‘Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life in Pennsylvania’ at 34th Annual Chamber Dinner

October 1, 2018 | Tricia Harris

At tonight’s 34th Annual Chamber Dinner, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry was proud to partner with Allegheny College to present the second annual “Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life in Pennsylvania” award to former Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent and Democratic state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.  The pair was presented with the prize for their efforts to work across the political aisle to get things accomplished for the betterment of the Commonwealth, an increasingly rare action in today’s hyper partisan climate.  

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ChamberPAC Announces Endorsements for 2018 General Election

September 11, 2018 | Tricia Harris

ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, today announced its candidate endorsements for the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the upcoming 2018 General Election.  ChamberPAC supports pro-job, pro-growth candidates and incumbent lawmakers who are dedicated to improving Pennsylvania’s business climate and growing the economy.

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PA Chamber: Study Shows State’s Tax Structure a Barrier to Growth

September 5, 2018 | Tricia Harris

A new study unveiled today by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry highlights the uncompetitive nature of the Commonwealth’s Tax Code.  The report, “Pennsylvania: A 21st Century Tax Code for the Commonwealth” – which was authored by the Tax Foundation and funded via a grant by the PA Chamber – delves into how the Commonwealth’s tax structure compares to other states and provides a menu of policy options to improve Pennsylvania’s overall competitiveness.      

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PA Chamber: New EPA Rule a Welcome Change Compared to Clean Power Plan

August 24, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement following the release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule.  The proposal was authored by the Trump administration to replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.  

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Wolf, Wagner Confirm Participation in Chamber Dinner Gubernatorial Debate

August 20, 2018 | Tricia Harris

The PA Chamber is pleased to announce the 34th Annual Chamber Dinner’s gubernatorial debate will feature Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican nominee Scott Wagner.  The event will take place on Monday, Oct. 1 at the Hershey Lodge.  JEOPARDY! host Alex Trebek will serve as moderator.  Since 2002, the PA Chamber has featured a debate as part of the Annual Dinner program in each gubernatorial election year.  This marks the first scheduled gubernatorial debate for the 2018 General Election. 

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PA Chamber of Business and Industry and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Unite in Support of Free Trade

August 16, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Recognizing the strong economic ties that have long existed between Pennsylvania and Canada, today the PA Chamber of Business and Industry joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in calling for the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to strengthen cross-border trade.

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PA Chamber: Attention on Opioid Epidemic is Appreciated but Response is Insufficient

July 16, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement following a PA Department of Health press conference announcing opioid prescribing guidelines for the state’s workers’ compensation system.  In April, the governor vetoed S.B. 936 – legislation that would have implemented a prescription drug formulary for Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system.  Standard in other states, drug formularies have been shown to address overuse of and addiction to prescription drugs among injured workers.

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PA Chamber:'Card Check' Legislation a Threat to Workers

July 10, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the announcement of proposed legislation to effectively eliminate the right of public sector workers in Pennsylvania to vote by private ballot during a union certification process.  The legislation would instead impose a “card check” process wherein employees may be publicly presented by union organizers with a ballot card and urged to make a decision at that moment – a situation that unacceptably risks public workers being pressured, coerced and harassed to “check the box” to  unionize.  A co-sponsorship memo was circulated the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which struck down the practice of public sector unions forcibly collecting fees from public workers who do not wish to be a member of the union.

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PA Chamber Praises Supreme Court Ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Case as a Victory for Worker Freedom, First Amendment Rights

June 27, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which strikes down the practice of public sector unions collecting an agency fee from the paychecks of government employees who are not members of the union. As background, a 1977 court decision allowed public sector unions to collect fees from every employee considered part of the collective bargaining unit, even those who did not wish to be members of the union. In a 5-4 decision released today, the Supreme Court ruled in Janus that compulsory fee collections did indeed constitute a violation of workers’ First Amendment rights.  As a result of the ruling, public sector unions will no longer be able to forcibly collect agency fees from non-union members.

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PA Chamber Applauds House Passage of Important Measure to Address Workers’ Comp Cost Increases

June 25, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding House passage of H.B. 1840 – legislation that would provide a fix to a financially devastating state Supreme Court decision related to the state’s workers’ compensation system.  As background, last year, in the Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board case, the Court threw out the Impairment Rating Evaluation process, which for more than 20 years had been a fair and effective way for state-designated physicians to determine a patient’s level of impairment. As a result of the ruling, the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau took the unprecedented action of filing for a mid-year loss cost increase which is increasing employer workers’ comp insurance costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.

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PA Chamber: Tax Code Change Regarding Bonus Depreciation Will Improve PA’s Tax Structure, Competitiveness

June 22, 2018 | Tricia Harris

PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the enactment of S.B. 1056 – legislation that reverses a recent ruling by the Department of Revenue that prohibited Pennsylvania taxpayers from taking advantage of 100 percent bonus depreciation when filing their corporate taxes; and also stripped away the depreciation benefits in the recently enacted federal Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. 

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PA Chamber Fights to Protect Rights of Private Property Owners

February 7, 2018 | Tricia Harris

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement today regarding the PA Chamber’s participation in the case of Dolores Frederick, et al. v. Allegheny Township ZHB v. CNX Gas Company, LLC. Arguments are being heard today before an en banc panel of Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh in a case regarding, in part, how the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment influences local zoning decisions. 

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