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    Spokesman blog

    Déjà vu All Over Again

    Governor Wolf addressed the joint session of the Pennsylvania legislature today to outline his priorities for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  With large portions of the 2015-2016 budget still incomplete, the Governor’s address took a unique tone at the outset: “Under ordinary circumstances, I would outline my 2016-17 proposal, a proposal full of ideas to move our Commonwealth forward… but I can’t give that speech.  Not under these circumstances.” Read the rest of entry »

    Excellence in Construction Frequently Asked Questions

    Is the Excellence in Construction (EIC) awards program a contractor-to-contractor competition?

    No! Submittals are judged against an objective standard, not against each other. In fact, if more than one submittal in a category achieves a Merit or Excellence score, then more than one submittal earns an award! Read the rest of entry »

    Plumbing Licensure on the Move?

    With the budget impasse ongoing and legislators looking toward a 2016-2017 budget in mere weeks, the House is revisiting several issues they put on hold throughout the summer and fall.

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    Who Handles HR in Your Business?

    Who Handles HR in Your Business?
    Obviously, someone in your small business needs to take charge of such things as hiring, training, benefits, recordkeeping, performance evaluations, payroll, communicating policies and regulatory compliance. Who is that person?
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    ABC Committees Kick Off 2016

    On Tuesday, January 12, committee members from ALL committees met for the first time in order to catch Chairman Dave Nace’s vision for ABC Keystone as well as be challenged by him, too. After members networked and enjoyed a hearty breakfast, Nace encouraged all participants to become more actively engaged in the free enterprise fight by educating themselves and their co-workers, because the best defense against bad government policy is a well-informed public. 
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    Budget Update: Moving On

    The Wolf administration kicked off its second year last week by posting a blog that highlighted several of Governor Wolf’s first-year accomplishments. The only problem is that hardly any required legislative approval.
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    Budget Standoff Sends Legislators Packing

    At nearly 200 days overdue, Pennsylvania’s budget impasse is rapidly approaching the worst in history. On December 29th, Governor Tom Wolf signed a partial budget, exercising line-item veto power over several items, including the state’s education funding, claiming that the Republican-controlled legislature has underfunded the public school system. Now, with no end in sight and the 2016 campaign season just weeks away, some legislators are throwing in the towel and walking away from Harrisburg altogether.
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    Ask an Accountant: PATH Act of 2015

    Recently, both the U.S. House and Senate passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. There is no shortage of opinions regarding the effects of this legislation, so let me begin with the disclaimer that the thoughts expressed in this editorial are my own and not necessarily shared by all of my associates at the Walz Group. They are, however, a reflection of what I have experienced as a tax Principal and as an observer of tax politics, including my own lobbying efforts during my 36 years in the profession.

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    Budget Slog Moves into 2016

    Just before the holiday break, the Pennsylvania House melted down over a budget fight as southeastern Republicans joined Democrats in an effort to pass a $30.8 billion budget, ensuring the need for a tax increase.  After heavy lobbying from ABC and other members of the business community, conservative House members revolted, blocking the vote and culminating in an abrupt adjournment that sent members home for the holidays. Read the rest of entry »

    Reading Nixes Project Labor Agreement

    After years of backroom deals and blatant pay-for-play with Philadelphia labor unions, the end finally came for Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer in May of 2015 when he was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by former District Judge Wally Scott.
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