ABC PA Summit Focuses on Policy, Political Endorsements

Kristi Pronovost Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone 

Last week’s meeting of the five ABC chapters throughout Pennsylvania brought a rare opportunity to work with some uncommon coalition partners and hear from candidates who will appear on the ballot in 2017.

Much of the Legislative Summit was focused on a policy roundtable discussing the licensure of Pennsylvania’s plumbing industry. For months, ABC PA and several coalition partners have opposed two existing bills that address plumbing licensure, House Bill 442 and Senate Bill 183.  In addition to ABC’s opposition, those bills have drawn heavy criticism from the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), the Keystone Contractors Association (KCA), and the Laborers International Union (LIUNA), to name a few. In late summer, ABC worked to bring coalition partners together to address plumbing licensure in a responsible and equitable way that protected consumers and minimized the burden on employers.

At last week’s meeting, the coalition discussed alternative language for plumbing licensure with two main proponents of the existing bills – the Pennsylvania Heating & Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) and the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 690. The discussion included participation from a number of representatives, including John Kane, the business manager for Plumbers Local 690, one of Pennsylvania’s most active labor unions. Ultimately, the conversation remained civil and productive and each organization remained committed to finding an equitable solution.

Following the policy roundtable, ABC PA evaluated candidates and voted to endorse the following individuals:

  • Congressman Lou Barletta for U.S. Senate
  • Emil Giordano for Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Wade Kagarise for Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Craig Stedman for Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Christine Fizzano Cannon for Commonwealth Court
  • Paul Lalley for Commonwealth Court