By: David G. Greineder, IOM, ABC Pennsylvania Director of Government Affairs
In mid-September, the legislature returned from their summer recess for a fall session that spans through the rest of 2021. During that time, the General Assembly will likely debate and vote on measures that directly and indirectly impact the construction industry. Per the decennial census, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission will re-draw congressional districts, considering Pennsylvania’s loss of one congressperson. In addition, the legislature will go through a process to re-draw all 253 House and Senate districts, taking into account where population was lost and gained throughout the commonwealth. Along with the re-districting process, the legislature will continue to explore COVID-19-related bills, especially pertaining to the Secretary of Health masking order for schools. Along with those hot-button issues, the ABC government affairs team is working on the following bills:
Apprentice-to-Journeyworker Ratios (HB 536):
ABC chapters were a key player over the summer in this top priority bill. ABC members hosted members of the House Labor & Industry Committee to facilitate tours of training facilities and participated in roundtable discussions to shine a spotlight on the discriminatory ratio rules. Committee Chairman Jim Cox (R-Berks) is committed to pushing a bill forward this fall, and we look forward to working with him to level the playing field and secure a win for ABC.
Construction Industry Indemnity (HB 424):
ABC has been partnering with stakeholders on legislation that would prohibit indemnity clauses in construction contracts. Before the summer break, we were successful in moving a bill out of the House Commerce Committee by a vote of 23-1. We are working on the next stage of the process with the goal of moving a bill through the full House during the fall session. This would be another key win for ABC.
Contractor Registration (HB 1021):
We have been working with partners this summer and voicing concerns with proposed legislation that would require all construction contractors to pay a fee and register their business with the Office of Attorney General. Obviously, ABC and many other associations representing the construction industry have concerns with this bill. We have been participating in ongoing conversations with the bill sponsor in sharing our concerns and asking questions on the intent and reason for the legislation. The bill is intended to stop bad actors from circumventing various labor laws and undercutting competitive bids; however, we are unclear as to how a registration requirement would get to this goal.
As the government affairs team works on your behalf in the halls of the Capitol Building, there are upcoming opportunities for you to get directly involved in the legislative and political processes to make a difference.
- Free Enterprise Day
On October 25, ABC of Pennsylvania will be hosting an in-person Free Enterprise Day in Harrisburg – our first since the COVID-19 shutdown. During the day, you will have the opportunity to interact with key legislators who hold the power to make the change we are seeking. They need to hear directly from you, as you and your workforce are on the frontlines facing these challenges. Training opportunities will be available before the event to prepare you on policy issues and event logistics. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Sponsorships available! Go to abcpa.org and click on the calendar for more details, to register, and to sponsor. We need you!
- Vote this November!
Yes, every year is an election year, and this one is just as important as any other. On November 2, voters will go to the polls to elect candidates running for local office. The winners of these elections will serve as your school board director, county commissioner, city or borough council person, township supervisor, mayor, among others. In recent times, we have seen how important these local offices are in making decisions on how your community will respond to state and national affairs. Do not miss the opportunity to take part in the democratic process. Vote on November 2. Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm. If you are unsure of your polling location, click here for more information.
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Join ABC PA Chapters at Annual Free Enterprise Day!
October 25, 2021 – in Harrisburg
- Be a part of ABC’s advocacy efforts
- Connect with elected officials and staff to further free enterprise and the merit shop philosophy through policy
- Meet ABC members from across the Commonwealth and build relationships
- Learn more about the current state of politics and policy in Pennsylvania
- Tour the Pennsylvania Capitol and meet with elected officials from your respective region to discuss issues that are of importance to the association