By: DAVID G. GREINEDER, IOM, ABC PENNSYLVANIA DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
On February 4, Governor Tom Wolf publicly released his 2021-22 proposed budget. The nearly $40 billion budget will fund the state from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The budget represents a 12% increase over last year. Not surprisingly, the governor again is proposing to tax the Marcellus Shale, which ABC of Pennsylvania is on record as opposing. Other highlights include:
- Increases public school funding by $1.35 billion; sets the minimum teacher salary at $45,000.
- Increases the personal income tax from 3.07% to 4.49%, for those making over $84,000. The increase is projected to bring in $3 billion.
- Increases the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15/hour by 2027.
- Legalizes recreational marijuana.
As expected, the tone from Republican leaders is the proposal is a non-starter. On March 15, the legislature returned from the “budget break” that allowed the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to hold public hearings on the governor’s proposed budget. In the months ahead, the state budget will be negotiated, along with many other priority bills. ABC of Pennsylvania will be pushing to get our priorities added to that list.
In that regard, the ABC of Pennsylvania board of directors approved the association’s legislative and regulatory agenda for the year. You can read more about the agenda at abcpa.org.
Highlights of our agenda include:
1. Participating in Industry Standard Legislative and Regulatory Processes
- Supporting legislation that will prohibit identification in construction contracts.
- Opposing shale taxes.
- Supporting an infrastructure bill that ensures an efficient and interconnected transportation system and ensures worker safety in construction zones.
- Supporting COVID-19 legal liability protections.
2. Investing in Workforce Development
- Supporting reforms to the apprenticeship system.
- Supporting efforts to expand workforce development in the skilled trade.s
- Supporting reforms to the criminal justice system to incentivize employers and break down barriers to gainful employment in construction.
3. Advancing the Merit Shop Philosophy
- Opposing project labor agreements.
- Opposing the federal “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act.
- Opposing legislation that unfairly targets the construction industry.
ABC has been hard at work advancing our mission in Harrisburg. In February, ABC Keystone held a Construction Wake-up Call to discuss ABC’s advocacy programming and forecast where Pennsylvania is heading this election cycle. If you would like to view the materials presented at this meeting, you can do so here.
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Posted March 18, 2021