The Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Keeping You Informed on Legislative Matters that Affect Your Business
ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: Are You In?

The legislature is in recess through the end of September, which provides time for the government affairs team to prepare for the fall session and map out future strategies. In October, we are planning the first in-person advocacy event since the COVID-19 shutdown. ABC members will have an opportunity to meet directly with key legislators in Harrisburg to advocate for policy priorities that impact the construction industry.

In addition to communicating directly with legislators, it is important that ABC financially support free enterprise candidates. There are important seats up for election in the 2022 cycle, and there is no doubt Pennsylvania will be a key state in determining the majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

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ABC Keystone President Message July 2021

How Time Flies During a Pandemic!

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2021, and we are beginning to think about 2022. During the last 16 months, things felt like they would never get back to normal, yet the time flew by quite quickly. So, how have the first six months of 2021 turned out, and what is in store moving forward for ABC Keystone?

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: ABC Making an Impact

It was a busy and impactful June for ABC public policy priorities. The House Commerce Committee advanced House Bill 424, which would prohibit indemnity clauses in construction contracts, by a vote of 23-1. We anticipate the bill will advance to the full House in the fall session. We provided comments on various pieces of legislation that would impact our members. We also supported legislation that would waive federal environmental permits on construction sites of less than five acres. Most significantly, we saw action on legislation (House Bill 536) that would reform the state’s mandated journeyworker-to-apprentice ratio rules, which have discriminated against the merit shop for 60 years.

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

A Time of Action

A new session is well underway, and ABC is making a difference. Along with COVID-19 issues, the top priority of elected leaders in Harrisburg is preparing a 2021-22 state budget and passing legislation that gets Pennsylvanians back to work. Despite the ongoing pandemic, ABC of Pennsylvania’s government affairs program has been highly active. Though we are only six months into the new session, we have made progress on the following issues:

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: The Results Are In

Another primary election has come and gone. Turnout this year was typical of most odd-numbered year elections, with between 20-25% of eligible voters casting ballots. Generally, there were more challenges on the Democratic ticket, and the trend continues where incumbent Democrats lost to candidates farther to the Left. Regarding special elections for open state House and Senate seats, the results went as expected with no flips. The results are in:

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Inaugural Virtual Advocacy Day a Success

In “normal” times, ABC of Pennsylvania holds a ‘Free Enterprise Day’ in April to advocate for policy issues important to the commercial construction industry. As we are all aware, COVID-19 continues to impact our business practices. While the Capitol Building in Harrisburg re-opened to the public in time for the spring session, gatherings are still restricted. Therefore, ABC conducted our first-ever “Virtual Free Enterprise Week,” where ABC members participated in Zoom calls with legislators serving on the House Labor & Industry Committee to educate them on House Bill 536, which would reform the journeyperson-to-apprentice mandate.

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update

In mid-March, the legislature returned from the budget hearing recess to begin the spring session. The government affairs team has been working with the legislature and promoting our public policy agenda, as approved by the ABC of Pennsylvania board of directors. The following updates are a few areas of focus on which the government affairs team is working:

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: ABC Issues at the Forefront

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.is proposing to tax the Marcellus Shale, which ABC of Pennsylvania is on record as opposing. Other highlights include:

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: Marching On

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:

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Message from the President CEO ABC Keystone March 2021

Message from the President-CEO: Elections Have Consequences. You Better Buckle Up!

I know, after every election, we hate to hear the phrase ”Elections have Consequences.” Well, the next phrase I’m going to share is just as relevant, and if you have been around ABC very long, you may also get tired of this phrase over the next few years. “Get into politics or get out of business.” For today, I want to focus on politics at the Federal level, because, from a political perspective, it is at this level your business is the most vulnerable. Read more…

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: ABC’s Roadmap in 2021

The new year is well undersay, and the government affairs staff has been mapping out an efficient travel guide for the long haul. Though it is a new session with roughly 30 new legislators entering office, ABC’s messaging remains the same – fighting for merit shop principles. The newly installed ABC of Pennsylvania Board of Directors has established our 2021 legislative agenda, which is broken into three categories:

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: Anti-Merit Shop Bill Re-Introduced in Congress

During the campaign, then candidate Joe Biden said that he would be the “strongest labor president” if elected. Coming through on that promise, the President is in the process of forming a cabinet level working group made up of union representatives charged with delivering a plan to, “dramatically increase union density and address economic inequality.”

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ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Advocacy Update: Embarking on a New Direction

Happy New Year! It is safe to say we are all grateful 2020 is behind us. Despite COVID-19, we were able to accomplish a great deal on behalf of our members last year. You can read more about those accomplishments via our annual legislative report found on the abcpa.org website.

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