Advocacy Update

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Van Halen said in 1995, we are, “livin’ with the aftershock.” The Pennsylvania primary election has come and gone. As with any election, there were some surprising and some not-so surprising results.

Advocacy Update

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

The Pennsylvania primary election is finally over. After the state budget is completed in June – which is expected to pass with little fanfare – we will enter the summer slog to election day. When the legislature returns in September, session days will be light and campaign activities will be heavy.

Advocacy Update: An Election to Remember

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

In even-numbered years, April is traditionally a busy time for political campaigns. Candidates are raising money, talking with stakeholders, and knocking on doors. This year is no different, especially in a year where there are literally dozens of candidates running for office. ABC of Pennsylvania is committed to providing information to Chapters on the candidates running for office so you and your employees can be informed voters.

Advocacy Update: Let the Games Begin

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

We are now “on the other side” of the budget hearings and filing deadline of nomination petitions to run for office. On the later, in the next few weeks, ABC of Pennsylvania will be issuing a voter guide that lists the candidates running for statewide office and U. S. Congress. On the former, the legislature begins the spring session this week, which includes negotiating a 2022-23 state budget along with accompanying bills destined for the governor’s desk.

Advocacy Update: The Silly Springtime Season is Here

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

On February 8, Gov. Wolf released his final budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The $43 billion budget proposal is about $5 billion over last year. Not surprisingly, the governor is again proposing various policy initiatives, including increasing the minimum wage, setting a minimum teacher salary of $45,000, and legalizing recreational marijuana, to name a few. While there are no broad-based tax increases contained in the proposal, the increase over last year is said to be “paid-for” by using all the federal stimulus dollars.

Advocacy Update: The Political Days Ahead

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

As we look to the rest of this year, ABC of Pennsylvania will be collaborating with chapters to develop a new and fresh legislative agenda for 2023-24. We are looking for your input on what ABC should advocate for in Harrisburg. Knowing the margins will be tight and we may still have a divided government, we need to be realistic in what we push for, but also be bold in our “wish list.”

Advocacy Update: The Times Will Be A-Changin’

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

The new year began with the continued debate and drama of re-districting plans. The legislature has been moving legislation establishing new boundaries of the 17 congressional districts. Not surprisingly, the governor and Democrats have opposed the plan. On the other hand, state House and Senate district boundaries are decided by a five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which is controlled by Democrats. The maps released by the commission, particularly the House map, are opposed by Republicans. There is still a long way to go, and legal challenges will likely be filed by both sides, which will cause delays. Adding to the confusion, according to the current timeline, candidates seeking office are to circulate petitions starting on February 15 and ending on March 8, unless the legislature moves the primary timeline – which would be a political challenge in and of itself.

Advocacy Update: Get In the Game

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

It’s another big election year in Pennsylvania and candidates are lining up. The open governor’s office and U.S. Senate seat are popular choices. Currently, there are over a dozen Republicans seeking the governor’s office. Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General, is the lone Democrat vying for the seat. For U.S. Senate, there are 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats running. It’s still too early for “drop-outs,” so ABC will keep members aware of who’s in and who’s out as we draw closer to the May 17 primary. In addition, 17 congressional seats, 203 state House seats, and 25 state Senate seats are up for grabs.

Let’s start with what we affectionately call “re-districting.” Every decade, states go through a process of their own choosing to re-draw state and federal legislative districts. Because Pennsylvania is losing population, the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation will shrink from 18 to 17 congresspersons. This means legislative leaders will have to merge two seats. No easy task. A few weeks ago, preliminary maps were released by the House. The maps must go through the entire legislative process, and the governor must sign-off unless there are votes for an override. There could be legal challenges depending on the outcome of the legislative process and how contentious the talks will be. Regardless, the timeline is extremely tight, as session days are short, and candidates begin circulating petitions in mid-February. If you are interested in reviewing or commenting on the congressional maps, you can go to www.paredistricting.com.

Advocacy Update: Buckle Up for a Whopper of a New Year

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Get ready for a jam-packed 2022. If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in Harrisburg this past month, you know the drama has already begun.

Let’s start with what we affectionately call “re-districting.” Every decade, states go through a process of their own choosing to re-draw state and federal legislative districts. Because Pennsylvania is losing population, the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation will shrink from 18 to 17 congresspersons. This means legislative leaders will have to merge two seats. No easy task. A few weeks ago, preliminary maps were released by the House. The maps must go through the entire legislative process, and the governor must sign-off unless there are votes for an override. There could be legal challenges depending on the outcome of the legislative process and how contentious the talks will be. Regardless, the timeline is extremely tight, as session days are short, and candidates begin circulating petitions in mid-February. If you are interested in reviewing or commenting on the congressional maps, you can go to www.paredistricting.com.

Giving Thanks in Difficult Times

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

Despite the turmoil and political strife around the world, it is refreshing that we can still take time to pause and give thanks for what we have as a nation. I continue to believe there is no better place to live, raise a family, and pursue happiness than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America.

As we head back to work and carry on in that twilight period after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, I thought it appropriate to preview some of the accomplishments from this year. Through the hard work of our government affairs team, chapter leadership, and grassroots advocates, we:

Advocacy Update: Advocacy In Action

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

On October 25, ABC members traveled to Harrisburg to take part in “Free Enterprise Day.” Industry leaders from our five regional chapters spoke to legislators serving on the Senate Labor & Industry Committee on the challenges they are facing and what role the legislature can play to improve workforce conditions.

Advocacy Update: <br>Be a Difference Maker by Getting Involved!

ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

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: