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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
BY: DAVID G. GREINEDER, IOM, ABC PENNSYLVANIA DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ABC Pennsylvania’s government affairs team has been working hard advocating on behalf of the commercial construction industry. The COVID-19 […]
Contact: Brent Sailhamer Director of Government Affairs, ABC PA 717.653.8106 or firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 8, 2019 (HARRISBURG, PA.) Today, the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Pennsylvania […]