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:
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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.
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:
The legislature is back from the summer recess and has started the fall voting session, which lasts through December. Last week, House and Senate Republican leaders held a press conference where they outlined main areas of focus for the reminder of the year. Those priorities include: (1) the Administration’s school mask mandate; (2) election reform; (3) legislative recommendations included in the Auditor General’s report on the pandemic waivers; and (4) legislative measures dealing with the opioid epidemic.
In previous Spokesman articles, you read about the progress the government affairs team has made in calling for an end to discriminatory rules in the apprenticeship training standards. In August and September, ABC chapters were proud to host members of the House Labor & Industry Committee to tour training facilities and participate in a roundtable discussion on our concerns. Those events were a tremendous success and put a spotlight on the unfairness between joint and non-joint rules.
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