ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

The Merit Shop Advocacy Update

By: David G. Greineder, IOM, ABC Pennsylvania Director of Government Affairs

Actively Supporting YOU and YOUR Business

The last week of June is traditionally the “mad dash” to complete the state budget and hit the campaign trail. This year has been no different. While both sides were optimistic a budget deal could be made early and without much “heartburn,” those hopes were dampened by disagreements on various policy issues and funding certain state-related universities.

Despite the fireworks, ABC Pennsylvania has been engaged during this time on our legislative agenda and working hard on a robust strategy for statewide elections. During the budget process, there are dozens of bills that come before the legislature daily, so the government affairs team has been closely monitoring bills we support, but more importantly, making sure bills we oppose do not come up for a vote. Some examples include:

• House Bill 536 (Barb Gleim, R-Cumberland): This bill would set the “default ratio” to a 3:1 and establish parity between joint and non-joint programs. HB 536 is ABC Pennsylvania’s main priority. We continue conversations with the bill sponsor and others on the importance of the legislation. ABC Pennsylvania supports the bill.
House Bill 424 (Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery): This bill prohibits indemnity clauses in construction contracts. The bill advanced out of the House Commerce Committee last June by a 23-1 vote. We continue to work with stakeholders who have some concerns on the language and are optimistic the bill can advance later in the year. ABC Pennsylvania supports the bill.
• House Bill 2324 (Carrie Lewis DelRosso, R-Allegheny): This bill requires contractors tied to the construction industry to register with the Department of Labor & Industry. ABC Pennsylvania has voiced opposition to the bill, and it appears unlikely to move.
House Bill 1104 (Eric Davanzo, R-Westmoreland): This bill would list contractors and subcontractors working on a project on a building permit, if required by the building code official. ABC Pennsylvania has expressed some concerns about the impact the bill would have on our members. To date, the bill has not advanced on the House Floor.
Senate Bill 1147 (Devlin Robinson, R-Allegheny): This bill would increase penalties for contractors that violated e-Verify for public work projects. ABC Pennsylvania provided comments on the bill and was successful in making needed changes through the amendment process. We continue to question the need for the bill, as the Department of General Services, the agency that oversees public work projects, has found very few violations since the e-Verify requirement was enacted over a decade ago. To date, the bill has not advanced on the Senate Floor.

Regarding the upcoming election, the ABC Pennsylvania board recently approved an action plan drafted by a working group of ABC members representing all chapters. It is a well-rounded plan that includes partnering with like-minded groups, fundraising, and messaging around how important the upcoming election is to our industry. It is terribly important that we elect candidates that support the merit shop and will support policies that will turn our economy around. We look forward to everyone’s engagement on the long journey before us.


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Posted June 27, 2022