Chamber Advocacy Report
This year the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce continued to be the leading voice for business in Delaware County. The Government Affairs Committee, Board of Directors and Chamber staff have advocated and monitored many issues that could impact our membership. The advocacy mission of the Delaware County Chamber is to promote the growth and development of the regional business community through: the advocacy of positive and permanent business friendly government laws and regulations; effective communication with our elected officials; and, development of strategic partnerships to accomplish these objectives.
Areas of major concern where identified in the attached document, and include:
These issues and others have led the Chamber to monitor, track, advocate for/against, over 200 pieces of legislation the beginning of this Legislative Session alone.
Due to our advocacy and your support we continue to be effective in shaping legislation that impacts our members. We welcome your input on these issues or any legislative matter of interest to you. The Government Affair’s meetings are held 8am on the third Friday of every month. For more information, please contact the Chamber office or the Chamber’s Government Affairs Consultant, Alex Rahn, at 717-378-3388.
The advocacy mission of the Delaware County Chamber is to promote the growth and development of the regional business community through: the advocacy of positive and permanent business friendly government laws and regulations; effective communication with our elected officials; and, development of strategic partnerships to accomplish these objectives.
Improved Tax Structure & Pro Job Creation Policies
Pennsylvania’s tax structure contains some of the highest rates and most restrictive provisions in the country and our corporate tax laws are uncompetitive when compared to the rest of the nation. Across-the-board reforms and reductions in business taxes are necessary to stimulate economic development and create jobs. Due to this, the Chamber would be opposed to any tax increases or expansions in particular the Sales Tax or other tax policy revisions that would erode appropriate localized control of taxes. The Chamber supports Property Tax Reform, as long as any elimination of property taxes does not shift the burden to small businesses. In addition, the Chamber supports pursuing policies that maintain local control over tax revenues and other funding sources, focuses on reinvestment of those resources into the local communities and infrastructure (below) and reducing unfunded mandates imposed on our local municipalities from the state and federal level that otherwise divert local resources and constrain municipal and school district budgets.
Improving Costs and Access to Health Care
Making insurance more affordable and accessible to small businesses will encourage entrepreneurs to expand their workforce and benefits packages. The Chamber is concerned about the viability of our Healthcare companies, the county’s largest employers, through the implementation process of federal health-care reform and any potential changes to Healthy PA.- In addressing these challenges, policy makers must not unfairly target health care providers by cutting funding or drastically changing Affordable Care Act without appropriate input from our health care providers and without an orderly, planned implementation. Changes such as this will have a negative impact on our citizens, hospitals, businesses and the overall economy of the region. There are ways that our national health care system could continue to be improved, particularly as it pertains to the affordability of coverage and the growth in health care spending. Congress needs to ensure that promising models like these are continued, because patients receive better care, providers are held accountable, and inefficiencies and waste are driven out of the system.
Supporting of Critical Infrastructure and Pro Energy Policies
Energy costs can be a significant portion of business operation. The Chamber supports policies that promote continued access to a diverse, reliable energy portfolio and the continued redevelopment of our refineries. By ensuring access to pipelines and supporting policies that ensure nuclear energy remains a viable option within the energy market, Pennsylvania will remain a leader in the energy industry. Additionally, the Chamber supports the encouragement of growth of our Commonwealth’s energy sector by reducing regulatory hurdles to the utilization and implementation of infrastructure while ensuring appropriate environmental protection. The Chamber also supports increased federal investment in transportation and feels that our area and the Country needs a transportation system that moves people and delivers goods in a safe and timely fashion.
The Chamber supports increased investment in the nation’s multimodal transportation network. To remain competitive, the nation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our region need a modern transportation network to safely and efficiently move people and goods. Deteriorating infrastructure disrupts mobility and commerce, compromises safety, and impacts the quality of life in our communities. As such, comprehensive transportation policy should prioritize the restoration of aging infrastructure, improving capacity on existing assets, and new construction where conditions warrant. The Chamber will work closely with our members, stakeholders and state and federal legislative delegations to preserve Act 89 and FAST Act investment – which is having such a positive impact in communities throughout Delaware County – and promote multimodal transportation funding solutions that will meet current demand and anticipated future growth. business and shopping districts, including providing enough affordable parking, as well as safe pedestrian and traffic infrastructure.
The Chamber also recognizes that water and wastewater systems are important to the infrastructure and community wellbeing. Pennsylvania funding referendums, potentially supplemented by federal initiatives, should be monitored to ensure water & waste water infrastructure supports commercial/industrial development initiatives. The Chamber’s supports policies that incentive broadband providers to continue investment in the networks which are critical to the movement of commerce, ideas and information. This would be via wires and wireless networks.
Training, Education & Workforce Development
The Chamber supports policies and funding that encouraging business to locate and grow in Pennsylvania. Southeast Pennsylvania has underserved human capital and infrastructure needed for job creation and economic growth. Investments in early childhood education are one the most effective tools a community can utilize to promote economic development and workforce development and constant training is a critical human capital process concerned with identifying future needs, developing a productive workforce, examining the skills of employees at all levels, and determining both strengths and skill gaps. Due to this, the Chamber supports programs that emphasize technical skills, business skills, trades, and vocational schooling,
In addition, many of our employers have been seen impacts to their workforce due to the opioid crisis. Due to this, the Chamber supports initiatives that address this crisis and bring employees back into the workforce as productive employees.
Local Economic Vitality
Local government often has more impact than federal or state legislation, especially pertaining to economic vitality of a region. Local municipalities need to take into consideration how any ordinances or regulations adopted by your community may affect the business community. Items of particular interest to the Chamber Membership are:
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