The Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) membership is composed of businesses of different sizes and types. Our legislative agenda strives to serve all. Here are the major areas where we focus advocacy efforts and the thoughts that guide its development.
The foundation of Pennsylvania’s economy is people working.
To grow the economy Pennsylvania can strengthen the workforce by training youth, adults and untapped populations. Lawmakers can focus on policies that are pro-growth, pro-business and pro-jobs. Pennsylvania has the essential ingredients to attract young families who can fill the workforce pipeline — a prime location, abundant energy, natural resources and excellent institutions of higher learning.
Workforce — Pennsylvania’s long-term demographic trends are unfavorable. The labor pool is shrinking while the population ages. “For every 10 job openings… there are approximately six available jobseekers…”
- Invest more in trade, technical, vo-tech schools and other training to provide current and potential workers with needed skills.
- New technologies are needed for manufacturing. Expanding access to advanced industry careers may fill some gaps now and in the future.
- Invest in opportunities to upskill incumbent workers and train older workers for new careers.
- Increase the requirements to collect and maintain unemployment compensation.
- Incentivize those on the sidelines to transition back into the workforce by policies that encourage workforce participation, or alternatively, policies that do not discourage it.
Transportation and infrastructure — Both are tightly intertwined with workforce. It is important to have sufficient transportation and infrastructure to attract and maintain employers and facilitate the movement of goods and people. Investment is needed to maintain and repair older roads and infrastructure and to build new.
- Lack of transportation can be a barrier for potential workers. There are no statistics regarding the number of potential workers who are sidelined by inadequate transportation.
- PA’s 59 cents per gallon gas tax is the second highest in the United States. The gas tax should be reviewed and updated, and ways found to replace it with other revenue. Electric vehicles must pay their fair share.
- Transparency and accountability are required for the Motor License Fund.
Business Taxes — Lowering business taxes make Pennsylvania competitive. The recent Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) rate reduction shows Pennsylvania is open for business and is a competitor. The phase-down of the CNIT should be accelerated to attract investment in the state.
Energy and Regulations — Abundant, affordable, and reliable energy is the “jewel- like” resource of Pennsylvania’s economy. Development depends on efficient permitting and regulation. Regulation is needed but unnecessary regulations hamper economic growth.
Health insurance — Affordable health insurance is an important benefit to attract and maintain employees. The cost of health- care services continues to rise and drives the cost of health insurance premiums higher. The MBA supports initiatives that can reduce the cost of health care for employers and employees.
The MBA is always on the alert for legislation that is not pro-growth, pro- jobs, and pro-business. Opposition is an essential part of our advocacy toolbox.
Minimum wage — Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will have a ripple effect on other employees, as others will want
a salary increase. SMC Business Councils conducted a minimum wage survey in 2017 and results showed nearly 90 percent of businesses paid above minimum wage.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — Pennsylvania should withdraw from RGGI. The Power PA Jobs Alliance, citing the state’s conservative Independent Fiscal Office, says RGGI would not reduce carbon emissions and would cost residential consumers an estimated $800 million a year. RGGI entrance was signed into action by an executive order and bypassed a vote by the legislature.
Marijuana — There are bipartisan bills to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana and the legalization of recreational marijuana.
They require keen observation. Employers are very concerned about the impact on the workplace of employees who use medical marijuana; adding recreational marijuana use to that mix bodes ill.
To view the detailed agenda, visit mbausa.org/services-and-benefits/government-affairs/government-advocacy