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State of the Association: MBA Government Affairs

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The MBA educates policy makers on the issues important to small and medium-sized businesses. We educate our members on government action and participation. We are uniquely positioned to give our members access to the people in government that make the decisions that directly affect your business.

As a member, you are part of an exclusive group and have access to networking opportunities and influential people that align with our pro- business ideals and are involved in government decisions that improve the business community.

Legislation — The MBA lobbies on members’ priority issues such as reduction of health- care costs, taxation including reduction of the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) and increasing Net Operating Losses (NOLs), transportation, permitting, regulations, energy and especially the workforce.

The MBA joins coalitions to accomplish legislative goals. The Association participated in the Power PA Jobs Alliance, which opposes Pennsylvania’s entrance into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Compete PA Coalition, focused on the CNIT and NOLs. Federal coalitions are joined to oppose the Corporate Transparency Act, and the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Communications — The MBA educates members on issues and government through calls, policy meetings, and publications: News You Can Use, Hill Report, and “On the Hill” in the Business Magazine.

State legislative agenda — Key factors driving MBA’s agenda pertain to PA’s demographic trends and how they impact workforce now and future projections. PA continues to strengthen the work force by training youth and adults, but new ways must be found to replace diminishing human capitol.

2023 highlights included an important panel discussion and the Third Annual Western PA Legislative Reception. The MBA participated in a panel moderated by President Reagan’s former assistant, providing the business perspective alongside PA Senator Robinson and Representative Mercuri, as well as solutions for our business community.

MBA, Washington County Chamber and Pittsburgh Business Exchange again created an opportunity for members to speak with lawmakers from the General Assembly. Speaker of the House, Representative Joanna McClinton, and Representative Bryan Cutler shared the keynote spot. Thirty Pennsylvania lawmakers attended the reception. A summary of the Business Issues Forum was later sent to General Assembly leadership.

The MBA built relationships with law- makers and raised our public profile by participating in events, on calls and meetings, including:

Speaking at a press conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg, on behalf of the MBA members’ need for affordable health insurance and House Bill 555 to bring back association health plans. Twenty legislators joined us!

Providing a legislative update as a panelist to the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association and the Washington County Chamber and moderating the Washington County Commissioner’s Forum.

We also frequently appeared on the “Talk Erie” radio program to break down primary and general election results.

Attended hearings — “Developing Our Workforce,” PA House Republican Policy Committee

Attended roundtables — Leaders in Business and Politics, Wexford Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Business Roundtable.

Visited several MBA companies with the PA House Manufacturing Caucus for facility tours and policy discussions.

Hosted events to meet lawmakers — MBA hosted Congressman Kelly for a well-attended legislative lunch. He spoke about the economy, energy, health care, debt ceiling and Erie airport concerns.

Visits were scheduled with lawmakers to introduce MBA to new lawmakers, to introduce MBA members who are constituents with issues to discuss and/or to discuss MBA-supported legislation.

MBA in the news — MBA wrote opinion pieces, was quoted and cited for achievements.

  • “20 People to Know in Manufacturing: Region poised to lead manufacturing resurgence,” Pittsburgh Business Times, Eileen Anderson
    • “The Pa. Turnpike costs too much, because it owes too much,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Eileen Anderson
    • “Observers hopeful about common ground between governor, Legislature,” Pittsburgh Business Times

And lastly… Our goal is always to do what is in the best interest of you, our members. MBA government affairs will continue to fight for you in 2024!

Jezree Friend is vice president at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact him at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or jfriend@mbausa.org.


Eileen Anderson is the director of Government Relations at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at eileenanderson@mbausa.org or 412/805-5707.