|Shaping and Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Industry
This week, I met with several manufacturing leaders, including U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi to discuss ways to help rebuild and strengthen Pennsylvania’s strong manufacturing base.
The conversation covered many of the areas critical to helping the manufacturing sector grow. The need to improve on workforce development, our tax climate, and permitting and regulatory reform were all discussed at length.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, manufacturing in Pennsylvania contributes $80 billion to the economy and directly employs over 567,100 people who earn average salaries of $70,414.
Significant progress has been achieved to improve our economic competitiveness over the past several years, namely significant lawsuit abuse reforms, including the Fair Share Act. We have improved our business tax structure by moving to a single sales factor, increasing Net Operating Loss deductions, and fully eliminating the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
Despite the efforts of some, we have harnessed the opportunities that natural gas development has opened up for Pennsylvania. We will see these benefits realized at Shell’s Beaver County petrochemical facility, made possible in part by the Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit, as well as at Sunoco Logistics’ Delaware County natural gas liquids processing facility. These two projects alone represent billions of dollars in capital investment, along with thousands of good-paying local jobs. What’s more, projects like these create additional downstream manufacturing opportunities.
There is still more work to do and we are working to develop the next phase of our manufacturing agenda, which prioritizes private-sector job creating and economic growth. Meetings such as these with business and community leaders help define priorities.
More information on these efforts will be released in the near future.
It was my pleasure to speak to business leaders on ways to strengthen Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry. I believe that Pennsylvania’s success depends on manufacturing’s success. Manufacturing gives people the ability to combine new technology with the time-tested skills of creativity, problem-solving and self-expression.
Pictured with me are (center) Mario Longhi, CEO, U.S. Steel; and David Taylor, president, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association.
Free the Wine
I have authored legislation that will lead the way in bringing consumer convenience and further removing state government from the business of selling wine, and that legislation is advancing, as the House Liquor Control Committee approved House Bill 975. It will “free the wine” in Pennsylvania by allowing all grocery stores – not just those with seating capacity – the opportunity to obtain a permit to sell wine.
Pennsylvania should not be in the business of selling wine and spirits. It’s clear, after Act 39 of 2016, that wine sales can be responsibly managed by grocery stores across the Commonwealth.
The bill also permits retailers to buy their wine from private sector wholesalers, brokers and makers of wine, not from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and eliminates the artificial inflation of costs that dampen competition.
Despite consumers demanding more freedom, Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated that he will still veto full privatization, so I am willing to offer this legislation as another compromise.
The House Liquor Control Committee also voted out my House Bill 1075. It would divest the whole system for both wine and spirits. Both measures now move to the full House for a vote.
Pennsylvania Schools Support My Career and Technical Education Bill
In March, my bill to provide career and technical education students with additional pathways to fulfilling their graduation requirements overwhelming passed the House. The legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate.
House Bill 202 would allow students who participate in a vocational education program, either in a vocational-technical school or in a school district, in addition to exhibiting core subject area mastery, to show career readiness through other industry-related factors such as industry-based competency certifications including the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) or the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
Stephen J. Pytak, a reporter for the Republican Herald in Pottsville and Schuylkill counties, wrote an outstanding article about students who can benefit from this legislation.
Click on the link to read all about it.
Free Paper Shredding Event Saturday
You are your best defense against identity theft. If you don’t need it, dispose of it, responsibly.
The Better Business Bureau is having an Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention event tomorrow (Saturday) from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 311 Cumberland Road in Pittsburgh.
Residents can drop off three boxes per household of unwanted documents that contain personal information. The materials to be shredded should not include newspapers, magazines or books. Paper clips and staples need not be removed before shredding. This is for personal shredding only.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes across the Commonwealth and we need to put a stop to it.