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First, thank you for your membership with ABC. I understand there are challenges facing every member and realize advocacy may be the farthest thing from your minds. Please know that while our tactics have changed, ABC PA remains at the forefront in communicating our message. I want to share the most recent advocacy activities we initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(HARRISBURG, PA.) This statement can be attributed to the five chapters that make up the Associated Builders and Contractors of Pennsylvania (“ABC PA”): Central Pennsylvania Chapter; Cumberland Valley Chapter; Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter; Keystone Chapter; and Western Pennsylvania Chapter. There is no doubt the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic has disrupted and impacted our daily lives and measures are needed to limit the spread. The construction industry has been doing our part in sharing information, resources, and best practices. Many of our members build the supply chain for the very ‘life-sustaining businesses’ that are required to remain open.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted businesses around the world. In response, the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration are working on a series of legislative “packages” to assist the healthcare industry, individuals, and businesses. The first bill to reach the President’s Desk was $8.3 billion in financial aid to public health agencies for vaccines, tests, and treatments. The second bill, signed by the President this week, is a $104 billion package aimed to help individuals impacted by COVID-19 by providing free testing and enhancing employer-based paid sick leave and paid medical leave, among other provisions. The third omnibus, which has not yet been unveiled, is expected to send direct payments to Americans and provide financial aid to businesses. Altogether, the three legislative packages are expected to top $1 trillion.
On behalf of the five chapters of the Associated Builders & Contractors throughout Pennsylvania, collectively known as ABC PA, we are writing to advocate in support of legislation that would provide additional resources for the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and development efforts.
Just one week after the November election that upended Congressional Republican plans for 2019, the state House and Senate met to formalize their leadership teams for the 2019-2020 legislative session. With the current session set to end at the end of this week, all existing legislation will die off, requiring legislators to re-introduce measures in 2019. But where will those efforts go in the next two years? A look at the new leadership team could decide.
Last October, one of the most pro-life conservative Republicans in Congress abruptly resigned amid a personal scandal, bringing all eyes back on Pennsylvania. The resignation of Rep. Tim Murphy (R-18) not only left constituents throughout the 18th district without a representative in Congress, but set up the first real litmus test of the Trump administration after a year of service.
Pennsylvania is in the national spotlight just weeks after an initial ruling by the Commonwealth’s highest court that invalidated the district maps for eighteen Congressional districts. It’s the first time that a gerrymandering suit has been validated by a court and has thrown the 2018 election cycle into chaos.
The Senate Labor & Industry Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), advanced a bill that could have a drastic effect on the way construction contracts are structured. By a 9-3 vote, the committee approved House Bill 566, introduced in 2017 by Rep. Jamie Santora (R-Delaware). The bill amends the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA), which was signed into law in 1994 and provides for limitations on that way private construction contracts can be structured.
Last week’s meeting of the five ABC chapters throughout Pennsylvania brought a rare opportunity to work with some uncommon coalition partners and hear from candidates who will appear on the ballot in 2017.
In an interview earlier this week, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said, “we’re out of money and we’ve never been in this position before.” That statement underscored the severity of a budget impasse that has dragged on for nearly three months past its Constitutional deadline. And now, state officials are closing the coffers as outside groups ramp up the pressure.