9th PIN - NEW JOBS & the ECONOMY
Let’s be small-business friendly and deepen partnerships with non-profits to revitalize our cultural community.
A recent report concluded that Pennsylvania is one of the worst states in which to start a business. Our Commonwealth placed 30th or lower in labor costs, office space affordability, cost of living, industry variety, and average growth in the number of small businesses. New startup businesses in the state have a 47.3% survival rate, which ranks Pennsylvania 44th in the country. Our tax code is far too complicated and the regulations that start-ups face are daunting. Pennsylvania’s training programs and services are lacking quality as a result of chronic underfunding. Despite Governor Wolf’s tireless work to oppose the GOP Budget, the 2017-2018 Budget decreased funding for the Department of Labor and Industry by 13.3% and slashed the Occupational and Industrial Safety appropriation by 60.4%. The bottom line: Pennsylvania is not small-business friendly.
Pennsylvania currently faces a $3 billion structural deficit in our State Budget, which is creating an economic calamity. To settle these budget debts, our Republican-controlled State House has taken out high-interest loans as a temporary fix, resulting in massive credit rating downgrades for our Commonwealth. Responsible long-term financial planning is required to get Pennsylvania back on the right track.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Pennsylvania has the 7th highest unemployment rate in the country. We need to help the more than 300,000 unemployed people in our Commonwealth, but Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation system has been left wildly underfunded. As as a result of the GOP Budget’s lack of an essential $57.5 million in funding for the Unemployment Compensation system, 521 state employees were furloughed in December 2016. Some short-term funding, actively lobbied for by Governor Wolf, got the Unemployment Compensation back off the ground temporarily, but the department is still limping almost two years later.
I strongly believe that Pennsylvania needs to be more small-business friendly: if we make our Commonwealth more attractive to small businesses, it will revitalize our economy. As State Representative, I will push for more grants for small-business development and I’ll fight to better fund the Department of Labor and Industry.
I’ll bring my 20 years of financial leadership experience to the table to help work towards a balanced budget that includes responsible long-term financial planning, so we can pay down our debt. We need to reassure bondholders and creditors that Pennsylvania will no longer deficit-spend or recklessly dodge payments.
We need to address the Unemployment Compensation system problem head-on and give it the funding it so desperately needs. It is estimated that more than $20 million is needed to rehabilitate the system and get it fully working again. I will make it a priority to fight for this necessary funding and will work with my colleagues on fixing the system.
Join with me in making Harrisburg - and our Commonwealth’s residents - work again!
Bernardo, Richie. “2017's Best & Worst States to Start a Business.” WalletHub,
Esack, Steve. “As Pennsylvania's Credit Rating Is Downgraded, Senate Rejects House Budget
Bill.” Themorningcall.com, 20 Sept. 2017, www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-pennsylvania-gets-credit-downgrade-20170920-story.html.
Murphy, Jan. “Fixing Pa.'s Broken Unemployment Compensation System Focus of House
Hearing.” PennLive.com, PennLive.com, 2 Mar. 2017, www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/03/fixing_pas_broken_unemployment.html.
Otterbein, Holly. “Small Businesses Give Pa., N.J., Philly Dismal Ratings.” WHYY, 27 June
Stafford, Joe. “Unemployment Compensation Doesn't Work in Pa.” The York Daily Record, York
Daily Record, 9 June 2017, www.ydr.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/06/09/unemployment-compensation-doesnt-work-pa-column/383534001/.
United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Unemployment Rates for
States.” Unemployment Rates for States, April 2018.
“2017 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey - PA.” Thumbtack,
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