The Corman Report is a monthly, behind-the-scenes look at what is happening in the General Assembly with a focus on the issues that are most important to Pennsylvanians. This edition features articles on bringing new jobs to Pennsylvania, fighting against higher taxes and energy costs, protecting small businesses, supporting our law enforcement community, and participating in the March For Life.
As always, I appreciate your feedback on these and other issues confronting our communities.
Thank you for reading,
Manufacturing Tax Credit Leads to $6 Billion Investment in PA
For many years, Pennsylvania suffered from bad policy decisions that chased far too many of our jobs out of our state and overseas. To reverse that trend, we need sound policies that focus on job creation and long-term investments in our communities.
Last year, Senate Republicans fought to create a new Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program to encourage employers to relocate and expand in Pennsylvania. As a result of that program, Nacero Inc. will begin construction as soon as 2022 on its new lower carbon gasoline manufacturing facility in Newport Township, Luzerne County.
The new $6 billion manufacturing facility will create approximately 4,000 construction jobs next year and roughly 450 long-term full-time positions when the facility is completed in 2026 or 2027.
This reinforces the message that Pennsylvania can compete for family-sustaining manufacturing jobs when we adopt pro-growth policies and don’t shoot ourselves in the foot with onerous restrictions and new taxes.
Senate Votes to Disapprove RGGI Regulation, Protecting PA Against Higher Energy Costs & Job Losses
Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) presents a serious threat to our economy. The plan – being pushed by Governor Wolf and his Democrat allies – would result in the closure of coal-fired power plants and the elimination of thousands of family-sustaining jobs. In addition, the new taxes in the proposal would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy costs.
At a time when Pennsylvanians are already dealing with higher prices for most goods and services due to runaway inflation, families cannot afford higher energy costs and employment uncertainty. That is why lawmakers voted this week to disapprove the regulation permitting our state’s participation in RGGI.
We still face an uphill battle to prevent the higher taxes and negative consequences of the governor’s misguided proposal. Although passage of our resolution is likely in the House of Representatives, Governor Wolf has the power to veto it when it reaches his desk. We will need 34 votes to override the veto in the Senate; the resolution garnered 32 votes this week.
If the governor is successful in circumventing the General Assembly on RGGI, Pennsylvania would be the only energy-exporting state in the compact, and the only state that joined by Executive Order without the consent of the legislature. It is critical to get the word out about the damage RGGI could cause in our communities.
I spoke on the Senate Floor recently about the importance of avoiding bad policy decisions like RGGI that have the potential to impact our communities for generations.
Small Business Tax Reform Moves Forward
After the economic devastation caused by COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, it has never been more important for lawmakers to support the small businesses that suffered the brunt of the damage. The Senate advanced a bill this month that would help our help small businesses recover and allow our economy to grow.
Senate Bill 349 eliminates the unequal treatment of small businesses under state tax law governing expense deductions. Under federal law, IRS Section 179 expense deductions are limited to $1 million annually. However, state law limits these deductions to $25,000 for personal income tax purposes, which hinders the ability of small businesses to expand and grow.
Removing this arbitrary limit and matching state law to federal law will allow more of these businesses to make bigger purchases and investments in Pennsylvania instead of chasing these jobs away to other states.
Legislation Offers New Protection for Police Officers
Our law enforcement officers deserve a great deal of credit for the incredible work they do to keep us safe. The Senate recently passed a bill that would better protect officers by creating stiffer penalties for fleeing an officer on foot to evade arrest.
The bill would create a new felony offense for individuals who place the lives of officers and innocent bystanders at risk of injury by fleeing officers attempting to make a lawful arrest.
The new protections were inspired by Scranton Police Officer John Wilding, who lost his life as a result of injuries sustained while pursuing suspects who fled a crime scene. The legislation also includes language to protect police animals.
March For Life Sets New Standard for Statewide Issue Advocacy
I had the honor of attending the March For Life at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg on September 27 along with Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and many of our colleagues. The number of Pennsylvanians who made the trip to the state capitol for this event was incredible – the largest crowd I ever remember seeing on the Capitol steps.
Majority Leader Ward offered inspired remarks about the need for lawmakers to protect the unborn, culminating in a chant of “We are … pro-life!” Pennsylvania was one of three states that hosted March For Life events, and it should serve as a model for many other states in 2022.
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