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More than 90 state and local chamber representatives from across the Commonwealth, including Columbia Montour Chamber president Fred Gaffney, gathered in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 4h for the 2019 Chamber Day at the State Capitol. The annual event is co-hosted by the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals during one of the busiest times of the year in the Capitol, as state elected officials work to finalize the 2019-20 budget. The event provides a forum for constructive dialogue between local business leaders and policymakers on key issues important to the state’s business community and the best ways to improve the Commonwealth’s business climate.
“Thanks to the strong economy, state revenues are approximately $800 million above projections, “ said Gaffney. “As a result, House and Senate leaders anticipate a smooth budget process which will hopefully allow legislators to focus on reforms to further improve Pennsylvania’s business climate.”
The program featured several panel discussions focusing on topics including workforce development and transportation and infrastructure in the Commonwealth. Welcoming remarks were provided by Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson, and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny. Attendees received an update on the status of state budget negotiations from the Appropriations Committee Chairs from each legislative chamber: Senate Majority Chair Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, and Minority Chair Vince Hughes, D-Philadelphia; and House Majority Chair Stan Saylor, R-York, and House Minority Chair Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery. State Treasurer and Berwick native Joe Torsella delivered the keynote luncheon address and spoke about a proposal that would allow small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to employees. He anticipates that legislation will be introduced in the months following the budget process. A representative of the Treasurer’s office is scheduled to participate in the Chamber’s Spring Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, June 13t to speak about the program.