When Will the State Budget be Done This Year?

As Pennsylvania is facing revenue shortfalls in the current fiscal year, the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposes more modest spending increases. What will the final budget include and when might it be finalized? Get insights from our State delegation and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry at a breakfast program scheduled for May 5.
 
Jennifer Reis, Manager of Government Affairs with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry, will provide an overview of the 2017-18 budget proposal, highlighting issues that impact business. Senator John Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and David Millard are scheduled to provide updates and insights on the negotiations. Attendees will also be invited to provide questions and comments.
 
The program will be held Friday, May 5, from 8–9:30 a.m. at The Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Cost is $18 for members, $25 for non-members, and includes a buffet breakfast. Register by sending in the registration form or by calling the Chamber office at 570-784-2522. The event is being presented by the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau.

Find Your Next Employee

Local employers looking to connect with potential employees and network with other area businesses are invited to participate in the upcoming Montour County Job Fair. The event, co-sponsored by the Chamber, will be held on Tuesday, May 23, from 2:30–6 p.m. at Frosty Valley Country Club, 2201 Bloom Road, Danville.  The first thirty minutes of the session are reserved exclusively for veterans.  The fair will then be open to the general public from 3–6 p.m.

Employers interested in participating are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Space is limited by industry to ensure variety.  The registration form is available here

For more information, contact the PA CareerLink office for Columbia & Montour counties at 570-387-6288.

Chamber Welcomes New Board Members

The Chamber’s Board of Directors welcomed three new members this month. Beginning their first terms as Board members are:

Lissa Bryan-Smith, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Amanda Marko, Danville Business Alliance

Chris Stamatedes, PPL Electric Utilities 

Annual Block Party This Weekend in Bloomsburg

The annual spring event known as “Block Party” is scheduled for this weekend in Bloomsburg. The Town/Gown Relations committee is implementing two new initiatives to increase security this year by discouraging visitors. The new initiatives include:
 
• Parking Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will temporarily close the Lightstreet Road Parking Lot and the ATM Parking Lot to all vehicles and temporarily restrict access to the First Street (Green) Parking Lot to permit-holders only from 12:00 p.m. Friday, April 21, 2017, through 12:00 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2017.
 
• Residence Hall Visitation Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will temporarily restrict overnight guests in the residence halls to one visitor per student for the evenings of Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, 2017. A professional security company firm will assist in managing guest registrations and enhance front door security.
 
The Town/Gown Relations Committee is reminding participants that neither the Town of Bloomsburg nor Bloomsburg University endorse the Block Party Event, and a large police contingency of both uniformed and plain clothes officers will be present.

Report Shows $12 Billion Needed to Start So-Called Property Tax Relief Bill

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

The state’s Independent Fiscal Office unveiled a new report this week showing the amount of additional state dollars that would be necessary to implement and sustain a so-called property tax reform bill. The analysis concluded that nearly $12 billion would be needed up front, which is $2 billion less than the previous estimate; but also showed that this amount would need to grow by hundreds of millions more than previously estimated – between $800 million to $900 million each year. As it did in the earlier report, the IFO again assumed an estimated $530 million from gaming revenue will be dedicated to the property tax relief effort.

The PA Chamber remains opposed to this tax shift measure that relies on fluctuating revenue streams (sales and personal income taxes) to replace the steady, reliable funding that property taxes have provided for generations. The property tax legislation that a small but vocal group of advocates are promoting would have an especially negative impact on renters, small businesses and young families who would see a new sales tax placed on many everyday essentials like diapers and daycare.
 
The Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Columbia Montour Chamber and the Visitors Bureau will be evaluating the legislation once it is introduced.