On regulations, lawsuit abuse, taxes, and unions
Unfortunately, the Paycheck Protection bill, which passed the Senate in February, was defeated in the House in December by a vote of 90-102. That bill would have barred the state from deducting union funds that are used for election purposes from state worker paychecks.
Severance Tax on natural gas
A bill to institute a natural gas severance tax (3.2%) and its 400+ amendments were debated in the House for several weeks, but the body adjourned for the year before taking a final vote on the measure.
NFIB is tracking several important bills that are still pending and will be considered this year. They include two that NFIB supports which affect workers’ compensation.
One fixes an issue caused by a PA Supreme Court decision that backtracked reforms on reevaluating certain disabled workers.The PA Insurance Commission has approved a request from the PA Compensation Ratings Bureau for higher loss costs. That will soon lead to much higher premiums for small businesses.
Another bill implements an evidence-based prescription drug formulary to address the opioid crisis and help control costs.
Consumer Protection Damages
Another bill pending in the House opposed by NFIB would make PA a magnet for personal injury lawyers by raising the minimum damage award by 500%.
In January we expect the House State Government Committee to release their regulatory reform package, on which NFIB has worked closely with legislators to support. This package is expected to include a handful of reforms that will help our members. They include a review of regulations already on the books for potential repeal. a legislative review of proposed regulations costing the state economy a million dollars, and more transparency by state agencies when it comes to processing permit applications.