On April 29, Grow PA launched Driving Growth in the Keystone State: 2019-2020 Legislative Priorities, a roadmap for legislators aimed at advancing the most critical components of economic growth to better Pennsylvania’s jobs, population, and economy.
The agenda was launched at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s joint Pennsylvania Legislative Reception with the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. Prior to the reception, attendees were invited to a seminar to hear from featured guest, Governor Tom Wolf, who touched on Grow PA’s three pillars for growth: infrastructure, health care, and post-secondary education.
From hundreds of ‘big ideas’ from chambers of commerce, trade associations, and business and civic leaders across the state, Grow PA advocates have selected a series of priority recommendations to form the Grow PA 2019-2020 Legislative Priorities. This list of legislative priorities focuses on advancing the most critical assets of our economy — infrastructure, health care, and post-secondary education.
Grow PA’s 2019-2020 Legislative Priorities
- Promote private investment in 21st century broadband networks to support industries and economic development. For rural areas, target funding to underserved locations where the market has not supplied adequate broadband. Utilize competitive funding processes to deploy technology to underserved areas and consider ways to coordinate state and federal funding to have the most impact.
- Expand public private partnerships to modernize infrastructure to support a range of statewide improvements including water, wastewater, roads and bridges, transit, utilities, and fiber networks.
- Build a network of clean energy infrastructure that includes electric vehicle charging stations and CNG and LNG fueling stations statewide.
- Improve energy resiliency with increased microgrids helping rural areas meet their energy demands.
- Advance implementation of a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) program and/or special fee to capture costs of hybrid and electric vehicles and establish a stable source of funding for transportation.
- Expand natural gas infrastructure and technology to enable access to low-cost energy for residents and businesses across the state.
- Invest in parks, forests, and land to restore deteriorating infrastructure and promote place-making.
- Expand access to telemedicine services with particular focus on rural areas in conjunction with broadband development.
- Modernize public sector services, while promoting innovation and growth of private sector employer-sponsored health care.
- Promote job apprenticeships, or employer-sponsored programs that include mentored, on-the-job learning, resulting in an industry-recognized credential for semi-skilled workers in health care.
- Establish a Pennsylvania Enterprise Fund (PEF) that awards grants to companies in health care and research to incentivize those creating jobs and driving innovation to locate in Pennsylvania.
- Enact statewide Centers for Excellence that address the needs of the state’s aging population.
- Incentivize new graduates who enter into the health care sector to remain in Pennsylvania.
- Connect high school students to post-secondary alternatives such as technical schools—and provide incentives to pursue those alternatives.
- Support career readiness and understand employers’ needs by providing real-time job market analysis to educate students and post-secondary institutions.
- Develop a student-loan forgiveness program for students who remain in the state and pursue careers in high-growth industries.
- Implement strategies to encourage and support immigrant and first-generation students to succeed in post-secondary education.
- Enhance college affordability programs.
- Issue an innovation bond to fund investments in Pennsylvania’s educational and medical research facilities.
- Modernize the role of State System of Higher Education to support life-long learning.
- Provide incentives for students pursuing disciplines in information technology.
- Foster entrepreneurship through Universities.