State Capitol Roundup

House Continues Work on Efforts to Boost Job Creation


The state House continued its effort to boost job and career opportunities for Pennsylvanians this week by taking up legislation to make the Commonwealth’s tax structure more fair and competitive with other states.  House Bill 2150 would close the so-called Delaware Loophole and restructure the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax, currently one of the highest in the nation, to better attract and retain employers in the Commonwealth.  The bill is just the latest step by House Republicans to boost job creation in the Commonwealth. Other measures to address jobs that have already been signed into law include reforming the state’s Unemployment Compensation system, expanding the Keystone Opportunity Zones program to develop abandoned sites, and giving the state’s newest and fastest growing industry in the Marcellus Shale the ability to safely expand in Pennsylvania.  The passage of these measures has contributed to recent large business transactions to create and save jobs in Pennsylvania, including the agreement to build a cracker ethanol plant in the western part of the state and the sale of the ConocoPhillips refinery in the southeast to Delta Airlines.


House Health Committee Passes Welfare Reform Measure


A bill to establish the Electronic Benefits Transfer Card Management Program within the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) passed the House Health Committee this week.  House Bill 1948 would require DPW to develop electronic controls, oversight mechanisms and follow-up procedures to detect and track welfare fraud and abuse through suspicious EBT card transactions inside and outside the state that do not comply with the purposes of public assistance.  Several welfare reform measures have already been signed into law in the last year, including provisions to require DPW to use an electronic cross-reference system to provide a 19-point check on an applicant’s eligibility and subject drug felons who are applying for benefits or already receiving benefits to random drug testing.  House Bill 1948 now goes before the full House for consideration.