Seven bills introduced by Pennsylvania Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-15) on Monday are geared toward economic development in the state.
Teplitz, who recently was appointed to the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development committee, said the bills aim to boost job creation and retention throughout Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania’s economic recovery remains fragile and unsteady, so it’s critical that we pursue policies that stimulate the economy, move business forward, and create and retain family-sustaining jobs,” Teplitz said. “My bills would help ensure that the state effectively supports the private sector’s job-creation efforts and that there is appropriate accountability to the taxpayers in return.”
Senate Bill 152 would require the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to adopt procedures and policies to improve the Pennsylvania First Program. Teplitz's proposal would make the program more accountable to taxpayers and maximize available grant awards.
Senate Bill 154, called the Economic Development and Fiscal Accountability Act, would require an annual economic development budget report from the DCED. The report, given to the General Assembly, would provide information on the amount of uncollected taxes from tax credits, state-related expenditures for economic development and exemptions and reductions.
Senate Bill 155, or the Veteran's Entrepreneurial Training and Support Act, would create a training and support program for all veterans and reservists. The program would work with the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs to help veterans get skills in managing, creating and operating small businesses.
Senate Bill 156 would help small and disadvantaged businesses be more competitive when going after government contracts.
Senate Bill 157 would create the Made in PA program as an expansion of the PA Preferred. The bill would create a logo for “Made in PA” products.
Senate Bill 158 would prevent employers from penalizing volunteer firefighters, ambulance service workers and rescue squads who miss work to respond to a call.
Senate Bill 159 would create an Office of New Americans in the DCED that would work to coordinate services for immigrant workers, and work to attract and retain skilled workers.