Secretary Davin Denounces Job-Killing Budget Cuts in House Bill 218 in Letter to Legislative Leadership
Harrisburg, PA – In a letter to Republican leadership in the legislature, Dennis Davin, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), denounced the budget cuts in House Bill 218 that would hurt Pennsylvania’s economy and cause devastating job loss for workers and their families across the commonwealth.
“The work our department does for businesses in Pennsylvania is important,” Secretary Davin wrote. “Reductions of the magnitude proposed in this bill will result in decreases or the outright elimination of several much-needed services.”
House Bill 218 slashes funding for crucial economic development programs that provide financial assistance, job training, and more for companies that choose to relocate to, or expand, in Pennsylvania. The enactment of HB 218 would result in devastating job loss across Pennsylvania for multiple sectors and put the commonwealth behind other states in its efforts to compete in the global economy.
Areas that would be hardest hit by HB 218 include:
HB 218 strips away funding for programs that provide vital assistance for companies looking to create jobs in Pennsylvania, including Pennsylvania First, a comprehensive funding tool to facilitate increased investment and job creation. HB 218 completely eliminates this funding, resulting in community-draining job loss, a less competitive business climate, and smaller incentive for private investment.
Pennsylvania First is also the source of funding for Pennsylvania’s employer-driven, incumbent workforce training program known as WEDnet. Through WEDnet, 740 companies provided nearly 37,000 employees the crucial job and skills training they need to succeed and to keep companies competitive. Eliminating this funding means a less-skilled workforce that will deter companies from establishing business here.
International Business Development
Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) promotes trade and investment for businesses seeking to establish their U.S. operations. HB 218 slashes OIBD’s budget by nearly $1 million, which will reduce its existing services to Pennsylvania exporters and prevent it from maintaining or expanding its historically strong return on investment. Pennsylvania would no longer be a national leader in its international program, resulting in fewer new and retained jobs. Companies that depend on the state to assist them in growing their businesses in foreign markets will receive significantly reduced services.
Tourism brings substantial economic activity to Pennsylvania from visitors from other states and countries. Each dollar invested in marketing and tourism in the commonwealth creates a $3.43 return in tax revenue, making it an excellent revenue generator in addition to its ability to create jobs and sustain communities. HB 218 cuts to the tourism budget would result in 4,900 fewer jobs, $469.7 million lost in foregone visitor spending, and $37.45 million lost in foregone state and local tax revenues. In stark contrast, New York state dramatically increased its funding for tourism marketing – from $15 million to more than $37 million – and saw a 46-percent gain in market share among its nine competitor states.
HB 218 does not include support for Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative. Manufacturing PA is designed to emphasize the importance of dedicated manufacturing assistance and provides technical assistance and training-to-career programs to manufacturers. Eliminating funding for Manufacturing PA would forgo the creation of 10,350 jobs in the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania.
In contrast, Governor Tom Wolf’s budget sets the table for robust private sector growth to create and retain jobs while strengthening the middle class. The governor’s budget continues to invest in 21st century manufacturing, workforce development and training programs while also implementing new safeguards to ensure taxpayer dollars for economic development projects are spent appropriately and intended outcomes are met.
For more information about DCED and its programs, visit dced.pa.gov.
David Smith, DCED, 717-783-1132