Checking in with Gubernatorial Candidates: Josh Shapiro

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Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing column from the candidates for governor of Pennsylvania. Information is provided by the candidates. This debut column features Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate, because his office was the first to respond to a request for content.

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro has laid out his aggressive strategy to jump-start Pennsylvania’s economy by cutting red tape, lowering taxes, and making it easier to do business in the Commonwealth.

Economic growth will be a top priority for Shapiro, and his administration will focus on spurring innovation and manufacturing, cutting taxes and eliminating unnecessary regulations, streamlining permitting processes, embracing Pennsylvania’s position as an energy leader, and building our workforce.

“As Governor, I’ll lead the way to reignite our economy, ensuring businesses come to Pennsylvania and stay here, and making our Commonwealth a national leader for innovation, manufacturing, and job creation,” Shapiro said. “Under my administration, Pennsylvania will lead the nation in biotech and autonomous vehicles – we’ll connect businesses with leading research institutions, get companies access to capital, and create a talent pipeline from high school and college to the workforce. I will work relentlessly to support Pennsylvania businesses, encourage companies to move here, and expand our workforce by protecting workers’ rights and investing in job training and apprenticeships.” 

Shapiro will get Pennsylvania’s economy moving and implement an economic agenda that puts jobs first by:

Attracting New Businesses and Spurring Innovation and Manufacturing in Pennsylvania. As Governor, Josh will be a cheerleader for Pennsylvania and work relentlessly to attract new companies from across the country and the world to move to the Commonwealth. Shapiro will make Pennsylvania a national leader in innovation by supporting growth industries like biotech, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. His administration will create the first-ever comprehensive strategy for fostering innovation in Pennsylvania and create “innovation hubs” that connect businesses, universities and research institutions, and workers to spur growth and create jobs. 

Josh will also lead the way to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovative manufacturing by bolstering modern manufacturing industries and expanding DCED’s Manufacturing PA Initiative, which connects companies with Pennsylvania’s higher learning institutions to identify and train a skilled workforce by embedding students with local manufacturers, invests in research and development at Pennsylvania universities, and provides technical support to Pennsylvania manufacturers. Josh will ensure the initiative is fully focused on training and workforce development in order to ramp up manufacturing here in Pennsylvania.

Creating an Economic Climate that Facilitates Growth. Josh Shapiro knows that time is money – and businesses can’t wait for slow government processes and red tape. Josh will create a new Office of Economic Growth and Workforce Development that will report directly to the Governor, which will be a one-stop-shop to help businesses cut through red tape, secure permits and licenses, and create jobs here in Pennsylvania. Josh will set short and clear timelines for permits and applications and require DEP, PennDot, DCED, and all agencies tasked with economic growth to develop an online portal that allows businesses to track their applications and check the status of their requests. He will also establish clear and reasonable processing times for completed applications and guarantee that a business receives a decision within that established time, or their application fees will be refunded.

In this year’s budget, Pennsylvania took steps to lower our corporate taxes – but Josh knows we need to move faster to ensure our Commonwealth is open for business. As Governor, he will slash the corporate tax rate to 4% by 2025 to make it clear that Pennsylvania is open for business. Among states who levy a corporate net income tax, Pennsylvania will go from having the second-highest rate in the nation to the second-lowest.

Embracing the Commonwealth’s Role as an Energy Powerhouse

Josh Shapiro rejects the false choice between the dignity of work and environmental justice. As Governor, Shapiro will support Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry and harness the Commonwealth’s role as a national energy leader. Josh will be an all-of-the-above energy Governor who protects the jobs we already have and invests in the green industries and technologies of the future. Josh will expand clean energy by signing legislation to generate 30% of Pennsylvania’s energy from renewable sources by 2030 and set a goal for the Commonwealth to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Shapiro will also aggressively push to make Pennsylvania the home of a new regional hydrogen hub and grow the Commonwealth’s carbon capture, utilization, and storage industry – creating thousands of jobs.

Cutting Red Tape to Help Workers and Attract Talent

Josh recognizes that to help businesses grow in Pennsylvania, we need to recruit and retain a talented workforce. That’s why he will drastically increase investment in vo-tech and job skills training and build a pipeline from our high schools to the workforce, eliminate four-year degree requirements for thousands of state government jobs, triple the amount of funding available for apprenticeship programs, and put career and technical training into high school curriculums to build our workforce. Shapiro will also protect and expand workers’ rights to organize so that they can secure the benefits they deserve.

As Governor, Josh Shapiro will prioritize economic growth by cutting red tape, reducing taxes, and fostering innovation. Josh knows that economic growth leads to higher wages, a better standard of living, healthier communities, and safer streets – and he will aggressively focus on attracting new businesses to Pennsylvania and supporting businesses already here.

Checking in with Gubernatorial Candidates is a regular feature of Local.News. Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) and Atty. Gen. Josh Shapiro (D) will be on the November General Election Ballot for Pennsylvania Governor. Both candidates have been invited to submit updates.