York County business leaders on Thursday met with elected officials in one of few annual events for which most of the legislative delegation is under one roof outside of Harrisburg.
The York County Chamber of Commerce's Business Advocacy Council holds the annual Legislative Luncheon to update members on the chamber's legislative topics of concern.
Of perennial concern are issues such as so-called right-to-work legislation and prevailing wage reform, but business advocates aren't in the practice of "tilting at windmills" when progress isn't made, said Darrell Auterson, President/CEO at York County Economic Alliance.
Some employers have pushed for Pennsylvania to become a right-to-work state, barring unions from requiring non-union members to pay dues if they don't want to join, and change the "prevailing wage" rules under which some contractors have been paid more for government jobs than private jobs.
Ten of York County's lawmakers were given five minutes each to present information to the group of about 200 attendees.
Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, who last year chaired the House Labor and Industry Committee, spoke about labor and prevailing wage.
He said the legislators were able to pass a lot of business legislation last year, including an "e-verify" system that ensures employees who do work on public projects are legally able to work in the United States.
But prevailing wage was "a bridge too far," an effort on which legislators spent a lot of time without their work's bearing fruit, he said.
Aside from right-to-work legislation, prevailing wage is the biggest issue union activists will "buck," he said.
Appreciation: Business leaders said they appreciated the lawmakers' insights into the legislative process.
Wayne Myers, of Monaghan Township, a territory manager for Penn National Insurance, said he was interested in the state budget updates provided by Sen. Mike Waugh, R-Shrewsbury Township, and Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township.
It's critical for people in his field to keep watch for changes in state laws and funding changes because those help determine the insurance needs of the businesses to which his company sells policies, he said.
Arlene LaPore of York Township is a vice-president and trust officer at Susquehanna Bank.
She said she was interested in changes to health care costs and senior-related issues, which can have an impact on people's banking behaviors.
Other speakers: Also speaking at the event were Sen. Pat Vance, R-York and Cumberland counties, Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-York and Lancaster counties, Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-York and Dauphin counties, Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Springettsbury Township, Rep. Will Tallman, R-York and Adams counties, Rep Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and Rep. Mike Regan, R-York and Cumberland counties.
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