“In Their Own Words….” GCAP’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election Publication Governor Tom Wolf and Republican Nominee Scott Wagner provide insights into the questions that are important to the construction industry, like: the economy, safety, Prevailing Wage, Separations Act & more
General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania 20 Erford Road, Suite 310 Lemoyne, PA 17043 Jon@KeystoneContractors.com SethKohr@KeystoneContractors.com www.GeneralContractorsofPA.com
Welcome to GCAP’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election Publication! This resource is not intended to be an endorsement for a specific candidate nor is it our intention to support one political party over another. This resource is intended to prepare construction professionals for this year’s Gubernatorial General Election. Prior to this year’s Primary Election, we sent a questionnaire to each candidate. Now that the Primary is behind us, and the stage is set for the General Election, we’ve updated this publication in hopes of educating construction professionals on the two candidates vying to become elected Governor. Along with sharing this publication with the construction industry, we also hope that this resource encourages our industry to vote. Voting is important in a democracy and our industry can make a difference at the polls. In Pennsylvania, there are over 28,000 construction companies. GCAP encourages employers to share this publication with their employees so that they can be educated on the candidates too. Employers are viewed to be credible by their employees – in fact according BIPAC Market Research, when it comes to issues, candidates, and elections, employees are three times more likely to trust their employer over political parties, the media, and their own research. Here are some suggested ways that an employer can play a role in having a strong construction turnout at the polls this year: • • • • •
Send a reminder to vote in this year’s General Election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. If employees need to register, refer them to: www.PAVoterServices.pa.gov. Distribute this GCAP publication, as well as other informative and non-partisan resources, to educate professionals on the issues and the candidates. Allow for an open-door policy concerning the elections. Let your employees know they can turn to you with questions about the candidates and issues to further understand the effects this election can have on the company. Come election day, remind everyone to use their voice and vote.
Again, GCAP does not, and will not, tell anyone how to vote, but we hope everyone votes and votes for who they think is the best individual to lead Pennsylvania.
About GCAP: Since 1953, the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania has been a strong, unified construction industry voice in Harrisburg representing major contributors to employment and economic growth in Pennsylvania. GCAP represents the memberships of the General Building Contractors Association, the Keystone Contractors Association, and the Master Buildersâ€™ Association of Western Pennsylvania. Collectively, GCAP represents over 600-plus construction companies based throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
GBCA advances commercial construction in the Philadelphia region by providing access to proven advocacy, networking opportunities, safety services, education and training. For more information visit www.gbca.com.
Based in Lemoyne, PA, the KCA delivers member benefits in the area of education, career development, safety, labor relations, government affairs, and community service. For more information visit www.keystonecontractors.com.
The voice for construction in western Pennsylvania, the MBA provides valuable member services, promotes best practices, and helps to grow a highly skilled workforce. For more information visit www.mbawpa.org.
2018/19 GCAP Board of Governors GCAP Officers: President
Noble Quandel, representing KCA
Steven Massaro, representing MBA
Philip Radomski, representing GBCA
GCAP Board of Governors: Representing GBCA: Lance Claiborne, Benjamin Connors, Maura Hesdon, and Ed Szwarc Representing KCA: Seth Kohr, Robert Leahey, John Panzitta, and Richard Seitz Representing MBA: John Busse, Todd Dominick, Jack Ramage, and Clifford Rowe
Tom Wolf Pennsylvania Governor Endorsed Democratic Party Gubernatorial Candidate https://www.wolfforpa.com/ Tom Wolf is the 47th and current Governor of Pennsylvania. Elected on November 4, 2014, Mr. Wolf succeeded Tom Corbett, after defeating three Democrats in the 2014 primary election. A York County businessman, he holds degrees from Dartmouth College (Bachelor’s degree); University of London (Master’s degree); and, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD). GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry show support for you? Tom Wolf: I am dedicated to creating government and economy that works for all of the people of Pennsylvania. This begins with education – after restoring the $1 billion of education funding that had been cut by Governor Corbett, I am continuing to invest in early childhood education programs and career and technical education. I will also continue to focus on policies and investments that foster the creation of good-paying jobs for the middle class, encourage partnerships among business and our education system, and lead to a strong economy. My Manufacturing PA initiative supports manufacturing and links job training to career pathways to ensure that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement with Pennsylvania manufacturers in today’s global economy. I also recently announced a first-of-its-kind $50 million strategic investment in job training and the launch of PAsmart, a realignment of workforce development from K-12 education through career programs so students and workers gain 21st century skills to get good jobs that employers demand. GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in Pennsylvania? TW: I’m dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone, but that can’t happen unless all workers have opportunities to succeed. I will continue to invest in more skills training, workforce development, and apprenticeship programs. I’ve worked to grow our economy for all workers by making it easier for small businesses to start, investing in schools, and expanding career and technical education opportunities. Over the last three years, we’ve moved our economy forward by pushing ahead on large projects like the Shell Cracker Plant, pipeline development, an expansion of the Port of Philadelphia, and an investment in a steel plant in Johnstown. Collectively, these projects will create more than 15,000 jobs across the state. I’ve also been focused on growing Pennsylvania’s economy through greater investments in infrastructure. During my time in office, I’ve overseen the repair or rebuilding of 1,600 bridges and more
than 18,000 miles of roadway, with $6 billion in infrastructure improvements funding jobs across Pennsylvania. I also announced plans for an additional investment of more than $2 billion in road, highway and bridge projects over the next 10 years. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? TW: Our education system should focus on ensuring students are college or career ready. That’s why I’ve worked with our Department of Education to revisit how we are measuring success. I’m proud that we’ve increased the number of career and technical education students earning industry-recognized certificates by nearly 33 percent, preparing them for the jobs our employers are trying to fill right now. And my 2018-19 proposed budget calls for additional investments in our career and technical and STEM education programs. Under my leadership, the Department of Labor & Industry launched a new Apprenticeship & Training Office in 2016. Since then, it has worked with high schools, businesses and education institutions to increase the number of apprentices in the state by more than 10 percent. Continuing to invest in skilled training programs is key to ensuring we have the skilled workforce to meet today’s needs as well as future needs. That’s why my 2018-19 budget calls for additional investments in apprenticeship programs. GCAP: Additionally, it appears every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? TW: I will stand in the way of any attempts to weaken prevailing wage laws. As long as I’m governor, I will protect your ability to fight for higher wages, good benefits, and worker protections. I’ve also consistently called on the legislature to raise minimum wage. I took matters into my own hands by signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for government employees and contractors. I have been, and I will continue to be, your last line of defense against anti-worker policies, and I am committed to making sure that Pennsylvania workers are treated fairly. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery methods. The Separations Act is an archaic mandate enacted in 1913 that only allows for one delivery system – Multiple Prime Delivery. Due to inefficiencies of Multiple Primes, this delivery system is only required in three states; meanwhile 47 states, the federal government, and the private sector all benefit from choice in construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of Separations Act? TW: The Department of General Services has been collecting and analyzing data regarding the Separations Act. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help on this issue? TW: I have made combating the opioid crisis one of my top priorities. Over the past three years, I’ve expanded access to treatment for more than 125,000 Pennsylvanians through Medicaid expansion and
by establishing new, innovative approaches to treatment, like our Centers of Excellence and PacMAT program, expanded the use and availability of naloxone to save lives, and enacted significant reforms to address over-prescribing and improve education, which has led to reduction in doctor-shopping by 86% and overall opioid prescribing by double digits. While we’ve made significant progress in combating this epidemic, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians. That is why earlier this year, I declared the epidemic a statewide disaster emergency as a means of using every tool at my disposal to help those suffering from substance use disorder get into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination. Through this declaration, we’ve established a new Opioid Operations Command Center, extended a hotline that connects residents to the help they need, and eliminated barriers for substance users to get into treatment. I will continue doing all that I can to combat this epidemic, to help those suffering from the disease of addiction to find treatment, and to prevent opioid abuse in the first place. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governor’s election, what will your legacy be 20 years from now? TW: We’ve accomplished a lot together these past three years – we’ve restored school funding, expanded access to health care, increased apprenticeship and skills training opportunities, and dedicated resources to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic, to name a few. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m committed to building a better government, economy, and future for all Pennsylvanians. I want to be remembered as the governor who fought to change Harrisburg, and I’m asking all Pennsylvanians to join me in working towards this goal.
Scott Wagner Former State Senator & Business Owner Endorsed Republican Party Gubernatorial Candidate http://wagnerforgov.com/ Scott Wagner recently resigned from the Pennsylvania State Senate to focus on this year’s gubernatorial election. Elected to the Senate in a special election held on March 18, 2014, Mr. Wagner is the first write-in candidate to win a Pennsylvania Senate election. A York County resident, Mr. Wagner owns Penn Waste Inc. and KBS Trucking. GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry show support for you? Scott Wagner: One of the biggest reasons I involved myself in what was going on in Harrisburg, is that as a 40-year private sector businessman, I have felt the adverse impact created by abusive regulations and burdensome taxes on the business community. Pennsylvania has 153,661 restrictions and a regulatory authority that issues operational permits at the pace of a snail, and it’s hurting job creators, job seekers, their families – and certainly the economy. All of this leaves Pennsylvania unable to compete for new business. As governor, overhauling these government impositions is a top priority. The construction industry should support my campaign, because in me they’ll have a governor who’ll treat them, and all business owners, like the valuable job-creating entities they are. I will reduce – by legislation or executive order – the punishing taxes, rules and regulations that beat them up, close them down, diminish jobs and kill the economy. GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in Pennsylvania? SW: As a business leader for the last 37 years, I will work to ensure that favorable policies are implemented which will ensure economic growth and situate Pennsylvania as an economic powerhouse in the Northeast. I recognize that overregulation and over-taxation runs businesses out of Pennsylvania and stops future businesses from opening here as they seek a better business climate. I will evaluate every current state and local government imposition – including taxes regulations, permitting and processing delays – for its impact on economic development and growth, and my administration will remove the barriers to success. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? SW: Burdensome taxes and regulations keep many businesses from being able to pay attractive wages, but beyond this, is the lack of skilled labor. I know from my own four decades of private sector experience that there are less and less people who possess the skills needed to operate a business that depends on those skilled positions. While there is an abundance of skilled jobs in the commonwealth,
which deliver good wages, job security and career paths – there are not enough people to fill them. We have to encourage an educational structure that shows children that a pathway to work does not always mean four-years at college. It can mean career and technical training, shorter degree programs, and industry certification programs. My administration will retool the thinking in our schools by emphasizing the respect these vocations deserve, and the value these jobs deliver – to the family, the community and the economy. GCAP: Additionally, it appears every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? SW: Many taxpayers in this Commonwealth feel they are unjustifiably funding projects in excess of what they should cost, which is why many members of the General Assembly support a repeal of the Prevailing Wage Act – their constituents have requested they do so. One area that I do believe taxpayers are hit the hardest is in relation to school construction and renovation projects. As a fair means of permitting the taxpayers to weigh in on these issues, I would support a referendum process that would permit the voters to decide whether or not they want their local schools subject to the Prevailing Wage Act. Since the taxpayers are funding these projects, we should allow them to weigh in on the cost requirements for those projects. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of the Separations Act? SW: I would absolutely work to repeal this antiquated statute. The Commonwealth should not have to endure these costly constraints and we should work to remove any inefficiencies that end up costing us more money in the long run. I would support the passage of Senate Bill 744 (Folmer) were it to be considered. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help on this issue? SW: One of the largest issues we currently face is the opioid and heroin epidemic. Not only are we losing our citizens at a staggering rate, but it is also a major cost driver for families battling this disease and for the Commonwealth as a whole. From my personal experience as a co-founder of the York Regional Opiate Collaborative, I know that the most effective way to address this epidemic is through a multipronged approached focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery. We must implement strategies to address any stigma associated with addiction and break down administrative barriers to provide wider access to treatment and counseling. We must also address and fund those programs that provide individuals a pathway to life after drugs. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governor’s election, what will your legacy be in 20 years from now? SW: My legacy will mark a shift away from a government that serves itself, to a culture of service to the people – one that brings back good stewardship, people-centered policy and a booming economy. My legacy will serve as a model for those seeking to understand how, with limited government interference, Pennsylvania was able to rise from the bottom of the nation to become an economic powerhouse.