HARRISBURG – Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer) announced his bill to spur job creation and encourage capital investment in Pennsylvania, unanimously passed the House on Wednesday.
The legislation, House Bill 2783
, would modernize the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), which provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to businesses looking to expand or invest in the Commonwealth. Wentling introduced the bill following a House Majority Policy Committee hearing he hosted last November in Greenville. Testifiers at the legislative hearing agreed that Pennsylvania was struggling to compete for economic opportunities with neighboring Ohio.
“We need to make it abundantly clear that Pennsylvania is open for business,” said Wentling. “By modernizing government, we open the door for economic growth opportunities in the Commonwealth.”
According to Wentling, low-interest loans and lines of credit from PIDA can be used to cover a portion of up-front costs for land and building acquisitions, construction and renovation costs, and machinery and equipment purchases. Currently, applicants must demonstrate a minimum number of new jobs created to be eligible for a low-interest loan or line of credit, a requirement that Wentling said puts Pennsylvania at a disadvantage.
To alleviate that issue, Wentling’s legislation would allow PIDA to also consider the level of capital investment a business is willing to bring to a project -- in addition to jobs created -- when program eligibility and loan amounts are decided. New taxpayer accountability provisions, which would require payback if a business were to leave Pennsylvania, would also be in effect.
“We cannot sit idly by while states like Ohio eat our lunch,” Wentling said. “We want to compete. We need to implement policies that tell investors and searching businesses that we want them in Pennsylvania.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Parke Wentling
17th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple