Big Advocacy Wins for the Pittsburgh Region
Dear <<First Name>>,
I’m happy to report two important advocacy wins that were successfully signed into law this week.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credit will increase, doubling from $18 million to $36 million, thanks to Act 100 of 2018. Additionally, driver’s license reform (Act 59 of 2018) became law, which was a bill at the top of our policy agenda.
The NAP tax credit is the engine of our Strengthening Communities Partnership (SCP) program. It allows for faster revitalization of the most underserved communities across the Commonwealth, including here in southwestern Pennsylvania in Connellsville, Homewood, McKees Rocks, Mount Oliver/Knoxville, Sharpsburg, Washington and Wilkinsburg. We like to think of SCP as a prime example of public-private partnerships in action, mainly because it focuses the corporate support from companies like yours – our Regional Investors Council Members – into neighborhoods committed to improving.
We’ve noticed the support from many of you over the years for this program. That is one reason the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce formed the NAP Coalition last year to gather support not just here in the Pittsburgh region but across Pennsylvania. We organized more than 90 businesses and organizations across the Commonwealth to advocate for an increase on the so-called “NAP cap,” and we’re proud it’s paid off. As a result, this may present possibilities to expand our SCP work in the future.
The driver’s license reform legislation is critical to gaining and holding employment. Unnecessary license suspensions create obstacles to getting a job, and this law gives employers access to a broader, more competitive labor pool. In effect, the law removes license suspensions for certain issues that have nothing to do with operating a motor vehicle, such as failing to pay parking tickets. This is a win for improving equity across Pennsylvania, as in 2016 this issue affected over 30,000 individuals. We’re proud Pennsylvania is discontinuing this unfair policy.
Importantly, these outcomes are the result of strong leadership from a bipartisan group of public officials and robust partnerships involving many organizations. We look forward to our community organizations continuing to build their neighborhoods, improve local business districts and housing, grow jobs, build tax bases, address blight and prevent hunger, and we are proud we’re able to provide help to those in our communities looking for a second chance.
On behalf of the Allegheny Conference, we are proud to celebrate these wins with all of you.