Overall, it was a challenging but successful and active year for PFMA and our members. Thank you for all your help and support; it is essential to our success.
Below you'll find a recap of federal and state legislation our Association helped pass, as well as legislation that we helped block. In addition, you'll find federal and state legislation that we've made progress on in 2019 and continue to focus on in 2020.
Tobacco and E-Cigarette 21 Legislation- Legislation to increase the purchasing age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 was included in a year-end spending bill, which passed the U.S. House and Senate. PFMA supports this initiative at the state and federal levels.
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)- PFMA supported and helped gain congressional support for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Bill is awaiting final passage by the Senate as of publication of this document.
FDA/CBD Regulations/Enforcement- PFMA helped to push for the inclusion of funding for the Federal Drug Administration to develop CBD regulations and enforcement policies for the industry. This was included in a year-end government funding bill.
ACA/Cadillac Tax Repeal- PFMA joined more than 1,000 businesses and organizations from across the country to successfully lobby for the repeal of the so-called “Cadillac Tax,” included in the Affordable Care Act. The repeal was included in a year-end government funding bill.
Health Insurance Tax (HIT) Delay/Repeal- PFMA joined state and national organizations to urge the delay and elimination of the HIT. We were successful in achieving that goal as the elimination of the tax was included in a year- end government spending bill.
Retail Tax Glitch Correction (100% bonus depreciation)- PFMA supported legislation with its national partners in the form of The Restoring Investment in Improvements Act, H.R. 1869 / S. 803. This would help fix the drafting error contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The measures are awaiting further action in their respective chambers.
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Recapitalization- PFMA helped to secure additional funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative/Food Access Initiative in the 2018-2019 state budget legislation. One million dollars in funding was included in the legislation.
House Bill 17 (Rep. Frank Ryan)- PFMA supported and was successful in securing its passage and signature by the Governor. The bill established a 10-year time period for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to collect assessed personal income tax.
Senate Bill 473 (Sen. Mario Scavello)- PFMA supported and was successful in helping to secure passage of legislation that increased Pennsylvania's minimum legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21.
House Bill 97 (Rep. Kathy Rapp)- PFMA supported and was successful in helping to secure passage of HB 97, which would make it illegal to sell electronic nicotine delivery systems to minors.
Senate Bill 712, PA Budget Fiscal Code Legislation, Plastic Bag Preemption- PFMA assisted in the insertion and passage of a plastic bag study and preemption in the FY2020 fiscal code legislation. PFMA worked previously to pass legislation that would preempt these municipal ordinances, but that legislation was ultimately vetoed by the Governor. This legislation was approved by Gov. Wolf.
Blocked PFMA was successful in preventing the ultimate passage of several proposals that would have been detrimental to the interests of our members:
Property Tax Reform/Shifting- Several proposals were introduced this session to reduce or eliminate property taxes. Unfortunately, these proposals included shifting the tax burden to employers and working families in the form of increased and expanded sales taxes and higher personal income taxes. This included an attempt to add the sales tax to warehouse/wholesaler services and operations.
Minimum Wage Increase to $12 or $15 an Hour- PFMA was successful in preventing a significant increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour. PFMA and its members have signaled a willingness to discuss a more reasonable, lower-wage increase.
Tobacco and OTP Taxes- No new, or increased taxes, on tobacco or other tobacco products were enacted. Some discussion took place around adding a new tax to cigars to help plug the budget deficit for 2018-2019.
Statewide Beverage Tax
Paid or Unpaid Leave Mandates
Statewide Plastic Bag Ban
Statewide Ban on Plastic Straws
Statewide Ban on Polystyrene Containers
Statewide Bottle Bill Legislation
Statewide Ban on all VGTs at Truck Stops- PFMA, with its members and allies, was able to amend Senate Bill 321 to prevent a ban on VGTs at truck stops in counties of the third class, or potentially all counties across PA.
Private Actions Under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law - PFMA helped block passage of House Bill 638, sponsored by Rep. Anthony DeLuca of Allegheny County. The legislation would have raised the minimum fee from $100 to $500 for minor violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. This measure would have increased costs for our members and been a boon for trial lawyers.