On Wednesday, April 6, the state House debated Fair Share Act legislation (H.B. 1) on second consideration.
The PA Chamber's advocacy efforts were focused on ensuring the defeat of all amendments designed to weaken the bill or stop its passage. The Trial Bar supported many amendments for that very purpose, as they and other opponents continued a campaign of baseless claims designed to derail support for this long-overdue lawsuit abuse reform measure (see article below).
The PA Chamber issued a call to action to its membership, and engaged grassroots activists in the effort to put pressure on lawmakers who were prepared to vote against H.B. 1 as introduced, including lawmakers who previously said they would support the measure, only to change their vote for purely political reasons.
The PA Chamber made it clear that a vote for any amendments and any procedural moves designed to thwart passage was a vote against business, doctors, hospitals, local governments, consumers and taxpayers.
Ultimately, H.B. 1 cleared seconded consideration in the House with no amendments
The PA Chamber thanks members who responded to the call to action by contacting their state House member.
Wednesday's debate was set up by House Judiciary Committee action on Monday, April 4. The committee voted 15-10 along party lines to advance H.B. 1 without amendment.
The PA Chamber, along with NFIB, Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association and the Pennsylvania Business Council sent the following memo to lawmakers in advance of the committee vote.
The full House is set to vote on H.B. 1 on final passage on Monday, April 11. A memo, detailed in the article below, was sent to all House lawmakers this week in an effort to combat the unfounded claims being made by opponents in an effort to defeat the bill.
In related news, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a companion Fair Share Act bill (S.B. 2) on Monday, April 11.
Setting the Record Straight on Trial Bar's baseless claims against Fair Share Act
The latest arguments offered by the Trial Lawyer's Bar against the proposed Fair Share Act (H.B. 1) -- a compromise when it was passed in 2002 and 2006 and that contains the very same language today -- are baseless claims designed to drum up support for amendments that will effectively eliminate meaningful reform.
The PA Chamber's latest Setting the Record Straight media column addressed a number of these claims. This same information was sent to House lawmakers.
Opponents are now suggesting that H.B. 1 would lead to many under or uncompensated victims and this supposed burden would fall on Pennsylvania taxpayers; hurt small business; is only supported by big business; should be rejected because joint and several liability has been a long-standing legal doctrine; and that there is a need to amend the legislation.
http://enews.pachamber.org/q/4uU8ZAM8wQtr9fhWG7con6RwdCpk9Gr-D3Y9GSDk3nhkqmfGohlRDAQ_l for the PA Chamber's response to these claims.
U.S. Senate votes to repeal 1099 reporting requirement
On Tuesday, April 5, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal a provision in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will require businesses to file 1099 forms with the Internal Revenue Service any time they spend more than $600 a year with any other business.
While the U.S. Senate passed similar legislation in February, this week's vote was on the U.S. House's version, which was approved in that chamber by a 314-112 vote on March 3.
House Resolution 4 can now go straight to the desk of President Barack Obama, who pledged during his recent State of the Union Address to sign the repeal of what will be a significant red tape burden for small businesses if implemented.
More information about the proposed reporting requirement is available here. http://enews.pachamber.org/q/LgP4O5l4KHdfCXA1MRgRLdlW2Z-9xMQ4K61oMcK96XODh0LGxtrmKX_Fr