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Chamber Coalitions Consider Far-Reaching Rules and Legislation

The Columbia Montour Chamber routinely partners with the PA Chamber of Business & Industry and the U.S. Chamber to consider rules and legislation that will have broad implications for member businesses and the region’s economic vitality. Recently, your Chamber has joined the U.S. Chamber’s federation of local chambers and the PA Chamber in coalitions to tackle issues that will impact our members. Here’s what we’ve been pursuing most recently:

Slow your roll: The PA Chamber joined the U.S. Chamber and more than 130 state and local chambers nationwide (including the Columbia Montour Chamber), last week in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, asking the EPA to deny the California Air Resources Board’s application to exempt its In-Use Locomotive Regulation from the Clean Air Act. That move would require railroads to move to zero-emission locomotives in some cases by 2030 and in all cases by 2035, “even though the technologies necessary to achieve these reductions do not exist.” They say the CARB rule “threatens the supply chain” and would force freight off the rails and onto roads, among other harms. Read more.

FTC overreach: The Federal Trade Commission held a special Open Commission Meeting on Tuesday, April 23 to vote on whether to issue a proposed final rule that may prohibit almost all noncompete agreements in the workplace. The FTC proposed this rule in Jan. 2023, and the PA Chamber joined a coalition of over 260 business groups, including the Columbia Montour Chamber, in sending a letter to Congress opposing the FTC's proposal. If the FTC approves the rule, it is likely to be challenged in court. Read more.

Minimum wage proposal: New legislation aims to increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour and set tipped wages at 70 percent of the minimum wage. Speaking to WITF last week, PA Chamber Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Alex Halper said the proposal ignores the realities faced by employers and non-profits and pointed to IFO data indicating such an increase would result in job losses. He said the state should do more to bring business to the state. Read more.

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce values member feedback regarding meaningful advocacy that impacts your business. To engage with the Chamber, please consider joining the Governmental Affairs Committee for our monthly meeting on the first Friday of the month at the Hub at Mulberry Mill at 8:15am in Bloomsburg. To join, email Chris Berleth, President, at “

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