Skip to content

Last Week In the Legislature

March 26, 2024

Last Week In the Legislature

Source: PA Chamber of Business and Industry

Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate returned to Harrisburg last week to kick off the first voting session of the year. Here’s a rundown of some of the action that occurred last week in the Legislature relevant to employers.

Data Privacy (H.B. 1201)

The House of Representatives voted 139-62 to pass House Bill 1201 on Monday.

This bill would regulate the collection and use of consumers’ data by providing consumers with certain rights and requiring businesses to protect and limit collection of personal data.

The PA Chamber believes a national framework for data privacy regulation is preferable to protect consumer data, promote transparency, and provide regulatory certainty in the marketplace, rather than a patchwork of state and local laws. Congress, however, has not yet advanced consumer data privacy legislation, and in the meantime, 11 states have adopted data privacy laws.

We have advocated that if lawmakers are to advance data privacy legislation at the state level, they should look to states such as Virginia and Connecticut, which crafted their laws with input from the business community.

Several key PA Chamber recommendations have been incorporated into H.B. 1201, including exempting already regulated employers and ensuring may continue to offer popular customer rewards and loyalty programs. At the same time, concerns with the bill remain, including the low threshold for covered entities (currently triggered when an employer obtains the data of 50,000 individuals) and a short compliance window (six months) that will make it difficult for small businesses.

We urge lawmakers to continue working to improve H.B. 1201 and incorporating feedback from affected employers (CLICK HERE for our memo) as the legislation now heads to the Senate.

Employer 529 Savings Tax Credit (H.B. 1745)

The House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass House Bill 1745 on Wednesday.

This legislation would create a credit for employer contributions to 529 tuition savings accounts. Any employer that contributes to an account owned by an employee under the Tuition Account Program would be able to claim a tax credit against its state tax liability.

The amount of the tax credit would be equal to 25 percent of the employer’s aggregate contributions made to accounts owned by employees during the tax year. The total amount of contributions that an employer may make to accounts owned by employees would not exceed $500 per employee during the tax year. This legislation now heads to the Senate.

Lowering the Commercial Driver’s License Age (H.R. 322)

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to report House Resolution 322 out of Committee on Monday.

This resolution would urge Congress to pass legislation to allow individuals under the age of 21 with a Commercial Driver’s License to drive across state lines and participate in interstate commerce.

Trucking companies report significant workforce shortages, which is a challenge for their industry and the many businesses and customers that rely on trucking to move goods to market. While individuals can obtain a CDL in Pennsylvania at age 18, federal law prohibits drivers from crossing state lines until the age of 21, which limits opportunities at an early stage in their career and exacerbates workforce challenges for the industry.

We supported this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo). It now heads to the full House for final consideration.

Social Media Access for Minors (H.B. 2017)

The House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee voted 21-4 to report House Bill 2017 out of committee on Tuesday.

This legislation would require social media companies to monitor the chats of two or more minors on the platform and notify parents or legal guardians of flagged sensitive or graphic content. Additionally, the bill would require consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 16 to open a social media account and notify parents or legal guardians if a child under 16 opens a social media account without consent. The bill would also prohibit data mining for users under the age of 18 and allow any individual to request the deletion of data that was mined while they were under the age of 18.

The bill originally included a private cause of action and concurrent jurisdiction for local district attorneys and other governmental entities such as school districts. The PA Chamber supported an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver) that instead gives the Attorney General exclusive jurisdiction. The amendment passed by a vote of 24-1.

This legislation now heads to the full House for consideration.

Critical Infrastructure Trespass/Vandalism (S.B. 819)

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-5 to report Senate Bill 819 out of committee on Tuesday.

This legislation would increase criminal penalties against individuals who knowingly trespass onto or vandalize critical infrastructure facilities. The legislation also establishes civil liability and allows the owner of a critical infrastructure facility to recover damages from someone convicted of trespass or vandalism.

Assets such as water treatment facilities, pipelines, telecommunications, dams, ports, and manufacturing facilities are vitally important to the well-being of our economy and to the health and safety of our citizens. This legislation puts in place reasonable measures to protect these assets.

We supported this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Clarifying Flexibility for Work from Home (S.B. 416)

The Senate Finance Committee voted 7-4 to advance Senate Bill 416 on Wednesday.

This legislation would clarify that the imposition of corporate net income tax for out-of-state employers shall not include employees who are residents of Pennsylvania and who work from home during fewer than 50 percent of their normal working hours on an annual basis.

Businesses have seen a significant increase in remote workers post-COVID-19. This legislation provides relief to out-of-state companies via an exemption from triggering the CNIT for their employees who are residents of Pennsylvania.

We supported this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which now awaits further action by the full Senate.

Optional Entity-Level SALT Cap Workaround (S.B. 659)

The Senate Finance Committee also voted 9-2 to advance Senate Bill 659 on Wednesday.

This legislation would allow Pennsylvania partnerships or S-corporations to elect to recognize income from the operation of the business at the entity level, as opposed to the existing pass-through methodology used for income tax purposes.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) imposed a $10,000 limit on the maximum deduction taxpayers may claim for certain state and local taxes through 2025 on individuals but not business entities. This bill would shift state tax liabilities for pass-through entities’ (PTEs) income from the individual back to the PTE, providing relief to owners and shareholders.

We supported this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which now awaits further Senate action.

The Senate Finance Committee also voted 7-4 to advance Senate Bill 1051 on Wednesday.

This legislation would allow the Pennsylvania Board of Finance and Revenue (BF&R) to consider late-filed tax appeals from the Department of Revenue (DOR) if the taxpayer shows good cause. It also establishes a settlement process at the BF&R as an alternative to the formal and lengthy court appeals process.

Taxpayers who disagree with a final decision made by DOR currently have 60 days to appeal the decision to the BF&R. Without the ability to accept late-filed appeals, cases are dismissed on technicality rather than on merit. The ability to settle disputes at the BF&R will provide for a quicker and fairer resolution to tax disputes, particularly for smaller businesses that do not have the resources for a drawn-out appeals process or litigation in the Commonwealth Court.

We supported this legislation (CLICK HERE for our memo), which now awaits further Senate action.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.

Leadership Impact: Navigating Talent Turnover and Fostering a Thriving Company Culture

March 26, 2024

Leadership Impact: Navigating Talent Turnover and Fostering a Thriving Company Culture

  • Talent turnover leads to significant loss of knowledge and potential, often driven by stressful management.
  • Financially, replacing an employee can cost up to double their salary and trigger a domino effect causing multiple departures.
  • This turnover negatively impacts employee morale and company culture, potentially creating a toxic work environment.
  • By investing in leadership development, businesses can minimize these effects and improve work culture.
  • Regularly evaluating leadership effectiveness and investing in management relationships can prevent high turnover and promote business growth.

568 ~ 2.5 minute read

Talent turnover isn’t simply about losing one person. It's about losing a significant amount of knowledge and potential. In a study on workplace satisfaction, 75% of workers reported that their immediate boss was the most stressful part of their job. And that stress has a cost. While your best workers may be attracted to the company mission, a big reason they often leave is the manager.

The Financial Impact of Talent Turnover

Unfortunately, the cost of one person leaving can be substantial. According to Gallup research, replacing an employee can cost up to one half to double their salary. Plus, when one person leaves, it can trigger a domino effect leading to more departures. When multiple employees leave, studies have found a problem manager is often to blame and, in addition to the lost talent, employee performance drops across the board. From profit margin to customer service, turnover weakens a company’s brand and bottom line.

The Silent Killer: Turnover’s Effect on Morale & Company Culture 

It’s common for employees to build relationships with their co-workers. When one person leaves, employee morale takes a hit. Instead of seeing their friend at work, an employee might need to cover that person's work until someone new is hired. Losing a professional relationship and taking on more work compounds the negative effects on staff. And if management contributed to the voluntary exit, then that worker may be the next to give notice.

Unsurprisingly, negative experiences stick around, disrupting the harmony within the company. If the leadership isn't effective, it can turn the workplace from a place where ideas thrive into an environment where everyone treads carefully. This downward spiral not only hurts productivity it also affects the happy workplace culture business owners want.


The Good News: Managers Are Also Part of the Solution

Leadership isn't instinctive; it’s a skill that needs to be developed. The same research that found that turnover negatively affected workplace performance also found that good leadership could minimize these effects. When business owners invest in training their leaders, managers gain the necessary people and performance skills that improve work culture.


Management Training

Investment can take many forms, such as leadership retreats, one-on-one coaching sessions, or pairing managers with mentors within the company. The goal is to cultivate a group of bosses who truly understand their teams. According to Wharton Business School, professional development empowers leaders with new skills and knowledge, which in turn provides a better skilled workforce, increases workplace satisfaction, and decreases turnover. 


Recognizing When It's Not Working

Sometimes, a leader and their position just don't fit. Making difficult decisions about leadership is hard but necessary. Pay attention to more turnover from the same department, which will often point you in the direction of the problem. Delaying could mean your business is stuck instead of moving forward.


The Bottom Line

Leaders often mention their teams when discussing business success, but managers are often left to navigate alone. The reality is that managers are the stabilizing force that keeps the team in good shape.

If your business has been experiencing more turnover, experts advise looking beyond more money or benefits. Look closely at your team culture, especially at those in leadership positions. Often, that's where you'll find the problems. And that's where you can fix them—with effective leadership.

Invest in your management relationships. In business, retention and progress go hand in hand. You’ve worked hard to build your business. Don't let a misstep from the top send your best employees looking for new opportunities.


The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike.

Member News March 20, 2024

March 20, 2024

Member News March 20, 2024

Celebrate SBDC Day Today

There’s still time to register for the SBDC Day webinar, “SBA Loan Programs”! Dive into the world of Small Business Administration loans: from the basics and borrower eligibility to program details and pursuing your loan. Join in celebrating SBDC Day along with 1,000 SBDCs nationwide! Register between now and 4pm and be part of the celebration!

Service 1st Announces Shaffer as Marketing Manager

Service 1st Federal Credit Union recently welcomed Jeff Shaffer to the team as its new Marketing Manager. Shaffer brings along nearly 20 years of experience in communications, public relations, and marketing. Welcome Jeff!

Berwick Historical Society Celebrates with Ribbon Cutting

On March 16th the Ross & Boone Gift Shoppe at the Jackson Mansion and Carriage House, the newest facility of the Berwick Historical Society opened with a ribbon-cutting celebration. The new gift shop makes possible future development at the carriage house, and Jim Stout tells us great things are coming soon, especially for kids!

Second Annual: Doggie Easter Egg Hunt

Join Apollo Point Apartments for the second annual Doggie Easter Egg Hunt at Apollo Point Apartments on March 23rd at 10 am! All furry friends, regardless of size, are invited to join in the fun. See you there!

Press Enterprise Bracketeers Contest Open

Think you know college basketball.  Enter the Press Enterprise's annual Bracketeers contest sponsored by PenTele Data.  Entries are accepted until 11:00 March 21st.

Traditional Irish Music Comes to the Weis Center

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome Irish music ensemble Dervish on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. Learn more.

CSO T-Shirt contest voting now

Central Susquehanna Opportunities asked their staff to create a design to be featured on a new CSO t-shirt.  They need your help picking the winning design.  Go to their Facebook page to vote. Voting is open until Thursday 3/21 at 8 pm! The winning design will be announced on Friday 3/22!

Easter Eggstravaganza: A Joint Celebration with Bloomsburg YMCA and Children's Museum

Bloomsburg YMCA and Bloomsburg Children's Museum on Saturday, March 23rd for a special Easter event! The Bloomsburg Children's Museum starts the day with Chick & Bunny Day (10 AM - Noon), featuring photo opportunities with adorable chicks and bunnies. Then, hop over to the Bloomsburg Area YMCA for an Easter Egg Hunt (11:30 AM - 1:30 PM). Don't miss this fun-filled day for the whole family! 🐇

PA Bureau of Workers' Compensation PATHS Free Safety Webinars

The Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Health & Safety Division will offer multiple free safety webinars in March 2024. To register, simply click on the topic title and complete the registration form before the day of the presentation

Garden Party to Benefit Ronald McDonald House of Danville

A captivating evening amidst the beauty of spring at Garden Party at Dark. On April 5th, put on your finest cocktail attire and head to the AEREA in Milton, PA from 6:30-10pm.  The evening will feature music, entertainment, silent auction, cocktails, and more! Get your tickets here.

Tanks on the Loose

The Stuart Tank Memorial Association announces the nearing completion of the restoration of "Lady Lois", our M3A1 Stuart Light Tank, with a parade and museum open house on April 14th in Berwick.  For more information, contact Tom McLaughlin at

Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties offering CE classes

5 CE classes will be offered by Servpro of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.  Get the full schedule.

United In Recovery Naloxone Distribution Dates

United in Recovery is organizing free community naloxone giveaways. Community members can pick up naloxone kits along with information on substance use disorder treatment, counseling services, peer support, and basic needs assistance. Fentanyl and xylazine testing strips, along with other harm reduction, recovery, and treatment resources, are also available. Get a list of locations and dates here.

PCT Offering Professional Development Classes

Pennsylvania College of Technology is offering training across a broad spectrum of topics. From the novice learning a new program or skill, to seasoned users aiming to hone the most advanced skills, our vast library of available course topics meets the needs of any business.  Check out their upcoming Training opportunities flyer.

Free NonProfit and Municipality Workshop April 17th

As part of the Columbia County Placemaking Initiative, there will be a free workshop to help nonprofits and municipalities in Columbia County find and prepare competitive state and federal grant applications. The workshop will be in Bloomsburg on Wednesday, April 17 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Click here to register.

DCDC "Dinner and a Show"

Put two sharp-witted and talented musicians onstage with two grand pianos, and add a roomful of people: The result is an evening of fast, funny, unforgettable entertainment. There will be auction items and other surprises as well in honor of DCDC’s 50th Anniversary, and we hope for you to join us at the Pine Barn Inn for a grand celebration! Check out sponsorship and Tickets on sale now!

Penn College to host Baja SAE Competition in May

Baja SAE challenges engineering students to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and in some competitions, water. Penn College will host a Baja SAE international competition, May 16–19, 2024, at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center’s heavy construction equipment operations training site. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the BAJA SAE Williamsport and ways to support the team.

Save the Date for Agapepalooza

Save the Date for Agapepalooza July 20th, 2024.  This is a day of free fun for the whole family with activities, local vendors, and food. Learn more.

New Member Highlight-JS Demott Trucking

March 20, 2024

New Member Highlight-JS Demott Trucking

Jarrod DeMott, owner and operator of JS DeMott Trucking, has been established since April 2002. Jarrod enjoys delivering aggregate for homeowners.

In addition, he is leased to a large local construction material company hauling aggregate to Penn Dot roading building jobs such as The Susquehanna Throughway Project and other various projects, including local municipalities.

His business is located in Millville, PA. To connect with JS Demott Trucking call (570) 441-2331.


March 20, 2024


Source: PA Chamber of Business and Industry

The first is a state-specific cap-and-invest program known as the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act (PACER), which the governor framed as an alternative to Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The other proposal, called the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS), would require that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from diverse sources by 2035, including 35 percent from clean energy such as solar and wind, 10 percent from sustainable sources like hydropower and battery storage, and five percent from low-emission natural gas and other fuels.

In response, PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein released the following statement:

“We all share the goals of protecting our environment and growing our economy – and, one does not have to come at the expense of the other. Pennsylvania is a global leader in energy production and reducing emissions, and policies going forward should build on this progress. We await details on the governor’s proposals, which raise significant questions and concerns about the impacts on our residents, businesses, the environment, and our economy. We encourage the governor to work in a collaborative way with additional stakeholders and the legislature to address important questions pertaining to the short- and long-term impacts of these policies and develop the best plan for Pennsylvania.”

You can read more about the governor’s proposal (and the initial response from Pennsylvania’s business community) in the Central Penn Business Journal and the Pennsylvania Business Report.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.

The 2024 Yellow Book Released

March 20, 2024

The 2024 Yellow Book Released

Source: McKonly & Asbury

Navigating the Marketing Maze

March 18, 2024

Navigating the Marketing Maze

  • Set clear marketing goals based on what you aim to achieve, such as boosting website traffic, sales, or social media presence.
  • Capitalize on what makes your small business unique, like being family-owned or sourcing locally, to stand out without a big budget.
  • Use online tools to track important metrics like sales/conversion rates and click-through rates to gauge marketing impact in real time.
  • Consider hiring an agency to monitor metrics if analyzing data isn't your strength, ensuring you focus on growing your business.
  • Allocate your marketing budget wisely, customizing your strategy to your business's stage and competitive landscape, with startups advised to use 10-12% of revenue for marketing.
  • Stay adaptable and learn from analytics, competitors, and customer feedback to refine your marketing efforts and maximize budget efficiency.

677 words ~ 3.5 min. read


Small business owners face marketing challenges with limited resources. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to play the game, and it starts with making the most of your budget. When you focus on knowing your numbers, strengths, and connecting with customers, you can make smarter decisions with your marketing dollars. Read on to discover practical ways to maximize your marketing impact on a budget.


First Rule of Marketing: Set a Clear Goal

Before investing in your marketing or setting a budget, first clarify your goals. Whether it's boosting website traffic, sales, or social media presence, know what you're aiming for and why. Too often small businesses invest in advertising or social media campaigns, without considering if these initiatives will create the results they want. For example, if your goal is to reach new customers, there’s an important difference between display ads and google search ads. When faced with limited resources, choose the option that best aligns with your top priority, and ensure everyone on your team understands the goal for cohesive strategy execution.


Marketing Your Uniqueness, Not Your Bank Account

There's a misconception that consumers only favor big flashy brands with big marketing budgets. But business is more like chess; strategy often trumps resources. Your small business has unique selling points that set you apart. Focus on what makes you unique. Maybe you’re family-owned, source your ingredients locally, or nationally-recognized for your customer service. Using specific language in your marketing that attracts your ideal audience is key. The more you understand your audience, the more capable you will be in creating marketing messages that resonate with new and existing customers.


Marketing Metrics Tell No Lies

Thanks to online tools, a small business can now accurately gauge the impact of its marketing efforts in real time.Think about it this way: you've put your precious coins into an ad campaign. If the click-through rate is low, adjust the ad. If a post is gaining traction, boost the ad and run it longer. According to research conducted by Hubspot, the most important metrics to follow on your website are your sales/conversion rates, your monthly visitors, click-through rates, search traffic, and bounce rates. You can access their full report here.

If you want to run your business rather than analyze data, consider hiring an agency to monitor the metrics for you. Their job is to help you earn a return on your marketing spend or ad investment. If you’re on the fence about outsourcing your marketing, remember you can track this spending too. Decide in advance what success looks like – is it more customers, more email sign-ups, more scheduled meetings? Having a clear notion of success will help you determine if your marketing results match your expectations.


Allocating Your Budget for Maximum Impact

Here's the key: Leveraging even modest resources effectively can yield significant returns. Forget one-size-fits-all marketing budgets; what you need is a strategy customized for your unique situation. For startups, dedicating 10-12% of your revenue to marketing is a smart move. More established businesses should focus on sustaining their market presence. On average, small business owners are advised to invest between 6.5 and 8.5% of their gross revenue into marketing efforts. Another approach is to follow your competition’s lead and match your spending to theirs. It's crucial to remember that judiciously spent funds can dramatically shift your business's trajectory.


The Takeaway: Learn and Adjust

At times, the wisest course of action is to pause, observe, and absorb lessons from your surroundings—be it your specific niche, other sectors, your analytics, or, most importantly, your customers. Adaptability and the ability to listen are crucial in both business and personal life. Leverage these insights to gain a marketing edge. Unlike their larger counterparts, small businesses possess a level of agility and flexibility that is often envied. Embrace these unique strengths to make your marketing budget work for you.


The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike.

President’s Message: In FOCUS

March 14, 2024

President’s Message: In FOCUS

On March 13, your Chamber was pleased to serve as a host sponsor for FOCUS Central PA’s third in-person Industrial Development Forum, as more than 200 professionals from across the state converged on the campus of Commonwealth University – Bloomsburg to discuss investment in central PA, industrial innovation, and smart economic growth.

If you’re unfamiliar with FOCUS Central PA, then you should know that yesterday’s Industrial Development Forum is just one part of what they do – they function as a behind-the-scenes leader and a critical cog in the complex machine of economic development, serving as a resource for corporate location and expansion decisions. They showcase the attractiveness of the region to potential investors, and their website is packed with valuable insights, such as a list of available properties, maps, snapshots of infrastructure, talent and the workforce, transportation, and different sectors of the economy.

The guest list for yesterday’s event included community planners, engineers, builders, architects, site consultants, real estate brokers, elected officials, community organizations, education leaders, manufacturers, and more, and the Chamber was pleased to offer some familiar additional resources to entice guests to the region – we shared copies of Quality Living, Business Matters, and the Chamber’s Membership Directories, and used a portion of our space to highlight key partners - including the Columbia Montour Visitor’s Bureau and to spread the word about the increasingly successful microtransit program called “StopHopper”. In short, we sought to represent you, our members, and share about the undercurrent of excitement and engagement in our business community.

During the program, which included both insight to industrial innovation and big-picture considerations for investors, guests heard from members such as Dr. Bashar Hanna of Commonwealth University, Jennifer Wakeman of DRIVE, Kimberly Wheeler, SEDA-COG, and Sean Stabler, of SEKISUI KYDEX. As presenters shared, it was very clear that the Chamber has a key role to play – that some of the greatest assets we can produce are increasingly clear communication, adequate opportunities for businesses to connect with one another, and leadership development. Your Chamber is committed to doing just that, and I encourage you to stay highly engaged as we work on your behalf to promote vibrant and sustainable communities in Columbia and Montour Counties.

Special thanks to Lauren Bryson, FOCUS Central PA Executive Director, for her excellent work in bringing our region into…focus!

The Significance of Boosting Mental Health Coverage in Employee Benefits

March 14, 2024

The Significance of Boosting Mental Health Coverage in Employee Benefits

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of employee health and well-being in the workplace. While physical health has traditionally been the focus of employee health insurance, mental health has emerged as an equally vital aspect of overall well-being. In this article, we will discuss the relevance of mental health coverage in employee health insurance, highlighting its significance for employees and employers alike.

Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders, have become increasingly common in the workplace. According to a study in the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. This statistic serves to bolster the need for employers to assure adequate mental health coverage is in their employee health insurance plans.

Providing mental health coverage as part of employee health insurance can significantly enhance the overall well-being of employees. Mental health issues can affect an individual's ability to function optimally in the workplace, leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. By offering comprehensive mental health coverage, employers can help address these challenges and promote a healthier and more engaged workforce.

One of the barriers to seeking mental health treatment is the persistent stigma associated with mental illness. Including mental health coverage in employee health insurance plans can help reduce this stigma by normalizing the discussion around mental health and encouraging employees to seek the care they need. Additionally, by providing coverage, employers can ensure that employees have access to a range of mental health services, including therapy, counseling, and psychiatric consultations.

Investing in mental health coverage can yield significant returns for employers. Employees who have access to mental health support through their health insurance tend to be more productive, have higher job satisfaction, and are less likely to take sick leave. By addressing mental health concerns proactively, employers can create a positive work environment that fosters employee well-being and enhances overall productivity and performance.

Although the inclusion of mental health coverage in employee health insurance plans may require an initial investment, it can prove cost-effective in the long run. By addressing mental health issues early on, employers can prevent more severe problems from developing and minimize the associated costs, such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased healthcare utilization. Furthermore, healthier and happier employees are more likely to remain with the organization, reducing turnover and the expenses associated with recruitment and training.

The Columbia-Montour Chamber of Commerce offers its members access to My Benefit Advisor as a solution for employee benefits, including voluntary offerings. For more information about My Benefit Advisor, visit our website at or contact Rob Higginbotham at (800) 377-3536.

US Chamber: Fighting Regulatory Onslaught

March 14, 2024

US Chamber: Fighting Regulatory Onslaught

Source: US Chamber of Commerce

Business is facing an unprecedented federal regulatory agenda. With Congress enacting relatively little legislation, the regulatory state is taking on that role. Ideologically driven regulations are cutting across American industry and imposing huge costs on business. And companies are taking notice. The U.S. Chamber recently surveyed a decade of 10-K filings from the S&P 500 and found a large uptick in terms associated with public policy risk, like regulation. These regulatory burdens add up to a systemic threat to free enterprise.

As federal agencies pursue aggressive policy changes through regulation, the Chamber is leveraging its litigation expertise to address these threats.

Proliferation of Regulations

Over the next 12 months, the Administration plans to act on some 2,524 regulatory items. Of these, the Administration has 1,075 rules to finalize, with an additional 1,357 in the pipeline, where the next step is proposing a rule or completing public comments. To avoid the possibility that the next Congress and administration could use the Congressional Review Act to block various rules, agencies are rushing to complete actions before mid-summer.

Admin Regulations Active Rulemaking 2024

But this regulatory proliferation doesn’t tell the whole story. Historically, agencies have identified proposed rules that they expect to have an economically significant impact of $100 million or more a year. Last year, President Biden adjusted the threshold to $200 million.  Even with the higher threshold, the number of economically significant regulations under active consideration today is still 69 percent higher than at the same point in the Obama administration.

This still undercounts the true cost. For example, because of the way regulatory costs are disclosed, none of the SEC’s proposed rules are categorized as having a cost over $200 million, even though some of them far exceed the threshold.

Costly Regulations 2024

Litigation Strategy

We are responding to this government overreach as a whole-of-Chamber. Our policy teams are submitting comments on agency rules and engaging with agency leadership. And our Litigation Center is taking federal agencies to court, bringing direct legal challenges against regulators for their overreach.

Over the past five years, the Litigation Center has filed lawsuits against 11 federal agencies. Last year, it ended with 24 pending lawsuits and secured an 83 percent win rate in party litigation. With more high-end talent than the appellate groups in most DC law firms, the Chamber Litigation Center is taking on the big cases, the most important for free enterprise, and shaping the law by securing precedent-setting victories in court.

Chamber Litigation By the Numbers

Top Regulatory Targets

Looking ahead, we expect to make a real dent in the Administration’s regulatory agenda.  Bringing lawsuits is one of the most important tools we have to fight the enormous regulatory burdens businesses are facing today. The Chamber and its Litigation Center are committed to challenging a score of rules that pose a significant threat to America’s economic growth and competitiveness.

Here are rules that the Chamber is watching in 2024:


  • Noncompete Rule
  • Commercial Surveillance and Data Privacy Rule
  • Hart-Scott-Rodino Changes
  • Unfair & Deceptive Fees Rule
  • Negative Option Rule


Fed, OCC, and FDIC

Labor Department





Federal and state regulators should create a regulatory environment that fosters innovation, competition, and growth for businesses, not create burdensome regulations for U.S. businesses. The U.S. Chamber’s top priority is fighting—and winning—for business. We are prepared to challenge government overreach and defend the rule of law.

*A lawsuit has been filed in 2024

About the author:
Daryl Joseffer is executive vice president and chief counsel at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, the litigation arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Joseffer handles a variety of litigation matters for the Chamber. He has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens of appeals in other courts across the country.

Scroll To Top