Strong fiscal principles and strong businesses make for a strong Pennsylvania − that’s something I’ve witnessed over and over again in my 36 years of public service. When I was elected to the state Senate in the wake of the midnight pay raise controversy, I pledged to bring fiscal responsibility, frugality and transparency to Harrisburg. Since then I’ve worked to reduce government spending and to reform taxes that hurt our businesses.
Since being elected in 2006, Senator Dinniman has refused to take a single per diem, saving taxpayers almost $115,000 in the process. He has also either refused to take or donated to charity any annual pay increase.
In addition, Dinniman continues to work to strengthen our economy and reform tax policies that are detrimental to business growth. He is a strong supporter of lowering Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax rate from 9.99 percent to 7.5 percent. Pennsylvania’s tax on corporations has earned the dubious distinction of being the second highest in the nation, behind only Iowa’s. We must take action to lower the rate drastically to show businesses that we too mean business.
Dinniman is also working to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. He has introduced Senate Bill 679, legislation that would remove the disincentive for unemployed individuals to start their own businesses. Under current law, those receiving unemployment compensation lose their benefits with their first positive step toward starting a business, be it the renting of an office or the purchase of equipment. This bill allows unemployed individuals who start a business to continue to receive unemployment compensation benefits for 26 weeks or until the profits from the new business exceed 50 percent of their unemployment compensation benefits, whichever comes first.Dinniman has also championed several major transportation projects that continue to be crucial to retaining businesses and attracting jobs to our region. Altogether, PennDOT’s Route 202 Widening Project, the Route 29 slip ramp and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Widening represent an investment of $500 million in our local road system, which in turn is expected to spur at least an additional $1.5 billion in commercial development and the creation of more than 10,000 full-time jobs.
Chester County is home to many successful businesses and corporations that provide the highly skilled and high-paying jobs that keep our economy humming. Still, we must continue to take steps to attract start-up companies in cutting-edge fields such as the life sciences, information technology and alternative energy, while improving the business climate for years and decades to come. After all, our mutual success and quality of life depend on it.