A panel of four state legislators gathered to discuss issues regarding the supply chain crisis, government regulations, budgeting and more with the business community at the 6th Annual Franklin County Legislative Breakfast held recently in Chambersburg, Pa.
Hosted by the five chambers of commerce on behalf of the Franklin County Government Affairs Committee, more than 225 people attended the event to hear from Senator Doug Mastriano, Representative John Hershey, Representative Paul Schemel and Representative Jesse Topper.
“We are honored to host our annual Legislative Breakfast and provide a venue for the business community to interact with the legislators,” said Stephen Christian, president of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. “This is an important community event, and we are grateful for the questions from the audience and the candid answers provided by the officials.”
Moderated by Clint Barkdoll, partner at Kulla, Barkdoll, & Stewart, P.C., the audience submitted questions throughout the event to learn more about the progress being made on various local issues. Barkdoll first asked the legislators to discuss their opinions on the supply chain crisis including the truck driver shortage. The panelists recognized it as a global issue, but on a local level, the key to resolving it is by reducing barriers to local employment and rolling-back or suspending regulations to help businesses mitigate problems.
Barkdoll also asked the panel for their viewpoint on using the National Guard to combat the supply chain crisis. Rep. Schemel and Topper opposed the idea citing it would set a dangerous precedent. On the other hand, Sen. Mastriano and Rep. Hershey felt using the National Guard as a temporary solution to an emergency would be justified.
Barkdoll encouraged the legislators to comment on the regulations for solar farms and their potential impact on Franklin County. Sen. Mastriano stated he was against putting solar farms on prime land and was concerned with the long-term effects, including soil toxins. Rep. Schemel and Rep. Topper stated they would not interfere with a landowner’s decision on their property and expressed the government should not incentivize landowners to create solar farms. Rep. Hershey voiced a similar opinion and advocated for municipalities to offer landowner guidance on the complicated aspects of solar farming.
Other topics of discussion included the $5.5B budget surplus and state spending. The legislators informed the audience this was an artificial surplus from the federal government that would lead to long-term problems if it were spent prematurely on projects that demand a consistent revenue stream. The panel also voiced their distaste on legalizing recreational marijuana and discussed the complex problem of privatizing Pa. liquor laws.
The event concluded with the legislators sharing their primary legislative objectives such as reducing government regulations, redistricting and greater access to education. “We need to make sure we are getting people back to work and repeal business regulations…so we can make Pa. a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Rep. Hershey.
Special thanks to Grand Sponsor Patriot Federal Credit Union, the members of the Franklin County Government Affairs Committee as well as the representatives from the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the public policy positions of the Franklin County Government Affairs Committee, please visit Chambersburg.org/Advocacy.