Just received this press release below from PA Rep Brian Sims’ office. It may seem an odd press release to post my blog with is generally all about LGBTQ stuff.  However, I’m posting it very intentionally. LGBTQ persons in Pennsylvania are now and will be a vital part of the rebirth of the Keystone State as a leader in manufacturing, production, and development. Too often, “LGBTQ” gets treated as if it is discrete set of social issues. In reality, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and queer persons are active parts  of the Pennsylvania work force and we are engaged in the things that improve the Commonwealth for everyone. We must stop viewing LGBTQ as if it is only some set of rights or issues, and start seeing gay, lesbian, bi, trans, ad queer people as full participants in all aspects of the changes that are making Pennsylvania a leader once again.

HARRISBURG, June 18, 2014 – State Representative Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) and state Senator Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) today detailed their effort to catalyze and incentivize high performance development and energy efficient manufacturing in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania once led the pack in manufacturing and energy production and management,” Sims said. “As Pennsylvania’s small businesses and manufacturers strive to compete in a modern economy, the Commonwealth must give them the tools necessary to prosper. This package of legislation will help to make Pennsylvania a leader once again.”

“It is clear, now more than ever, that we need innovative proposals to jumpstart our 21st century economy,” Smith said. “While many of our neighboring states have thrived, Pennsylvania is still struggling to create jobs and attract new businesses. Now is the time to change course and reinvest in Pennsylvania’s development and manufacturing sectors.”

The “Sustainable Development and Manufacturing Tax Credit Package” would establish a series of tax credits to encourage the business sector to invest in “green” development and manufacturing to lower energy consumption and stimulate job growth. Each tax credit is capped at $10 million and tailored to areas of investment with proven returns and long-term cost savings.

At a Capitol news conference, Sims and Smith detailed the four House and Senate companion bills in the package:
· House Bill 2246/Senate Bill 221 – High Performance Building Tax Credit, would provide a base tax credit of $35,000 to residential and commercial owners or tenants toward either the construction of a green building or significant retrofit on a convention building into a green building.
· House Bill 2257/Senate Bill 238 – Energy Star Rated Product Manufacturing Tax Credit, would provide a tax credit of up to 20 percent on capital operation and maintenance costs associated with the manufacturing of these products.
· House Bill 2259/Senate Bill 240 – Energy Star Rated Glass or Window Technologies Tax Credit, would provide a tax credit of up to 20 percent on capital operation and maintenance costs associated with the manufacturing of these products.
· House Bill 2261/Senate Bill 239 – Green Roof Tax Credit, would incentivize the building and maintenance of green roofs with a tax credit up to one quarter of the construction and maintenance costs of the roof for up to six years.

“The built environment, which includes facilities such as factories, schools, hospitals and office centers, has a staggering impact on our nation’s energy use,” said Kurt Twiford, advocacy committee chair of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Facility Management Association.

“Energy usage can be significantly reduced by investing in high performance building technologies as well as the individuals who operate and maintain these systems. The provisions contained in House Bill 2256 and Senate Bill 221 are an important step to catalyze the investment in high performance buildings, which pay benefits in lower energy consumption, reduced generation of greenhouse gasses and higher worker productivity,” Twiford added.

Each of the proposals would spur economic growth by incentivizing innovative green technologies, but as a package they would also yield career opportunities in high tech sectors, enable businesses to reinvest to stay competitive, and reduce long-term costs to do business.

“The innovative technologies of Pennsylvania businesses best position the commonwealth to address our 21st century environmental and economic challenges,” Smith said. “We’re working to support their efforts.”

“Energy efficiency and sustainable development and manufacturing are the key to catalyzing high-tech job growth and economic development in every corner of the commonwealth,” Sims said. “Individuals, businesses, and manufacturers all across the Commonwealth, in virtually every county, will directly benefit from these tax incentives.”

The bills are currently before the Finance Committee in their respective chamber.

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