CCCBI Holds 2023 State Legislative Forum with Six Bipartisan Elected Officials

Local legislative leaders from both parties at CCCBI’s 2023 State Legislative Forum.

On Friday, September 29th, the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry (CCCBI) held its 2023 State Legislative Forum at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern. The mission of the Chamber is to be a member-driven advocate for pro-business and pro-growth policies, with one of the most influential advocacy tools being access to elected officials. This opportunity to gather legislators from across the aisle led to a productive discussion on what is happening in Chester County, and what is being done to address these problems.

CCCBI President & CEO, Laura Manion, was joined by its Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair, Caitlin Ganley, and six State Representatives. Republican State Representatives John Lawrence and Craig Williams were joined by Democrat State Representatives Paul Friel, Chris Pielli, Christina Sappey, and Melissa Shusterman to discuss several issues identified by CCCBI and its membership including workforce, tax, economic investment and growth, regulations, energy, tourism and infrastructure policies.

Each panelist was given the opportunity to address what is happening in their perspective districts across Chester County. Two common threads between the Republican and Democratic legislators were the issues of Housing and Transportation, both of which have been of interest to the Chamber. The current housing climate is preventing both residents nearing the retirement age and residents entering the workforce from finding affordable living accommodations. If the younger generations of workers are not able to live in Chester County, they will inevitably move farther away, leading to the issue of reliable and accessible transportation.

There is currently a lack of reliable public transportation in and around Chester County, despite rejuvenated efforts to reform bus routes and rail lines. If the workforce is unable to reside in Chester County, they still need transportation to and from work without waiting hours for a delayed bus or train. If the housing and transportation challenges are not addressed, it may cause residents to find jobs outside of the county, further burdening the business economy.

As questions were opened up to the floor, it became clear that Chamber members had many pressing issues, and the Chamber looks forward to facilitating these discussions at future events. Food insecurity, housing, access to healthcare, and more topics were brought up as the legislators took turns addressing each question.

Manion rounded out the productive conversation by reiterating CCCBI’s advocacy history, and plans for the future. “For the last year and a half, we have intentionally focused on building bipartisan bridges. Today’s packed room of attendees and the participation of a majority of our state house members proves that we are on the right track to building a brighter future for Chester County, together.

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