Advocacy on the Boards | July 2022

“Advocacy On the Boards” is a monthly update from the AIA Pennsylvania Government Affairs Team to inform members of the great work “on the boards” ensuring architects are at the policymaker’s table to affect positive and equitable social, environmental, and economic outcomes for the profession and the Commonwealth. This work includes lobbying state lawmakers, their staff, and other government officials and agencies to provide architects’ guidance on policies that impact the built environment and, in turn, the health, safety, and welfare of all Pennsylvanians. AIA Pennsylvania members’ technical expertise and experience are critical to the priority issues as charted by the Government Affairs team and informed by the membership’s feedback each two-year legislative session cycle.

On the Boards | Advocacy

District Days | Make Connections in the Community
District Days are your opportunity to share the impact and challenges of your profession with your elected officials to better your community. Interested in learning more about District Days before you commit to a meeting with your legislators in August?

AIA Pennsylvania is hosting a webinar this Friday, July 29 at 11 am cover the opportunity and objective of District Days and break down a few priority issues. 

On the Boards | State Budget 

2022 PA Budget Highlights
The general assembly passed a $45.2 billion spending plan earlier this month. AIA Pennsylvania advocated for many parts included in this year’s budget and looks forward to the implementation of programs and incentives funded through this spending plan. Here are some highlights:

    • Lawmakers lowered the PA Corporate Net Income Tax rate to 8.99% starting January 1, 2023 and from there the rate is expected to drop by 0.5% each year until it reaches 4.99% in 2031.
    • Major Housing Advancements

      • SB 1135 introduced by Senator Nikil Saval establishing the Whole Home Repairs Fund was enacted and $125 million has been allocated to the program
      • $150 million American Rescue Plan funds have been allocated to LIHTC Construction Cost Relief
    • School Safety and Security and School Mental Health Grants 
      • Act 55 of 2022 will provide $190 million in funding through the School Safety and Security Fund to support both mental health and physical school security initiatives for eligible school entities.  Funding will be issued via a formula and per the requirements of Act 55.  There are two important provisions to be made aware of:
        • A Mental Health Survey will be included as part of the grant application to address requirements under Section 1305.1-B of the Act to assess school-based mental health instruction and services.
        • Pursuant to Act 55, grant funding will be tied to school entities’ demonstrated ability to meet ‘Tier 1’ of the Baseline Criteria Guidance for Physical security,  Behavioral Health and School Climate developed by the School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) and adopted in 2021.
        • School entities are strongly encouraged to review these Baseline Criteria in advance of grant applications being made available to determine what criteria your school entity currently meets and where additional investments may be needed.

On the Boards | The Environment & High-Performance Building

C-PACE Expansion Signed Into Law
SB 635 introduced by Senator Yudichak has been signed by the Governor and is now Act 43 of 2022. This legislation will expand the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program to allow for CPACE financing on multi-family housing, indoor air quality improvements, and resiliency projects for new and existing commercial construction.

SB 275 vetoed by Gov. Wolf