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PRINTER'S NO. 122
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
157
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY FEE, SCHMITT, BURGOS, CAUSER, ZIMMERMAN,
HICKERNELL, RYAN, JAMES, BROOKS, MENTZER, R. MACKENZIE,
NEILSON, WHEELAND AND B. MILLER, JANUARY 13, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, JANUARY 13, 2021
AN ACT
Repealing the act of July 1, 1978 (P.L.584, No.109), entitled
"An act establishing an agency to create the linkage
necessary for the planning of an economic development system
for Pennsylvania, and making an appropriation."
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of July 1, 1978 (P.L.584, No.109), known
as the Milrite Act, is repealed:
[AN ACT
Establishing an agency to create the linkage necessary for the
planning of an economic development system for Pennsylvania,
and making an appropriation.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Milrite
Act."
Section 2. Definitions.
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The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
meanings given to them in this section:
"Area labor management committee." An organization formed by
and composed of multiple employers of diverse industries and
multiple labor organizations, as defined in section 2(5) of the
National Labor Relations Act (49 Stat. 449, 29 U.S.C. ยง 151 et
seq.), operating within or focusing upon city, county or
contiguous multicounty jurisdictions for the purposes of:
(1) Improving communications between labor and
management.
(2) Providing a forum to discuss and investigate ways to
further the goals of increased quality of work life and
increased productivity.
(3) Discovering ways to improve organizational
effectiveness.
(4) Finding solutions to problems of mutual concern to
both labor and management not susceptible to resolution
within the collective bargaining structure.
(5) Enhancing economic development within the
jurisdiction through labor management cooperation.
"Council." The milrite agency established by this act.
"Milrite." The acronym formed from the words: "Make Industry
and Labor Right in Today's Economy."
Section 3. Legislative purpose.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has served as the keystone
in establishing and advancing basic industrial manufacturing in
the United States. Today it faces a loss of confidence among key
segments of the general public, business and labor communities.
It now faces the loss of critical industries and a willing, able
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and well qualified work force. The development and stability of
Pennsylvania's economy is a legitimate public purpose. The
Commonwealth cannot remain healthy, socially or economically,
when its industrial might and natural resources are
underdeveloped and when its people are chronically unemployed or
underemployed. There is need for an organization evolving
cooperative innovative economic stimuli from the public, private
and labor sectors. It should combine the expertise and influence
of labor and business with governmental policy makers to act as
a catalytic force to create a comprehensive economic development
plan and program for implementation of specific development
objectives.
Aware of the economic and sociological consequences of
industrial dislocation the General Assembly calls upon business
and labor by enacting an independent labor, business and
governmental council to act as a catalytic agent to reduce the
fragmentation of our resources and to establish the linkages
necessary for a successful planning and economic development
delivery system. It shall have the capability to create strategy
and implementing machinery to maintain Pennsylvania as a leading
industrial State.
Section 4. Creation of council.
There is hereby created a quasi-public, independent, economic
development agency to be known as the Milrite Council.
Section 5. Appointment of members, terms, qualifications and
removal.
(a) The council shall consist of 15 members appointed by the
Governor. They shall include one member selected by the
Governor, two members selected by the President pro tempore of
the Senate, two members selected by the Speaker of the House of
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Representatives, and five members each from lists provided by
the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Pennsylvania Chamber of
Commerce. The two members selected for appointment by the
President pro tempore of the Senate and the two members selected
for appointment by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
shall be members of the majority and minority parties in each
body.
(b) The member selected by the Governor, two members
selected by the General Assembly, and two members each from the
lists submitted by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and Pennsylvania
Chamber of Commerce, shall serve for three years, and three
members selected from the lists submitted by the Pennsylvania
AFL-CIO and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce shall serve for
six years and two members selected by the General Assembly shall
serve for six years. Thereafter all members shall be appointed
for a term of six years or until a successor is appointed and
qualified. Members shall be eligible for unlimited
reappointment.
(c) The members of the council shall be selected from
outstanding leaders in business, and labor who are the policy-
making and policy-implementing executives of their respective
unions and companies.
(d) Members of the council shall receive no compensation but
shall be entitled to receive an allowance for expenses incurred
in the performance of their duties.
(e) The council shall elect one of the nongovernmental
members as chairman, who, when present, shall preside at
meetings. The council shall also elect one of its members to
serve as an alternate chairman to preside when the regular
chairman is absent. The chairman and vice chairman shall be
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elected by the council members for a three-year term. Candidates
shall be limited to members representing the labor and business
groups. The chairmanship shall be occupied by a member
representing one group and the vice chairmanship occupied by a
member representing the other group. The council shall designate
the officials, committees and subcommittees it deems necessary
to carry out the intent of this act.
(f) An action or order of the council shall require eight
affirmative votes.
Section 6. Powers and duties of council.
(1) Undertake research and investigation relating to the
promotion of the industrial potential of Pennsylvania.
(2) Create plans for economic revitalization of
Commonwealth industries.
(3) Recommend implementation procedures for all plans,
maximizing existing mechanisms with proven ability to
accomplish tasks, linkages among current programs, business,
labor and government insights into practicality and
workability of suggested approaches.
(4) Encourage and stimulate cooperation and coordination
among Federal, State and local programs.
(5) Recommend structural changes and updating of
economic delivery tools of State Government to the Governor
and General Assembly.
(6) Draw upon labor, management and government
participants to promulgate plans and implement procedures.
(7) Recommend organizational structure and participants
particularly suited to local needs and conditions.
(8) Undertake research, including the hiring of
consultants, into the cost of doing business in this
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Commonwealth, including recommendations for changes and
estimates of future costs, with comparative analysis of both
intrastate and interstate costs.
(9) Undertake research, including the hiring of
consultants, to determine if the Commonwealth can more
effectively use its mediation services to discourage and
shorten the duration of labor management disputes.
(10) The council shall have the power to:
(i) Enter into contracts.
(ii) Appoint, fix compensation of, and prescribe
duties of an executive director, secretary and such other
personnel as the council deems necessary to accomplish
the purposes of this act.
(iii) Retain counsel.
(iv) Accept grants from public and private sources.
(v) Borrow money and issue obligations, secured or
unsecured, to acquire, hold, own and pledge or dispose of
funds, money, securities and other property, real or
personal, tangible or intangible to the extent necessary
to carry out the purposes of this act.
(vi) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations
necessary to accomplish the provisions of this act.
Agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide their full
cooperation to research conducted by the council, including, but
not limited to, the provision of information necessary for
conducting research under paragraphs (8) and (9).
Section 6.1. Area labor management committees.
(a) The council shall establish standards and criteria for
the selection of area labor management committees to be assisted
by grants under subsection (c), solicit proposals from area
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labor management committees, review and evaluate the relative
merits of such proposals and select those proposals for funding
which would best meet the standards and criteria established by
the council.
(b) The council may use a reasonable amount of any
appropriation for grants to area labor management committees to
hire staff and provide support for area labor management
committees and for carrying out the purposes specified in
subsection (a). Funds shall be used for staff and other expenses
necessary to perform outreach functions to those areas of the
Commonwealth not served by area labor management committees.
(c) The council shall designate the area labor management
committees which are entitled to receive grants pursuant to
subsection (a). Funds appropriated to the Milrite Council for
grants to area labor management committees shall be made to
those committees, in amounts and under conditions specified by
the council, and under the following conditions:
(1) The grant shall be matched with as much non-State
funds as possible, within the overall goal of attempting to
establish and maintain as many area labor management
committees as possible.
(2) While the highest priority for these funds shall be
for the establishment of new area labor management
committees, the council shall make use of the money available
to it for the grants to ensure the continued existence and
expansion of existing area labor management committees,
including the provisions of technical assistance and
nonmatching grants.
(d) The council shall report annually to the chairman and
minority chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the
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chairman and minority chairman of the House Committee on
Appropriations, the chairman and minority chairman of the Senate
Committee on Labor and Industry and the chairman and minority
chairman of the House Committee on Labor Relations, the
accomplishments and specific expenditures of each area labor
management committee funded under subsections (a) and (c)
including, but not limited to, salaries, rent, contracts and
other operational costs.
Section 7. Limited duration.
The council shall continue with its statutory function and
duties until December 31, 1994, when it shall terminate and go
out of existence unless reestablished or continued by the
General Assembly. Evaluation, review, termination,
reestablishment and continuation of the agency shall be
conducted pursuant to the provisions of the act of December 22,
1981 (P.L.508, No.142), known as the "Sunset Act."
Section 8. Appropriation.
The sum of $200,000, or as much thereof as may be necessary,
is specifically appropriated to the council for the fiscal year
July 1, 1978 to June 30, 1979 for the purpose of carrying out
the provisions of this act.
Section 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.]
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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