ICYMI: Governor Shapiro Continues to Create Opportunities for All Pennsylvanians as His Administration Improves the Permitting Process & Spurs Economic Development

“Gov. Shapiro is clearly setting a new tone on economic development, with strong appointments and policy initiatives announced in his first month in office, that are geared toward attracting and retaining businesses and high-quality jobs.”


HARRISBURG, PA – This week, Governor Josh Shapiro continued his work to spur economic development and support workers, signing an Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes to ensure workers and businesses receive efficient customer service from state agencies. The Executive Order also begins the process of establishing deadlines for state agencies to respond, and if applicants do not have a response by that date, their application fee will be refunded.  

Spurring economic development and creating opportunities for Pennsylvanians are priorities of the Shapiro Administration, and this week’s Executive Order builds on the first steps Governor Shapiro took in office, removing the college degree requirement for 65,000 state government jobs and establishing the Office of Transformation and Opportunity, a one-stop shop for businesses looking to create jobs and expand in Pennsylvania.

Governor Shapiro also celebrated the spirit of Pennsylvania this week by lighting the Capitol green in recognition of the Philadelphia Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl and joining Punxsutawney Phil for the Commonwealth’s 2023 Groundhog Day celebration.

Finally, on Friday, Governor Shapiro joined President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Philadelphia to tour announce a significant investment in lead pipe removal. Pennsylvania is part of the Lead Service Replacement Accelerators program led by the White House to remove all lead pipes in the country within the next decade.

Read what people are saying about Governor Shapiro’s Executive Orders. 

The New York Times [Opinion]: Something Very Important for Democrats Just Happened in Pennsylvania

On Jan. 18, his first full day in office, Shapiro signed an executive order that dispensed with the requirement of a four-year college degree for 92 percent of positions in state government, meaning roughly 65,000 jobs. His action rightly recognized that such a degree is no guarantee of competence, no exclusive proof of intelligence and often less relevant than work and life experiences that have nothing to do with lecture halls.

Associated Press: Order aims to reduce wait times for professional licensing

Gov. Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order aimed at reducing long wait times for professional applicants seeking to enter their fields in Pennsylvania.

Under the order signed Tuesday, state agencies will be held to firm timelines to review license applications or repay applicants for the costs of fees. The measure is aimed at getting frontline workers like teachers and nurses into the field faster and lowering barriers for small business owners such as barbers and cosmetologists.

Pittsburgh Business Times: Business groups optimistic about Shapiro’s efforts to cut red tape

Business groups and leaders reacted favorably to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s executive order Tuesday designed to cut red tape when it comes to licensing and permitting. […]

“Identifying and streamlining these processes are necessary steps to accelerating economic development and unlocking opportunities for businesses of all sizes and at all stages, from formation to established operations across the commonwealth,” said Matt Smith, a former state legislator and chief growth officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. […]

“Gov. Shapiro’s executive order regarding permitting reform recognizes that we must do a better job in permitting and licensing generally, and especially on the more complex permits involved in energy, manufacturing, construction and large-scale projects,” said Jeff Nobers, executive director of business/labor consortium Pittsburgh Works. “Neighboring states do a much better job than we do, so established, reasonable deadlines can bring consistency across the state and put us in a more competitive position.”

“Gov. Shapiro is clearly setting a new tone on economic development, with strong appointments and policy initiatives announced in his first month in office, that are geared toward attracting and retaining businesses and high-quality jobs,” said Donald F. Smith Jr., president of RIDC. “Permitting reform is a crucial and low-cost way to improve economic outcomes for all Pennsylvanians.”

Kim Ward, Pennsylvania Senate pro tempore, noted that Shapiro’s executive order will complement what the state Legislature has done between 2019 and 2022 when it comes to state licensing reform.

Lehigh Valley Business Journal: State agencies to prioritize customer service under new executive order

To improve Pennsylvania’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes, Gov. Josh Shapiro on Tuesday signed an executive order setting standard response times and money-back guarantee.

Shapiro’s action begins what his administration expects will be an in-depth review of the length of time it takes agencies to process applications and how businesses and workers apply online. The executive order will help establish a date for applicants to hear back regarding every license, permit, or certificate. Should applicants not hear back by that date, agencies must refund the application fee.

Philadelphia Inquirer: How Josh Shapiro is starting his administration with a pro-business focus — and a ‘money-back’ guarantee

Gov. Josh Shapiro continued his effort Tuesday to cut red tape and make it easier to work in Pennsylvania by creating a “money-back” guarantee for industries that require different professional licenses.

Every Pennsylvania agency is now required to review their license, certification, and permitting processes over the next 90 days, according to a new executive order Shapiro unveiled Tuesday. The Shapiro administration will then specify a time frame in which the agency must issue a license, or refund the cost of the application fee.

PoliticsPA: Executive Order to Make People of PA and Customer Service Top Priorities

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed an Executive Order on Tuesday to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes. The order calls for a comprehensive review of how long it takes agencies to process applications and how workers and businesses apply online.

As written, the EO will help to establish a date whereby applicants for a license, permit or certificate will receive a response. Should that date not be met, the agency responsible will refund the applicants’ application fee.

On Twitter.

Sen. Cameron Bartolotta: I applaud Governor Shapiro’s Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes. Averaging more than three months of wait time for licensure in PA, this is a step in the right direction to filling crucial nursing positions quickly.

Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta: “This executive order should be very beneficial to working Pennsylvanians and should make this process more efficient and transparent…”

Rep. Joe Ciresi: One of the first things that @GovernorShapiro did was remove the college degree requirement for more than 65,000 state jobs, believing that if you’re qualified for the job, you deserve a fair chance at getting the job even if you don’t have a degree.

New York Times Opinion: A four-year college degree is a powerful engine of opportunity, but it’s out of reach for many people and it’s not everything. Gov. Josh Shapiro rightly recognized that, @FrankBruni writes.

PA Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA): Gov @JoshShapiroPA wants to address the lag time related to the state’s licensing process, including a “money back” guarantee if it takes too long. This includes initial & renewal application processes for #nursinglicenses, which have some of the longest wait times in the country

Agencies have 90 days to catalogue licenses and come up with a plan to cut red tape. Read more on our blog: https://panaforqualitycare.com/single-post/gov-josh-shapiro-addresses-lag-times-in-licensing

Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners: Earlier today, @GovernorShapiro signed an executive order making #Pennsylvania’s state licensing, permitting, & certification processes quicker & more efficient.

“We cannot have #nurses kept off the job because of paperwork delays,” said Gov. Shapiro.

Pennsylvania Chamber for Business and Industry: ICYMI, @GovernorShapiro signed an executive order requiring 90 days for agencies to review permits, after which a time frame will be set to issue a license or refund fees. The goal – cut down on red tape and get projects to the finish line!

Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia: More great news from the Governor’s office in creating pathways for inclusive growth! Yesterday @GovernorShapiro signed an Executive Order to Improve Certification Processes by Establishing Standard Response Times, among other optimizations.

Phil Weiser: We can all learn from @JoshShapiroPA–“you’ve got to show up, and you’ve got to treat people with respect. You’ve got to see them for the valuable individuals that they are.”

Matt Smith: Great to see @GovernorShapiro focus on enabling opportunity, projects, & business investment as quickly as possible.

Contact: ra-gvgovpress@pa.gov    

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