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Lincoln Institute
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: (717) 671-0776
Fax: (717) 671-1176

Fall 2017 Keystone Business Climate Survey

by Lincoln Institute
 

Response Summary

Respondents: 315 of 315

Section I: Issues

Q1. Generally speaking are you SATISFIED or UNSATISFIED with Pennsylvania's state government budget process?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

VERY SATISFIED1.29%4
SOMEWHAT SATISFIED5.18%16
SOMEWHAT UNSATISFIED20.39%63
VERY UNSATISFIED70.87%219
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.27%7
Answered309
Skipped6

Q2 Do you think lawmakers should pass a revenue (income) package concurrent with a spending plan, or is is alright to approve spending and then determine how to fund it later?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SPENDING AND REVENUE PLANS SHOULD PASS TOGETHER94.21%293
OK TO APPROVE SPENDING FIRST, PASS A REVENUE PLAN LATER3.54%11
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.25%7
Answered311
Skipped4

Q3 Do you think it is more important to pass an on time state budget, even with tax increases; or is it more important to hold the line on spending even if it means missing budget deadlines.


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

MORE IMPORTANT TO PASS ON TIME STATE BUDGET21.09%66
HOLD LINE ON SPENDING EVEN IF BUDGET IS LATE74.76%234
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.25%7
Answered313
Skipped2

Q4 Do you FAVOR or OPPOSE a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would limit the annual increase in state government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY FAVOR41.67%130
SOMEWHAT FAVOR33.01%103
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE8.33%26
STRONGLY OPPOSE9.62%30
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.37%23
Answered3123
Skipped

Q5 Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that Pennsylvania should allow the placement of Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in bars and restaurants, and legalize on-line gaming as a means of generating additional tax revenue?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE15.71%49
SOMEWHAT AGREE27.24%85
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE14.74%46
STRONGLY DISAGREE35.90%112
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.41%20
Answered312
Skipped3

Q6 Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with a proposal to borrow money from future tobacco settlement fund payments to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help fund the current year's budget deficit?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE3.82%12
SOMEWHAT AGREE8.92%28
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE23.25%73
STRONGLY DISAGREE59.55%187
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.46%14
Answered314
Skipped1

Q7 There is a bill before the legislature that would call a limited (governance, structure) state constitutional convention. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that it is time for the Pennsylvania state constitution to be reformed/amended?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE21.41%67
SOMEWHAT AGREE31.95%100
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE9.27%29
STRONGLY DISAGREE9.27%29
REFUSED/NO OPINION28.12%88
Answered313
Skipped2

Q8 The state Supreme Court recently struck down a 20-year-old law that allowed impairment evaluations by medical professionals of long-term injured workers compensation cases. Are you aware of this decision?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

YES23.96%75
NO75.40%236
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.64%2
Answered313
Skipped2

Q9 The state Supreme Court's decision on impairment evaluations is expected to result in double-digit increases in workers compensation insurance premiums next year. How would a double-digit increase in workers' compensation rates affect your business?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

LAY-OFF WORKERS15.06%47
CUT EMPLOYEE HOURS7.69%24
CUT EMPLOYEE BENEFITS16.67%52
RAISE PRICES30.13%94
CLOSE BUSINESS6.09%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.37%23
Answered312
Skipped3

Q10 Congress has not repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) nor has it enacted any significant reforms to the current system. Does this lack of action from Washington, D.C. have any impact on your business?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACT33.65%105
SOMEWHAT ADVERSE IMPACT35.58%111
NO IMPACT25.64%80
SOMEWHAT POSITIVE IMPACT1.92%6
SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT1.28%4
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.92%6
Answered312
Skipped3

Q11 Over the past year have costs for providing health insurance to your employees:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

RISEN SUBSTANTIALLY48.41%152
RISEN SOMEWHAT19.75%62
STAYED ABOUT THE SAME3.18%10
DECREASED SOMEWHAT0.64%2
DECREASED SUBSTANTIALLY0.00%0
WE DO NOT PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH HEALTH INSURANCE23.89%75
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.14%13
Answered314
Skipped1

Q12 Would a failure by congress to enact significant reforms to the nation's tax structure have any impact on the future of your business?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACT30.67%96
SOMEWHAT ADVERSE IMPACT46.33%145
SOMEWHAT POSITIVE IMPACT3.83%12
SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT5.75%18
REFUSED/NO OPINION13.42%42
Answered313
Skipped2

Q13 As of mid-September Congress has failed to take action on health care, tax reform and other major issues. Who do you hold responsible for this lack of action?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

PRESIDENT TRUMP2.87%9
SENATE REPUBLICANS13.06%41
SENATE DEMOCRATS8.28%26
HOUSE REPUBLICANS2.55%8
HOUSE DEMOCRATS1.27%4
CONGRESS AS A WHOLE39.49%124
ALL OF THE ABOVE31.85%100
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.64%2
Answered314
Skipped1

Section II: Business Climate

Q14 In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better17.74%55
Same56.77%176
Worse24.52%76
REFUSED/NO OPINION%
Answered310
Skipped5

Q15 LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better16.13%50
Same55.81%173
Worse24.19%75
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.87%12
Answered310
Skipped5

Q16 Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Higher15.21%47
Same63.75%197
Lower18.12%56
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.91%9
Answered309
Skipped6

Q17 LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Higher20.13%62
Same66.23%204
Lower10.39%32
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.25%10
Answered308
Skipped7

Q18 Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increased31.60%97
Same42.35%130
Decreased24.10%74
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.95%6
Answered307
Skipped8

Q19 Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increase27.74%86
Same56.45%175
Decrease11.94%37
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.87%12
Answered310
Skipped5

Q20 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?


Answer ChoicesPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
President Donald J. Trump67.31%

208

26.21%

81

6.47%

20

309

Fed Chairman Janet Yellen32.24%

98

22.37%

68

45.39%

138

304

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey46.60%

144

34.30%

106

19.09%

59

309

U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.11.69%

36

71.10%

219

17.21%

53

308

U.S. Treasury Steven Mnuchin32.89%

100

20.07%

61

47.04%

143

304

Governor Tom Wolf9.71%

30

82.20%

254

8.09%

25

309

Attorney General Josh Shapiro16.72%

51

28.20%

86

55.08%

168

305

Auditor General Eugene Depasquale21.64%

66

20.00%

61

58.36%

178

305

State Treasurer Joe Torsella10.46%

32

26.14%

80

63.40%

194

306

Answered310
Skipped5

Q21 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?


Answer ChoicesPositiveNegativeNo OpinionTotal
United States Senate4.21%

13

93.53%

289

2.27%

7

309

United States House of Representatives12.30%

38

84.14%

260

3.56%

11

309

Pennsylvania Senate15.64%

48

75.57%

232

8.79%

27

307

Pennsylvania House of Representatives21.24%

65

71.57%

219

7.19%

22

306

Answered309
Skipped6

Q22 Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER84.57%263
CEO/COO/CFO11.58%36
STATE MANAGER0.96%3
LOCAL MANAGER0.32%1
NO ANSWER/REFUSED1.61%5
OTHER

non-owner, officer

office manager

CORPORATE SECRETARY

0.96%3
Answered311
Skipped4

Q23 In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA9.71%30
Southwest PA16.83%52
Northcentral PA11.97%37
Altoona/Johnstown1.29%4
Southcentral/Harrisburg18.45%57
Southeastern PA27.83%86
Lehigh Valley5.50%17
Northeastern PA8.41%26
Answered309
Skipped6

Q24 Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.


Senate Republicans are a detriment to PA's business climate.
We found healthcare coverage for our people that allowed us to define our risk group and save hundreds of dollars. It was a surprise to us that we had that option. There should be more educationout there for employers.
We need to get rid of Obamacare by any means possible, and not get sucked into Bernie Sander's health plan ideas, or it certainly will kill small businesses.
So thankful Republicans are fighting Wolfe - praying we can vote him out asap!
Pennsylvania really needs to re-evaluate the workers compensation laws. It is already much too expensive and incredibly limited classifications.
PA should not use lottery funds to subsidize budget. We need pension reform for state employees NOW
We are in agriculture, our sales have decreased because commodity prices have been down, not because we have less business. Thought that was important to mention.
Pennsylvania lawmakers over the years have made many bad decisions by promising to much to its citizens and state employees. Our pension debt will never be fixed without cutting pension benefits but lawmakers will never make the tough decisions to correct this major problem. Pennsylvania is very business unfriendly. I have been in business for 31 years and government regulation is getting worse in this state. Gasoline taxes in this state are very high the highest in the country that is a major reason business and citizens are leaving the state and I am one of them.
Too many regulations, too many state entitlements with welfare and medicaid, too many fees and taxes.
The State Government has to reduce spending. They keep giving pay in increases to state employees while the private sector is suffering. The State employees pension system has to be seriously cut back and not just the window dressing resolution that we recently heard about. The recipient class is much larger then the giving class can afford.
Everyone raising prices,our pay decreased in half grain side,hogs are the same but seem shaky.
DEP is TOO powerful. Needs to be curtailed. TOO MANY State regulations. State Pension system is Broken need to be eradicated. CUT PA STATE BUDGET! Cut the FAT. Too many RINOS in pa state congress. NO Meaningful reform.
Nothing is going to change and will remain a poor business state with politicians serving themselves, special interest groups and unions.
Glad to be in PA!
git r done
most of my work is done in out of state locations so many of the questions do not apply
A.C.A. must be repealed and replaced with free market competition.
Just like the rest of the country business taxes need to be lowered so that we can create a friendly business environment. And something needs to be done with local taxes. They are creating too much accounting for small businesses who work in different communities. You should not have to file pay taxes in every different municipality you work in. this is costing additional burden on all small businesses.
Wolf is one of the worse Govs we have had.
All of PA's voted personnel should be fired, somehow replaced, and be ashamed of present situations! PA is in a lower position in relation to other states. The state needs people who gets work done and improve the state's standings and help us citizens within the Commonwealth.
The republicans could get so much done if they would just try and work together and remember they work for the people and the people need to work together as well. As long as congress stays apart the American people will as well.
In my opinion its clear Pennsylvania is well on its way to a recession not seen since the Great Depression. We are considering leaving /moving out of Pennsylvania.
PA Does not have an income problem, it has a spending problem! Cut the crap and get things done! Too much talk and no action from republican house and senate!
Flat
Pennsylvania has extremely unreasonably high pension plans for state workers. It is unsustainable and affordable for our state. The state has to stop adding new taxes and new fees at the expense of the PA population.
PA needs a balanced budget with sustainable revenue. That will require personal taxes to increase. Borrowing only puts us further in the hole (pension debt) and one time gimmicks should not be relayed on.
Our business is national and international so we aren't as effected locally as some might be. We are an LLC so changing the corporate tax rate wouldn't effect us unless our members all decided to incorporate and then they would personally pay less taxes.
Pass a balanced budget fro PA and live within the means. No new taxes will benefit all citizens.
No salary for PA legislators until a balanced budget is passed! Enough of them.
Politicians on all levels are more concerned about being re-elected than actually solving the Country's problems. Kicking the can down the road is not a viable long term solution for anything. Expanding gambling in PA (for the most part) effectively "taxes" constituents who can least afford it.
Some of the questions were badly written so that some good groups are being lumped with other bad groups.
most damage to PA and USA small business came through over regulation on the local state and federal levels .. this trend must be reversed
The Republicans in the House, Senate and in the PA legislature continue to act irresponsibly. They refuse to GOVERN and most importantly no longer endorse COMPROMISE. The President is a DISGRACE. The damage he has already done to our institutions will take decades to repair. At this point, he has also become a danger to the security of our nation - acting like a petulant child - not understanding the gravity and power of his office.
The future and current climate in PA is strong. The state republicans have their heads in the sand because they refuse to consider tax increases which are necessary to help move the budget process forward for the good of the state. Another thing that would be good for the state is for the legislature to eliminate half the do nothing legislature.Change the political boundaries to counties.
govt. employees should have to live with public limits on health care. no budget no pay ... too much blame game...not enough cooperation..
reduce regulation on small business
Quit stalling and get things done.
Pennsylvania is the only place where I would like to see Climate Change.
My business is good because of West Va and their industry which is coal, chemical and shale. Pa has not done anything to help. US Steel is in worst shape in my 35 yrs being in business.
Republican leadership is loaded with RINO's and liars. I expect that from Democrats. Both parties caving to special interests more each year.
We need to be pro business in Pa and we need also need to pass SB/HB 76!!! I also think that we need to decrease the size of the Pa House of Representatives by 20%. By doing so, that would save us on salaries for the Reps and the entire staff that supports them in Harrisburg and in their home districts. It's time to start cutting costs in Pa and stop looking at residents and business owners to pay more. We cannot keep paying more.
The politicians seem to be more polarized, and less likely to find middle ground to get things done. The middle ground is probably the best result, overall, yet politicians seem to take big stands that it is "my way or the highway". And nothing gets done, which is why Insurance companies are jacking up health insurance rates, to cover the "unknown".
Business could improve a whole lot more if Dems stop obstructing Trump. PA state government needs to cut spending not just always raise taxes - the pending PA financial disaster makes us hesitant to invest here
Our elected officials need to worry more about the working taxpayers and less about welfare recipients and repeat drug abusers. We are spending enough tax money on the unsaveable already.
need lower taxes
Scott Wagner for Governor!
Government as a whole needs to get physically responsible! Government must stop growing beauraucy that just thinks of ways to cost business money with unnecessary laws and regulations! We would be out of business if we ran like government!
It is time to fix health care and the tax structure. The Legislature should have the same health care as the people.
Public pensions need to be reformed or eliminated. Property taxes need to be eliminated!
We have the same establishment politician problem in PA that we have in Washington DC. We need to drain the PA swamp also.
Answered85
Skipped230