Governor Shapiro’s First 100 Days: Bringing People Together All Across the Commonwealth to Deliver Real Results for Pennsylvanians
April 28, 2023
Governor Shapiro prioritized work experience for state government jobs, made government more responsive by establishing the Office of Transformation and Opportunity and CODE PA, grew the economy and supported job creation, and supported Pennsylvanians through crises.
HARRISBURG, PA – In his first 100 days in office, Governor Josh Shapiro has hit the ground running, traveling across the Commonwealth as his Administration works to create real opportunity and advance real freedom in Pennsylvania. The Shapiro Administration is already delivering results for Pennsylvanians, from announcing that 92 percent of state government jobs are open to individuals without a four-year degree to supporting major economic development projects that will create hundreds of jobs to responding to crises in Western Pennsylvania and West Reading.
Since taking office, Governor Shapiro has visited over 20 counties to meet and speak with Pennsylvanians of all walks of life – from small business owners and teachers, to first responders, barbers, farmers and nurses – to discuss his Administration’s actions to deliver real results for Pennsylvania and hear about the challenges they face. He introduced his first budget, focused on commonsense solutions to the most pressing challenges Pennsylvanians face, earning positive reviews from Republicans and Democrats alike.
Read more about the Shapiro-Davis Administration’s accomplishments in the first 100 days in office:
Creating Opportunity, Cutting Red Tape, and Making Government More Accessible & Responsive
Since taking office, Governor Shapiro has signed several executive orders focused on creating opportunity, recruiting and retaining businesses and workers, and making government work for all Pennsylvanians, including:
- Prioritizing Work Experience: On his first day in office, Governor Shapiro announced that 92 percent of state government jobs – about 65,000 positions – do not require a four-year college degree and instructed the Office of Administration to emphasize skills and experience in Commonwealth job postings. Ensuring that Pennsylvanians have the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed is a priority for the Shapiro Administration.
- Moving at the Speed of Business: Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes by establishing a date-certain for each license, permit, or certificate by which applicants will hear back. The Governor believes that state government’s top priority should be serving Pennsylvanians, and the executive order requires agencies to refund application fees if applicants don’t receive a timely response.
- Making Government Work for Pennsylvanians: In his most recent executive order, Governor Shapiro established the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) to improve online services for Pennsylvanians and streamline the way they interact with the Commonwealth online. CODE PA will work to provide digital services that are responsive, user-friendly, and accessible to every Pennsylvanian – building on the Governor’s commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth’s top priority is providing quality service to Pennsylvanians.
Governor Shapiro is working to cut red tape and make government move faster to serve Pennsylvanians. Since taking office, Governor Shapiro extended indefinitely the UC Connect program through the Department of Labor & Industry that offers in-person appointments for Unemployment Compensation claimants, making it easier for Pennsylvanians with limited English proficiency or internet access to receive assistance. The average call wait time for unemployment compensation claimants has been reduced by 13 minutes and the email backlog has been cut by 87%. The Department of Human Services has also reduced the backlog of Medicaid provider enrollment and revalidation applications by 75 percent for those more than 30 days old – taking the total number of applications waiting for more than 30 days from 34,682 to less than 8,500 in Governor Shapiro’s first 100 days. While we’re making progress, there’s still work to do — and the Shapiro Administration will keep at it.
Supporting Pennsylvanians Through Disasters and Holding Corporations Accountable
After the February 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, Governor Shapiro worked diligently to ensure affected residents in Western Pennsylvania had the resources necessary to stay safe by working closely with local and federal partners to monitor air and water quality. The Governor has also remained focused on holding Norfolk Southern accountable and securing funding from the company to cover the damage their train derailment caused Pennsylvanians.
- From the early hours of the derailment, Governor Shapiro enlisted a whole-of-government response to the crisis – coordinating with multiple agencies to address the emergency and protect Pennsylvania communities.
- The Governor visited East Palestine and Beaver County and sent a letter to Norfolk Southern detailing his concerns with their management of the situation – and making clear that he would be holding them accountable.
- Governor Shapiro met with Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw and secured an initial commitment of $7 million from the company for damages to Pennsylvania and its residents, including:
- A $5 million reimbursement to local fire departments in Western Pennsylvania whose equipment was contaminated.
- $1 million for a Community Relief Fund in Beaver and Lawrence counties.
- Governor Shapiro has made clear that he will hold Norfolk Southern accountable and support Pennsylvanians impacted by the derailment. The Department of Environmental Protection has continued to conduct soil and water sampling, and results have shown no contamination to date. The Administration has regularly made these findings publicly available so the public can have confidence in the information.
- In February, the Shapiro Administration – through the Department of Health – established a Health Resource Center in Darlington Township, assisting nearly 600 residents with questions about mental and physical health, soil/air/water sampling, and agriculture impacts.
- Governor Shapiro announced in March the formation of a community-based health resource network – (877-PA-HEALTH) – to directly connect Pennsylvania residents who have derailment-related health concerns with local providers.
- After the explosion at the RM Palmer Company in West Reading, Governor Shapiro and PEMA Director Randy Padfield visited the site the next day and mobilized the Commonwealth’s resources to support ongoing recovery efforts, including PEMA and the Pennsylvania State Police’s coordination of mutual aid resources.
Spurring Innovation, Job Growth, and Economic Development
Governor Shapiro is focused on making Pennsylvania a global leader in economic development, job creation, and innovation by planting a flag and sending the message that Pennsylvania is open for business. Since taking office, Pennsylvania gained 20,000 jobs and over 4,000 new business applications were filed.
Since Governor Shapiro took office, several companies have announced expansion projects and business investments in Pennsylvania with the financial investment and support of the Governor’s Administration:
- Spark Therapeutics broke ground on a $575 million gene therapy innovation center – which will be one of Philadelphia’s largest life science centers, bringing more than 500 jobs to the location.
- With funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), EMD Electronics announced a $300 million investment in semiconductor specialty gases manufacturing that will create nearly 200 jobs in Schuylkill County, including 68 permanent, union jobs. As part of its investment, EMD Electronics – a global leader in semiconductor and electronics manufacturing – will build a new 96,500-square-foot facility, creating the largest integrated specialty gases facility in the world right here in rural Pennsylvania.
- Prysmian Group North America – a world leader in energy and telecommunications cable systems – announced it will expand its existing Williamsport manufacturing facility, creating at least 27 new jobs in Lycoming County, and retaining a total of 407 jobs statewide. For its expansion, Prysmian received a funding proposal from DCED for a $3 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan and a $135,000 Pennsylvania First grant – the Governor’s budget proposal includes funding for these programs to make future expansion projects possible.
The Shapiro Administration’s work to open our Commonwealth for business is just getting started — stay tuned for another major manufacturing update coming next week.
Taking Action to Respond to the Avian Flu Crisis and Support Pennsylvania Agriculture
The Shapiro Administration has led a coordinated response to the Hi-Path Avian Influenza crisis impacting Pennsylvania farmers and agriculture industry.
- Since taking office in January, the Shapiro Administration deployed a team of over 170 experts to help conduct testing and improve security measures for Pennsylvania farms. A response team of veterinarians and specialists from the PA Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Penn State Extension, and PennAg Industries has worked side by side with poultry businesses to reduce the virus where it has been confirmed.
- Governor Shapiro also proposed an additional $31 million to increase HPAI testing and allow farmers to recoup any losses they suffer as a result of the disease. To date, Pennsylvania farmers have drawn down over $10 million from the first-of-its-kind recovery fund, through the PA Department of Agriculture.
The Governor understands that Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector is a major economic driver for the Commonwealth, contributing $132 billion a year to the economy and making up 1 in 10 jobs in Pennsylvania, and needs his Administration’s continued support.
- The Governor’s budget proposal includes significant investments to support the agriculture industry by including investments to fund disaster preparedness and response, improve agricultural programs and organic food resources, continuing the nation’s first and only state-level farm bill, and improving farmer health and safety.
Unveiling a Commonsense Budget Proposal
Governor Shapiro believes in the power of communication and is focused on talking to legislators on both sides of the aisle, finding common ground, and getting things done. In his first budget proposal, he got to work doing just that.
In March, Governor Shapiro unveiled his first budget proposal filled with commonsense solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face. The Governor’s 2023-24 budget proposal will cut costs for families, build economic prosperity through key investments in communities, businesses, and workers, ensure Pennsylvanians are safe in their communities – and so much more. Visit Governor Shapiro’s budget website to learn more about his commonsense proposal.
Visit the Shapiro-Davis Administration’s 100 days website for more information on its accomplishments since taking office.