Improved access to affordable healthcare is essential to our community. We must:
Lower health care costs and premiums
Protect the ACA, and ensure coverage of all pre-existing conditions
Protect and expand Medicare and Medicaid
Lower prescription drug costs for seniors
Fund breast cancer and other health screening
No one should ever have to choose between paying for their home or their food or paying for medical treatment.
Education is essential to the foundation of our society. We must continue the work Governor Wolf is doing to restore public school funding at the state level. While charter schools have their place, funds should never be depleted from the public system. Every child in our state deserves equal access to a quality education. And local public schools don’t just serve students: they act as community centers and they raise property values.
We must be more responsible with our environmental resources. I support a moratorium on new fracking wells. I also support an extraction, or shale, tax on gas companies. Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth, and we should all benefit from our common wealth. Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that doesn't have an extraction tax, and that is irresponsible. The proceeds should be used to invest in renewable energy technology, so that Pennsylvania can be a leader in renewable job creation and the conversion from fossil fuels to a green energy economy.
As a small business owner, I know we must support small businesses and their ability to succeed. We can start by:
adding more grants to help entrepreneurs, and
by partnering more effectively with Small Business Development Centers across the state.
We must also keep taxes low to promote small business growth.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND STUDENT LOAN DEBT
Students in Pennsylvania are weighed down by ballooning debt. These days it can take a lifetime to pay off a student loan. But high student loans and enormous debt levels are not only bad for students, they’re bad for all of us. Our economy shouldn’t be weighed down by lost opportunities when young graduates are forced to delay their full participation in the economy for years. I believe we can and should help more students afford state and community colleges. While I do not believe we should increase taxes on anyone but the wealthiest of citizens, I support the goals of Pennsylvania Promise.
Every state that borders Pennsylvania has a higher minimum wage than we do— even West Virginia. None of these states experienced major job losses when they raised their minimum wage, so there is no excuse why we can’t help working Pennsylvanians earn more. I support Governor Wolf’s plan to raise the minimum wage to at least $10/hour, and I believe it should be tied to inflation. If you work a full time job, you should not be living below the poverty line.
I support the second amendment, and that we should respect the "well-regulated" piece of this amendment. However, I support:
the enforcement of universal background checks to make sure that weapons stay out of the hands of criminals, and away from folks struggling with a mental health illness.
a requirement that all gun purchases follow the same rules, which means eliminating the gun show loophole.
keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, who should be forced to give up their weapons within 24 hours, not 60 days.
With the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of "Fair Share" legislation, unions are in danger of losing the fair share of fees they need to collect in order to represent non-members. It is now more critical than ever that we stand up and protect Pennsylvania's workers. I promise to fight against so-called "fair share" and "right to work" laws that are designed to weaken unions' abilities to protect workers.