I am a teacher, mother of 3, and daughter of blue-collar workers. I am running to give back to the community that supported me. I believe everyone in district 129 deserves to be represented in Harrisburg and have a representative that reaches out to them through frequent town halls, community events, and one-on-one conversations. Constituents in the 129th, regardless of their resources and political clout, should have a representative with a strong, independent voice who votes for them and not for special interests. We need effective leadership that works with all sides to come up with real policy solutions for our district and for our state. Politics should have a purpose: improving people's lives and standing up for everyone. I am looking to go to Harrisburg to make a change.
I believe we need to raise the minimum wage. No one can live on $7.25/hour. However, it needs to be raised gradually over a period of time and not raised to $15/hour all at once. While I support small businesses, a raised wage would provide more money for people to put back into the economy and back to these businesses. After speaking to several small business owners, they also suggested looking at a student wage which would reflect the skill and experience level of the student worker. This is something I would be willing to explore also.
The tragic overdoses and deaths from opioid addiction have affected all classes, races and communities. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by this epidemic. My cousin lost her son to opioid addiction, and it has been heartbreaking. First, we need to remove the stigma. Opioid addiction is a disease that we have a shared responsibility in society and government to address. Second, we need to focus on education and prevention. Third, we need to look at alternative pain management strategies. Fourth, we need to look at long-term recovery and not just a quick fix. This epidemic is not going away. The state must work together with law enforcement, healthcare professionals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies to come up with funding and a plan to battle this crisis!
Unfortunately, HB76/SB 76 for property tax elimination has been so controversial that it has not been brought up for a vote by the Republican majority in the PA House and Senate. I believe property taxes must be eliminated. I agree that no tax should be able to tax you out of your home. But, I believe in a fair and equitable solution that does not just shift the burden from property owners to working men and women. We must go back to the drawing board instead of relying on the status quo of introducing the same proposal year after year and expecting it to eventually pass without addressing the concerns this bill creates. This bill does not address the fact that sales and income taxes are unstable replacement revenue sources, many property owners will still pay property taxes to pay off debt incurred by the school districts, and inequitable funding that does not take into consideration increase or decline of student enrollment in each district over the course of a year. The Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion referendum from 2017 does not address these concerns either and would allow local taxing authorities to decide whether they would exempt residents from paying property taxes or not. I agree with Frank Ryan’s (R) recent proposal that we must create a legislative commission to develop a plan for fair solutions for revenue replacement. I am willing to work with all parties, proponents and opponents alike, to come up with a feasible solution that is fair to all! Another thing to consider is the fair share tax plan which includes closing the Delaware Loophole so larger corporations from out of state pay their fair share. We are losing $400 million/year because of this loophole. We also need to work on increasing our revenue while decreasing our debt. As Sen. Michele Brooks (R) says, "This is too important of an issue to not have full transparency and a robust conversation."
With the elimination of property taxes being such a concern in this district, we need to come up with a fair funding formula that works for all. We also need the state to contribute more money to public education since PA is 46th in the nation for its share in public education. 20% of public school funding comes from the state while the rest is on the backs of local communities. The state also needs to give less money for School Choice programs. House Bill 250 would siphon $55 million in addition to the $125 million to charter and private schools and away from public schools. Charter and private schools are not held to the same standards as our public schools regarding hiring, curriculum, and performance. The state has a responsibility to provide a thorough system of education. Our children are our future!
Every life is precious. As a woman and mother of a daughter, I do not want the government or anyone telling me or my daughter what we can and cannot do with our bodies. I do not believe in late-term abortions or using abortion as a form of birth control. I would not vote for the current bills on abortion such as Senate Bill 3 that are the most restrictive in the country and provide NO exceptions for rape, health of the mother, incest or tragic fetal anomalies.
I support Medicare and Medicaid; however, there is always room for improvement. Everyone should have access to affordable and quality healthcare. We must encourage insurance companies and healthcare providers to collaborate to reduce the rising costs of premiums while holding them to certain standards in terms of providing quality healthcare. We also must ensure that coverage denials are not based on pre-existing conditions. Additionally, no one should have to choose between putting food on their table or paying for their medication. We need to do a better job of making healthcare affordable and reducing prescription costs.
I support a severance tax on oil and gas extraction. Most energy-producing states have this tax; Pennsylvania does not. Marcellus Shale should be taxed on production, not per well drilled. This will provide much needed revenue for the state. With that said, we need to make sure that fracking is not contaminating our water, harming animals or creating a public health hazard. We need to make sure our regulations of the oil and gas industry are fair while protecting our environment. Clean air and drinking water are a must.
I am for term limits, especially if a long-term politician is not doing their job or serving ALL of their constituents. We should not be satisfied with the status quo. If a politician has not done much for their constituents, they should not be able to run again. We need less career politicians and more opportunities for everyday people to serve in Harrisburg.
I support reducing the size of the legislature to reduce costs. Our state has had a full-time legislature acting as a part-time one. In 2018, the legislature was only in session 46 days! In 2017, it was 76 days. Meanwhile, our state representatives get paid more than representatives in other states. They also receive perks such as per diem pay, a car, and other expenses paid by the taxpayers. I do understand the concern that rural residents feel about not being properly represented and forgotten if the legislature is reduced in size. But, a true representative of the people would make sure ALL of their constituents are represented and keep in touch with those rural residents.
Gerrymandering must stop. I would support an independent commission to re-draw districts so that all parties are represented equally. Voters should choose their representatives, it should not be the other way around.
I support the Second Amendment. I believe there are some crucial steps that can be taken to curb gun violence in our community and in our state while respecting the constitutional rights of gun owners. I believe we need to close loopholes that would allow someone who should not have a gun to purchase one. I believe we need to come up with a system that allows mental health professionals to alert the authorities when someone should not possess a gun. I believe this might help in preventing mass shootings. Arming teachers and more guns in schools is not the answer. I believe in expanding the waiting period for background checks. If you have nothing to hide, this should not be an issue. We also need to reevaluate our position in regards to a person surrendering a firearm to a friend or family member. Most gun owners support common sense gun legislation and finding common ground is the solution to the gun violence that has inflicted our communities.
I 100% support our law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, military and their families.