Issues

 

 

Fighting For You-Not Corporations:
The alarming truth is that corporate lobbyists buy out our state’s politicians at our expense. And these politicians gladly sell their souls to represent them. As huge corporations pay less then their fair share, people like you and me end up having to pay more.

When the Big Oil and Gas Industry doesn’t have to pay a Frack tax as they do in other states,we’re the ones who end up paying more—in all forms of taxes. When corporations don’t pay their share, our state has less money for our children’s education and the safety of our roads. This is wrong. We’ll have enough money to tackle Pennsylvania’s problems if we adjust our priorities and make everyone, including large corporations, pay their fair share. I will push hard to make sure they do.

Property Taxes:
Ever increasing property taxes are putting a burden on homeowners and the economy.  Seniors can’t hold onto their homes and young people have to juggle mortgages, high property taxes, and in many cases students loans with ridiculously high interest rates.  We all know that our schools need to be funded and our roads need to be fixed but we need  some alternative sources of revenue to ensure this happens.  A severance tax on the gas and oil drillers is a great place to start.  Right now,millions of dollars are being allowed to just flow right out of the state courtesy of the State House and the Republican incumbents who care more about staying in office than serving hard-working Pennsylvanians.   These politicians rely on big donations from the fracking industry, and they will keep any real property bills from ever reaching the floor for a vote.

A Fair Tax on  Fracking:
The discovery of huge untapped depositories of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region was heralded as a financial boon to Pennsylvania.  However, Republican legislators under the leadership of Gov. Tom Corbett took this economic opportunity and turned it into a huge giveaway to the gas drillers, once again leaving all of us holding the bag.

The Big Gas Industry is using our land to make a lot of money. Yet, we the people aren’t getting much in return. They need to give back. It is the right thing to do.

We need to elect candidates who care more about people and protecting our way of life than they do about catering to the corporate elite. I will fight for a Frack tax on Big Gas-so that life for the people of our district and throughout PA is happier and healthier. With this tax, industries prioritizing cheaper and cleaner energies such as Solar and Wind can compete. And when competition is strong, the people win.

Pennsylvania is the only state that has not enacted a meaningful severance tax on the extraction of natural gas from the newly accessible shale formations.  Every other state involved in this industry charges gas drillers a fair, but meaningful tax that advances the priorities of the residents of their state, I believe it is time for Pennsylvania to do the same.

Strengthening Education:
We all agree that educating our children is a top priority. Yet year after year career politicians have failed to adequately fund our schools. The children of our communities deserve a quality  education to help them build the skills they need to succeed no matter what career they choose.   We need politicians who care about improving our schools and who understand that skyrocketing property taxes are not the answer.  I will fight for fair funding to provide more resources for our schools without overburdening property owners.

Pottstown School District:
Pottstown School District is one of Pennsylvania’s most underfunded districts, and has been for years. Finally, with angry angry voters breathing down his neck, Representative Hennessey has signed on to legislation that would advance changes to Pennsylvania’s broken school funding system. Pottstown has graduated more than 2500 students in the twenty four years that this crisis has been allowed to build. Now, long-time legislators want credit for taking half measures to put out a fire they watched grow for more than two decades.  We need elected officials who will work every single day to build a strong foundation for the future, not ones that can barely be bothered to prop up a collapsing school district they’ve been ignoring for decades.

Beyond High School:
Increasing funding for primary and secondary public education is crucial, but we also need to invest in educational alternatives after high school. College costs are out of control, and  the result is a student debt crisis that is burdening young adults who are trying to make it on their own.  Our children should not have to borrow the cost of a first home to pay for a college education and they should not have to put pressure on their parents who often co-sign on these loans. Future generations should have more options available to them than a traditional college degree.

It is a passion of mine to make sure that young people can enter the workforce  by getting the specialized training needed to get a job.

I am looking forward to sponsoring and supporting apprenticeship and vocational programs to give young people who don’t go to college as many opportunities to be as successful college students have.

I will work to create greater educational opportunities for young people entering the workforce for the first time, and for adults looking to re-enter the workforce and find their next career. Vocational programs, apprenticeship programs, and enhanced funding and programming for our community colleges are all avenues that we must explore in order to maximize the educational and career opportunities available to all Pennsylvanians.

Strengthening Our Roads and Bridges:
If education is the foundation for a strong economy, infrastructure is its backbone.  As a builder, I know that upgrading and repairing our crumbling infrastructure is literally building our future and I will fight to make sure we invest in a 21st Century infrastructure so we can create a 21st Century economy.

Years of neglect from Harrisburg have left our roads, bridges and other public infrastructure crumbling before our eyes.  This hurts us economically and compromises our safety. The longer we go without addressing these problems, the more expensive they become to fix. Once again we the taxpayers are on the hook for Harrisburg’s failure to act.  Taking action now doesn’t just save us money, it stimulates the economy, creates jobs, attracts businesses and is the first step in building and growing Pennsylvania’s struggling economy.

Fixing our roads and bridges and developing a stronger infrastructure will improve our quality of life and create lots of good, decent paying jobs. Putting more of our resources into this area is a win for everybody.

In its most recent Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave Pennsylvania’s infrastructure a grade of C-.  In its report, the ASCE noted that PA. has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country. Of the Commonwealth’s more than 22,000 bridges, nearly one in four are considered structurally deficient. This is unacceptable.

Public Transportation:
Restoring commuter train service to Phoenixville, Royersford and Pottstown would provide real benefits to our area.  It would make it easier and less stressful to travel to Philadelphia (especially for college students and their parents).  It would also bring business and help the economy of Pottstown.  By removing cars from the road train service would help ease congestion on the highways and have less impact on the environment.  Even if you never use the train, if it removing 10 to 20% of the cars from Rt. 422  would make all of our lives better.  Anyone who has lost a couple hours of their busy day sitting in 422 rush hour traffic knows how true this.  I will fight to bring this train back.

Gerrymandering

The 26th district is one is one of the most gerrymandered in the state.  The town of Pottstown is split among 3 different state house representatives. Most of Chester County is in the district, but the boroughs of Coatesville,  Spring City and Parkesburg are cut out.  I support redistricting done by an independent commission, not by legislators with selfish motives and influence by outside parties.  For an excellent description of the problem, go to  fairdistrictspa.com/

Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease

We have a public health problem in Chester and Montgomery County, yet I see the state doing little to combat it.   Deer tick populations are growing and in a predominately rural area like ours everyone needs to be aware of what to look for.  Lyme disease is becoming a plague in many parts of our district.  Our farm communities are getting hit especially hard. We need better awareness programs and we need to to take this disease very seriously.  States like Massachusetts and Connecticut are trying to get ahead of it.  We need to step up our efforts.  This disease will increase the burden on our health care system and account for untold human misery.  It can even affect our beloved pets.

Protecting the Environment We Share:
As we focus on growing our economy, we must be careful to protect our land, air and water at the same time.  Economic growth cannot come at the expense of our health and safety. In Harrisburg, I will fight to make sure that we protect our environment now and for future generations with sensible regulations that are actually enforced by a well-funded DEP.
Environmental protections in Pennsylvania are lagging.  Just as career politicians failed to enact a meaningful severance tax on the Marcellus Shale gas industry, they failed to put into place adequate safeguards to keep Pennsylvania families safe and healthy.  As a working class Pennsylvanian, and a mother who raised my children right here in the 26th District, I will stand up for all of us and our families by making sure that we put in place common sense environmental regulations, and that we make sure those regulations are enforced.