The GOP budget and needed Revenue Enhancements
A few years ago in New Jersey there were extreme budget cuts causing communities to lay-off police officers, shutdown schools, and terminate programs that serve the needy and underprivileged. This Republican administration in Harrisburg has done the same.
Did you know we sat on a "rainy day" fund of $700 Million!
Well, that is gone and without input from my colleagues and I, the 2012-13 budget hurts students, families, seniors and our most vulnerable citizens by slashing funding for valuable services and programs!
Instead of slashing across the board, we need to raise revenues on businesses and industries that take advantage of tax loopholes. For example, demand Marcellus Shale drillers to pay an extraction tax (not a measly fee), and a tax on its unclear revenues too. Marcellus Shale is a state resource and the people of Pennsylvania deserve compensation for its removal.
I will never support a budget that hurts the Middle Class, workers, slashes program funding to those whom need it, and ruin the Commonwealth's great lower and higher education.
Our children are our future. If the Republican agenda won't stand and fight for them -- I will!
Eliminating School Property Taxes and Saving Education
The property tax currently used to fund our school system is unfair because it penalizes property owners, especially seniors whose children are already grown.
Because of this, too many seniors are being forced out of their homes!!!
I truly believe that we must eliminate property taxes. We must address the disparities in our school funding, close loopholes, and eliminate waste to fully fund education statewide.
By restructuring the way we pay for education we can reduce the tax burden on elder property owners while improving the education system for our kids.
Fix the Pension System and Facilitate Reginalization
I believe communities must work together to regionalize and find other efficiencies before we are forced to make even more drastic cuts. Do we really need over 3,000 pension plans? Could they be merged in some way to save costs but without hurting retirees? Are there other ways that townships could work together to regionalize and find ways to reduce spending?
As promised, I have worked to find ways that state government can help local communities pursue these regional agreements and efficiencies. I believe we must restart the conversation about regionalization. State government can have a role in this by changing laws and making it easier for local government to find partners who also want to regionalize.