Important Issues Facing Southwestern Pennsylvania
I understand the economic challenges facing the residents of the 40th District—the middle class, the poor, the elderly, and those who are not blessed with good health. My policies put people first, not special interests or lobbyists. I will work tirelessly for world-class educations for our children, superior health care for all our citizens, and security and dignity for our seniors.
As a long-time teacher, my passion and area of expertise revolve around education. I will push for early childhood education for all Pennsylvania children because I understand education is key to developing a skilled workforce and reducing future crime and homelessness. I share taxpayers’ concerns about adequately financing local school districts and will push the state legislature to meet its constitutional obligation to properly fund public education. To reduce the crushing debt on many college students, I am committed to reforming the student loan system.
I favor health insurance coverage for all Pennsylvania residents that is reliable, high-quality, and affordable. I support popular elements of the Affordable Care Act, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, and believe people over 55 should be able to opt in to Medicare. Because many Pennsylvanians have benefited from the Medicaid expansion, I will fight any attempt to eliminate that program. I also support coverage of mental health conditions, which will benefit society as a whole by addressing drug addiction, mass shootings, and joblessness.
Policy shifts at the federal level are pushing more responsibility for the welfare of seniors to the states, so it’s more important than ever for seniors to have a strong voice in Harrisburg. I experienced first-hand the issues that concern seniors: financial security, personal safety, and the desire to remain active in their community. I support safety net programs working Americans have been paying into during their working years. I specifically oppose reductions in Medicare benefits and will work for lower drug prices and programs that help seniors age in their own homes.
Recognizing that many people who are addicted to opioids are friends and family members who initially sought pain relief, I support new approaches to pain management that don’t rely on opioids or other highly addictive drugs. While stressing prevention and treatment, I will also be tough on drug dealers, whether they’re on the street, in doctors’ offices, or in drug company board rooms.
Clean air and water are vital to the health of our citizens and the environment. I won’t allow our state to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made to fight pollution. While we welcome new energy business to the state, we must protect our environment by regulating those businesses and holding polluters accountable.
Year after year, we see gridlock in Harrisburg when it comes to the budget. I will stay focused on funding programs that directly benefit my constituents and will work diligently to find new revenue sources, such as a Marcellus Shale severance tax. All other gas-producing states have levied such a tax. It would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the state budget.