As our population has decreased, our towns have suffered greatly. Across our region, once vibrant Main Streets and downtown areas are filled with shuttered storefronts and deteriorating buildings. For our region to survive, we must stop this trend and reinvigorate these districts.
As more and more small businesses closed in Fayette, Somerset, Bedford and Westmoreland Counties over the past 8 years, my opponent saw fit to give a Billionaire (Pirate owner and former Seven Springs owner Bob Nutting) $1 Million Dollars so Bob could build a new building on the taxpers’ dime. Recently, Bob Nutting sold Seven Springs for $125 Million—a portion of those proceeds derived from improvements paid for by Pennsylvanian’s tax dollars.
As folks on fixed incomes are struggling to pay bills, my opponent introduced legislation that was written by a billion dollar company, which would increase the monthly water bills of residents.
As your Senator, I will dedicate myself to addressing our crumbling Main Streets across the 32nd District. Rather than giving Bob Nutring $1 Million Dollars, we would allocate money to business district authorities, small businesses and small business owners.
Imagine how many small business owners in our region could have grown their companies if we split up that $1 million dollars and invested into our community, rather than a single company.
Since the last redistricting, the 32nd Senate District has declined in population by 3.5%. As people are leaving this region, funding for county programs continues to decline as a result, leaving less money available for investing into our community, its people, and remediating blight.
Addressing this serious problem requires new voices, new approaches, and strategic planning for our future. We must recognize that the economic and workforce landscape now looks very different than it did even a decade ago and we must embrace modern solutions to the challenge of attracting new industry and residents to our area.
With the appropriate mix of policies designed to attract remote workers and outdoors enthusiasts to our area, developing identified locations, and incentivizing real estate purchases in counties that are decreasing in population, our region could be viable once again. As your Senator, I will bring the energy and vision necessary to deliver these changes to our district.
For far too long, our elected officials, who are sent to Harrisburg to do what is in the best interest of Pennsylvanians and the Commonwealth, have acted in their own best interest. Far too many of our elected politicians, lobbyists and power brokers have created a political class that is privileged and profits off backroom dealings— at our expense.
In order to return the power to We the People, it is imperative that we make our elected employees accountable, prevent them centralizing power in a hands of a few, and stop them from profiting from their positions, we must institute the following changes:
1. TERM LIMITS— 12 years; three terms for State Senators and 6 terms for State Representatives.
2. COMPENSATION REFORM— PA’s legislators make, no less than, $95,000,00 per year. That is three times more than the people in the region earn. Our legislators’ compensation should be reduced 20% and their salaries should be in line with those of the Pennsylvanians that they serve.
3. TRANSPARENCY— Imagine telling your bosses that your schedule and the people with whom you are meeting are private. It wouldn’t work— and it shouldn’t exist in politics. Legislative officials—elected and their staff—should be required to disclose the names of the persons and organizations with whom they meet in relation to their duties.
4. LOBBYIST BAN— Politicians shouldn’t be able to leverage their position for profit while in office or for a period of 10 years after they leave office. Public service shouldn’t be a license to leverage one’s former position for wealth.
5. DONOR DISCLOSURE— We must open up the curtains on backroom deals. Legislation should be enacted that compels disclosure on whether a legislator voted in support of a Bill that advances the interest of a registered lobby firm, lobbyists or PAC and, if so, the name of the PAC, lobbyist or lobby firm.
6. GIFT BANS— Legislators can legally accept gifts from special interest lobbyists. We must impose stricter PA campaign finance and gifting restrictions to reduce corruption and keep elected officials accountable to We The People.
7. REDUCING THE ASSEMBLY— Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the entire country— bigger than California, New York, and Texas. Reducing the size of the legislature would save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars every year. The size of the legislature should be reduced by 25% to promote greater operational efficiency at a reduced cost to the taxpayers.
Our current state Senator has introduced legislation that would force the privatization of our municipal water authorities. Keeping public control over our public utilities is vital to ensuring lower rates and equitable access to water in this region. As your Senator, I would fight these privatization efforts so that we keep our resources in the hands of the people and ensure that funds will continue to be invested into conservation efforts, preserving our water, air, and top soil.
The 32nd Senate District features incredible natural attractions, breathtaking scenery, and welcoming amenities. No matter the season, our district offers entertainment throughout the year. Preserving and protecting our natural environment is not only an asset to public health and the viability of our agriculture, but is vital for our economic prosperity and tourism prospects.
In 1973, five Republican (Eisenhower and Nixon) appointees identified the rights a woman had with respect to reproductive issues. In 1992, five Republican (Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush) appointees reaffirmed the 1973 ruling. Since that time, the issue has been politicized and capitalized by extremists who wish to undermine established Constitutional Rights.
Reproductive health is not a black or white issue and legislators should not impose judgement into the decision-making process. I am committed to protecting the rights of women and will fight against any legislative action designed to diminish the rights of persons in the Commonwealth.
Five generations of my family before me have been proud union members, including my grandfathers who helped bring the UMWA to Fayette County. I know all too well the pain of a family member not returning home from work, which as a family we have had to live with for generations. I also appreciate that I have the privilege of being the first in my family to obtain a college degree because of the opportunity to rise from generational poverty afforded to us by the union.
Unions are the lifeblood of a healthy workforce. I am committed to ensuring that workers always have the power and leverage to collectively bargain on behalf of their members.
I am proud to have the endorsement of the AFL-CIO and United Mineworkers.
The right of citizens to bear arms— and the right to self-defense— is a fundamental constitutional right of every law-abiding Pennsylvanian.
I am and have always been a supporter of our 2nd Amendment and our Article 1, Secrion 21 (Pa Constitution) rights—just as I support all rights contained our Constitutions.
I was born in this region and have grown up in homes that had guns. As a child, I spent many Saturdays and Sundays at the gun club in Brownsville with my Pappy—the very gun club where I launched my campaign. As an adult, my husband and I are responsible gun owners who are comforted knowing that our family and home is made more secure.
As your Senator, I will defend the rights of every law-abiding Pennsylvanian to purchase and own guns.
In the 32nd District only 88% of our children graduate high school. Of those, only 17% obtain a bachelor's degree. Our students have fallen behind in the STEM fields and are at a competitive disadvantage.
A four year college degree isn’t the only option, but the numbers are too low. Our region suffers because our leaders have not advocated on behalf of our children's education—both high school, vocational, technical and post-secondary. For our region to stop the dangerous levels of population loss and to battle the very low per capita income, our leaders must take those steps necessary to give our children greater educational opportunities, ensure that teachers have adequate funding to stay in the profession, and keep our schools operating.
Rural districts, which lack strong tax revenue streams seen in urban and suburban areas, must receive additional support so that our children are the beneficiaries of equitable education.
We don’t have to tax our local citizens, but state revenue should be reallocated to give back to the rural regions which, currently and historically, have been vital to the Commonwealth’s and the nation’s success. A more equitable allocation and investment of funds will pay off in the long term by helping to attract new residents to the region.
I am proud to have the recommendation of PSEA.
Our healthcare providers are placing themselves in dangerous and untenable situations every day; yet, it is the executives who prosper. Safety and respect for staff in healthcare facilities should be evidenced by the pay at every level of care and a commitment to ensuring safe working environments.
This should also be evident in patient care and affordability. No Pennsylvanian should have to live with a medical policy of “I hope it’s nothing,” or medical bills that are outrageously unaffordable. Our legislature owes it to the hardworking people and senior citizens who are on fixed income to ensure affordable access to healthcare in the Commonwealth .
I am proud to be endorsed by PASNAP.
Our district has an older population compared to the average across the Commonwealth. Our workforce sectors, including education and healthcare, face a mass retiring and a population that will soon require greater care than we can reasonably accommodate.
As your Senator, I will invest in bolstering our healthcare infrastructure to be capable of supporting our retiring seniors as well as work toward developing a workforce that will be ready to fill those essential positions when this void becomes apparent.
Legalizing recreational cannabis (and regulating it the same as alcohol and tobacco) would generate approximately $250 million in tax revenue for the Commonwealth and keep these cases from soaking up valuable resources from our criminal justice system.
Opioid addiction is an ever-increasing problem across the Commonwealth; however, rural regions such as ours are disproportionately impacted, leaving more people in this region are suffering from the effects addiction. I would support legislation designed to help address addiction in a more meaningful and lasting way by investing in more robust local rehabilitation programs.
The women in my family have been proud Fayette County business owners. Before my great grandmother could even have a credit card in her name, she owned and operated her own business— Coal Hill Tavern, where she served coal miners after a long day in the mine. Today, we still depend on small businesses to power our workforce.
Research shows that large box stores introduced to a region has a net negative effect on the local job market. It is concerning that so many of our small businesses are closing their doors, leaving blight and tax sales behind, and more jobs are being provided by large chains. Competition is dwindling and our resources are being soaked up by large corporations.
In order to combat this reality, we must be willing to invest in new locally-owned business incubation. This begins with providing education and opportunity to entrepreneurs who will grow our local economy and provide opportunities for workers of every background— from high school to full-time parents to retirees. This also provides opportunity to redevelop blighted properties.
Agriculture is certainly one of the pillars of Pennsylvania’s economy. Arguably, it is the heart of the Commonwealth. At the center of this industry is the Pennsylvanian farmer.
As your Senator, I will ensure that every one of our 52,000 farms is treated equitably and that our farmers have an equal voice in matters involving their family’s land and the industry.
Far too many of our small farmers have been forced to sell lands that have been in their families for generations. Far too many of our farmers are squeezed out of operations through predatory practices. The fight to keep our farms in the hands of Pennsylvanians is one in which I am committed. I will strive to protect our generational farming heritage from industrial farm operations and concerns, which, often, harm a local economy and the natural resources in an area.
As a Senator, I will work to introduce inheritance and transfer tax protections for farms that are kept and operated within a family. I will advance legislation designed to make it easier for our agricultural producers to sell their goods on their own farms— from vegetables to dairy to meat. I will also work to secure more communal farming equipment, such as no-till planters, to help reduce the cost burdens for our local family farms.