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OPINION York doc: Don't listen to Dr. Pandelidis, or even to me, listen to pandemic experts (opinion)

Posted by communications on May 22, 2020 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Reading Dr. Steven Pandelidis’ opinion piece on the pandemic makes me feel obliged to respond and show there are other physicians in York who do not agree with him. I am one.

 

Where to start? First, before I retired from family practice, Steve and I were colleagues in the York medical community. He cared skillfully and compassionately for a number of my patients. Much appreciated.

 

However, neither of us was trained in the specialties of Virology, Epidemiology or Infectious Diseases. In this brave new Covid world, it is unwise and even dangerous for us riverboat pilots to pretend to be substitutes for those specialty pilots who are the only experts trained to deal with pandemics and carry us through. Full stop.

https://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/2020/05/22/york-doc-dont-list-to-dr-pandelidis-or-even-to-me-listen-to-pandemic-experts-opinion/5242920002/" target="_blank">Click to continue to read

OP-ED: Are we in this together?

Posted by communications on May 22, 2020 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

“We’re all in this together” is the catchphrase of solidarity. It is a simple, but profound thought that when a crisis has affected all of us to one degree or another, this shared experience unites us.

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/contributors/2020/05/18/op-ed-we-together/5212162002/?fbclid=IwAR34Rxa4dlPQvtY3uWXB9owmQo-IvhyYLroWg2QnKjYhFhBj_YmHiN1z4eU" target="_blank">Continue to read

Gov. Wolf waives fees for background checks

Posted by communications on June 10, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Gov. Tom Wolf waives the fees for the state police background checks and child abuse clearances that adult volunteers who come into direct contact with children are required by the state's Child Protective Services Law to obtain. For employees who have interaction with children in their paid capacity, the fee for each of those clearances will be dropped to $8, starting July 25.  (more)


Beau Biden, Vice President´┐Ż??s son, dies of brain cancer

Posted by communications on May 30, 2015 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Washington Post

By Paul Kane May 30 at 11:15 PM

Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III, the son of Vice President Biden and former state attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday after battling brain cancer for several years.

more:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2015/05/30/e1ac5a2a-0731-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html


Just posted: The list of write-in winners

Posted by communications on May 29, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

York County ‏@YorkCounty_PA May 29

Just posted: The list of write-in winners from the municipal primary

ow.ly/NBP9n

EDITORIAL: Motivate voters, win elections

Posted by communications on May 22, 2015 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

EDITORIAL: Motivate voters, win elections

York Dispatch

POSTED: 05/22/2015 11:07:26 AM EDT | UPDATED: 8 DAYS AGO0 COMMENTS

 

Registered Republicans have outnumbered Democrats in York County for years — but the local political landscape isn't as bright red as one might think.

 

The GOP's 129,710-to-95,907 edge is significant, but not insurmountable. It's nothing, for instance, compared to true-blue Philadelphia, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 7 to 1.

 

And, of course, party registration doesn't mean a thing if people don't actually vote.

 

About 83 percent of York County's major-party voters stayed home during Tuesday's primary election, leaving just 37,985 people to decide for all of us which candidates' names will appear on the ballot for the November general election.

 

While neither party can brag about its turnout, nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats voted.

 

This tell us two things:

 

First, Pennsylvania should have open primaries in which anyone can vote regardless of their party affiliation.

 

Numbering 43,000, independents and those non-affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties make up the fastest-growing voting bloc in York County.

 

Yet Pennsylvania's closed primary system — one of only 13 in the country — means they can't participate until the General Election, by which time many races are already decided.

 

The other takeaway from Tuesday is that both parties need to up their get-out-the-vote games – but especially Democrats if they hope to be competitive in November.

 

Turnouts for general elections tend to be higher than for primaries, but not incredibly so.

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_28169540/editorial-motivate-voters-win-elections

Hoke, Reilly, two others advance to York County commissioner ballot

Posted by communications on May 21, 2015 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

York Daily Record/Sunday News

From left chairperson Bob Kefauver, and nominees for county commissioner Henry Nixon and Doug Hoke voice their surprise at how the republican ...


http://www.ydr.com/politics/ci_28151394/hoke-reilly-two-others-advance-york-county-commissioner


Auditor General DePasquale Says Rapid Shale Gas Development Outpaced DEP's Ability to Oversee Industry, Protect Water Quality

Posted by communications on July 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

DEP unprepared in 2009; now understaffed, underfunded and inconsistent


HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said that a recent audit shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints.


“There are very dedicated hard-working people at DEP but they are being hampered in doing their jobs by lack of resources – including staff and a modern information technology system -- and inconsistent or failed implementation of department policies, among other things, “DePasquale said. “It is almost like firefighters trying to put out a five-alarm fire with a 20-foot garden hose. There is no question that DEP needs help and soon to protect clean water.”


The audit covered the period of 2009 through 2012 and was launched by DePasquale in January 2013 immediately after he became auditor general. The audit’s purpose was to assess DEP’s ability to protect the water quality in the wake of greatly escalated shale gas well drilling.


The audit revealed that DEP failed to consistently issue official orders to well operators who had been determined by DEP to have adversely impacted water supplies. After reviewing a selection of 15 complaint files for confirmed water supply impact, auditors discovered that DEP issued just one order to a well operator to restore or replace the adversely impacted water supply.


DEP claims that in many cases such orders are procedurally unnecessary as well operators may have already taken steps to restore the water supply under what the agency terms “voluntary compliance.”


“When DEP does not take a formal, documented action against a well operator who has contaminated a water supply, the agency loses credibility as a regulator and is not fully accountable to the public,” DePasquale said. “When DEP has enforcement authority under the law it must exercise that authority routinely, consistently, and transparently. Those gas well operators whose actions cause harm to water supplies should not get an enforcement ‘pass’ just because they have convinced DEP that they will come into compliance with the law or that they negotiated a settlement with the property owner.”


Auditors also reported that DEP did a poor job in communicating its investigation results to citizens who registered complaints with the department. The agency was not always timely in meeting statutory timeframes for response to complaints it did receive.


“For example, of the water-related complaints reviewed by auditors, the DEP Williamsport regional office responded to complaints within 10 days, 100 percent of the time, while the DEP Pittsburgh regional office responded to the complaints within the 10-day time period only 64 percent of the time,” DePasquale said. “Why would citizens in the Pittsburgh area have to wait longer for a response than people in the Williamsport area?”


Auditors also noted that DEP’s complaint tracking system, which is used to monitor all environmental complaints, including those that are oil and gas related, was ineffective as it did not provide management with reliable information to effectively manage the program.


“We could not determine whether all complaints received by DEP actually were entered into the system. What’s more, because of how DEP grouped related complaints, it is difficult to figure out exactly how many complaints were received, investigated, and resolved by DEP,” DePasquale said. “While DEP did issue a new policy related to complaint handling, for most of our audit period the existing policy was woefully inadequate. DEP must get that complaint system working.”


In the area of inspections, auditors attempted to measure how quickly DEP was in conducting its initial inspection of shale gas wells, a basic regulatory responsibility. Unfortunately, auditors were thwarted by DEP’s lack of reliable data—learning that only a “needle in a haystack” review of thousands of hard-copy files would ever yield a conclusion. Worse, DEP uses a 25-year-old policy on the frequency of inspections, which has a “loop hole,” that only requires DEP to conduct inspections as it has the financial and human resources to do so.


Auditors also found that DEP does not post to its website all statutorily required inspection information. When the data was tested for accuracy, the auditors found errors of more than 25 percent in key data fields, and that as many as 76 percent of inspectors’ comments were omitted from the online inspection reporting.


“It is unfathomable to us that for a basic responsibility of DEP -- inspecting oil and gas facilities – little criteria exists for when those inspections should occur,” DePasquale said. “Until DEP updates its out-of-date inspection policies, to include mandated inspections at specific critical drilling stages and during the life of the well, it will be nearly impossible to measure DEP’s performance in conducting this very basic responsibility to protect the environment.”


The auditors also noted that DEP does not use a manifest system for tracking shale gas well waste from the well site to disposal. Instead DEP relies upon a disjointed process that includes self-reporting by well operators with no assurances that waste is disposed of properly.


With respect to transparency, auditors discovered that accessing DEP data is challenging as it is a myriad of confusing web links and jargon. The information that was presented on its decades-old eFACTS database was often incomplete—requiring a physical review of hard-copy files at distant offices to verify the actual information.


“Through our audit we found that even conducting a review of hard-copy files is not a fool-proof guarantee, as we found some supporting paper files were missing and DEP was not able to produce them,” DePasquale said. “DEP must improve how it conveys reliable information to the public for an activity that is as high-profile as shale gas development.”


Of the eight audit findings and 29 recommendations to improve DEP’s monitoring of potential water quality impacts of shale gas development, DEP disagreed with all audit findings, but conversely agreed with the majority of the recommendations, indicating that there is some acknowledgement on DEP’s part that it must improve. Eighteen of the 29 recommendations do not require additional funding.


“There was plenty of back and forth with DEP during this audit, and in some cases we just could not agree on some findings,” DePasquale said. “What matters here is the protection of our drinking water supplies. Implementing these 29 recommendations, two of which were directed to the General Assembly, will go a long way now to protecting drinking water resources. When we look back five years from now, I believe everyone will all agree that our environment and our quality of life are better because of this audit.”


Among the recommendations, auditors encouraged DEP to:

 

 

  • always issue an administrative order to a well operator who DEP has determined adversely impacted a water supply—even if DEP used the cooperative approach in bringing the operator into compliance or if the operator and the complainant have reached a private agreement;
  • develop better controls over how complaints are received, tracked, investigated, and resolved;
  • invest resources into replacing, or significantly upgrading, its complaint management system;
  • find the financial resources to hire additional inspectors to meet the demands placed upon the agency;
  • implement an inspection policy that outlines explicitly the requirements for timely and frequent inspections;
  • create a true manifest system to track shale gas waste and be more aggressive in ensuring that the waste data it collects is verified and reliable;
  • reconfigure the agency website and provide complete and pertinent information in a clear and easily understandable manner;
  • invest in information technology resources and develop an IT structure that will ensure its oil and gas program has a strong foundation for the ongoing demands placed upon it; and
  • develop an all-electronic inspection process so that inspection information is accurate and timely to DEP—and more importantly—public stakeholders.

 

 


“Shale gas development offers significant benefits to our commonwealth and our nation, but these benefits cannot come at the expense of the public’s trust, health, and well-being,” DePasquale said. “We must collectively find solutions to this challenge so that Pennsylvania becomes a leader among states in regulating shale gas development. I am committed to working with the governor, the General Assembly, and other partners to ensure this audit begins that discussion.”

 


An executive summary of the report follows. A full copy of the audit report is available at:

http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/reports/performance/special/speDEP072114.pdf

OPPONENT'S ADVERTISEMENT DISTRACTS FROM LACK OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND BAD RESULTS

Posted by communications on July 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM – The following statement is from Linda Small: "State Sen. Scott Wagner’s campaign paid for a full page newspaper advertisement blaming unions for the fact that Republicans in Harrisburg can’t get things done. Wagner and Republicans need to take responsibility for their own lack of accomplishment. Their policies don’t work. It is fortunate for us that Republicans have not been able to pass more of their agenda. It devastates public education and pushes higher taxes and costs onto ordinary working families while giving special breaks and deals to a few well-connected corporations.


Over 20,000 teacher and education jobs have been cut across the state. Local school districts have been forced to both cut teachers and increase property taxes. Due to Gov. Corbett and the legislature’s misplaced priorities and late transportation bill, Pennsylvania has ranked between 46th and 49th in job creation over the last few years. The minimum wage is stuck at $7.25.


In January, Gov. Corbett announced a $30 million state grant to Comcast to build a skyscraper in Philadelphia. Verizon, Sprint, banks and others got special tax breaks in last year’s budget. Corporate tax breaks have risen from $850 million in 2003 to well over $3 billion today. Pennsylvania still does not have a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas. These are the unfair policies that keep us from making meaningful progress. It is no wonder that Pennsylvania’s budget is hard to balance. Ordinary taxpayers don’t have big enough wallets to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy while also paying their own fair share of taxes.


The record shows that under Gov. Corbett and the Republican legislature, taxes go up for ordinary citizens while they go down for a few wealthy corporations. Our schools are grudgingly given inadequate funding. Common sense solutions to pension funding issues and ending unfair property tax increases are left undone because they would mean asking corporations to pay a fair share.


Responsibility for the current state of affairs rests solely on Gov. Corbett and the Republican legislature’s shoulders; State Sen. Wagner included. He supported the Republicans newest budget leaving all of these problems in place.”


Linda Small, 53, is running for state senator for the 28th district. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

OPPONENT STILL BLAMING WORKERS, BUT UPS HIS LOW MINIMUM WAGE

Posted by communications on July 16, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Jul 16, 2014) – Linda Small released the following statement:


“State Sen. Wagner is still blaming workers for low wages and completely missing some key points in comments on his campaign email linking to a video entitled “Land of the Freebies, Home of the Enslaved.” Following his remarks a few weeks ago stating that there are plenty of higher wage jobs in the economy but workers need to have alarm clocks and be able to pass drug tests to get them, it is clear that he magnifies and stereotypes the problems of a few workers over finding solutions for the vast majority of workers. On a positive note, he has raised his suggested minimum wage up from the $8.00 an hour that he suggested before the primary to $8.50 an hour.


According to the York Dispatch, rather than acknowledge that the video stated that people using programs like Pell grants, disability, unemployment and Medicare were getting freebies and thus being enslaved, Wagner’s stated that he has no problem helping people who need help but then quickly returned to a discussion of fraud and dependence.


The myth of widespread fraud distracts from the underlying reasons for higher numbers of people needing SNAP, Medicaid health insurance, and unemployment: low wages and lack of health care benefits for many low wage workers. Many are unemployed thanks to Gov. Corbett’s education funding cuts which led to over 20,000 teacher layoffs in the state and Pennsylvania’s ranking between 45th and 49th among the states in job creation. Sen. Wagner notes that there are higher paying jobs available. While true, it does not increase the wages of the people who are working hard at low paying jobs. Sen. Wagner’s $8.50 keeps a single worker well within the range of qualifying for SNAP.


I am calling for a $10.10 minimum wage, which lifts single workers above the SNAP threshold. Every day the minimum wage is debated instead of raised workers fall farther behind.


The minimum wage should allow workers to be able to afford basic housing, food and transportation to get to work. Our politicians have allowed the wage to fall well behind inflation. We would not expect businessmen to accept payment at less than the cost of doing business, and then tell them to use taxpayer funded food stamps to get by. Yet our elected officials ask our minimum wage workers to accept wages at less than the cost of doing the business of keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. Elected officials need to stop blaming low wage workers and get to work and raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation right away."

Auditor General DePasquale Cuts Car Fleet by 65 Percent, Improves Travel Efficiency for Net Savings of More Than $750,000 Annually

Posted by communications on July 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Additional cost-cutting measures save another $564,000 annually

 

HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said today he saved taxpayers more than $750,000 by cutting the Department of the Auditor General’s vehicle fleet by more than 65 percent and improving travel efficiency, which increases his annual cost-cutting savings to more than $1.2 million.


DePasquale eliminated 158 cars from the vehicle fleet since he took office in 2013, reducing the fleet from 241 vehicles to 83 today.


“By cutting the number of state cars by nearly two-thirds we are making the department more efficient so that auditors can focus more resources on auditing areas that need it,” DePasquale said.


“The vehicle and travel savings are part of the strategic improvements and dramatic cost-saving measures put in place during my first year in office. These cost-cutting measures are essential to keep our department within our strategic budget plan and offset more than $3 million in mandated operating expenses in 2014-15,” he said, noting that the department receives no additional operating funds in the pending state budget.


“Every step we take to make this office more efficient is saving taxpayer money and increasing our ability to improve government accountability and transparency,” he said.


In addition to saving $750,000 from cutting the number of cars and improving travel operations, DePasquale noted that since he took office, he made other cost-cutting moves to reduce expenses by more than $564,000:

  • re-organizing the department to reduce administrative layers, allowing for more flexibility and sharing of staff and work assignments to create significant cost savings and efficiencies;
  • distributing audits electronically and developing a method to use electronic working papers to improve efficiency and make auditors more mobile;
  • divesting the department’s duplicating operation and implementing a policy of using technology rather than printing is estimated to save at $164,000 per year; and
  • consolidating offices to reduce the cost incurred for leased office space, resulting in recurring real estate and parking savings of $400,000.

 


“Despite having the lowest staffing level in generations and fewer cars than ever, we are currently maintaining audit levels,” DePasquale said. “We will continue to leverage improvements in technology to conduct audits that ensure state funds are spent efficiently and effectively.”

 

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STATE SENATOR WAGNER STATEMENTS INAPPROPRIATE, OFFENSIVE

Posted by communications on June 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Jun 6, 2014) – State Senate candidate Linda Small called State Sen. Scott Wagner’s statements comparing unions to Hitler inappropriate, offensive and wrong. Her statement follows:

 

“Sen. Wagner has clearly gone too far in making inappropriate and offensive statements comparing unions to Hitler and Putin. Sadly, when asked about those comments, he added even more dictators like Hussein and Stalin to the list. Sen. Wagner should apologize for the remarks; they are wrong and cheapen the horrible reality of the death and destruction that occurred under the dictators.

 

Sen. Wagner can't solve our problems by demonizing unions. Unions did not cause the recession. They didn't cause the property tax problem. They are not our enemy. Unions are the voice of working families and they are partners with business in an economy that works for all of us when things are working correctly.

 

Unions have won important labor protections like overtime pay, weekends, and child labor laws. Pay is higher in states with strong unions for both union and non-union workers. There are fewer deaths on the job because of unions. Unions help form a strong middle-class.

 

Senator Wagner has joined an attack on the working people that he should be representing, not attacking. He needs to reverse course and start working with unions to find solutions that work for Pennsylvania.”

 

Linda Small, 53, is running for state senator for the 28th district. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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94th House Q&A: David Colon, Kelly Henshaw and Stan Saylor

Posted by communications on April 22, 2014 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

From the York Dispatch: 94th House Q&A: David Colon, Kelly Henshaw and Stan Saylor

Click to read here

DAVID COLON ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR 94TH STATE HOUSE SEAT

Posted by communications on February 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Iraq War Veteran To Seek State House Seat

 

YORK, PA – David Colon, an Iraq War veteran with several military decorations,announced Thursday his candidacy for the 94th LegislativeDistrict.

 

“I am seeking to be the next State Representative for the 94th Districtbecause I want to change the status quo in Harrisburg. When I look at mydistrict and York County as a whole, I do not see small town politics. Instead,I see small town politics struggling with big problems! I feel members of thePA General Assembly, specifically those in the York County Republican Caucus,forgot why they were sent to Harrisburg. They have completely ignored theimportance of a bipartisan legislature and instead have focused on party andself-interests. I firmly believe this lack of bipartisanship is hindering theprogress of many of the issues that should be resolved.”

 

Colon outlines several areas where he believes partisan rhetoric in Harrisburg has hindered progress. Colon would focus on:

Increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and the cost of living adjusted based on the rate of inflation.

Restore and increase educational spending. Teachers are struggling to overcome disadvantages incurred by budget costs and are finding it more and more difficult to meet educational standards.

Colleges and Universities must examine how to provide a more affordable education for those York County high school students seeking post secondary education.

Medicaid must be expanded for York County seniors and York Countians need to be better educated about the benefits and advantages of the Affordable Care Act provides them and their families.

Property taxes must be better managed and, where possible, reduced or eliminated.

 

“I am just an ordinary citizen that understands the problems that challenge our community every day” stated Colon. “My solutions seem to be far from ordinarybecause I want to restore bipartisanship, a concept that seems to have beenforgotten by many in Harrisburg. For our government to be successful, we mustwork together toward a common goal.”

 

Colon is an Iraq war U.S. Army veteran, with several military decorations. He served asan Operator and Mission Commander for the Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System andleft the military as a Non-Commissioned Officer. He is currently a ProjectManager for AAI Corporation, a defense contractor in Hunt Valley, Md. Hepreviously served as a Systems Engineer for AAI as well.

 

“As a soldier and a civilian, David has always placed the needs of others before his own. David is confident, professional and has the leadership skillsnecessary to make things happen,” stated Jason Barney who served with Colon inIraq and on various other assignments.

 

“If I could use three words to describe Dave, they would be honor, selfless and loyal.

Davewas my first squad leader when I got to my first duty station. He quicklyearned my respect, trust and confidence. I would follow him to where ever hewould lead me,” commented Brian Burrough who served with David in the 10thMountain Infantry out of Fort Drum, NY.

 

“Dave is one of the most loyal and hardworking people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’ve had many conversations with him about issues that concernhim as well as his time serving in the Army, and it’s evident that his run foroffice is a statement of his passion for this country. I have no doubt that if elected;Dave would really listen to the people in his district and represent theirvalues and beliefs in the state legislature. I can’t think of anyone better toserve the people of York,” remarked Samia Afreen, a Systems Engineer andcoworker of David.

 

“I cannot promise to fix all of Pennsylvania’s problems, but I know that with the help of the hard-working people of the 94th Legislative District, my team and Ican make a significant impact that will better the lives of Pennsylvanians.”

 

David Colon was born in Camp Darby, a U.S. military installation in Pisa, Italy. Hewent to a vocational high school in Italy, where he studied AeronauticalConstructions to fulfill his passion for airplanes. Colon continued his studiesin Dowling College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronauticsand Management. Additionally, Colon completed a Masters in Engineering inSystems Engineering at Penn State University.

 

David Colon (35), is married with Maria Josè and has three children Daniel (9 yearsold), Matthew (7 years old) and Jake (5 years old) and resides in Windsorborough.

 

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PERFORMANCE REVIEW: EDUCATION

Posted by communications on February 19, 2014 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Feb. 19, 2014) – Local school taxes are up but public schools are struggling under Gov. Tom Corbett and Republican Rep. Ron Miller (R-93), candidate for the PA Senate 28th district seat in the Mar. 18th special election. Linda Small, Democratic candidate for the seat, offers a new approach to change things for the better.

 

“York County school districts are cutting teachers and school taxes are increasing because of Gov. Corbett and Rep. Miller’s harmful state education funding cuts. Corbett and Miller are failing their constitutional responsibility to provide for a quality public education system,” Small said.

 

An unfair state school funding formula hurts York County schools. Politicians accept that the funding has been unfair for years, yet Rep. Miller’s approach is to put together a commission to study it more. Students, parents and taxpayers don’t have the luxury of waiting. The downward spiral caused by Gov. Corbett’s one billion dollar education funding cuts continues. Twenty thousand teaching and staff jobs have been slashed across the state. Harrisburg relies more on property taxes to fund education than most states do, placing most of the burden of paying for education on local taxpayers. That is unsustainable.

 

Rep. Miller has had eight terms to come up with good education policies, but has come up short. His policies result in higher taxes and fewer teachers and programs for students.

 

Linda Small will restore state funding for education to cover around 50% of the cost. The revenue will come from a more fair tax system. She will work to end Wall St. corporate special deals and tax loopholes so that they too pay a fair share of education funding. A study by the Penn Budget and Policy Center shows that tax cuts for politically connected corporations cost more than 3 billion dollars annually. Pennsylvania workers and families shouldn’t be expected to make up that revenue. By closing the loopholes, that $3 billion can fully restore funding for education and be used to help fund other priorities in the budget, taking the burden off hard-pressed taxpayers.

 

Small will fight for a fair state education funding formula, using studies that have already been done. Everyone benefits from a strong public school system. We must stop accepting a funding system which hurts York County.

 

“I will work to create good jobs, restore state funding for education and stop unsustainable tax increases. Getting a smart, fair state education funding policy will help achieve all three goals,” Small said.

 

Linda Small, 53, is running for state senator for the 28th district in the special election on March 18, 2014. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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YORK COUNTY COMMISSIONER DOUG HOKE ENDORSES SMALL FOR PA SENATE

Posted by communications on February 12, 2014 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Feb. 12, 2014) - York County Commissioner Vice President Doug Hoke endorsed Linda Small for the PA Senate 28th district seat today. Small is running in the special election for the seat on March 18th, 2014.

 

“Linda Small is the right person to get to work on growing jobs, restoring education funding and holding the line on tax increases. She is willing to dig down and find the root causes of the tough issues we face. Linda will work to ensure York County families have ample opportunity for a better future,” Commissioner Hoke said.

 

“Commissioner Hoke asks the tough questions to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and not wasted. He cares about good jobs, good education and holding the line on taxes. I appreciate his endorsement and hope to follow his example in the State Senate,” said Small.

 

York County Commissioner Vice President Doug Hoke is serving in his second term as commissioner.

 

Linda Small, 53, is running for state senator for the 28th district in the special election on March 18, 2014. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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PERFORMANCE REVIEW: JOBS

Posted by communications on February 11, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Feb. 10, 2014) - Pennsylvania ranked 48th among states in job creation in 2013. Linda Small, candidate for the PA Senate 28th district special election, reviews her opponent’s contribution to the dismal job performance for the state.

 

Gov. Corbett and Rep. Ron Miller (R-93) have made corporate support at taxpayer’s expense a cornerstone of their economic program. They rejected a severance tax for Marcellus Shale gas drilling similar to what other states charge and allowed the drillers to pay a very low “impact fee” instead. The 2013-2014 state budget gave last-minute tax breaks to Verizon, Sprint and other well-connected interests. In January, Gov. Corbett announced $30 million in grants to Comcast to build a skyscraper in Philadelphia. The total of tax breaks, subsidies and loopholes given to corporations by Pennsylvanians is $3.9 billion, according to a study by Good Jobs First.

 

Unfortunately for York County families, this corporate support has not translated into strong job or wage growth. The favored Marcellus Shale gas industry has turned in such poor jobs numbers that Gov. Corbett resorted to wildly padding the numbers to mask the policy failure. The state’s unemployment rate remained above the national average at the end of 2013. A Keystone Research Center report found that wages for low, middle and high income workers have fallen since 2010, despite gains in economic productivity.

 

“My opponent may have good intentions, but the results of his policies speak for themselves. Too many Pennsylvanian’s can’t go to work because his ideas don’t work,” Small said.

Small proposes stopping the special Wall St. corporate subsidies to bring back a fair market so small businesses can compete. “What small business can compete and create new jobs against a $30 million state grant to Comcast,” Small asked. To create jobs, Pennsylvania must ask corporations to pay a fair share like everyone else.

 

When corporations pay their fair share, the state can also restore the disastrous one billion dollar cut in state education funding engineered by Gov. Corbett and Rep. Miller. The 20,000 education jobs lost because of those cuts can be restored. The 20,000 education jobs are especially significant compared to the low total of 18,600 jobs created in Pennsylvania in 2013.

 

Linda Small believes in looking at results. Pennsylvania should be a leader in creating good jobs with family-sustaining wages. Her opponent’s policies don’t help create jobs and wages are falling. Small will work to change those failed policies to policies that get results.

 

Linda Small, 53, is running for state senator for the 28th district in the special election on March 18, 2014. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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PA UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASES TO ABOVE NATIONAL RATE UNDER REPUBLICANS

Posted by communications on October 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

NEW FREEDOM (Oct. 24, 2012) - In September, for the first time in nearly 10 years, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was worse than the national rate. State Representative candidate Linda Small calls on her opponent to reverse failed Republican budget choices and cuts to improve the jobs climate for Pennsylvania workers.


For almost all of the years under Gov. Rendell, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was better than the national rate. Under Gov. Corbett and opponent State Rep. Ron Miller (R-93), despite increasing tax breaks and subsidies for corporations and cuts to education and programs to help Pennsylvanians with mental illness and abuse victims, Pennsylvania’s jobless rate increased to 8.2% while the national rate dipped to 7.8%. This unwelcome reversal is a wake-up call to examine the economic data and follow policies which will improve the state’s job picture.


Following the failed Republican policies which led to a near depression under President George W. Bush, Rep. Miller and Gov. Corbett have laid out a red carpet of taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks to the Marcellus Shale Gas industry, shielding them from a severance tax that other major gas drilling states imposed and clearing the way for drilling in residential areas. They have put in place more and more tax cuts of various types for corporations, helping to subsidize corporate profits.


Rep. Miller and Gov. Corbett cut education funding, resulting in 14,000 teacher layoffs in 2011. They have neglected Pennsylvania’s crumbling roads and bridges, costing up to 90,000 valuable jobs as the $3 billion transportation funding gap remains unaddressed. (Every $1 billion in infrastructure spending creates around 30,000 jobs.)


“Pennsylvania’s September unemployment rate of 8.2%, worse than the national unemployment rate for the first time since the early days of Gov. Rendell, is reality calling to my opponent. Cutting education and neglecting funding for roads and bridges hurts job creation. Increasing tax breaks, subsidies and special treatment for corporations like Shell, whose $31 billion profit last year was more than Pennsylvania’s budget, follows President Bush’s failed economic policies which plunged America into a deep recession just four years ago. Job creation is better when everyone pays fair tax rates, there is a fair set of rules for everyone, and when government meets its responsibility to invest in areas like education and transportation.” said Small.


Linda Small, 51, is running for state representative for the 93rd district. She is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) weather forecaster.

DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA ENDORSES ROB TEPLITZ FOR STATE SENATE

Posted by communications on October 19, 2012 at 2:20 AM Comments comments (0)

HARRISBURG (October 19, 2012) — Democracy for America has endorsed Rob Teplitz for the open state Senate seat in the 15th district. DFA, a grassroots organization, has over 54,000 members in Pennsylvania and over one million members nationwide.


DFA endorses local candidates who are committed to the values of community, security, and liberty. "These candidates exemplify what we value at DFA,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. “The belief that grassroots activism and organizing can still elect the strong, courageous, and progressive Democrats who are willing to move the party and their communities forward.”


“I will fight to invest again in our community, especially in great schools, which lead to good jobs,” said Teplitz. “The stakes are very high in this election. My opponent is on record as supporting the Corbett cuts to education and other critical programs and services, and his campaign is bankrolled by the very same crowd that wants to destroy public education and brought the city of Harrisburg to the verge of bankruptcy.”


Teplitz has built the broadest base of support of any candidate in the race. Announced endorsements include the following organizations and/or their affiliated political action committees: Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters; Pennsylvania State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen; Education Voters Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania State Education Association; American Federation of Teachers-Pennsylvania; Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties; Service Employees International Union; Central Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council; Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association; Progressive Majority; Equality Pennsylvania; Capital Region Stonewall Democrats; Humane PA; Planned Parenthood; Sierra Club; Clean Water Action; Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania; and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.


Rob Teplitz is the Chief Counsel and Policy Director at the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. He has spent most of his career working with Bob Casey and Jack Wagner to protect Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars and make government programs work better. In the state Senate, Teplitz will focus on creating jobs, strengthening our schools, keeping taxes as low as possible, and bringing fundamental reforms to state government.


Teplitz, age 41, is a lifelong Central Pennsylvanian and an honors graduate of Central Dauphin High School, Franklin & Marshall College, and Cornell Law School. He grew up in Dauphin County’s Lower Paxton Township and currently lives in Susquehanna Township with his wife Randi and their two sons.


The 15th senatorial district includes most of Dauphin County and the following municipalities in York County: Conewago, Newberry, Goldsboro, Lewisberry, and York Haven.

MORE EDUCATORS ACROSS PA ENDORSE ROB TEPLITZ FOR STATE SENATE

Posted by communications on October 18, 2012 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

AFT-PA joins teachers, college professors, and advocates


HARRISBURG (October 18, 2012) — The American Federation of Teachers-Pennsylvania has endorsed Rob Teplitz for the open state Senate seat in the 15th district. AFT Pennsylvania represents more than 36,000 members across the Commonwealth, including teachers and school-related personnel, health care professionals, higher education faculty members, and state employees.


“I am passionate about investing in public education, and I’m proud of the support of educators and advocates from across the state,” said Teplitz. “The stakes are very high in this election. My opponent is on record as supporting the Corbett education cuts, and his campaign is bankrolled by the very same crowd that wants to destroy public education.”


AFT-PA joins other advocates of public education in endorsing Teplitz:


The Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), the largest education employee organization in the Commonwealth, representing over 193,000 members and the 1.7 million school children served by those members, endorsed Teplitz in March.


The Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF), which represents more than 6,000 faculty members and coaches employed at the 14 state-owned universities that are part of the State System of Higher Education, endorsed Teplitz in April.


Education Voters Action Fund of Pennsylvania, an independent public interest organization, endorsed Teplitz in September.


Last month, Teplitz issued a detailed education plan for basic and post-secondary education, with a focus on targeted investments in proven reforms that will benefit all students. “Great schools lead to good jobs,” Teplitz said. “That’s why we must reverse our current course and invest in education in Pennsylvania again.”


Teplitz has built the broadest base of support of any candidate in the race. Announced endorsements include the following organizations and/or their affiliated political action committees: Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters; Pennsylvania State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen; Education Voters Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania State Education Association; Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties; Service Employees International Union; Central Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council; Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association; Progressive Majority; Equality Pennsylvania; Capital Region Stonewall Democrats; Humane PA; Planned Parenthood; Sierra Club; Clean Water Action; Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania; and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.


Rob Teplitz is the Chief Counsel and Policy Director at the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. He has spent most of his career working with Bob Casey and Jack Wagner to protect Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars and make government programs work better. In the state Senate, Teplitz will focus on creating jobs, strengthening our schools, keeping taxes as low as possible, and bringing fundamental reforms to state government.


Teplitz, age 41, is a lifelong Central Pennsylvanian and an honors graduate of Central Dauphin High School, Franklin & Marshall College, and Cornell Law School. He grew up in Dauphin County’s Lower Paxton Township and currently lives in Susquehanna Township with his wife Randi and their two sons.


The 15th senatorial district includes most of Dauphin County and the following municipalities in York County: Conewago, Newberry, Goldsboro, Lewisberry, and York Haven.


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