We value public education in the 151st Legislative District. All four of the school districts, North Penn, Hatboro-Horsham, Upper Dublin, and Wissahickon, are excellent because we as local taxpayers prioritize education.
Strong schools create a strong community and are critical to our local economy. Businesses, both large and small, depend on having an educated and trained workforce. To keep the jobs we have and to attract new ones, we must continue to value our schools. But without increased state funding, local property taxes will continue to rise, jeopardizing our home values and forcing those who can’t afford their taxes to leave.
As we know in the 151st, a good education costs money. In 2011, nearly $1 billion of funding for public education was slashed from state budget and has still not been fully restored. Today, Pennsylvania’s ranks 46th in the nation for state funding for public education. The lack of state funding especially hits home our district. Although the state average for state funding of public education is 37% of a school district’s budget, our school districts receive far less. State funding for the 2016-2017 school year is as follows: Hatboro-Horsham 19%, North Penn 20%, Upper Dublin 17%, Wissahickon 19%. Because our legislators have not invested in our children, we shoulder the burden of public education through our property taxes.
Our community needs a State Representative who prioritizes funding education above special interests. As an Upper Dublin school board member, public school graduate and public school parent, Sara knows the importance of public education. She understands the need to work with our teachers, the significance of local control, and the impact of too little state funding. As State Representative, Sara will continue to fight for strong public schools.
The government must create the right setting for a strong economy. Maintaining a nearly $3 billion structural deficit in the State Budget is a recipe for economic disaster.
We cannot continue to "balance" the State Budget with high interest loans or temporary "fixes." Authentic financial planning is required so that Pennsylvania's credit rating does not drop even further.
While wealth does not trickle down, tax burdens do. For too long, taxes have been pushed to people who can least afford them. Instead, corporate loopholes must be closed and recurring revenue streams must be created. Pennsylvania is the only state that is a major supplier of natural gas yet is without a severance tax. We must implement a severance tax on the gas industry as well as close the "Delaware Loophole" while reducing the corporate income tax to insure that all companies pay their fair share of taxes.
At the same time, we must increase the minimum wage to a living wage and work to reduce Pennsylvania's unemployment rate that remains above the national average. By investing in infrastructure, jobs will be created, businesses will benefit, tax revenue is increase, and our Commonwealth will be literally strengthened for the present and future.
At the heart of a strong economy are labor unions. While productivity has skyrocketed over the last 40 years, wages have not. This correlates with two things, extraordinary wealth is going into the pockets of the top 1% and increased restrictions on the right to organize. Union membership is low, not at the fault of union leaders, but due to laws written by politicians funded by some of the wealthiest Americans. Attacks on organized labor are attacks on the middle class. To protect the middle class, we must protect organized labor.
Sara will work across the aisle to improve our economy to benefit all Pennsylvania families, create jobs, increase the minimum wage, and support workers' rights to organize.
One of the most basic tenets of government is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all its citizens. The Pennsylvania Constitution states that “people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment,” yet clean and safe water is a huge concern in the 151st Legislative District.
Since 2014, hundreds of water wells, including 5 public wells in Horsham, were shut down in the areas surrounding two military bases, the Willow Grove Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base in Horsham and the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster, due to firefighting foams that were used by the military contaminating the water with perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
The consequences of the contamination are widespread and the federal government has refused to pay for blood-testing of the tens of thousands of affected residents. Lawsuits have been filed and the concerns for our community remain.
Parts of Upper Dublin Township are also seeing the impact of water contamination where drinking water is supplied by water authorities who source their water from ground water. Because the federal Environmental Protection Agency refuses to act, Pennsylvania must.
Sara will sponsor legislation to limit perfluorinated compounds to non-detectable levels. She will also work with State and Federal authorities to remediate the contaminated soil and hold the federal government accountable for the contamination.
Sensible gun legislation does not exist in Pennsylvania. Military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines are not used for hunting, but are available for purchase in Pennsylvania. Universal background checks have loop holes, including no requirement for a background check where the sale of an assault rifle occurs between individuals. People that are at high risk to harm themselves or others cannot be prohibited from possessing a weapon unless they are involuntarily committed into a psychiatric facility. Legislation allowing the NRA to sue municipalities that enact any gun legislation has been approved by the Pennsylvania House and is awaiting a vote in the Pennsylvania Senate.
Despite widespread bipartisan support amongst voters, as long as Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvanians will not have common sense gun legislation. As most of the residents do of the 151st Legislative District. Sara supports sensible gun safety laws.
Women's Reproductive Rights
Women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions, especially decisions about their reproductive health, including abortion. Sara will advocate for women and fight against limitations on a woman's right to choose.
If you have questions regarding Sara’s positions on other issues, please contact us.