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.
Sara will work across the aisle to improve our economy to benefit all Pennsylvania families.
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 largely unknown 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.
Sara will support the residents of Horsham Township and the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority in their plans to reduce perfluorinated compound levels and work with our federal officials including US Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Brendan Boyle to hold the federal government accountable for the contamination.
If you have questions regarding Sara’s positions on other issues, please contact us.