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Clare Dooley, Mike Reese face off in 59th Pa. House race

November 30, 2018

The 59th Pennsylvania House of Representatives District includes Somerset and Westmoreland counties, including Bolivar, Donegal, Laurel Mountain, Ligonier, New Florence, Seward and Cook, Donegal, Fairfield, Ligonier, Mt. Pleasant and St. Clair townships and portions of Hempfield and Unity.

Clare Dooley

What are the three biggest issues facing your district?

Wages have been stagnant for 40 years. In addition, many workers are forced to deal with unfair scheduling.

Prescription drug prices have dramatically increased, and many families have trouble covering the cost.

Public schools are not funded fairly. Too much of the burden is placed on local school districts and municipalities, resulting in increased property taxes.

How would you address them?

Everyone who works full time deserves to earn a livable wage, and one job should be enough. I support raising the minimum wage and protecting unions and collective bargaining rights.

I support a single-payer health care system that provides medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.

I am committed to working with our lawmakers in Harrisburg to establish a fair funding formula that increases spending on our schools without the need to hike property taxes. ... I also support free public college and vocational training, which we can afford if we legalize marijuana.”

How will you make a difference while in office?

I will make a difference by working across the aisle to give the people of Pennsylvania the government they deserve. I will work to enact legislation that raises the minimum wage and protects unions. I will support anti-discrimination legislation that protects the rights of LGBTQ residents. I will also support safeguarding the victims of child sexual abuse and holding their perpetrators accountable. ... I will work to make sure veterans, seniors, people with disabilities and low-income residents can access services they need.

Mike Reese

What are the three biggest issues facing your district?

Economic growth: The most important concern is continued economic growth and the opportunity for family-sustaining jobs for current and future generations.

Education: We need to connect the high quality standard of education in our schools with the positions that are in high demand, particularly in the skill trades. This begins by limiting the amount of mandated standardized testing.

Property taxes: I find our property tax system antiquated and punishing to land owners, particularly those on fixed incomes.

How would you address them?

Economic growth: Pennsylvania’s businesses have seen steady growth since 2012, when the state’s corporate net income tax was shifted to a single-sales factor. ... It’s important to demand that Pennsylvania’s regulatory agencies maintain a customer-based approach and not put up bureaucratic roadblocks.

Education: While many testing mandates come from the federal government, its implementation falls on the state. Legislation recently passed to expand discretion to local school districts regarding standardized testing is a good example.

Property taxes: Several proposals to change our property tax system have been made, all of which have elements that are helpful. It’s time to take a comprehensive approach and establish a plan that would eliminate property taxes and implement a consumer-based tax system.

How will you make a difference while in office?

The role of any legislator is two-fold. First, to only vote for legislation that is a true benefit to the people I represent and to the entire Commonwealth. Secondly, to maintain efficient constituency services and resolve governmental issues.

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