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Doug Hunt, George Dunbar square off in 56th Pa. House race

November 30, 2018

The 56th Pennsylvania House of Representatives District includes portions of Westmoreland County, including Irwin, Manor, North Huntingdon, North Irwin and portions of Trafford and Hempfield and Penn townships.

Doug Hunt

What are the three biggest issues facing your district?

Jobs and the economy, including workers’ rights; health care and education

How would you address them?

There are thousands of technical jobs available in Westmoreland and Western Pennsylvania, but with a lack of a skilled work force, many of these jobs go unfilled. My apprenticeship with the carpenter’s union enabled me to build a career that helps provide for my family. We need to expand these technical training opportunities. ... I will also vote against any anti-union legislation which will only harm ... these beneficial programs.

Our schools have been dramatically underfunded for years... I will give public schools the resources they need to help develop the next generation of Westmoreland county leaders.

When Medicaid coverage was expanded in Pennsylvania, thousands of people in Westmoreland County could receive health care that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. It also allowed treatment options for those affected by the opioid crisis. ... I will fight for expanded health coverage and work across party lines to find ways to expand health coverage and expand treatment options for those affected by opioid abuse.

How will you make a difference while in office?

As your next representative, I will work with any representative regardless of party to bring results for the people of our district because I will be elected to serve the people in Harrisburg, not corporate or party interests. As the district’s elected representative, I would continue to do what I have been doing while campaigning -- meeting with and talking to the voters directly.

George Dunbar

What are the three biggest issues facing your district?

Taxes, education and the opioid crisis. ... Simply throwing more money at problems will not fix them; what needs to happen is we need to spend your hard-earned tax dollars more wisely. The budget is the single most important task we have in Harrisburg and is also the path to address these problems.

How would you address them?

For years Pennsylvania has pieced together its budget using incremental budgeting, an outdated and inefficient practice. Simply taking last year’s spending numbers and adjusting them by a percentage to match anticipated revenues ... has proven to be a disaster. To hold the line on your taxes, provide proper education funding for all levels, and solve complex issues like the opioid crisis, we need to ensure we get the biggest bang for your buck and spend tax dollars where we get the biggest return.

How will you make a difference while in office?

I have been proud of my work in this area. Both introducing legislation and working with the senate and governor’s budget secretary to change Pennsylvania to a performance-based budgeting system. This transition has started and will take five budgets to implement fully. The result will be independently verified reports showing which programs meet expectations and provide the greatest return from the investment in your tax dollars. Based upon that information, informed decisions can be made that will assist in holding the line on taxes, while providing more dollars for education and helping to focus spending on the programs that work in battling the opioid crisis.

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