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It's time that Pa. taxpayers see a return on their investment

08/06/2014 11:53AM, Published by Lev, Categories: Opinion, In Print

As we move into this election season, it’s interesting to me to see what fear and panic produces as Gov. Tom Corbett, sinks to 20 percent below his opponent, Tom Wolf, in the polls.

Could it be that the polls are right? Could it be that the Republican legislators from Chester County, all of whom supported Governor Corbett's failed policies, are worried about losing as well?

Traditionally, the two parties have given one another respect when holding an event. Val DiGiorgio, the Chairman of the Chester County Republican Party, directed his committee people to picket an invitation-only Democratic workshop on Friday night. Usually, this type of picketing and protesting takes place closer to the November election, and not in the middle of the summer. They contacted West Whiteland Township to inform them that they planned to protest the event and as a result more police were needed, at the taxpayers’ expense. Americans have the right to assemble. However, when it’s at the directive of their leadership, then one wonders about that leadership.

I did not authorize my committee to protest the recent Chester County Republican Party fundraiser that was held in King of Prussia because we, as Democrats, believe in discussing the issues and not picketing with signs. For a party that talks about fiscal responsibility and cutting taxes, how can they, in good conscience, direct protesters to attend Democratic events at the expense of the taxpayers?

It seems that this is indicative of today's Republican leadership when it comes to the middle class paying more and getting less in return from their government. It’s no wonder why the state had a $1.3 billion budget deficit. Let's take for example the millions of dollars that have cost taxpayers in the Commonwealth under Gov. Corbett's philosophy: 

1. The Republican  Legislature passed Act 13 in 2012. This policy does not generate the kind of revenue a severance tax would.  The record-high 3.1 trillion cubic feet of gas uncorked from Pennsylvania's 4,904 wells in 2013 would have generated about $425 million in revenue for the 2013-14 budget if the State Legislature had copied West Virginia's gas policies. 

2. The Keystone Graduation Exams are conservatively estimated to cost local taxpayers $300 million statewide. West Chester Area School District officials say they face $250,000 in new annual costs for the Keystone Biology Test alone.

3. The failed Voter I.D. Law cost Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars and was later overturned by the courts as unconstitutional.

I’m proud to say that the Chester County Democratic Party has never been more united than it is today in electing Tom Wolf the next Governor of Pennsylvania. Tom Wolf needs a legislature who will support his initiatives to turn our state around by fully funding education, passing a severance tax on the gas industry, passing real property tax reforms, and cutting wasteful spending coming from Harrisburg. It’s time for Pennsylvania taxpayers to start receiving a return on their investment.

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