As part of its efforts to educate the Jewish community about candidates running for office and their positions, OU Advocacy-PA reached out to the candidates for governor with questions about education and more general issues. The Orthodox Union is a not-for-profit organization and does not endorse any candidate.
Do you agree/Disagree/Undecided that Pennsylvania should return to a part-time legislature with a limited number of legislative session days — similar to 46 other states? Please elaborate.
Gov. Tom Corbett: The cost of operating Pennsylvania’s legislature is among the highest in the nation. I have consistently supported efforts to create a biennial budget process which would greatly limit the amount of time legislators are required to spend in Harrisburg. This would enable the Commonwealth to reduce the high operating costs of the legislature and preserve more of your hard-earned tax dollars.
Rob McCord: I agree with the need for a full-time legislature as I believe Pennsylvanians should have regular access to elected officials who are focused on the needs of their district and constituents, but I also feel the General Assembly should spend more time in session in Harrisburg to get the work of the people of Pennsylvania done.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz: Disagree. I am committed to ending the current status quo of stale, failed Harrisburg politics but I do not support Pennsylvania changing to a part-time legislature. We do, however, need to change Harrisburg’s culture of inaction and restore leadership with a renewed sense of purpose. As the only woman member of Pennsylvania’s 20-member Congressional delegation, I have devoted my public service career to strengthening public education, expanding access to affordable, high-quality health coverage for all Americans, and standing up for middle class families. I will use my experience, high expectations and sense of urgency to make Harrisburg work for Pennsylvanians again.
Tom Wolf: No, I disagree. First, I think we should allow those in the legislature to decide how many days they are in session. If we as the public do not agree with their decisions, we have the power to elect different representatives. I do support significant government reforms, including those that address gerrymandering, to make our elections more competitive. Second, I believe this change would simply address the symptoms and not the root cause of problems in the General Assembly. And it would end up shifting more decision- making power to non-elected staffers.