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.
The economic health of business is vital to the future prosperity of the Commonwealth. How would your Administration create jobs and stimulate the economy?
Gov. Tom Corbett: The private sector – not state government – is the engine that drives economic opportunity in Pennsylvania. Since taking office, I have fought to eliminate the onerous taxes and regulatory burdens that stifled economic progress for too long. We have empowered small businesses to grow and continue training Pennsylvanians for the jobs of the 21st Century. We have also reduced business taxes by $1 billion and eliminated the “death tax” on small business owners and family farms.
The effectiveness of these policies is evident: over 150,000 private sector jobs have been created since 2011; and, in January, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate reached a five-year low of 6.4%.
Rob McCord: As a business leader, I believe that if we are willing to invest in ourselves, businesses will invest in us. My administration will invest in infrastructure projects, our existing high-tech and biomedical fields, environmental remediation and brownfield redevelopment, schools and institutions of higher education, and Pennsylvania’s energy industries, including renewables. Each of these areas generate a significant number of jobs but we must be willing to put our money where the jobs are, that means leveraging state investments to create a tremendous “multiplier effect” that sends positive ripples through the entire economy. We’ll increase that multiplier by leveraging private sector dollars to match or exceed the public funds.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz: Pennsylvania has great assets. Our hard-working and determined people, vast energy resources, manufacturing base, top universities, and agricultural wealth provide the Commonwealth with tremendous opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs.
As governor, I will ensure that all Pennsylvanians profit from the Marcellus Shale by enacting a moderate 5 percent gas severance tax to support transformational investments in the Commonwealth’s future. I will prioritize the development of “downstream” businesses and create and implement a plan to expand job opportunities for Pennsylvanians in the shale industry.
I will focus on building a skilled workforce by investing in education from pre-K to postsecondary. I will improve our workforce development efforts by creating new apprenticeship opportunities and building new partnerships with industry.
I will work to start a manufacturing renaissance in Pennsylvania by providing our manufacturers with increased access to capital and by connecting them with our world- class research universities. I will strengthen Pennsylvania’s innovation economy by creating a million-dollar innovation prize to encourage Pennsylvania’s best and brightest to turn their research into new products and companies.
I will also prioritize investments in Pennsylvania agriculture, which remains our number one industry. And, I will make a major commitment to clean energy and energy efficiency.
Finally, I will launch Build PA to create good-paying jobs for Pennsylvania’s workers, strengthen our economic competitiveness, and improve everyday life for Pennsylvanians. This statewide infrastructure bank will be capitalized over time with hundreds of millions of dollars in natural-gas tax profits and will offer loans, loan guarantees, grants and other financing to start, accelerate, or expand infrastructure projects that will modernize our current infrastructure and grow economic opportunity across the Commonwealth.
Tom Wolf: I have spent most of my life as a businessman and entrepreneur creating jobs. I am running for governor because I want to give Pennsylvania a fresh start – to make the Commonwealth the nation’s “Keystone” for economic growth with its abundant natural resources, vibrant agricultural industries, world class universities and colleges, and its ideal location as the transportation hub between the East Coast, Midwest, and world markets.
I will take state government in a different direction with a strategic focus on making Pennsylvania an engine for economic development and a magnet for private sector entrepreneurs who will create good, high wage jobs. My Fresh Start will level the playing field, focus state government on preparing residents for 21st century jobs, exploit the innate strengths of Pennsylvania’s economy, and use our resources to our full advantage.
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