To the Editor:
My grandsons Conor and Max were my initial inspiration for focusing on education as a State Senate candidate, but it’s the futures of all of our children and grandchildren that motivate me throughout this campaign.
Our top priority should be educating our young people, who are our society’s future leaders. The cuts to education funding over the last 4 years in Pennsylvania government are unacceptable.
The resulting property tax increases that have occurred or are being considered by our local school boards are also unacceptable. While cutting programs and funding for education is undoubtedly a way to balance the state budget, it does not help the average taxpayer, because it forces our local government to raise taxes to maintain the services we expect and the education we demand for our children.
The Corbett administration feels it is OK to cut these programs, placing the burden on our local government, and yet let our natural resources (Marcellus Shale natural gas) be siphoned from under our feet without a penny of extraction tax, or safeguards for our environment. This is just plain wrong.
Every state that has natural gas reserves has an extraction tax to benefit its residents—except Pennsylvania. Arguing that the drillers will leave if we impose an extraction tax is ridiculous.
No big business is going to walk away from profits that benefit its investors. What we as a state legislature must do is earmark this tax revenue to fund education, and not allow it to be diverted to other programs, as has happened in the past.
I will be a strong voice to support the education of our children and grandchildren. We can brighten our future if we stay motivated to make this change. Please vote for me, Jack Hansen, for State Senator on November 4th.
Candidate for Senator in the General Assembly, Pennsylvania’s 24th Senatorial District