$16 million in new dollars for Erie Schools, later increased to $16 million annually.
It was a dark period for Erie’s public schools. The system was in debt and struggling to keep its doors open. Erie’s high schools — a center of the city’s identity and shared history — were at risk of closing. Students would be sent into neighboring districts, overwhelming those systems. And no one was fighting for Erie.
Then, Dan Laughlin entered the picture. Within months of taking office, Dan Laughlin announced an infusion of $16million in state dollars to save Erie’s schools and prevent the domino effect that would have hit neighboring districts.
Dan reached across the partisan divide to save our schools. Others talked. Dan got it done.
LECOM stays in Erie County
When Millcreek Township and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine were at loggerheads, Dan brought both sides to the negotiating table and won a settlement between the two sides. At stake were hundreds of good-paying jobs as LECOM considered closing its Erie school and relocating to Florida.
Dan’s leadership saved jobs, and kept the largest medical training facility in Pennsylvania right here in Erie. It was an important win-win for the citizens of the 49th District.
Fighting job-crushing overregulation
Dan took up the fight to stop a regulatory bureaucracy that has kept builders and businesses from expanding in our region — an overreach that has cost hundreds of construction jobs. Building Inspection Underwriters, a quasi-official agency, has negotiated single-source contracts with local municipalities, running up the cost of construction through a near-monopoly on inspections.
Dan is working on legislation to require local municipalities to engage more than one inspection agency, giving taxpayers and builders alike the savings of old-fashioned competition.
Six years ago, Pennsylvania enacted an innovative program called the City Revitalization and Improvement Zones. Tax dollars collected on investments in those areas would be directly returned to the community for reinvestment. It would encourage economic growth and focus the dollars generated in the community doing the developing.
The program has remained dormant. Erie, with its harbor front properties and changing downtown could be transformed through this program.
Dan Laughlin is committed to creating a CRIZ in Erie and has pressed both the city administration and the governor’s office to put this program back into action for Erie and other cities around the state.
Corporate Governance Bill SB 1205
Dan sponsored and successfully passed reforms to the state’s corporate governance regulations, streamlining government oversight and saving jobs at one of our largest employers, Erie Insurance, while ensuring sound government oversight.
Now, when the state’s Insurance Department audits companies, the process is streamlined and more efficient.
Tender years exemption to allow people with special needs to videotape their court appearances.
Working to lower prescription drug costs
Dan reached across the aisle to develop a bill that reforms the prescription drug system. Right now, pharmacy benefit managers are legally pocketing rebates and discounts meant for patients. Dan joined with Philadelphia Sen. Sharif Street to introduce legislation ensuring that patients entitled to the rebate get the rebate.