Today, we remember it like a bad dream. Erie’s public schools groaned under a $20 million budget shortfall. The superintendent proposed closing all four of the district’s high schools, shipping students to neighboring districts, setting the stage for a cascade effect of rising costs and surging taxes. Full day kindergarten was being eliminated, along with all the art and music classes, sports, and extracurricular activities. School libraries across the district were slated to close.

Then we sent Dan Laughlin to the state senate. He went to work immediately, taking Erie’s case to the Capitol. Dan worked across party lines to secure a staggering $16 million annually in additional funds for Erie Public Schools.

Our high schools are open. Students grow and learn in art and music classes. Students have access to extracurricular athletics. An essential party of our city’s identity and our children’s futures now thrives because State Sen. Dan Laughlin got the job done.

As state senator, Dan Laughlin led a delegation to the White House to push for federal dollars to match private investment in the Erie economy. With eight opportunity zones in the district, Laughlin knows that it will take leadership and advocacy to rebuild Erie’s economy.

“We have a world-class workforce, a strong sense of community, and the location to make Erie County a center of commerce,” Laughlin says. “What we need is a combination of state and federal involvement to rebuild and reinvest in Erie. That’s why I’ve been a tireless advocate in pushing for the state and federal dollars we need to jumpstart our economy and grow new jobs.”

State Sen. Dan Laughlin knows that we can only build Erie’s future by acting now. That’s why he’s been working to get things done for Erie’s economy and our working families.

Dan Laughlin is a primary sponsor of the bill to finally allow Erie’s sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy hunting every day of the week. Antiquated laws stranded law-abiding citizens on one of their few days off. State Sen. Dan Laughlin understands that we live in the 21st Century, where leisure schedules can be tight.

“Legalizing Sunday hunting not only makes sense, it’s a boom to our recreational industry and a chance for families to enjoy this sport on one of the few days of the week when most of them can be together,” Sen. Laughlin says.

The bill continues to move through the general assembly because Dan Laughlin knows how to get things done. 

Dan Laughlin knows the challenges facing families where both parents work outside the home. That’s why he reached across the political aisle to become one of two prime sponsors of the Family Care Act.

Without increasing taxes or costs to employers, the act creates an insurance program that allows working parents to draw benefits while caring for a sick child, elderly family member, or a new child.

“State figures show that 21 percent of working couples could not financially survive a loss of income of three months or longer,” Sen. Laughlin says. “If we’re going to be pro-family, then we have to make sure families can survive a temporary crisis. This bill is about people.”

The Family Care Act is near passage – another example of State Sen. Dan Laughlin getting it done.

Reforming Marijuana Laws

Dan Laughlin has seen the effect of targeted prosecutions and the destruction of lives not because of smoking pot, but because of being prosecuted for it. He favors a law to legalize marijuana use, carefully regulate it, while cleaning the slate for people whose lives have been upended by possession arrests.

Dan has co-sponsored legislation to make certain that Pennsylvania exercised strict controls on potency, labeling and distribution, while stepping up enforcement to keep it out of the hands of the underage.

Dan has co-sponsored legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 per hour, with built-in adjustments for inflation. Studies of border counties in Pennsylvania and New York have shown no significant loss of jobs when New York raised its minimum while Pennsylvania remained at roughly $7.

It’s time to make certain that people working full-time can survive on the minimum established by the state of Pennsylvania.