Harrisburg has traditionally spent first and funded as an afterthought. This is the reason billions of dollars are wasted by agencies across the political landscape. We are hemmed in by entitlement programs that consume more than 80 percent of our general fund budget, leaving little room for remaining initiatives. Our pension deficit is enormous and at risk of crashing if action is not taken to shift from defined-benefits to the defined-contribution systems now in place in the private sector.
Dan hails from Erie, a city of immigrants and he understands that immigration has shaped our nation. Current anti-immigration rhetoric and actions appear to be grounded in rank prejudice and thinly veiled racism and, as such, have made it impossible to create meaningful, reasoned and compassionate decisions. The DREAM Act is a good start, and a fresh directions toward actual solutions, rather than pitting native-born against foreign-born, is essential if we are to sensibly address this issue.
The very foundation of society is education. We must start with the basic contract between society and our children that each child has access to a quality K through 12 education.
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.
The Second Amendment is clear in its language and the Supreme Court has upheld gun ownership as an individual right, not one conferred solely through the militia terminology in the amendment.
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.”
Dan Laughlin has seen the effect of overregulation of personal behavior and how one solution is sometimes used to create a new problem. Take-out cocktails, a sensible decision made during the pandemic declaration, should be restored. In fact, the entire Prohibition-era series of liquor laws, starting with the state monopoly, should be put aside and Pennsylvania should join other states where adults are permitted to act like adults. Similarly, too many lives have been damaged not because someone smoked pot, but because they were prosecuted for it. He favors a law to legalize adult marijuana use, regulate it, while clearing 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.
Pennsylvania has had, for practical applications, the highest corporate income tax in the nation. While many companies slip past the Corporate Net Income tax as Chapter S corporations, paying the personal rate, the current CNI is a strong signal that Pennsylvania is unfriendly to business. We must expand the use of tax incentive programs to attract new development. This is not a tax subsidy. Rather, these are taxes we won’t collect for a set period of time on business that would not otherwise open here and create jobs. Pennsylvania must also examine its regulatory system to eliminate needless red tape. Above all, business is disheartened by a lack of certainty that makes it impossible to develop and maintain a clear plan toward profitability.
We put too many people in prison for too long and, as a result, end up paroling people with few job prospects, little real-world training, and an in-prison education from their hardened counterparts. Criminal justice reform must begin with reducing the practice of jailing non-violent offenders, particularly for drug possession, and a reassessment of the “mandatory minimum” policies established thirty years ago.
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. Dan’s proposal would boost the wage above $10 an hour and peg it to the Consumer Price Index. Full time work should be rewarded with earnings above the poverty level. We cannot risk creating a new generation of the underclass.