PA House Democrats urge action on Plan for PA with values and policies that put people first

HARRISBURG, Nov. 27 -- Pennsylvania House Democrats are urging bipartisan work in the coming months on their "Plan for PA," which advances the values of working, middle-class families in Pennsylvania with policies and legislation focused on putting people first and creating good jobs, providing quality schools and establishing fair taxes.

"House Republicans wasted months squabbling with each other instead of working with the governor and other legislators to finalize a budget that addresses the state's long-term fiscal challenges and the needs of you and your family," Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. "Their disarray and disorder resulted in a budget delay that lasted four months and a credit downgrade that is going to cost Pennsylvania taxpayers tens of millions of dollars."

"House Democrats represent cities, suburban communities, small towns and rural areas across the state, but all of us share a common dedication to a core set of values we believe matches the values and needs of Pennsylvania families and small businesses," he said. "We need to start getting things done for them, not continue to waste time on the enduring Republican agenda of partisan politics, making corporations richer and turning government over to the special interests."

The House Democratic Plan for PA features four components:

A People First Plan for PA that protects the safety, health, financial security, and dignity and opportunity that every Pennsylvanian deserves, not just those at the top.

A Jobs Plan for PA that attracts good jobs that support families, moves the economy forward, expands opportunities for working people, and protects the financial security of the middle class.

A Quality Schools Plan for PA that gives every child access to a safe school and a quality education, and allows adults to gain the skills and training they need to do the jobs businesses are looking to fill. 

A Fair Taxes Plan for PA that eases the tax burden on working people and homeowners and prevents corporations and the wealthy from exploiting the middle class. Corporations and the wealthy should pay their fair share to support schools, public health and safety, and community resources.

"Pennsylvania is stuck in neutral, and has been for the past six years under Republican majorities in the General Assembly," House Democratic Appropriations Chairman Joe Markosek said. "Pennsylvania just suffered its sixth credit downgrade under the Republicans' fiscal doctrine, and GOP leaders had us mired in another budget impasse for the entire summer because they wouldn't or couldn't stop focusing on partisan politics or satisfying the special interests long enough to get to any real work done for the people of Pennsylvania."

"Pennsylvania's economy is stagnating while our working people, middle-class families and small businesses lose ground," Democratic Whip Mike Hanna said. "House Democrats are offering a different vision and a new way forward. Our Plan for PA puts people first by embracing a set of values and policy choices the people of Pennsylvania want government to focus on: good jobs; quality schools and fair taxes.

“The Plan for PA will attract good jobs and move our economy forward for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” he said. “We will ease the burden on working people and small businesses with a tax system where everyone pays their fair share. We will support quality schools and an education system that prepare students for a lifetime of learning and workers for the good jobs that support their families. And, we will put people first by promoting health and safety, dignity, financial security, and quality of life for every Pennsylvanian." 

"The Republican approach to governing Pennsylvania has been bankrupt for years," Dermody said. "Instead of standing still, we can turn our attention and efforts instead to the values and policies our residents have been asking us to focus on for years -- values and policies shared by House Democrats. With the Plan for PA, we can build a Pennsylvania that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected."

More on the House Democrats' Plan for PA is available at http://plan4pa.pahouse.com.