Pennsylvania needs a 'Just Recovery' -- see what House Democrats are doing to ensure an economic recovery that works for everyone
Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus June 18, 2020 | 10:55 AM
It’s long past time Pennsylvania worked for everyone, and House Democrats are committed to making it happen. It’s time to focus on What Pennsylvania Needs: A Recovery for Everyone. We want everyone to thrive because we’re all in this together.
The COVID-19 emergency forced a stopgap budget through in May. We need to fix it and make sure our recovery leaves no one behind and does it fairly and with justice. Our economy should work for everybody and not just the well-connected.
Legislators must finish this budget and ensure that every one of us can care for our families, earn a fair return for our work, and secure health care, housing and a good education. That’s what Pennsylvania needs to ensure recovery from the pandemic-created recession.
It’s time to embrace a new path forward for all Pennsylvanians. Here is what PA House Democrats will be fighting for:
A FAIR DAY’S PAY FOR A HARD DAY’S WORK
The COVID-19 pandemic has put it into the sharpest focus in decades: our frontline essential workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, grocery stores, food services and countless other industries aren’t getting paid a fair wage. They’re not getting it because some politicians have tried to divide us.
The PA House Democratic Caucus is determined to work together, not just to protect and reward frontline workers during this crisis, but to ensure that everyone -- with no exceptions --can secure fair pay, a safe workplace and real benefits.
How will we do it?
• Removing the barriers that prevent Pennsylvanians from joining together to form unions to negotiate for better wages, benefits and safety in the workplace.
• Ensuring that every worker has paid family leave and sick days.
• Creating a living wage for everyone -- a real minimum wage that increases with the cost of living, an end to the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, an end to the preemption of local minimum wage laws, and strong enforcement of minimum wage laws.
GIVING OUR KIDS A GREAT FUTURE STARTING WITH A GREAT SCHOOL
Investing in our kids pays off with a better Pennsylvania for everyone. But we’ve been picking winners and losers for too long; ultimately, we all lose when any kid is left behind.
The pandemic proved all schools are not created equal – even when lessons leave the building. Kids without laptops, tablet computers or high-speed internet are getting left behind, and the kids who need the most help are often getting the least.
House Democrats are united in support of making sure every child and every school has the tools needed to succeed.
How will we do it?
• Increasing state funding for childcare and public schools so every child gets a superior education and rising property taxes don’t take the American dream away from families and seniors.
• Making tuition affordable at community colleges and at our state colleges and universities, so our graduates can start earning and being part of their communities instead of facing years of crippling debt.
• Investing in career and technical education, job training, and apprenticeship programs leading to good-paying careers in jobs special interests can’t outsource.
HEALTH CARE FOR ALL
You deserve to see a doctor when you get sick. As we watch other countries excel at handling COVID-19 while essential workers here can’t even get tested, the differences are crystal clear. Some politicians have ignored our common vulnerability to illness and disease so they don’t have to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, income or immigrant status, can go to a well-trained doctor or a hospital with the best equipment. COVID-19 has made it impossible to ignore that some of us are struggling to get tested or see doctors. And it has reminded us that we are all better off when all of us, regardless of where we live or where we came from, can get the care we need.
House Democrats want to make sure everyone can secure testing and treatment for COVID-19 and receive quality, affordable health care in the future.
How will we do it?
• We want to make sure you can’t be denied insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition.
• We want to require health insurance policies sold in our state to cover essential benefits
• We want to prohibit annual or lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits
• We want to make sure you can keep your adult child on your health insurance up to age 26.
A ROOF OVER EVERY HEAD
The average person can’t absorb a $400 emergency. When a pandemic sends unemployment skyrocketing, secure housing turns into a luxury for too many people.
The PA House Democratic Caucuses will stand together in protecting both homeowners and renters during this crisis and ensure that the state requires every county and city to not only create a plan to make affordable housing available to all, but to also provide the resources to carry out that plan.
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
It’s a joke that’s gone on too long: the solution to every problem is cut taxes for the rich and big corporations. For 40 years it hasn’t worked to create jobs, rebuild our communities or deliver real growth. All it’s done is funnel money up.
When you put money in the hands of working people, it gets spent in the community. Our tax system asks working people to pay too much—especially in our communities of color or immigrants, both documented and undocumented -- and lets corporations and the rich contribute too little.
We are committed to providing everyone with the economic support they need right now and to making sure that everyone pays their fair share:
• Giving working people a tax cut, so they can buy food, get a new car, or repair their home -- and putting the burden back on the people living off capital gains and investments.
• Ending tax loopholes so that large multi-state and multi-national corporations pay taxes at the same rate as Pennsylvania-based corporations.
• Creating an anti-poverty tax credit that prevents families from being taxed into poverty.
EVERY VOICE IS HEARD AND EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED
For too long, we have allowed some politicians to make our very democracy an object of division because they know that when every voice is heard and every vote is counted, our collective efforts will overwhelm the money and power of their corporate sponsors.
We will work to eliminate the barriers that prevent everyone -- especially people of color and those with low incomes -- from playing a role in shaping our government now and in the future by:
• Sending every voter a postage-paid mail-in ballot.
• Ensuring that early voting locations are widely available.
• Ending the partisan and racial gerrymandering of legislative districts.
• Limiting the influence of money in our politics.
A rising tide can’t lift all boats if many people don’t even have a boat. For too long women, people of color and immigrants have been left behind. It’s time to stand together to give Pennsylvania what it needs: an economy that includes everyone.