FOR PA SENATE 48

Calvin Doc Clements

Paid For By Friends Of Doc Clements

Schools, Jobs & Rural Communities

One of the problems we face in parts of Pennsylvania is a lack of jobs especially in rural areas. In many areas the school district is the largest employer and our inability to properly fund our schools has led to severe understaffing. From teachers to custodians, nurses, librarians and aides, our schools need to put our community back to work. 

 

Especially now with the devastating consequences of the Covid pandemic. We can immediately put people back to work. To do so we need to get targeted funding in the budget for schools in these areas.  It is time to deal with the pension mess the legislature created by severely underfunding prior pension liability and ignored for twenty-five years. Putting this cost on taxpayers is a disservice and a big reason why property taxes go up so much every year. We have to deal with this problem. And the solution is not to destroy the public pension system and leave our retirees without income. We made a promise and now it is time for the legislature to do their job. Failure to resolve this issue will send our state into financial collapse. 

Operate Schools Safely

We must open our schools. Children need to return to in person education and the social environment for mental health. Parents need to have their children in school so they can return to work. We must ensure our schools can operate safely and be prepared for a possible resurgence of the Covid virus or for potential variants of the virus. The CDC has issued a list of suggested strategies to put in place. These include upgraded HVAC, more fresh air, more outdoor spaces and other needed updates. We need to work with our local school districts to ensure they can successfully implement the needed remodeling and have the funds to do so. The recent enactment of the COVID Relief Bill presents a unique opportunity to complete these with limited financial burden to the school districts. We must ensure that the relief funding is distributed equitably and without waste.

Reopen PA Safely and Quickly

Our small businesses need our help. We must ensure they can get back to work. This means we need to consider how we help them financially. We also need to make sure they can find employees and provide safe work environments. Reopening PA must include an intensive vaccination program to achieve protective herd immunity. Legislators must stop spreading myths and doubts regarding the virus and vaccine so we can motivate all the population to vaccinate.  Failure to achieve a successful vaccination program will result in subsequent surges in viral cases and create a significant segment of the population who will not return to normal purchasing habits and cause major economic loss. 

Return Civility to Politics

We MUST work together more. Legislators need to have bipartisan conversations and stop one-sided efforts based on rhetoric and political agendas. Once an election is complete, we are not Republicans or Democrats but Pennsylvanians. We are sent to Harrisburg to represent the people not a party. I will lead the effort to work with all members of the legislature to get done the work of the people.

Voting Rights & Access

Our most important right is our right to vote. Infringing on that right in any way is anti-American. We must do everything we can to ensure that every person who wants to vote can do so and we safeguard free and fair elections. I believe that voting can be made accessible and convenient and remain free of fraud. 

Property Tax Reform

No taxpayer should worry about having to leave their home after a lifetime because of property taxes. When elected, I will work to ensure we have strong property tax reform legislation that freezes property taxes to a percentage of income for those on disability, social security or a fixed pension.  The main reason property taxes increase is unfunded mandates. We need to review all the requirements we put on our local school districts and decide if we want to pay for them. If not, maybe it is time to think about restricting mandates at the state level to funding. 

Gerrymandering

Once again, we see an effort to skew elections with the use of bias and gerrymandering. We cannot allow misinformation and partisan bias to attempt to change the outcome of free and fair elections, not at any level. The construction of fair districts should be the result of a commission that consists of each party and the general public. The impartial Judiciary cannot be interfered with by a minority effort to change the law to suit their ideology.

Taxes

It is time for Pennsylvania to move to a fair tax system that balances the budget. We need a system that allows tax rates that increase proportional to wealth and that do not hurt working families and our middle class. When we all pay our fair share, we can tackle the state deficit and protect our senior citizens and veterans. The latest tax scheme to tax retirement income, rather than implement a fair tax system, must not be allowed.

Prescription Drugs

Life-saving medicine should not be rationed. No one should have to decide between buying food and paying for needed medication. When elected, I will support the effort to reform how drug companies are charging our healthcare system. The state is a major player in the purchase of pharmaceuticals and must utilize that leverage to cap the price of life-saving medications. No Pennsylvanian should have to supplicate for drugs that are necessary to live. 

SAVE the Family Farm

The family dairy farm is in jeopardy of extinction. The dairy farmer is being paid $1.45 / gallon of milk for a product that cost $2.65/gallon to produce. The family farm is an integral part of many of our communities and a vital part to the tax base. Currently, the price of $15.60 /100 wt. is insufficient to ensure economic stability and should be set at $20.00/100 wt.  I want to see problems of overproduction, unfair foreign competition and the lack of product promotion addressed in the legislature to stop the loss of this industry that has been part of our culture for several generations.