We have the largest full-time state legislature in the country, and we have no better results than many other states with smaller legislatures.
If we cut our State House from 203 members to 103 and our State Senate from 50 members to 25, we would save over $11 million per year on legislator wages alone, not including the added savings from healthcare, pension, and per diem pay.
There are a few measures that could make Harrisburg more accountable.
We need to cut legislative salaries so representatives have a role in fixing the problems that they created. Salary savings should be earmarked to pay down the $43 billion debt from years of unfunded pensions, with another $32 billion on the way.
Combined with the savings, future and current, from cutting the legislature, we could get the debt to a manageable place in 4 years.
Legislators currently receive cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) according to inflation, which means as the cost of goods goes up, so does the cost of government.
I propose that we instead index legislative pay to the year-over-year change in the bottom 10% of incomes among Pennsylvania workers. This way, when Pennsylvanians are left behind, the legislature feels the pinch. I would also cap the COLA at the inflation rate to prevent huge pay hikes for legislators.
Pennsylvania has 500 school districts for 67 counties. We have 500 superintendents and 500 assistant superintendents, plus many more principals and assistant principals. Pennsylvania is top heavy in the management of our schools. Excessive management costs the taxpayers over $1 billion annually in unnecessary taxes and $5-10 billion more in healthcare, pensions and benefits. I am proposing that we streamline, consolidate and reposition personnel to reduce the costs of education which will reduce people's tax burdens.
1) Reduce the number of school districts to county districts in most cases, except in counties with large metropolitan population. 2) Reduce the number of titled positions. Putting one person in charge and multiple associate heads to reduce salaries and benefits. Use lay staff to handle more daily tasks at reduced costs. 3) Enact county or even regional buying groups for outside services, supplies and healthcare. 4) Share services and equipment to reduce costs. 5) Introduce a law that requires the cost of new regulations be evaluated and included in the state budget.6) All large-dollar school projects not directly related to education should be put on the ballot for the voter input. In time when dollars for education will become more precious it is important that Pennsylvanians get more education from each dollar. When elected to office, I will work to establish a commission to study and improve management with the sole intent of efficiently allocating tax dollars.
Apply a 4% Earned Income Tax
Add 0.5 % to current sales tax
Increase the cost of concealed permitfrom $25 for 3 years to $50 for the same period
Enact a commercial school tax to compensate for the gift granted to commercial real estate by eliminating school taxes.
Tax credits for seniors that donate time to school reading and math programs.
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