Jason Richey’s Contract
Population growth and economic productivity in Pennsylvania remains on a downward trend while taxes and the size of government remain on an upward trend. We must take immediate steps to reverse these trends, including the calling of a Limited Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, which will allow us quickly and efficiently to update our archaic laws (and protect the good provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution).
Here are the steps we need to take for the Great Pennsylvania Comeback:
1. Restore Liberty. Eliminate all Gov. Wolf’s restrictions on our liberties (such as the right of assembly, worship, running a business and the important 2nd amendment rights that enable Pennsylvanians to protect their families), to fully reopen the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania must also reverse the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision which gives the Governor the unilateral power in times of emergency; end “cancel culture;” and resist democratic efforts to institute socialism in our society. Finally, we need to organize a Consortium of PA medical providers to lead our immunization efforts (with help from the National Guard if necessary) to make sure that anyone who wants an immunization shot can get one as soon as possible.
2. Increase Your Wealth/Create More Jobs. Eliminate the Pennsylvania personal and business income tax. It makes no sense to penalize our citizens who are working hard “above the table.” We want to encourage citizens to work. All Pennsylvania tax revenue should be collected through taxes that can potentially be imposed on people that do not live in our state, such as our sales tax and other similar consumption taxes (bad taxes include income, real estate and estate taxes). Swift action with this type of smart fiscal change will accelerate the state’s economic recovery from decades of decline and create tens of thousands of new jobs. Jason will make Pennsylvania a place that your children and grandchildren will want to live in!!
3. Responsibly Shrink Government, Spending and Property Taxes. Pennsylvania has the largest full time legislature of 253 members in the country (California only has 80). Pennsylvania has the third highest number of local governments at 2,625 (only Illinois and Minnesota are higher). Pennsylvania has the ninth highest number of school districts at 500 (Maryland has 24). The state executive branch is bloated with too many departments. We can reduce the size of the legislature and executive branches of government and make it easier for municipalities and school district to consolidate (if they want to) so it can reduce Pennsylvanian’s taxes, including local property tax. Additionally, we can greatly reduce regulations that plague businesses trying to operate here, provide more flexibility for local governments to run their affairs and limit State spending through the Taxpayer Protection Act.
4.Election Integrity. Election Integrity must be obtained by doing three things: (1) eliminating Act 77 passed primarily by Republicans and signed by Wolf which led to an out of control mail in ballot system; (2) purchasing computer voting machines with paper print out back-up for all counties to ensure paper back-up for every vote; and (3) requiring basic photo identification for any voter (which is needed for basic tasks such as opening a bank account or obtaining a job). We will improve voter participation by allowing voting for two consecutive days at the polls. Each day will be a State holiday to give voters a four day weekend in which they can fully participate in our democracy.
5. Fund the Police/Ensure Security. The Commonwealth should establish a high pay grade for all police officers (statewide) to attract the best candidates to protect Pennsylvanians as well as the development of regional police forces (see Northern Regional Police in Allegheny County). Additionally, the state should require increase in police officer training, including communications with citizens and simulations of dangerous situations and a better understanding of dealing with people with mental disorders. Jason will also not allow sanctuary cities and will create an environment to protect the Commonwealth from riots and civil disturbance.
6. Support the Development of All Types of Energy and Manufacturing. The Commonwealth is blessed to have an abundance of resources. Pennsylvania should strive to be an energy leader in producing natural gas, oil, clean coal, wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal while at the same time protecting the environment. A balanced and diversified approach will benefit all Pennsylvanians by creating jobs and a reliable and cheaper energy supply for all. The abundance of energy and a more aggressive state marketing will bring back more manufacturing jobs to the Commonwealth.
7. Improve Education Choice and Competition. Our public education system should be the best in the world where students learn about equality (to combat racism and sexism) and have choices in high school (including the potential for boarding) for an academic, vocation (working with local employers and unions – see Manchester Bidwell model) or military school (see Valley Forge Military Academy model but free) path after 9th Grade. Our public school teachers, like our police officers, should also have a higher compensation to attract the best people to the profession.
8. Reduce Health Care Cost/Protect Life. Promoting tele-medicine, the pooling of insurance by small businesses, the use of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants (with prescriptive authority) and allowing for free market medical insurance competition will reduce the cost of healthcare and make it more affordable/accessible for every Pennsylvanian. Pennsylvania also needs to make mental health care more available to its citizens. Health insurance can be provided more cheaply, effectively and protect those with pre-existing conditions. Finally, we need to eliminate any State funding for abortions.
9.Improve a High Speed Rail and Infrastructure. Need to begin through public private partnerships the design and construction of high-speed rail network (possibly hyperloop technology) that allows people and goods to speed throughout the Commonwealth. All large and mid-size cities must be able to quickly connect to each other as well as our two major airports (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia) so the entire state can compete in the 21st Century. Pennsylvania also needs to continue to improve: its internet access and network strength in rural areas (and will have an advisor with expertise on rural issues in the Gov. office), electrical grid, flood prevention, roads, bridges and similar infrastructure projects.
10. Eliminate the Turnpike Commission. Unelected officials have now raised tolls on the Turnpike for 13 consecutive years to pay its massive debt and to make legislatively mandated payments to PennDOT. This increase in tolls is essentially a tax increase which is disproportionally felt by Southeastern Pennsylvanians who pay 60% of all tolls. To increase efficiency and eliminate bureaucracy, Pennsylvania should merge the Turnpike into PennDOT in an effort to curb the annual rate increases that will not end unless action is taken.
11. End Government Control of Wine & Spirit Sales and the LCB. Pennsylvania started this system after Prohibition to discourage and limit the sale of alcohol. The system is outdated. Pennsylvania is one of two states with this archaic system. Government should not be competing with the private sector. The state store system should be privatized so that the state can obtain nearly $1 Billion in proceeds from licenses that can be used to deal with budget problems, like state pension issues.
12.Improve the Election Process and the Judiciary. Pennsylvania must change primary process so that all citizens can vote in the primary and promote mainstream politicians. Gerrymandering (the process of drawing legislative districts to favor a party) needs to be eliminated as well to discourage either party from manipulating the process. Finally, our judges need to be selected on a merit basis system where they are nominated by the governor and approved or denied by the senate to ensure that Pennsylvanians have competent and qualified judges throughout the Commonwealth.