SENATE CANDIDATES 2004
The General Assembly, the legislative branch of state government, is composed
of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. A majority
vote of both houses is necessary to pass a law. Every law concerning taxation
must originate in the House of Representatives. There are 203 members
of the House and 50 members of the Senate.
Senators are elected to a four-year term. The annual salary is $66,203.55.
SENATE CANDIDATES 2004
boroughs and townships in Indiana County are included in Senate District
41. District 41 also includes most of Armstrong County and portions of
Clearfield, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties.
Year of birth:
Attended Juniata College and IUP
my first term in the State Senate, I have worked very hard to secure funding
to improve our highways, develop water and sewer infrastructure and create
opportunities to retain and create good paying jobs. I’ve also worked
in Harrisburg to pass legislation to protect our doctors from frivolous
lawsuits, expand prescription drug coverage and give voters a say on future
increases in school property taxes. As chairman of the Veterans Affairs
and Emergency Preparedness Committee and as a member of the Community
and Economic Development, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Banking and Insurance,
Transportation and Environmental Resources and Energy committees, I am
well positioned to represent the interests of the people of the 41st District
in the Pennsylvania Senate.
1: Emissions of toxic mercury from coal-burning power plants can cause
birth defects and other public health problems. What action do you support
to address this significant risk to our environment?
the course of several decades, we have made great strides toward improving
our environment – especially in the area of toxic emissions from
power plants. Two examples are the recent opening of Reliant’s
coal refuse generating facility in Seward and Midwest Generation’s
new scrubber system in Homer City. These facilities are using new technology
to make electric generation cleaner and more efficient. The Commonwealth
must encourage power plants to use alternative fuels and cleaner methods,
and I’m committed to working with Secretary McGinty and Senate
leadership to champion initiatives to continue to find ways to reduce
emissions while insuring an adequate and efficient power supply.
2: Pennsylvania is among the states with the highest tuition for residents
attending state-owned universities (the 14 universities in the State System
of Higher Education, including IUP).Will you support significant increases
in the state appropriation for these schools? Why or why not?
have and will continue to support increases in funding for the SSHE.
IUP is not only the hub of economic activity in our community, but is
a quality institution that prepares our children for today’s world.
I will continue to support IUP and the SSHE under all possible circumstances.
3: Pennsylvania’s system of distributing state funds to schools
is badly flawed, so that wealthier districts tend to receive significantly
more state and local revenue than property-poor ones do. What steps must
be taken to address the inequitable funding formula for public
firmly believe every child has a right to an equal and quality education.
The schools I represent are some of the poorest and already receive
most of their funding from the Commonwealth. However, on a per pupil
basis their expenditures are much less than most schools in the more
wealthy areas. I am a proponent of changing the funding formula to account
for per pupil expenditures made by districts and increase state funding
to ensure each child in Pennsylvania is given the same opportunities.
4: All lawmakers representing Indiana County support efforts to improve
the local economy through job training and development and infrastructure
improvements. Other than these, what will be your priorities as a member
of the General Assembly?
need to address the increasing costs of health care. I have supported
medical malpractice reforms to end frivolous lawsuits and make sure
our doctors can afford to practice in Pennsylvania. I have also supported
efforts to increase competition among health insurance providers and
will work to find new ways of providing health care coverage through
programs such as tax-free health savings accounts. I’ve also support
the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the AdultBasic
program to ensure low income families have health insurance.