Jobs and Economy
1. CREATE GOOD PAYING JOBS 2. RAISE MINIMUM WAGE 3. ENCOURAGE SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURS
4. ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Tay wants to empower people to find fulfilling work, earn better paychecks and benefits, and build wealth while providing for their families. A fair economy rewards all working people to play by the rules and climb the economic ladder to success. To achieve this, we must increase the minimum wage. Tay believes it is necessary to establish a living wage so families who play by the rules can prosper and become great community partners. A scaling increase to the minimum wage will assist families to get to a position of only working one or two jobs, while being able to spend quality time with their children. Our minimum wage has not seen an increase in many years. Many families work jobs several jobs hit that $40,000+ family sustaining number. Surrounding states have already increased the minimum wage. A single adult working a minimum wage job in PA earns $15,000/year. The poverty line is above that. We have a system in PA that traps people into depending upon public assistance. It is time we close this gap. Fewer people will rely on public assistance and more people will move off Medicaid, both saving PA millions of dollars.
Tay has always been a huge supporter of the Career and Technology Centers and what they have to offer such as job training and education. These institutions bring to the forefront aspects which will allow individuals to earn a living wage, have healthcare benefits and build a secure retirement. These programs support communities, schools and families. The 39th district needs individuals to fill needed positions. A more robust education, labor and employment landscape will help fill these available positions. Additionally, a strong base of employed residents will support thriving communities throughout the County.
A program utilizing senior citizens who would like to work part-time without losing any of their benefits could be initiated. Our district, which contains so many talented seniors who have a desire to work and contain great work ethics can serve as a great example to other districts.
Tay grew up the son of a union bricklayer. His father was a union officer and served until he began to teach masonry trades at a technical school. Unions are in Tay's blood, and have continued to remain in his family. Tay's daughter is an assistant principal, one daughter-in-law is a teacher and his son-in-law is a PA state trooper. The priority of labor/unions ties directly to education, training and living wages.
1. MODERNIZE PROPERTY TAXES 2. FAIR AND EQUITABLE TAX ENVIRONMENT
We can improve the tax environment at the state and local levels. Property taxes are Tay's top priority. Opportunities for improvement exist to make the business climate better, lessen the burden on working people while providing families with more financial resources.
The current taxing model is a deterrent to many elderly aging in place. Providing rebates to homeowners may be an answer. Updating the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate of 3.07% in PA should be considered. Also, we must reduce the Corporate Net Income Tax while eliminating loopholes. PA has one of the highest Corporate Tax Rates in the country. Our Tax Code is riddled with loopholes, exemptions, tax credits and deductions, that if addressed, would allow for a level playing field for businesses. Closing the so-called “Delaware Loophole” would be significant.
1. INCREASE SCHOOL FUNDING 2. FIGHT FOR COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY 3. INCREASE SCHOOL SAFETY 4. EXPAND AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS, PRE-K, HEAD START AND EARLY HEAD START PROGRAMS
Public schools are about the business of educating students while working with parents to achieve intended outcomes for all. Tay would like to make sure these institutions have the needed funding to accomplish their goals. Safety on school premises and in vehicles is a priority. School districts need funding to maintain appropriate staffing levels, particularly among teachers, to have our schools perform at optimum levels. Teachers are the backbone of our education system, as they are mentors who provide life tools to prepare our youth for their next stages in life. We need to provide our school systems and teachers with safe working conditions, reasonable compensation and benefits and on-going professional development opportunities.
The public education system has found itself paying significant dollars out of their budgets for private schools and charter schools. Tay will make it a priority to assist public schools in developing their own charter schools to assist their own students to help stay within their budgets. Tay is a huge advocate of Early Childhood Education and plans to support Pre-K, Head Start, Early Head Start and quality child care programs that prepare our youth and families for a successful educational future. More must be done to ensure that the children of the 39th district are prepared for school.
Additionally, our higher education system, including universities, community colleges and technical schools prepare or retrain individuals for the next stage in their lives. We must make higher education accessible, affordable and useful for people who would like to take advantage of these resources.
1. HEALTHCARE FOR ALL 2. PROTECT CHIP 3. COMBAT THE OPIOID CRISIS 4. RESTORE CUTS TO MEDICAID
Healthcare is a basic human right. We have a moral and ethical obligation to provide access while delivering the very best healthcare for all our residents. This may be battling drug and alcohol addiction, behavioral health issues, addressing permanent, chronic or high-risk health issues or a sick child. We are all confronted with these circumstances. We must fight the opioid abuse and addiction. Addiction and overdose deaths have touched us all. Tay was part of the formation of the Drug Overdose Task Force, whose direct mission is to educate, organize and eliminate overdose deaths.
As a father with a son in recovery, Tay personally knows what the individual and the family goes through. Tay also knows that with the proper support and treatment, this dreaded disease can be tempered.
We need to expand our treatment levels in Westmoreland County. There are not enough local beds or support programs in place for housing, employment and transportation services.
We must protect The Affordable Care Act, as it has previously covered 20 million uninsured individuals. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers 180,000 children in PA according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This program must be protected.
Ensuring additional funding for Human Services Block Grants to allows flexibility to address concerns with behavioral health, drug and alcohol treatment, child welfare services, homelessness and those with intellectual disabilities.
1. SUPPORT VETERANS' HEALTHCARE 2. ASSIST VETERANS HOLISTICALLY
Westmoreland County has a significant veteran population of 34,000. Many are obviously older, however, supports are needed with individuals and families. All veterans should be allowed to receive healthcare benefits at any healthcare institution. There should be no reason to travel or wait for any services. The financial benefits should be the same. Two years ago, Westmoreland County had a significant number of veterans receiving homeless services. Additionally, we had a large number with drug and alcohol and behavioral health issues, such as PTSD. Tay will support programs that directly provide services to veterans (housing, employment, counseling). Nationally, we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide. This alarming number is concerning in so many ways. We need vets helping vets. Tay supports the "Pennsylvania G.I. Bill" to assist returning veterans.
1. SUPPORT GROWING GREENER INITIATIVES 2. IMPLEMENT SHALE TAX 3. ADVOCATE FOR CLEAN ENERGY
The Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that “people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment.” Westmoreland County has an abundance of public natural resources, which are the priority of all people, including future generations.
We must address climate change. Growing Greener Initiatives should be expanded to include renewable energy investments, energy efficient initiatives, cleaning up legacy pollution, protecting and improving watersheds and open spaces while helping our agriculture industry.
It's time for Pennsylvania to enact a shale gas extraction tax, while preserving the impact fees already paid by drilling companies to our local communities. The combination of a statewide extraction tax and the local impact fees should not exceed the extraction tax levels of neighboring states.
The drilling boom and fracking have set off massive pipeline construction. We must ensure protection for our communities, schools and water sources during the development of these infrastructure projects.
Addressing lead contamination must also be a priority. Our drinking water must be protected, and contamination issues must be addressed.
Social and Criminal Justice Reform
1. RE-ENTRY PROGRAMS 2. EXPAND EARLY EXPUNGEMENT 3. SUPPORT PAID LEAVE 4. END HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Opportunities must be available for all residents to work, live and enjoy the attributes of the area. These opportunities must be available to all our residents, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or creed.
We must ensure women's rights to healthcare, equal pay and freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace. We must also protect the rights of our LGBQT community by creating non-discrimination laws, similar to our neighboring states.
We must create programs to assist those re-entering our community from incarceration, which will take a holistic approach. We must reform the expungement process so individuals aren't paying the rest of their lives for a single mistake.
1. EVENTS 2. SUPPORT 3. PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS
Tay has spent 39 years working to help others in Westmoreland County. Partnerships, collaborations and volunteers are the glue that holds communities and Westmoreland County together. Tay realizes the value that Westmoreland County residents bring to the success of our total living environment. Tay will continue to encourage community participation while assisting in any capacity now and once in Harrisburg.