We are encouraged by the very familiar-sounding policy stance of these candidates for office. Sound policy IS sound poilitics!
Text of March 7 news release….
Coalition of GOP challengers announce “The Promise to Pennsylvania.”
As Republican Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, we promise to: 1) Advocate the principles upon which our Commonwealth was founded; 2) Restore trust between the citizens of Pennsylvania and their government.
Despite Republican control of the Pennsylvania House and Senate since 1995, the size, scope, cost and inefficiency of government have increased dramatically. Meanwhile, weâ€™ve witnessed a severe deterioration of the people's faith in the willingness of our elected officials to legislate with humility, honor, and altruism. It is more important than ever for men and women embodying these values to serve in our State Legislature.
This year's election offers the opportunity for a new majority that will transform the way our General Assembly does business. With this new majority will come a new era of accountability in state government and a renewed dedication to freedom and personal responsibility.
During the 2006-2007 Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, we will introduce, and work diligently to advance, legislation embodying the following reforms and policies:
1. Legislative Reform:
ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE TAXPAYERS
* Require an independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of the General Assembly for waste, fraud and mismanagement.
CITIZEN INCLUSION IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
* Mandate that the â€œPA Sunshine Lawâ€ apply uniformly to all legislative sessions, meetings and hearings conducted by State Government, granting appropriate access to the public and media.
* Disallow passage of any legislation that has not strictly met the procedural rigor detailed in Sections 1-4, Article III, of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
ENACT STRICT LOBBYING REFORM
* Enact a five-year waiting period for former legislators and cabinet officials to become lobbyists.
* Eliminate gifts to public officials from lobbyists for any entity desiring business with the Commonwealth.
* Require legislators to abstain from voting on any legislation that could benefit their personal or business interests.
2. Political Reform:
RESTORING THE CONCEPT OF A CITIZEN LEGISLATURE
* Enact a Constitutional Amendment limiting the number of years Senators and Representatives can serve to 12 years in each legislative body.
* Enact term limits on committee chairmanships and leadership positions.
OPENESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT
* Create a system to post legislatorsâ€™ voting records on the Internet within 24 hours, like other states.
ENDING TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED INCUMBENT PROTECTION
* Rein in taxpayer subsidized newsletters and public service announcements, which are tools for reelection and further the status quo in Harrisburg.
3. Taxation and Spending Reform:
STOP THE SPENDING SPREE IN HARRISBURG
* Implement the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) to strictly limit increases in state spending to the concurrent rates of inflation and population growth.
* Eliminate unfunded mandates to the counties, municipalities and school districts in the Commonwealth, which shift the tax increases to these taxing bodies.
* Limit the ability of politicians to distribute tax dollars to special interests.
AN END TO BURDENING THE TAXPAYER
* Require a three-fifths majority to pass a tax increase.
* Work to eliminate property taxation.
* Eliminate â€œnuisance taxes.â€
4. Legal and Labor Law Reform:
END THE JACKPOT JUSTICE SYSTEM
* Pass a constitutional amendment giving the General Assembly broader authority to implement commonsense legal reform
* Reform lawsuit abuse by ending unlimited jury awards and enforcing a â€œloser paysâ€ rule.
PROMOTE WORKERSâ€™ FREEDOM
* End forced unionism in Pennsylvania, giving people the freedom to choose whether or not they want to join a union.
We hereby pledge our names to this Promise to Pennsylvania.