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Jason Richey’s
Contract with Pennsylvanians

Pennsylvania is growing slower than most other states, and economic productivity remains on a downward spiral, while taxes and the size of government continue to grow. We must take immediate action to reverse these trends, including the calling of a Limited Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention to quickly and efficiently update the state’s archaic laws while protecting the best provisions of Pennsylvania’s Constitution.

Here are the steps we need to take for the
Great Pennsylvania Comeback

1. Ensure Liberty & Transparency

Pennsylvanians have had to suffer through Tom Wolf’s abusive power, unfair restrictions on their right to worship, and arbitrary limitations on their ability to run their businesses. I will champion and protect all of the constitutional rights of our citizens, including their second amendment rights that enable Pennsylvanians to protect their families. I will restore and expand transparency at all levels of government for taxpayer spending and government hiring.

We need to eliminate both the Pennsylvania personal and business income taxes and establish a 0% income tax rate.  The moment this change becomes effective, Pennsylvania will instantly be competitive again with other states. Such change will unleash the economic power Pennsylvania is capable of. It makes no sense to penalize our citizens who are working “above the table.” We should encourage residents 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 sales tax and other consumption taxes. Swift action with this smart fiscal change will accelerate the state’s economic recovery from decades of decline and create tens of thousands of new jobs. I will make Pennsylvania a place that your children and grandchildren will want to live in.

Pennsylvania has the most expensive and largest full-time legislature in the country with 253 legislators. Conversely, the most populous state, California, only has 120 legislators. The state executive branch is also bloated with too many departments. I will champion reducing the size and cost of the legislative branch, and I will shrink the size and scope of the executive branch. Additionally, Pennsylvania has the third-highest number of local governments at 2,561, and the seventh-highest number of school districts at 500. I will make it easier for municipalities and school districts to voluntarily consolidate resulting in lower local property taxes for Pennsylvanians. Furthermore, I will greatly reduce regulations that plague businesses trying to operate here, provide more flexibility for local governments to run their affairs, and limit state spending to the guidelines under the Taxpayer Protection Act.

I will restore integrity in our elections by advocating for these four things: (1) Repealing Act 77 which led to an out-of-control mail-in ballot system (2) Purchasing voting machines that provide each voter with a paper receipt and printed back-up copies for all counties to ensure a record of every vote (3) Providing all low-income residents with free photo identification, and requiring basic photo identification for every voter.  Photo identification is needed for basic tasks such as opening a bank account, obtaining a job, registering your child for kindergarten or even being verified on social media. (4) Increasing voter participation by allowing two consecutive days of voting at polling locations, both days shall be considered a state holiday in order to increase the pool of workers needed to execute our elections and to give voters more opportunities to participate in our democracy.

The Commonwealth should establish a high pay grade for all police officers to attract the best candidates to protect Pennsylvanians as well as the development of regional police forces, such as Northern Regional Police in Allegheny County. Additionally, the state should require increased police officer training, including communications with citizens, simulations of dangerous situations, and a better understanding of dealing with people with mental disorders. I will not allow sanctuary cities and will create an environment to protect the Commonwealth from riots and civil disturbance.

The Commonwealth is blessed to have an abundance of natural resources. Pennsylvania should strive to be the energy leader in producing natural gas, oil, clean coal, wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal, while at the same time protecting our environment. A balanced and diversified approach will benefit all Pennsylvanians by creating jobs, establishing a reliable energy supply, and lowering energy prices.

Our public education system should be the best in the world. One where all elementary students are proficient in reading and math, and all high school students have multiple career path options like the availability of college preparatory classes, training and apprenticeship programs aligned with local employers and unions (like Manchester Bidwell), and military schools (like Valley Forge).  Our public school teachers, like our police officers, should also have a higher compensation to attract the best people to the profession. In order for parents and students to find the ideal school that meets their individual needs, I will advocate for the implementation of state Education Savings Accounts (ESA), and the expansion of successful programs like the EITC and OSTC programs.  

I will reduce the cost of healthcare and make it more affordable and accessible for every Pennsylvanian by promoting tele-medicine, pooling of insurance by small businesses, the use of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, and allowing for free market medical insurance competition. Pennsylvania also needs to make mental health care more available to its residents. Health insurance can be provided more cheaply and effectively while protecting those with pre-existing conditions. Finally, I will stop state funding to be used to pay for abortions.

Through public-private partnerships, we need to design and begin construction of a high-speed rail network, possibly using hyperloop technology, that allows people and goods to move quickly throughout the Commonwealth. All large and mid-size cities must be able to quickly connect to each other, including our two major airports in 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, that’s why I will have a senior advisor within the Governor’s office who has expertise on rural issues and a comprehensive team of experts who specialize in the electrical grid, flood prevention, roads, bridges and infrastructure projects.

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 that is disproportionately felt by southeastern Pennsylvanians, who pay 60% of all tolls. To increase efficiency, eliminate bureaucracy, and increase funding for the state budget, I will either merge the Turnpike Commission into PennDOT or privatize our toll-roads to generate substantial and sustainable revenue.

Pennsylvania enacted this system after the Prohibition to discourage and limit the sale of alcohol. The system is outdated. Pennsylvania is one of only 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 support the state budget.

Pennsylvania must change its primary election process so that all residents can vote in the primary and promote mainstream candidates. 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-based 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.

Voting Information

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