Feb 17, 2017|
Pennsylvania State Senator John Yudichak speaks to WILK's L.A. Tarone on a realm of topics including education programs and spending, property taxes, state police & President Trump's rally at Mohegan Sun Arena last year.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Why does any listen to this drug in outlets are one thing that is on our mind very often. He is us they governments what happens in Harrisburg and how way it affects each of us and now tonight we as a guest somebody who actually. Can do something about all of that very happy to say that I guess tonight is. State senator John you'd be checked senators thank you very much for being here tonight CNN thank you Allan. So I jumped right into it and I guess the most obvious thing to start with is a governor's budget totals about 32 point three billion dollars. No big tax hike. Mom I even had the commonwealth foundation on here the other night of course they disagree with the governor on many things they said overall this is a pretty. Pretty rational. Starting point seemed that way to me to your reaction. But in the tone was different I was gonna get hours and years and particularly the first year I think the administration felt that they had a mandate from the voters. They didn't pay much attention to the fact that the general assembly was controlled by Republicans. Any introduced a AJ radically different budget and what was introduced just a few weeks ago I think the governor. Recognizes that we have divided government either way and I have to compromise. And we I have to build. Bipartisan coalitions to find a way to deal with a three billion dollar deficit. And so some of the proposals many of them taken right out of the Republican. Playbook and out of cutting cost merging. State agencies. Freezing. Hiring in in in Penn State employment so there's a lot of ideas that were taken from the Republican Party that are part of it so. It is a better starting point I do think we'll get a budget by July 1. But we still have to get to the details the governor's budget address is always the starting point of the negotiation it's more the governor's vision. And now we have to get in the details of the next three weeks through the Appropriations Committee hearings will get into the details on find out. Does the two billion dollars in cost cuts and savings and out. Does the new revenue generated from a billion dollars in new taxes that are part of governor's proposal. Do they add up in do we get today three billion dollar deficit erased that three billion dollar deficit. Unfortunately it's a retrenchment budget if you look at it and we're we're group is one point 8% increase in new spending has about 2% yes and and and much you've been given to just fix growth rate. Whether it's pensions. An automatic increases 300 million dollars. Or is our lives as human services which is 900 million dollar increase. So one point two billion dollars. They mandated fixed costs and that's part of the structural deficit. That unfortunately it has been chronicled the last number of years mean we really haven't had a solid responsible budget in six years. And because we haven't put sustainable revenue on the table because we really haven't looked. Ed and streamlining government that's part of the proposal now now we have to work together Republican and Democrat go forward and put together this emotion the most comprehensive responsible budget to the taxpayers are patched things. There are a lot of the details and I do wanna get into here but today I know I didn't expected to address talked to addressed all right out of the box because that was one thing I was gonna bring out. And the tone changed sort of came out of nowhere you mentioned the first year he was. You know like out like Lawrence Taylor boom this is a way it's going to be second year in the same thing then after a while all of his second year he said all right all compromised. Tone changed completely and it's been met compromised out. As one about moderates in the states and it was it was our group of moderates like yourself and say maybe. Jerry Mallory from my house and a bunch on guys like that it went in and said governor look you gotta compromise to get anything done or do they just come up his own accord. Well first of all you mentioned Lawrence Taylor many Eagles fan I felt sorry I went right at that right and again I could still see Ron Jaworski. By Lawrence Taylor pledged they do but you're right I mean it was a very. Adversarial relationship from the store. I wish it must. I'm GM is spokesman Jeff shared it. Seemed very proud of fine Sheridan from a media standpoint is very different on the deal be downright stand and and. I've never been part of that politics I I didn't I never understood. How you achieve. Tangible results how you get things done by demonizing the other side I'm out I and then I'm coming up but aren't on eighteen years in the general assembly. The majority of that time there's been a Republican control. So you build that muscle you build the ability to work out with Republicans and build coalitions and compromise. And and yes I we've been making that pitch to the governor from day want and that the have to recognize. There's the legislature first and foremost has a role. And many governors and not just governor wants to be fair to governor wasn't most governors come to Harrisburg in sync the general assembly doesn't matter of time they've been elected. By the voters and they have an agenda and they want that is in the past. While their legislators that are there to represent their districts to represent their region of Pennsylvania and and the commonwealth there's only a very different ideas. And so now I think you see a very different tone I think you did very different approach to an hour. Going to sit down with the Republicans in the senate and house gonna sit down with senate Democrats announced Democrats. And find a way because the challenges are daunting there's no question that the three billion dollar deficit I can't recall. Maybe day in the in the case here that you had that kind of of a fiscal distress. In relative terms that now we're facing. And very challenging state budget that everyone is going to have to recognize that we need to work together three billion dollars he mentioned that was so on the lead story the afternoon that the independent fiscal office released at three billion dollars by July 1 that's a huge. Figure hello while more than a 600 million we've been talking about so mad death. Is that a dress still I mean day EE you know you just mentioned we got to look at the details do these things add up seems needed some low numbers. Maybe not necessarily. And that's well when you look at two billion dollars in in cost cuts and savings governors talking about. Merging five state agencies the department of human services. Drug and alcohol by the department of AG AG and the department of health as as well as the pro on probation and and and corrections. I have some concerns about those consolidations and concerns about aging. Being moved into that department DHS. Is one of the biggest parts of the state budget one of the biggest thing employers and and and in terms of the state agencies. Making that a mega agency. I wanna make sure is they're going to be cost efficiencies is they're going to be it's it is still efficiencies in the delivery of services. And if you're not changing any news services and if you're not. Throwing any state employee asks what I was and how do you get 20040. Million dollars that they're projecting in savings. I'm not sure how you can do that just by by by by addressing. Duplication of services. There is also why. Hunt and there's an early retirement buyout. Four run a state employees and I don't know the details of an off camera we already have a pension problem. Does or my looking into simplistic way of seems to me that if you're. Giving employees a chance to opt into an early buyout well you're also promising them a pension doesn't that add to that I don't know what's in seventy billion dollars or whenever. The existing pension problem it's. The governor dead didn't you did mention that early retirement incentive for state employees there's been no details other half of that of that program I am I've not seen any details. It's been done before. Well part of the idea. Is moving out state employees that may be at a higher pay you to the pay rate and bringing in new employers Ed at a starting pay rent. If we're going to do that and I supported the pension reforms. Offered by the senate Republicans say in previous sessions I think we need to address. Pension reform for gonna get to the structural problems. The Commonwealth's budget and can help or school distraction because our school districts are are really in difficult shape and trying to keep up. With pension costs are rising at 3032%. Every year. So yes in early retirement percent of I've certainly can be fully supportive but we also gonna have to look at design changes to the pension plans. As it changes that we made back in 2010 that there are effective enough and are working. But they're gonna takes 304050. Years stories that unfunded liability we also have to put new money into the system. 69% of the funding from those pension system comes from a investments. Unfortunately the commonwealth and school districts took in many respects a decade off and investing while we. Expanded benefits 2001. I voted no it's one of the best votes that I may view it as it was one bad. Worse things that was ever doubt I believe governor ridge is idea and he kind of pitched into the legislature. The unions to my recollection where like K won't take it but they did nest for it by. That that was it. Governor ridge who wanna vouchers. In and and and got the education improvement tax credit which is great program which so many. Many private schools who gave Catholic schools and are gearing itself the tremendously for the China after school program. Thank congressman Bartlett and I have advocated. But the tradeoff was that an expansion pension benefits for legislators 50%. For state workers 25%. I knew that was a bad deal it was unsustainable even though at the time the pension system was a hundred point oh I've flowing the present funny but you can expand benefits you have to recognize the stock market. Doesn't always go up and unfortunately. You know you had a downturn in 2001 and then major downturn the Great Recession in 2008 iron and and now we have seven he billion dollar unfunded liability staff that taxpayers Pennsylvania turning out to come on the way to deal with facts and let alone future growth slowed AD gets a lot of discussion on this program a lot of people are very concerned about it. You are talking the other night about the hybrid bill that has failed. At some point for future employees you're gonna have to do something like that now he and and that's you know the senate Republicans in the house. Had different ideas to stack hybrid and spend and senator Korman had. Oh the little different approach we have to reconcile those differences I think again you need. To make some design changes to the plan and recognize. 121 century economy. And and and having folks. Retire after 25 years under the age of sixty at a 100% or eighty or ninety. We're gonna have to evaluate that whether the taxpayers Pennsylvania can sustain that kind of pension system. But also it's important and it's not been part of an either Republican plans in this work. Where I differ a little bit my Republican colleagues we still need to put into the system the governor had suggested a three and a half billion dollar bond I think we have to look. Add the act 1 morning that over 750 million dollars. Without raising taxes that's revenue coming in to. From our gaming industry right now. And whether or not that could be applied either to a bond issue or directly to school districts in the come up in terms of smoothing out this payment period. When you look at the angels and school district and thirty cents of every dollar raised in that school district going to pension instead of the classroom. That's a spending how we fund public education so it's starting to erode. The money going into the classroom that's why we need to address it in addition. To it to the drag down under on the on state budget mean 300 million dollars right off the top without a new program without a new higher. Without making a new investment 300 million dollars going in the pension system. This sounds this again might sound simplistic but I have been advocating some sort of dedicated funding. That the guy stream that goes to nothing but that seventy billion dollar now when so wow what a caller alas we okay. What is that funding. I am now I am not. But I didn't is there's there's been some proposals. Senator Thompson at a bucks caddies who have we're gonna have a severance tax it should be dedicated to into the pension. And and I think we need to do do more of that whether it's state police lottery. Whether it's the state police that seating eight at 800 million dollars and our transportation funding. We need more dedicated funding streams because I think the taxpayers appreciate that they can understand it. And they don't mind that paying what they know it they're getting a return on that dark. If they're getting the tremendous services provided by or state police by those brave troopers out I don't know our highways. They can understand that it's when he goes in to the black hole the general fund. And they don't know if they're getting a return on their dollars that's when they get frustrated about Texas and whenever I'm breaks and bad guy he governor also proposed a 100 million dollar. Increase in Nam in basic education that's the smallest increase he's proposed so far. I keep bringing this sop and I'm gonna continue to bring it up. I have no problem spending a lot of money on education if we get a week paid for when you look at the PS SA scores and some other things. We're kind of the fish and and we do things that I have majors don't make any sand slider inclusion putting. Kids will wildly different learning abilities in the same class Rome. And it seems to me you hold the Smart kid back and you heard begin to good use a little help because he doesn't get it. I expected to have answers to all that but his conversation my dad even going on in Harrisburg. That's where you know I like mine I get frustrated I'd I'd supported. The increases. In and then for funding for public education from governor Rendell today that the governor was in many respects. A more resources or need it but making sure that we have 21 century schools did yeah first up we have a nineteenth century tax that funds public schools the property tax. We need to lemonade I worked with senator our own senate bill senators are about battling away and and we need to change how we fund public schools. And and and getting just because I did it sounds good and makes us feel good. Giving more money tour school should not be the objective it should be. Or schools achieving our students are achieving in the classroom and that's why I think even programs like the China after school program doesn't need to be part of the 21 century curriculum. Connecting homes. And kitchen tables were parents are engaged in their child's education to the classroom. Is how we can have more students achieve the data bears that out carbon Schuylkill County China's been existence for twelve years 90% improvement. In the clash in 90% improvement in attendance because you have a 90% improvement in parental engagement and that's what those kind of program. That's not an every school district that's not and then in every urban school district that's not. In the end and and every rural school district we need to look in and rethink how we educate our children and Pennsylvania we spend a great deal of money it's a significant. The most. It's the highest percentage in terms of does it has always 3233%. For the general fund budget goes to education. And and that's not even getting to and talking about higher education which we also unfortunate he's been level funded in in the governor's budget in terms of Community Colleges. And the state be latest we need a better connection between the community college and there are four year institutions. And K through twelfth we need to better connections through K through twelfth in the business community. Again back to shine and that's the beauty should it's a private public partnership so we have private sector companies that are coming into the classroom and and teaching an engineering class. And an engineering assignment having an actual engineer working with these students engaging their minds and inspiring them to think yes I can be an engineer I can be assigned to so. We need to break down some of those traditional walls and education yes more funding is is important. But the fact of education and making sure that we have outcomes and better outcomes in clash. You know I've known people blow over the years who went and expertise in one particular thing to do is going to be spent their whole life and plumbing a Mano a great deal about one inch and are not only willing maybe eager to teach kids. All club thinking. Felt like a better term rigmarole you have to go through cancer maybe get a teaching certificate and every change. I guess two questions are more on how much of a road block as an amateur kind of shiny shine program get around that for afterschool. Why and if part of the this child from his career academies so that and and we work in the current technical schools so. It's yes it's steam based education curriculum I mean science technology engineering arts and mathematics but we also get on their hands on Richard. Any community college whose uncanny because soon a tremendous job they just got a federal grant to deal with. We're ready skills. Plumbing engineer computers. Engineering. Manufacturing engineering welding. All of those skill sets in and and and you know I'm sure you have doc I'm brother my my family. Who's who's who's a plumber. Makes a lot more money than a pot and I have they're skilled trades in and unfortunately our system is not. Our our educational system doesn't that direct student said that could have an exceptional career as a welder is an electrician. As a plumber we need to do more of that and and that's kind of breaking down. Those those traditional silos that happened in public education. And then not every one needs to go on a college I mean that was part of ash yeah presidential debate and it ended in it was offensive to me here slid 880 fives at 90% of the fourteen senatorial district. Folks who graduate high high school went on and and and and found those are sustainable career and provide for their families there's nothing. Nothing wrong with that I'm the last of of eight kids and I got to go to Penn state university Mercury grateful to my parents I still don't know. How they pay for it. But my Brothers and sisters. You know have been able to do very well for themselves by graduating. From high school so we shouldn't demonize those they Kona the trades or find another path in life that that doesn't lead to the higher education. I guess tonight is our state senator John UD HI BS tons of things to talk about and when now you're name is Sam mentioned one of the first things that that people sing god you just mentioned yourself eliminating property taxes. I came very close to passing last time mum to dumb down lieutenant governor mark mama send my test. Lieutenant governor Bob might stack cast he had no votes that defeated. Are we gonna do it again in. This said this two year session because senator Argo who's been the primary sponsor samples 76. In and has worked. Very well on a bipartisan way he with over eighty. Local grassroots organizations. Those organizations those citizen lobbyist. Have really driven this issue and and we got to a 25 point five Thai men and that's failed to. As the governor. Lieutenant governor you know he cast his ballot they didn't determine that close to 2525. Tie meant is that it failed. A few of those senators we're defeated in the last election cycle that were no votes. Their replacements or yes votes so. We're optimistic that we could get a vote in the senate. That doesn't change the mass in the house it's always been more challenging in the House of Representatives took to get a property tax elimination bill through. But it really has changed the conversation and and one of the reasons I've always supported semi six. There're some issues that that need to be changed there's some amendments that need to be applied to it to simple suddenly six but he. Harrisburg the way Harrisburg works. You you have the property tax system when I look look in the property tax system. That is the old barn that trotted out to the foundation. By Harrisburg. Would Harrisburg would do that barn would be add on to get. That's. Saying the bill 76 piece which paring down the board in rebel and something no. And and that's the way we have to look at it if you wanna have 21 century schools can have a Tony first century funding system. Senate bill 76 is the bridge to that Tony for sentry fund axis of. Game ball singer who is so I handed out the Pennsylvania. So what is it called the cyber coalition of taxpayers whenever he's in the big pusher behind this for many many years. I and he will admit this every time it doesn't pass one year the next time. The numbers are a little bit higher which of course would make sense. Because let's start adding you're looking to replace something like nine billion dollars now it's up to fourteen billion dollars. Here's an area or I get concerned and I am several callers who were vehemently opposed and that bell. Because of the personal income tax they rent they don't pay property taxes. At one point that was four point 34 purse and I think this last version of the bill was up to four point 9%. This time it may be over 5%. I think you get that 5%. That I start turning people off. Hey it's still willow 5% and it it still around four point 84 point nine. About percent. And that you have to understand that includes all property foes that residential and commercial. Unfortunately we have uniformity clause I'd and in independent. Constitution Pennsylvania. And so you know you can't tax the residential and commercial differently. I think we need to address that that brings down that number that brings down the sales tax number brings down. The PIT I think most folks. Or or agreeable but we recognize we wanna advanced as we wanna move it forward. And again back to that analogy. If we had a tear down the more and and and so as sometimes when you start peeling off. Can layers of that onion. It is it just wilt away. So I think we need to keep both the momentum de bugging your is done an exceptional job he's brilliant guy understands it if you've been anybody got in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been agreed advocate. So we need to continue to force this issue. Eight I have the ha have to think back my very first public hearing is a state legislator. Back in 1999 was in the ankle high school. On the issue of property sex to an end to 300. Seniors had filled the room. And and there was no talk in Harrisburg about property tax reform at that time hadn't been really cents. Think Casey years and I remember some of the leaders at that time since Sonja ran from Iran not to show one time about property taxes run for school board. That's how Harrisburg looked at delusion. And then we had property tax reform under governor Rendell and the most significant part of that was the expansion of the property tax and rent rebate program. I think we need to focus going forward you know can we eliminate property taxes. For for seniors. For those they can least afford there aren't fixed income we do have to look at that expand that property tax rent rebate program. But we also have to look and and I'd argue. In looking and act one in looking at the pension crisis that we don't solve that problem we can't. Fix the pension crisis you're not gonna deal with property to property taxes went up in 70% of school districts last year and how. 100% of those school districts to tell you can't because pension pensions and Afghan. He is is there a way to maybe get each firm funding source. High in the air and could also reduced because when you're talking about changing me charging the property tax is differently. Commercial vs residential. It's hard an amount constitutional amendment that's a minimum of two years for that to happen. He's a way to come up with may be a third source of income because right now in sales tax. And up personal income tax. Crist could come up. Something that's. I'm open mind that what that might be any and there's there's limited options. I think then a any particular. Proponent of I think we need another constitutional convention. And believe 1960 it was last constant wiser now. That we had in Pennsylvania. Government. Ed that the economy. Everyday life is very different from what it was in 1968 and I think. In looking at reducing the size of the legislature. I'm not in favor looking at as part time a part time legislature. Looking at all of those things in terms of of modernizing government. And I think property taxes one of those. The one of those pieces that need to be modernized says dangers open when you sync. That 67 counties get to dictate whether or not that property tax will be fair. How many counties have gone through reassessment. Who's very canny a few years ago it was forty years prior to do that it'll be another forty years before we do it probably will be and we were promised a four year. Op date every four years and is never happened and lack a lot of county hasn't been assessed since 1968. Summer at the same position reserved alleyways a few years ago and that's why it's so inherently unfair. To the taxpayers to have that kind of system. Where your tax your home maybe the same. But when it was built how was built. If you wanted to add on I mean that's part of our housing problem. In northeastern Pennsylvania folks don't wanna make improvements and to their home nor does the value goes up higher taxes and tax write down right there a friend of mine says. As long as there is any property tax you will never really own your home your only renting it. I 741 Thursday it mattered guest is sink senator John UD jag and a fourteen senatorial district which is significant portion. But WI RK's listening area 1804370098830098. From the budget was unveiled. And the highlights came across the wire from Mott Harrisburg I was very surprised. Says see the out clause that was charging. Towns townships and boroughs. For using state police coverage scandalized governor who tried doubt was governor ridge and he was basically crucified for it. Problem being governor wolves cost. Is a lot less. Then what governor ridge one edge I guess number one more eaten did you not that was comment were you surprised at number two your reaction to it. There was a lot of conversation. Former senator and senate Democrat colleague of mine as senator watt Wozniak who was the we are trying to Wozniak from one John's great guy from John saying lose to democratic chair trash station. That was a very important issue massive passenger back the nine he'd he complained time and time again. So too much money was being drawn out of that that fund to pay for the state police and that number's up to 800 million dollars senator Korman sever the senate Republicans have also. Ray Steele are so I'm not surprised today that the governor co -- that issue and and and rolled it out. There are some still some some questions and have to have to be at have to be asked 25 dollars. Per person. To see where police coverage in me says it cost 230 dollars an hour into India averaging you know I've worked very hard to try to create some regional police departments. In northeastern Pennsylvania that is the going rate in those regional departments is you have to build in a 100000 dollars. Her police officer. That's our benefits it pension and center so that's very difficult to put together a full time police department. I'm I live in Plymouth township but we have state police coverage very grateful Ford. Sometimes it was best distressed community act 47 distressed community for number of years. Who were gonna have to sit down with those local lead agency whether or not that's something they can afford. Senator Judy shrank at Burke scanners can imagine guys in our Internet protocol I. Hi in and that may be one that has less pain foreign local municipalities that may lose a little buying power in terms of other liquid fuels money in and putting that back on the roads. But they get to I think equality state police coverage for the other things different about hers is sad that my understanding is the governor's hits. Everybody every municipality. That relies on state police covered senator sure why anxious somewhat similar to governor ridge's image she only gets the bigger. Municipalities I think hers is our population of 5000. Or more that's correct and and and some of the small attention just may not have a revenue. To cover the costs one of the other issues. You know a lot of municipalities that do have full time or part time. Police departments rely part time on state police will they have to pay a kind of a pro rated there's some of the questions that vigorous round listen we answered over the next. Several months is this goes through the legislative process. I got to count in our 25 dollars per person if fine. I mean even if I'm a big city you're fighting haseltine wilkes-barre Hamlet and you need to conduct by police to Barbara from 25 dollars a person Shenzhen Hispanic. Eight million dollars here on police I can get away was candid about. 700000. Dollars hey county yeah right we gotta be careful of what we put on the table because I did it you know please gosh and hazel ten in and looks very of course the two largest departments. And in in user account instead all our challenge at least covered inane and you know who would with congressman marlin and we went through the operation gang up and and help great the mobile street crime is attorney general's office. Part of that was a recognition that. Tony thirty years ago. He has 75%. The minister thousand Hoosier kanga had a full time forced to write this down to 6% gap more and more heads have gone to state police coverage of part time coverage. That's made it very challenging to deal with some of the sophisticated drug trafficking that's going on in our communities. To heroin crisis that says let's all across the country not just in Pennsylvania but we had a 140 overdose slash heroes are counting. Those drugs are being pushed by folks at a party drug trafficking organizations. If you do not have the local police department or fewer do not have the personnel. In terms of looks fair phrased and you need things like the most street crime unit or. And creating regional departments to go after and make sure that we keeping. Primary down and keeping our neighborhoods and our schools safe and in creating a regional department is not as he sees some people seem to think it is in the other question with state police. Do they had does it happen. The personnel. To cover a lot of these small towns we hear over and over again at the department is that. Maybe the lowest enrollment in many many years. It took the unprecedented. Step. Sending any Yahoo! News story a few well it was kind of a press release. It's it's a media outlets all over in this stayed back in my guess it was maybe November or December about how the state police was hiring. Hey coming up why it's like you're baking for recruits Brent so there we have about 4200 troopers and as some of the best now Mike Cameron a long time Bonnie yeah around 7008. In and you know for many years we won't we weren't having connect classes part of the governor's budget is is additional cadet classes we do have to do that recruitment. These are tough jobs and end and that right now. You know you take there's this time he named he. Very challenging for the state police to be there on the highway and also in the local community so it is a conversation we're gonna need to have. And come all star center in general well I think his call especially for the larger townships I don't know about everybody be you'll get a big township 80090101000. People it doesn't have its own department I actually think the governor's right I think they should be paying for state police do you have some communities that are that are 3040000. People tell. I saw others don't wanna details aren't armored saint Clair township or whatever it is and nothing may reliance say police coverage and that's crazy. I don't know how they do. Let's talk to my again Hanover township Mike Iran W while Taylor senator UD Jack. Hello Mike. Mike are you down. Mike wants. Dell. Price compare. I center congrats you February 8 announced that they voted twice under their feet straight. If you bomb ploy we'll let us know what was happening with that the first time yet voted there was a yes from the secretary of your order was no. What's SP three SP three was it. Amending the abortion control all of can't going from my 24 months to twenty months. We just gal went from good to try to win is right at. Twenty four weeks to. Two point. I voted no on the bill among pro life Democrat this was the first time. That I did not vote. Four and abortion control act amendment. Part of that reason was is this particular bill. I've always. Believed that the life health. Of the mother and child rape and incest need to be exemptions they were not part of this bill. So I think you can't win 24. It if they could've been eliminated if we were just dealing with the weeks. The gestation of date and doesn't see is blue I don't think I could have been cut in favor simple three but. When rape incest and health. A mother were not part of the exemptions in the bill I cannot support. I liked. I would banner quote I don't agree with betting there's senator because mate I know that I feed on what your values are and I don't think so right from those two are in your constituency areas. There's also no. You know what your values are so I don't think you're voting what you're confusion on the. Meanwhile what his values army dizzy voted and I think that's a cheap shot. Well wolf coming from Plymouth township and also arm and seen from this area of unknown senator you'd be checked and being. Imploding from up and thousands. Also in the senate. And I don't think that I have I think that that oh yeah there when this was a unique opportunity. A once and then a chance the opportunity. To really help those around the world. Do. You know since the greatest vulnerability. And all the weakest among their you know. But I suggest that to you you know and a letter that accent she's better stroke. And I'm American Korea through. Problem. Okay Islam stand up for the right recruit those are important we get them under. Well I appreciate that Mike and I appreciate your. You're letter in you know over my eight over my career out and in two decades now a strong pro life vote in the house. And the senate. But if you can look over the course of that career. The extensions of of health. Of the mother tirade Reagan is especially butterball elderly are Zach standards that I've had they were part. The abortion control act in Pennsylvania which is one of the toughest in in in the country when we had been just terrific. Actions by guys now in Philadelphia. I stood up against the democratic parties or with the Republicans and in in and making some of the toughest those new amendments. There's two abortion controller and and and so I pretty strong. On that issue I knew that there would be pushed back on cynical three but when those exemptions were not part of the bill. I just felt does that that I had been consistent my entire career in terms of being a pro life Democrat that pro life vote. But that not having those exemptions in the bill and you know we talked with the sponsoring talked with. The folks there were advocating for the bill not I have to tell you it's it's probably one of the most moving. Speeches that I've seen in in my legislative careers senator baker and got up on the senate floor till the very personal Arie. And and and it was moving any so that there were always. Many facets to these issues and and of course that is one. And and you know I'm I'm the deep Catholic faith that I and I recognize. Recognize that and am always going to be guided by that. But it was a very difficult vote for me was a very difficult issue I knew that that many of my pro life supporters. Would be concerned but I have been consistent in terms of making sure that those decisions in you know win the Pennsylvania medical society. When the Pennsylvania obstetrician association or posed to the bill because they believe that it could threaten. The life of the mother threaten the life of the child and because it's not including rape and incest and and that's when I decided to be negative vote. Danny is so those exemptions are. Pretty much I mean I do a lot of people who are pro life and accepting gay you know exemptions for. Rape and incest and the life from. The mother are pretty well accepted I think even a lot of national quote unquote pro life leaders would not disagree fast. I was you know former president George George Bush right that was that was always his standard in and an idea adopted those standards as well. I'm running out of time but not a couple of quick things. Short answer the extraction tax that the governor has in the budget six point 5%. On their natural gas and he's calling for. It's a raise world crises are like four or 500 million dollars I think that's Saab optimistic kind of thing here yet they went to stay in the the industry now it's overly optimistic. I've I've always been for seven stacks are responsible severance tax. Act thirteen which imposed the impact fee failed on on on two points. One not including production. Even though the number of wells drilled a number of well permits have gone down production has doubled. Since it's 2012 when we instituted act thirteen if we had production is part of that. The value structure in in in and that impact fee we would have probably 400 to 500 million dollars being generated and that's the number that can likely be generated. Right now we're generating probably 17585. And anti and a long. It's it's it's you probably can't and much more than another 200 million dollars to that was the severance tax. Without being punitive to the industry I want the industry negro want jobs being created. So I think we need to find a way. To piggyback on the impact fees and easiest of all of that into any any responsible salmon stacks. That includes production Carlson Wendy task while I do it has taught at his house some of that is huge team you got to raise your eyebrow aren't settlement paid somebody from America's idol or something to become adept. Some township near Washington up by Pittsburgh in my comments from doesn't seem to be. Studious use that money the outer general does it. Great job on on on severance tax many other issues those independent audits are very important. He's exotic foreign funds safety and stay prisons and very health guests to us when we are battling as ending injuries gonna bring are still rose's audits of the. Men flagging Scranton. And my 806. We're back on my around tournaments around sharpen this there is and I Mary have been saved as a state senator Johnny B Jack. Has decided to stick around for at least up part of the a secondary can leave and every one shot but I'm very glad he's safe. I had a bunch of other things I was gonna ask you about say government here with a young farm show arena sale on some of the NSW I'd just been having these fascinating conversation. Off Airpwn at least pull part of this on air. Over the last few years everybody from state government I am on including new the last time you were here said that Harrisburg whereas. Incredibly divided. You are just hockey Mattie said it's not divided anymore it's all Republicans so my response to you was. What happened what happened in the Democratic Party so let me ask you what happened you you're a moderate I mean you're in the middle of the spectrum. Are you obviously deal very well with Republicans you for example and arm has been able Bartlett have worked and the numbers in the shine program being among up. You can deal with both sides. There are people. Who find it impossible. To do self. And isn't that how we got in this because I still saying it wouldn't even more so after this last election. That this is the most dividing dangerously. Divided this country has ever and what a big part of it. That a driving force behind the division. Is redistricting. I think that's the one reform that along with campaign finance reform. Can really change how we do business in Harrisburg now we do business in Washington we've created these districts. That are either overwhelmingly. Republican are overwhelmingly. Democrat for example in the Armenians still love their overwhelmingly. A democratic in the rural areas you're in the suburbs they created districts. That favor the Republicans so you have to believe the numbers 122. Republicans in the house and thirty for a veto proof majority and we're just trying to rank in and in a hundred years they have the veto proof majority. In the senate and so so that that's created a lot of the division that's created. Where ye EE just don't have the days where Republicans and Democrats sit down and camera out of state budget. Where they hammer out a tough issue whether it's the severance tax on natural gas because they're driven. They don't have to necessarily respond to the voters in addition they're responding to their party leaders. Their party leadership who may be out of touch with with those voters because they're driven to. My special interest funding by by these fringe groups that drive politics whether it's through social media whether it's traditional media. They're driving or these these these organizations. And then these political action committees that drive and I went through last year. We're I was attacked by several environmental. Groups because in my position. Under un un un president Obama's clean power plant and because my support particularly for waste call and waste calls. Literally cleaned up thousands of acres of abandoned coal Landon in greater looks very greater reason to. Thousands of miles of of polluted streams is important resource that. That has worked with great groups like the earth conservancy is doing tremendous work in terms of conservation. Mean we've added to the potential state forced. I went from around 8000 acres to over 40000 acres. And I'm a Texas newspaper social media because they are not perceived. As a 100% environmental vote I don't use the the analogy I have five sisters. And I have four beautiful daughters. I've never been a 100% right my life and I never will be so so for groups to think I gotta be a 100% just like the caller earlier. I'm not going to be 100% on every issue. And that unfortunately is what's driving politics today they want purity you you you've seen even some of the protests on national level. When they shouted out as senator Warner shouted out. Senator Schumer as not being liberal enough. It's it's an. Are you I'm very managers anybody could think and a bottle and this war is very edgy or time. But instead they're moderate side Jim Webb comes to mind. Joseph Manchin from West Virginia who like I don't know that I have a home in the Democratic Party anymore when you look at this and it contingency. Most of dead. In Harrisburg. Is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh you're one of the few who isn't from Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Do you have Bob mood is she is from a problem getting support for things from the party. On your behalf. Ashley well I'd I'm always been very fortunate that I've been able to work with Democrat Republican colleagues and we've been very successful at and bringing programs let's see shine program. Who's our carry small business program. Any kind of investments back in the district we had an eighty million dollar. Infrastructure project going on and hammer nanny Coca Newport task to south island parkway so we've always been successful and that's always been a team effort. This recent. Incident with with the governor and and the closure and closing of Fatah prisoners rush they prisons. And they were looking at 53 of them when northeastern Pennsylvania a thousand jobs that. Senator baker Republican Erin conference terror to hill represented more so many others senator Argo representative Neal good mend out. Frank feel way more retreat. Democrat Republican. We built together regional bipartisan coalition and said you know what. Parties don't matter jobs matter can and I think if both parties focused more. On jobs I think to stay focused on those issues rather than those they cost. That are contentious and divide us. It's and we need to focus on jobs who need to focus on the things that matter when people sit around that kitchen table and discuss their day to think and about. How to like get a good job I don't like sustain this same week. How do we make sure that they have health care for the kids not only make sure. They get a good education and how I make sure that we have a safe neighborhood those are the things that they talk about unfortunately we get distracted a lot of that's driven fight organizations. That need politics to survive that's how they generate the revenue for their organizations that's how they get their salaries paid ending these kind of strange. Groups say drive a single issue. And they want purity in a 100% agreement. And that's unfortunately that's just not how people do business in their real life say into very difficult. To get a 100% agreement in your own family let alone try to do that with 253 legislators who perished. We had a large number of buck out of town media outlets here. To talk about this last election it continues just two days ago there was a TV network named RT eight RTE from France who was here to talk to me about. What happened in November. A lot of people are still shocked that Donald Trump a Republican won Lucerne county and I told every one of them. There was no surprise to that in all you can feel that from some weeks and weeks building up. Why because to neither Democrats. Ignored. What their base can always stand which is working caught working class. Blue collar people and the party has seemingly turned away from them in favor of things like. Gender discrimination as to which bathroom you can use in things like your reactions. And I'd I talked to many of those said the national reporters Ben Bradley junior was down and had a conversation and MH BO was sent. And haseltine had a conversation with them and and I think the national media was was focusing on our fallen race and their focus on. On on on cause things that they were off the mark I reminded them. Lose or Kerry voted for Barack Obama placed. They voted. Is they certainly have voted for female candidates before and I wish for Hillary Clinton and my primary and I'll wait in no way in I was forward Hillary Clinton you know wait that was Ford. And in 2016 but you just like in 20 wait. Hillary Clinton wasn't a change agent. Democrats rejected it. Hillary Clinton in in in in 2008 as the change agent and and clearly this again in 2016 was a change election folks were frustrated. The status quo with higher with with with Washington Democrats or Republicans and they wanted to shake up the system it was more about. Economics I think it was more about jobs and and and and the trade agreements. Better than in terms of the Rust Belt and clearly look at I mean look at the path of victories Pennsylvania Wisconsin and Michigan. That was about jobs that was folks about who were just trapped in chronic unemployment or underemployment. That wanted to change the way. Washington does business and and I think that and more to do the candidate and the fact and I was making certain party leaders. To bring the candidate tend to lose your account that can never campaigned in losing Kenny. President trump was here twice and put 40000 people write any arena and I knew something's happening on the ground it was clear. And I and one gentleman that's going to be a union member. And end I someone as young son and his young son had one of those and make America great hats aren't. I had to ask myself a look at I'm I'm freely your union guy blue collar guy like me in my family my father was unite my word my mom members ask me. You know how how can do not leave it be for Hillary your policy phone so look at. He said. Democrats anymore. Make me feel shame about who I am. And good for president trump makes me feel good about alliance he said I go to church on and on Sunday I hung on the weekends. And and I'll wanna do is earn a good wage and provide for my family. And a fourteen just seemed that we weren't talking much as Democrats we weren't titans are now you see whether it's Joseph Biden you see a lot of our labor leaders. Stepping up to the plate saying look at we gotta get back to talk about blue collar issues a blue car carcass was just swarmed in and in the congress. Congress and boy do I served with in the state house from down in Philadelphia saying we gotta get back to tiger about those issues we're gonna get the union Trajan. Four gonna get unions again if we're gonna give blue collar voters in luge are counting carbon Chinese Google can't you gotta start talking about jobs. You we were just talking about that the abortion. Limit bill. And your party and and everybody knows I'm pro choice I'm pro choice for Bob but but I'm I'm I'm still pro choice. But in the in this area it begins its spin call the pro life capital world and probably as anybody who is not. Pro choice and vehemently pro choice without a bike is seemingly shunned in the Democratic Party. Well over who wins when I would in her dissent points and we maybe had six or seven pro life Democrat when he got to now rally down regional. Ten to two pro life Democrats thought when I may candidate and it and it's challenging an end and you know that becomes dominant force in terms of the conversations. The message in the conversation you're having with voters the message conversation your constituents is very important so. And you're only have limited time you know we have masses massive amounts of information every day. Bombarding people whether it's their social media feed FaceBook and Twitter whatever might be so you have a limited opportunity to talk. To the voters in and Pennsylvanian in your district. You better be sure that you're talking about issues and values that resonate with those folks. And I think that's we get back to job to get back to those bread and butter issues that really matter to me that they changed their lives in intangible way. If you allow the these these issues that could dominate the news cycle. As as it did it is throughout that Tony sixteen campaign and an orient even if it's about. Demonizing your opponent and not talking about the values and qualities and jobs. You're gonna lose today and you're gonna lose the election dressed all we hear anymore though I mean it's gotten to. Well all war all but a insults I have to say. He is seems like more of those insults come from the last and they do from right and on the right can be insulting but I don't see the right starting riots. Adds. Add to in the parents of a speaker like happened in Berkeley and all this other stuff. Marcia that comes from social media organization moveon.org. For example. He's famous. Your friend that mean in the end there are other good second mentioned as well and that again just pulls farther and farther apart. And it seems to me that moderates like you know. Democratic moderates. Are occasionally. Bad. This target is like he's not progressive. Enough. Get ready am let's get somebody asked me and said he had three groups then work is that a 100000 dollars in his abdomen trying to defeat you never anybody running against an. And that's and that's what happens and I think that's why the numbers of Democrats fault or shrinking and you you're you're pushing out moderates are folks they can win. And Republican districts I've seen that over the course I mean look at Western Pennsylvania Western Pennsylvania. Terms of that house last elections I the last six Democrats. And though when I came in and douse think in Beaver County for example. Probably in my radeon and Thursday three or four stay representatives there were Democrat and a democratic state senator. They're down to one. Or the one Democratic Caucus state representative in Beaver County so you're losing those western carries very similar to make a vignette they make government and and the religious makeup of of northeastern Pennsylvania and even lose Erica when I came in his state house 99 we had six Democrats representing loser and Kenny is around 33. And so but I think back you know the easing back did did Tip O'Neill. In and Ronald Reagan I mean Tip O'Neill. Big city liberal but he still was able to work with the conservative Ronald Reagan track did he didn't betray his values seem to betray. His constituencies. You still have to governed. The responsibility to govern and what a lot of legislators. Have lost we still have to govern or deliver a budget and deliver jobs and opportunity. For the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. On this under this the National Democratic Party. Democrats have been hammered on the state level. You lost I don't know how many seats in the house and the senate fund the federal level. And yet they decided to stay. Which this same leadership Iowa is I wouldn't say I was shocked but I was at least mildly surprised and I forget what his first thing is for my end. The congressman from my Youngstown Ohio. Blue collar guy blue collar working class. Congressmen who was not able to defeat Nancy Pelosi for for minority leader. Yeah and admit under close easily shoot 78 seats democratic jealous are you and in the congress and and and very devotees if she was first female speaker. Other house and then it's a tremendous in and she's a tremendous politician. But clearly. So over the last decade we've lost ground balls on the national level and as the state level we need to change our message we need to change or leadership we need to change. How we do the business of elections. In the end too often where I'd seen the Republicans in and game they pay attention from the school board up to the presidency in the United States. Democratic voters tend to pay attention to presidential elections and a gubernatorial elections and they forget about the state house in the state senate now and and and that school board. And the county council and we need to get more people engaged there's a lot of folks that are that wanna get engaged now after the 2016 election. We need to get engaged at the local level that's how we build the party back. From the ground up from the local elections from the county elections to the state elections and then you'll start returning Democrats to congress and. Analyst and democratic pressed say sit recently passed a bill that would dump punish Sanctuary Cities it's probably gonna pass. The state house senate and often governor is gonna sign in or not that was virtually. A straight party line vote I think it would be the only Democrat. Who voted for it. That's kind of amazing to me because this is the only place I can think gov. Where you've got people advocating the EU openly violate federal law like I don't know that you could do this. Offer something else just ignore federal law we did a good example before. Hey it would east common sense then and in my view we've had small local things cases where we're an illegal immigrant apprehended. My local law enforcement be found and have to Pennsylvania access Koran and and think clearly the defrauding the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and and and then they're like golf. And to me that you view the week when your stealing. From this is device GI and broad street haseltine who do who needs those benefits who have earned those benefits. It's not about immigration it's not about any any thing any any racer in this city. It's about common senses about the law and end Sanctuary Cities fell from Maine was it was exactly that when you have apprehended someone who has been lawfully arrested. And that was an amendment that that that I worked with the sponsored the bill. From pets I wanted to make sure we're not trying to racially profile anyone you have to be lawfully arrested that amendment that that that we fought for was put into the bill. So you're lawfully arrested. For committing a crime and in and and and Pennsylvania determine that you are an illegal immigrant to federal authorities. Ask you to be detained some that you did so that they can apprehension. Where is it in the in the role of the mayor four or anyone else to say we are not going do is geared to the loss of the federal government. I understand that we need a new immigration policy in in an and I suspect that that that will get one over the next. For years Clinton go to that extreme and say we're not going to work with federal law enforcement officials. My entire occurs about trying to get the federal government state government county government local government. Particularly when it comes law enforcement all working together that's what the most street crime unit was all about we have international drug cartels. Pouring drugs into our communities and you need coordination and cooperation. This what message does it send that you're going to say. City of Philadelphia or take another community we're not gonna listen we're not gonna end here. For the loss of the federal government I think that's wrong that's why I voted for the Sanctuary City bill to do what you know the governor is seeking a sop when he signed that bill. And every indication is that the EU likely veto it I don't intervene test probably the first test of whether they can override. The Vito. In India and you know certainly they asked 34 votes to do in the semis of voted B 35 so matter whether or not they would have those numbers and. Our house now our guess is our state senator. John Beatty Jack delisting around. I'm ready go LA I get home before the girls get Tibet are right well I'd really appreciate you IE or where it was such an hour and a half thank you very much very very very welcome here anytime you wanna got appreciate very much are right I appreciated thank you.