Policy Views

Local Control

The development of the Marcellus Shale formation offers our region a tremendous opportunity to become a leader in energy and manufacturing once again. I will work hard in the State Senate to ensure that we utilize these resources to their maximum potential.  However, I also believe that the development of this resource must been done responsibly and safely.I believe that local municipalities know best how to ensure that the operations do not jeopardize the safety and well-being of their communities. I support allowing for local control of certain regulations regarding the development of this resource.

Education Funding

Raja is a strong supporter of education. It was Pittsburgh’s world class educational institutions that brought Raja here originally. As a State Senator, Raja will work to make sure our local schools have the resources and flexibility they need to provide our students with the quality education they deserve. Raja knows education should not be a target for cuts when there are so many other areas of state government that could be trimmed while protecting our schools.

Raja will fight to maintain current levels of funding and expanding funding to key areas. He will also work to ensure that schools have the flexibility they need to address the different challenges schools face at all levels.

 

Government Excesses

Hard-working Pennsylvania families are being asked to pay for legislative pensions we cannot afford and for benefits that average Pennsylvanians no longer have in their private-sector jobs. Pennsylvanians are being asked to pay for unaccountable $160 daily per diems. Pennsylvanians are being asked to pay for one of the most expensive legislatures in the United States. It is time to fix Harrisburg.  I am running because Harrisburg will not be fixed by incumbents and insiders who are vested in pensions, take unaccountable $160 daily per diems, and have voted for mid-night pay increases.

It is time to send a person to Harrisburg who is actually willing to take action. Taking action starts with a personal commitment.  I will disavow and refuse to take the legislative pension. I will work to eliminate the “defined benefit” legislative pension for all newly-elected officials.  I will not take the unaccountable $160 daily per diem.  I will submit actual receipts for reimbursement. Unlike Harrisburg insiders, I will actively work for term limits.  I will actively work to reduce the size and cost of the General Assembly. I will actively support a move to a part-time legislature.

It is time to rein in the excesses of the General Assembly.  It is time for the elected officials in Harrisburg to reflect the realities of the men and women they serve.  It is time for a new voice in Harrisburg.

 

Jobs

Creating jobs in Pennsylvania will be my number one priority as State Senator.  Dramatically increasing the rate of job growth is vital to fixing the issues facing our home state.  Budget shortfalls, aging population demographics, school closings and consolidations, and the steep per capita tax burden need to be directly addressed.

As an entrepreneur, I have created over 100 high-quality jobs right here in Western Pennsylvania. Because of this experience, I have a strong understanding of the steps necessary to making our state an engine of job growth.

Pennsylvania’s anti-business policies have erected a fence around our state and kept out business while having discouraged existing Pennsylvania businesses from expanding.

By systematically dismantling these policies reflecting such an excess in spending, high corporate taxes, and burdensome and unnecessary regulation, we can restart our economic engine and get Pennsylvania moving again.

 

Taxes

Over the past decade, Pennsylvania consistently has been ranked one of the top ten highest-taxed states.  Our high taxes add a large, oppressive, causless additional cost to both job creators and consumers.  My number one priority is to transform the commonwealth into a source of job growth. And, the state tax code offers many opportunities to accomplish this.

We are one of only two states in the U.S. which taxes both the income and assets of job creators.  This provides a huge disincentive for businesses to move to or stay in Pennsylvania when they have 48 other states that would not impose this burden.  This particularly archaic tax also impedes businesses that are based here from making capital expenditures and greatly reducing the number and size of economic transactions within the commonwealth.

The property tax system is wearying our economy.  The uncertainty of the current system of court-ordered reassessments deters land development and home purchases.  We need a uniform, statewide system of property re-assements to ensure a level playing field amongst the counties.  I would also demand, as part of statewide property tax assessment law, a zero tax windfall for all levels of government.  School districts and counties should not be allowed to use this system as a backdoor tax increase.

Spending

State spending is out of control.  For far too long have career politicians used your tax dollars for pet projects and special interests with little to no realized benefit to you, the taxpayer.  In order to reduce taxes, we must reduce, reallocate, and re-prioritize spending.  We need to focus our spending on the core functions of our government and look for ways to use innovation and technology to stretch our tax dollars further.

We have to reduce spending. The increase in spending in the welfare and corrections departments is of particular concern, and I will work to save funds in these crucial areas.

Energy

The Marcellus Shale offers our state and region an exceptionally rare and valuable opportunity. We already have seen tremendous job growth from this natural resource, but we need to enforce environmentally safe practices.

Liquor Store Privatization

For too long Pennsylvania has been stuck in the past. Unlike neighboring states, we have allowed the special interests to keep the state-run liquor store system alive. I support complete privatization of the system.

Life

I believe life begins at conception, and I will work to pass pro-life pieces of legislation and promote alternatives to abortion.

2nd Amendment

A strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I will oppose legislation that infringes on our right to keep and bear arms.