On the Issues

Education

As a former high school teacher of 35 years, one of Steve’s top priorities in Harrisburg has been to ensure that local school districts have the resources to provide the best possible education for our children. Steve has seen from his decades of experience how political decisions from Washington and Harrisburg impact the classroom and affect our children’s opportunities to learn.

Once Steve arrived in Harrisburg, he used his experience to fight for key reforms and additional funding to help our public education system.

Steve’s plan for Education:

Restore the Funding that Governor Corbett Cut from K-12 Public Education

Former Governor Corbett drastically cut funding for public education in the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget. This massive cut forced many school districts all across Pennsylvania to reduce services, curriculum, staff or raise property taxes to compensate for the cuts. The fact that some children attend school in districts without art and music classes is wrong. We need to ensure that all our children receive a well-rounded education.

Return to a Funding Formula for School Districts

During the Rendell Administration, state funding for K-12 education was appropriated based on a scientific formula rather than at the whim of various legislators in Harrisburg. Shortly after Governor Corbett took office, the funding formula was trashed. The Corbett Administration replaced the funding formula with block grant programs that are one year in duration and make local budgeting tough. This example is a horrible way to fund education in our Commonwealth. Local School Districts need a stable and sustainable funding stream that they can depend on from year to year.

Enact More Accountability and Transparency for Charter Schools

It’s time that we hold charter schools accountable by increasing transparency and guarding taxpayers against abuse when tax dollars are sent to a for-profit Charter School. We have seen too many reports of waste, fraud and abuse by some charter schools in our Commonwealth; and it’s time that taxpayers hold all charter schools accountable to the same standards as our public schools.

Environment

Steve McCarter - Presser

As a passionate advocate for protecting the environment and the natural beauty of our Commonwealth, he has not been afraid to take on the special interests to defend the interests of our environment and natural resources. Steve has been a relentless advocate for a Marcellus Shale Gas extraction tax in committee and on the House floor.

In 2016, Steve has been working with other legislators to create a house caucus focused on climate issues.

During the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, the House Republicans introduced HB1576 that changes the way Pennsylvania lists endangered and threatened species. This bill would allow bureaucrats and politicians to interfere in the process of listing threatened and endangered species in the Commonwealth rather than leaving these decisions to scientists. This proposed change would make it virtually impossible for an endangered or threatened species to make the list in Pennsylvania. Steve helped to organize environmental and animal rights groups in a grand coalition against the bill.

LGBTQ Equality

Steve McCarter - Love Park

Steve is an avid supporter of LGBTQ rights in the Commonwealth. One of the first things he did after assuming office was to join the LGBTQ Equality Caucus in Harrisburg. Steve worked side by side with other progressives and allies of equality to promote fairness for all of Pennsylvania’s citizens.

With national momentum for equality and protections for the LGBTQ community, Steve, and his fellow colleagues kept pushing for the only right and decent thing to do here in our own Commonwealth. In early 2013, Steve co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) HB300 that would make discrimination against a member of the LGBTQ community illegal.

It’s outrageous that in the year 2016 a person can be fired from their job or evicted from their apartment for simply being a member or a perceived member of the LGBTQ community. Although, this bill has been introduced in previous terms, for the first time it is now incredibly close to garnering the necessary amount of support in both chambers for possible passage.

After the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the Federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’, Steve partnered with State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session to introduce HB1686 that would allow for Marriage Equality in the Commonwealth. This bill would repeal Pennsylvania’s version of the Federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and remove Pennsylvania from the role of interfering in the love between two people. Steve has co-sponsored legislation to deal with bullying in our schools.

Protecting Seniors

Protecting Seniors

Steve has been working to support and draft legislation to combat fraud and abuse targeted at our seniors. Steve has heard countless stories about individuals being subjected to scams and financial abuse, and he has been horrified by these unfortunate and outrageous attempts to rob them of their financial stability for their retirement.

In response to this growing problem, Steve introduced HB 248, the Senior Citizen Retirement Protection Commission. This commission would meet twice a year to propose new initiatives and laws to protect seniors against complicated fraud and financial abuse. All of the relevant departments and committees would have a representative on this new Commission.

Jobs

As a former machine operator while working his way through college, Steve knows the importance of receiving a fair chance as one tries to seek higher education or raise a family.

employment applicationRaise the Minimum Wage

Steve is a strong supporter and co-sponsor of HB 250 to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. The legislation would raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 an hour.

Pay Inequality

Steve is a co-sponsor of HB 1160, legislation that would allow equal pay for equal work in the workplace. It’s outrageous that in 2016, women make only 77 cents on the dollar for what a man earns while working the same job. It’s time that Pennsylvania joins the twenty-first century and end the workplace discrimination against women.

Support the Right of Workers to Organize

Throughout his career, Steve has seen the benefits of allowing workers to bargain collectively to fight for better working conditions, enhanced safety in the workplace and healthcare coverage. He believes that it is important to protect workers’ rights to organize and bargain for a better future for themselves and their families.