Issues

EDUCATION

I am opposed to any reduction in public education funding. This includes the funneling of public education funds to charter, parochial, or private schools. The incumbent voted for House Amendment 7732, which would increase funds going to charter schools while depriving children who remain in traditional public schools appropriate funding.

Moreover, the Republican-backed pro-voucher Senate Bill 1 would cost taxpayers $73 million in 2012-13, and $133 million in 2013-14. http://www.psea.org/general.aspx?id=8762 This increase in costs, coupled with Governor Corbett’s budget, which cut public education funding last year by 20% (and froze funds in 2011-12) and his current budget proposal, cutting $330 million, or 20 %, from the budgets of the 14 state-owned universities; $147.4 million, or 30 %, from state funds to three of the four state-related universities; $8.8 million from community colleges; $362 million in student loans) would be devastating to Pennsylvanians. The cutting of public education funding and the backing of vouchers are unconscionable for the damage they do to the children of Pennsylvania and also economically short sighted.
The voucher programs proposed would:

• Lower the quality of education by while diverting millions of dollars to private schools while not making private schools accountable for standardized testing results;
• Violate constitutional protections by giving private schools the 'choice' on whether to accept or deny admission to students on any basis (including based on gender, religion, ability, special learning needs, or even disability status);
• Cost public schools money by diverting funds but not reducing costs. Public schools would have the same costs – maintenance, transportation, faculty, utilities, etc. while having less public money to defray those costs;
• Result in a double hit to citizens because: (1) reduced funding will lower the quality of our public schools, which will decrease property values; and (2) property taxes will have to be increased to replace funds being removed from K-12 schools.

We need to return to the days when Harrisburg properly funded education. In 2007, Governor Rendell successfully implemented his 2007 bipartisan “Costing Out” study, which called for Harrisburg to return funding of education to 50% of the costs to educate our children. As your State Representative I will fight to restore funding to ensure that the children of Pennsylvania and the businesses of Pennsylvania can thrive by Harrisburg properly investing in education.
ENVIRONMENT

I believe in protecting the environment and allocating appropriate funds to compensate Pennsylvanians for the extraction of Pennsylvania’s natural resources. The State House passed House Bill 1950, which would enact a paltry 1% gas drilling impact fee and only if a county chooses to impose it). This is a give-away to big oil and gas companies and could be devastating to Pennsylvania’s environment and economy.

http://www.alternet.org/story/154459/fracking_democracy:_why_pennsylvania%27s_act_13_may_be_the_nation%27s_worst_corporate_giveaway

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward issued the following statement in response to House Bill 1950:

“House Bill 1950 strips authority from cities, boroughs and towns to regulate local gas drilling activity – a right protected by state law and upheld by the state Supreme Court. Property owners across the Commonwealth stand to be affected. Towns with active gas drilling will find their carefully considered zoning laws eviscerated, while property owners hundreds of miles from active drilling sites could find a pipeline running through their subdivision or a compressor station next to their playground, with no recourse.

“This loss of local control comes at a bargain basement price — a 1% token impact fee on gas drilling. Drillers in Texas will pay five times as much in drilling taxes over the life of a comparable deep well as they will in the Marcellus Shale.

“Instead of bargaining hard on behalf of Pennsylvanians, House lawmakers are giving drillers a free pass at the expense of our environment, communities, children and families.”

Unfortunately, the wide-ranging effects of fracking may already be wreaking havoc on our environment. According to Scientific American , scientists believe two recent earthquakes in Ohio were caused by the process of fracking. It is believed that the disposal of wastewater by pumping it back into the sandstone was the cause of the earthquakes.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ohio-earthquake-likely-caused-by-fracking
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/ohio-fracking-earthquakes-cause-determined_n_1334808.html

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency recently said that chemicals found in drinking water in Wyoming are likely an effect of fracking in the region. Contaminated groundwater is unsafe to drink, and many of the chemicals the EPA found to exist in the water would be harmful to the health of the public at large.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020350130457 7086472373346232.html

Let’s not allow what has happened in Ohio and Wyoming to happen here in Pennsylvania
It is imperative that Pennsylvanians not sell their natural resources without: protecting the environment; requiring that Pennsylvanians be employed to work on the wells; and without receiving appropriate compensation from the natural gas companies to fund public education, protect our environment, and support infrastructure projects for Pennsylvanians.
ECONOMY
I believe that putting Pennsylvanians to work is a priority, not an option.

I am the founder and managing member of Binder & Canno, LLC, a boutique law firm located in East Bradford Township, Chester County. As an attorney, I have consulted with and represented numerous local businesses. I have also undertaken diverse matters involving the sale and purchase of real estate in representing a diverse clientele, ranging from owners of single-family homes to owners of apartment buildings and commercial complexes. My commercial and small business clients provide jobs for a large number of Pennsylvanians. I understand the need to encourage the growth of small businesses in order to create a prospering economy.

Not only do I advise small business but I am also a small business owner. I was part owner of “Pudding Lane Brookline” in Havertown, a gourmet rice pudding shop, which had 12 employees. I was part-owner of Strikes Bowling Lounge in University City, Philadelphia, with over 30 employees and now am a part-owner of Sweat Frames and Fitness in East Falls, Philadelphia. I understand the needs of small businesses, the importance of creating jobs, and the necessity of providing a sound and safe workplace and a living wage for Pennsylvania’s valuable workforce.

As your State Representative, I will look for ways to create more jobs for Pennsylvanians while improving our infrastructure. Chester County has many of our state’s beautiful historic bridges, many of which are in need of repair, as are bridges and roads across Pennsylvania. Harrisburg should be creating jobs for Pennsylvanians, repairing Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, and looking to new sources for the funds to do so. A reasonable impact fee on gas and oil drilling could create thousands of jobs making necessary repairs to benefit all Pennsylvanians.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS
I am a staunch supporter of women’s rights. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granted the right to vote to American women. In 1971 the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the seminal decision on a woman’s right to choose. Today, women make up more than half of the population of the United States and nearly half of the American work force. Yet, presently, there is an attack on women’s rights in the United States and an attack on women’s rights in Pennsylvania. Be it attempts to regulate the medical choices of women, or a failure to help women earn equal pay, Harrisburg’s agenda seems to be to reverse many of the rights which the women of this country have fought to achieve. For example, the evidence is overwhelming that women earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. Right now, it is very hard for any one woman to prove wage discrimination. Despite this, Congress has failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make it easier for women to bring and prevail on a wage discrimination suit.

Another example - Planned Parenthood provides quality healthcare for many women and families and is an important part of our communities, yet Harrisburg is attempting to defund Planned Parenthood and infringe on intensely personal medical decisions. The attack on Planned Parenthood is not based on money. Every dollar invested in family planning saves us, the taxpayers, nearly $4. The attack is not based on the wants or needs of the community. Instead, the attack is an attack on a small part of what Planned Parenthood does, terminating unplanned and/or dangerous pregnancies.

My opponent, Dan Truitt, is not a friend of women’s rights. He was an original co-sponsor of House Bill 1077 in Harrisburg. He later removed his name as co-sponsor. He knows full well that the women of Chester County (and the rest of the Commonwealth) are watching. That proposed legislation is an unwelcome and unnecessary intrusion into women’s health and rights. It would require women to undergo a time-consuming and potentially costly ultrasound examination prior to being able to terminate a pregnancy. In some cases, a highly-invasive transvaginal ultrasound could be necessary to comply with Truitt’s legislation. We cannot let those in Harrisburg mandate this type of medical intrusion into women’s lives and bodies.

The bill is known as the “Women’s Right to Know Act”. That is insulting to the female residents of this Commonwealth. If there’s one thing I think women have the right to know, it’s that I will fight to make sure that this bill never comes to fruition in this state. I am proud to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations. It’s not up to legislators to decide what is best for the women of our state. The Women’s Right to Know Act is in line with the thinking in Harrisburg where there is an attempt to sell out women’s medical decisions to special interest groups. Not only did it required women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before having an early-term abortion, it required the doctor to show the screen to the woman and note if she looked at the screen, and it required the doctor to give the woman a printout of the ultrasound. The bill was an abomination, intended only to further an attack on a woman’s right to choose. In fact, Truitt has stated that he feels guilty for not having the strength to stand on street corners with signs or block the entrance to abortion clinics. That type of activity has led to violence against women, doctors, and other supporters of a woman’s right to choose. Blocking an entrance to a Planned Parenthood facility is almost certain to incite violence. Even without violence, it may further traumatize women who may have already been traumatized through rape, incest, or by a life-threatening pregnancy. We need to provide care and support and not disdain and ridicule.

Truitt may have doubts about the strength of his convictions, but I have no doubt about the strength of my convictions. I have the strength to go to Harrisburg and fight for the rights of women in our community, in our Commonwealth, and in our nation
Voter Rights
The Pennsylvania Senate and House have approved House Bill 934, which requires an expensive and needless imposition on Pennsylvanians and disenfranchise up to 700,000 Pennsylvanians. I am opposed to creating solutions to problems that don’t exist. Indeed, there is not one instance shown of voter fraud that this Voter ID bill would address. By requiring identification prior to voting, Republicans are merely attempting to create roadblocks to voting by specific groups, an action akin to a modern day poll tax. In fact, as found in other states, the bill could be unconstitutional.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/12/wisconsin-voter-id-law-unconstitutional_n_1339830.html

According to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice, 11 percent of U.S. citizens lack a government-issued ID, but the numbers are significantly higher among young voters (18 percent), voters 65 or older (18 percent) and African-Americans (25 percent). This bill particularly affects non-drivers (senior citizens who no longer drive, persons with disabilities, and residents of urban communities who travel by public transit), and the challenge of securing a non-driver photo ID card from PennDOT will be costly, difficult, and impossible for some. Based on these figures, as many as 700,000 Pennsylvanians may not be able to vote in the next election. This potential disenfranchisement is being pushed despite the fact that there have been no instances shown of voter fraud in Pennsylvania that this bill would address. In fact, research shows that, out of the nearly six million votes cast in Pennsylvania for President of the United States in 2008, there were only four cases of voter fraud, none of which would have been prevented by this bill.

Senator Dinniman may have said it best when voicing his objections to the needless expenditure of money http://www.senatordinniman.com/contusvideo?vid=45 At a time when public education funds are being slashed, spending up to 11 million dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a prime example of irresponsible government spending.

As a state representative, I will fight against any bill that infringes on the constitutional right of citizens to vote and be heard by their representatives.

info@Bretbinderforpa.com
phone(610-696-5904) - fax (610-480-8479)
803 W. Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382

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