House candidates talk budget
Candidates for the 83rd state House seat are incumbent Jeff Wheeland, a Republican, and Airneezer Page, a Democrat. The district includes Williamsport, South Williamsport, DuBoistown, Montgomery and the townships of Loyalsock, Old Lycoming, Armstrong, Clinton, Susquehanna and Woodward.
The 84th state House candidates are incumbent Garth Everett, a Republican, and Linda Sosniak, a Democrat.
Much of that district is in Lycoming County and includes Montoursville, Muncy, Hughesville, Picture Rocks, Salladasburg, Jersey Shore and the townships of Anthony, Bastress, Brady, Brown, Cascade, Cogan House, Cummings, Eldred, Fairfield, Franklin, Gamble, Hepburn, Jackson, Jordan, Lewis, Limestone, McHenry, McIntyre, McNett, Mifflin, Mill Creek, Moreland, Muncy, Muncy Creek, Nippenose, Penn, Piatt, Pine, Plunketts Creek, Porter, Shrewsbury, Upper Fairfield, Washington, Watson and Wolf. It also includes Gregg and White Deer townships in Union County.
Q: Are there any particular parts of the state budget where spending is either too high or too low and what are they?
WHEELAND: “We can no longer and we should no longer be spending more than we have coming in. And that covers every line item. We really have to grow the rainy day fund and the only way to do that is by not spending more than what comes in. For us to remain competitive with others states we cannot ask taxpayers to pay higher taxes. There will be economic downturns in the future and we have to be ready for that.”
PAGE: “I haven’t studied the budget. I am looking to be formally educated on it once I get into office. In some places there is not enough money. Gov. Wolf has put lot of money in education. There has been money set aside for Lyme Disease prevention, and I’m not sure it is enough. He seems to be putting sufficient money into education. I believe health care goes hand in hand with the opioid problem. Everyone should be able to seek their medical needs without it ruining their life savings. If there was an area we need to invest more money, I would say that it would be health care.”
EVERETT: “I think one of things we have attempted to decrease and I’d like to see continue to be pared down is corporate welfare. These incentives we give just don’t pan out to produce. The Racehorse Development Fund is an example. These horses are bred by rich people. They don’t need that. There are other quirky funds used for corporate welfare as well. It just looks bad when you help wealthy people get wealthier. The human services budget has grown. We need to get ahold of that before we drown. There’s Medicaid spending too. We need to deliver those services more efficiently. Those costs are just growing like crazy. I’d like to see us do more to help small and medium sized businesses with start-ups. We do have some good programs. With training and low interest loans for upgrades and equipment needs. I’d also like to be able to find f funding for helping us take care of rivers and streams with respect to flooding. High river events leave behind debris. We need to shore up those streambanks. Muncy, for example, has a lot of trouble with Glade Run. There’s also problems with Lawshee Run in Jersey Shore.”
SOSNIAK: “Public education. More spending needs to come from the state level and to take the burden off the middle class. I do think we can look at term limits. Then we wouldn’t have so many lawmakers retiring with pensions and benefits. We can look at reducing the size of the Legislature which would save money.”