GOP candidate for governor addresses local Republicans
“The Republican Party is strong in the state and we’re going to take the governor’s mansion. I’m going to work like you’ve never seen anybody work before,” state Sen. Scott Wagner, of Spring Garden Township, told the audience at the Lycoming County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday night at the Genetti Hotel.
Wagner, who represents the 28th district in York County, has announced his bid for governor in 2018.
In casting his vision, Wagner said in his world he has a rule that he wants to be told what he needs to hear.
“Pennsylvania is in financial trouble. We have a pension crisis that is $74 billion and still ticking. It’s bad,” he said.
“We need to have a serious adult conversation. We are in serious trouble,” he added.
Wagner said he is determined now more than ever to turn the state in the right direction. He said there is an unbelievable amount of mismanagement in the government.
“We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” he said. “If I ran my business for one day like the state of Pennsylvania is run, I’d be out of business.”
At one point, Wagner illustrated the snake oil that he claimed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is just repackaging for next year’s campaign.
“It’s time for Pennsylvania to stop buying snake oil,” he said.
His plan to implement zero-based budgeting when he is governor was met with cheers from the audience. He said the state could find an estimated $1.5 billion to $4 billion the first year with his plan.
Another component of his plan is to roll back regulations.
“Regulations are choking the living daylights out of our businesses,” Wagner said. “Pennsylvania is at the bottom in the country for job growth. We can become an economic powerhouse. When you stop choking businesses and give them room to breathe, they will thrive and when they thrive everybody thrives.”
The third part of his plan for the state involves reinventing the education system.
“We need to fix the state’s education system,” he said. “We have (a) skilled labor crisis that is off the charts. Our current system is geared toward every child going to college. Starting over the next zero to 15 years, people working in the trades are going to make more money than people with college degrees.”
Prior to Wagner speaking, Jeffrey Stroehmann was awarded the Alvin C. Bush Republican Award.
Other speakers for the evening were Supreme Court Justice Sally Mundy and Judge Paula Patrick.