Blog: Page 16

What’s at Stake: Seniors’ Wellbeing

By 2025, more than one in five Pennsylvania residents will be 65 or older. Pennsylvania needs a governor that will protect seniors.

By 2025, more than one in five Pennsylvania residents will be 65 or older. Pennsylvania needs a governor that will protect seniors. Governor Wolf has:

  • Invested in senior community centers in order to upgrade technology and facilities to give the centers the resources needed to revitalize and expand the services that enrich the lives or our senior population.
  • Launched the Community HealthChoices program which helps to ensure seniors can age at home and receive quality care in their communities. This program has resulted in 50,000 additional seniors (a 41 percent increase) being able to age in their homes.
  • Stabilized the Lottery Fund, which supports important senior programs, including property tax and rent rebates, free transit and reduced-fare shared rides, low-cost prescription drug programs (PACE/PACENET), long-term living services, and Older Americans Act services.
  • Saved more than 180,000 seniors from losing their Medicare Advantage health plans.
  • Lowered prescription drug prices for seniors.
  • Supported efforts to modernize, improve, and address the critical problems with social security, without placing the program under private management.

Scott Wagner would be disastrous for our seniors. If he was governor, he would:

  • Roll back Medicaid expansion, which would strip health care from Pennsylvania’s seniors and kick them out of nursing homes with nowhere to turn.
  • Tax seniors’ retirement accounts.
  • Cut millions of dollars from the Department of Human Services, which would be devastating for senior citizens who rely on Medicaid Assistance for long-term care.
  • Allow seniors’ prescription drug costs to skyrocket.
  • Continue to disrespect seniors who have worked all their lives. Scott Wagner called seniors, “greedy.”

What’s at Stake: Women’s Rights

Governor Wolf has always stood up for women’s rights. He has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that women have a right to make their own health care decisions. He and his wife Frances even used to be escorts for Planned Parenthood!

Governor Wolf has always stood up for women’s rights. He has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that women have a right to make their own health care decisions. He and his wife Frances even used to be escorts for Planned Parenthood! Governor Wolf has:  

  • Vetoed Senate Bill 3, the most anti-choice bill in the country which aimed to criminalize abortion and bans abortions after twenty weeks, leaving no exceptions for rape, incest, or tragic fetal anomalies.
  • Stood up against Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Immediately said that he would veto a 6 week abortion ban and spoke out against the Trump administration’s gag rule.
  • Worked to increase access to birth control by incentivizing hospitals to stock and store long-acting contraceptives.
  • Required that 3D mammograms be covered by insurance
  • Called on the legislature to pass legislation requiring employers to cover contraceptives at no-cost to consumers as a preventive service.
  • Launched “It’s On Us PA,” the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses.
  • Signed an executive order that will work to end discriminatory practices that contribute to this wage gap. Under his executive order, state agencies will:
    • No longer ask job applicants their salary history during the hiring process.
    • Base salaries on job responsibilities, position pay range, and the applicant’s job knowledge and skills.
    • Clearly explain the pay range on job postings.

Wagner would ban abortion, and he dismissed the concerns of women across Pennsylvania about having access to safe and legal abortion by saying “… whatever happens, happens” when asked if he would be in a position to ban abortion as governor. If he becomes governor:

  • Abortion would be banned in Pennsylvania.
  • Wagner said he would sign a 6-week abortion ban bill into law. This would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country. In fact, many women do not even know they are pregnant at 6 weeks.
  • He would try to pass Senate Bill 3 which proposes a ban on abortions after twenty weeks, leaving no exceptions for rape, incest, health or tragic fetal anomalies.
  • He would defund Planned Parenthood and prevent women from across Pennsylvania from accessing important health care services like mammograms, other cancer screenings, and birth control.
  • He wouldn’t protect Pennsylvania from Trump’s gag rule. This gag rule would cut women off from critical health care services like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and even general women’s health exams.
  • He would not support women in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. When he was asked about the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Wagner responded by saying, “whatever happens, happens.”

Governor Wolf Creates First Statewide LGBTQ Affairs Commission in the Nation

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf took a historic step towards ensuring equality for Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ community.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf took a historic step towards ensuring equality for Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ community.

As KYW NewsRadio reports:

“Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has signed an executive order, creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs — the first in the nation.”

The Commission will serve to coordinate and drive statewide equality efforts as part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to removing obstacles for anyone who is facing an unfair disadvantage based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. It will be comprised by 40 members and led by Executive Director Todd Snovel.

“Today’s announcement is timely and important, but also not the end of our efforts to create a Pennsylvania that espouses inclusion and diversity in all that we do,” Governor Wolf said. “When I became governor, we saw that change was needed and we made it happen. Better yet, we are still making it happen and will do so until every Pennsylvanian can live, work, love, and thrive in our state with an assuredness of support and safety.”

The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs joins Governor Wolf’s existing commissions, including those on African American Affairs, Asian Pacific American Affairs, Latino Affairs and the Commission for Women.

Throughout his time in office, Governor Wolf has fought to protect the rights of our LGBTQ community and ensure that Pennsylvania is inclusive, welcoming, and open for business for everyone. While in office, he has:

  • Consistently advocated for passage of the PA Fairness Act.
  • Signed an Executive Order prohibiting any agency under his jurisdiction, or any entity that receives grants or contracts from the commonwealth from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity, among other areas.
  • Made sure state government is open to LGBTQ individuals so we can have talented people like like Dr. Rachel Levine serve in key positions.
  • Fought to expand state health care benefits for LGBTQ employees.
  • Formally recognized LGBTQ-owned businesses as small diverse businesses as part of a larger initiative to make significant changes in the commonwealth’s approach to awarding competitive contracts for goods and services.

ICYMI: York Dispatch: Editorial: Abortion laws factor into governor’s race

With Wagner in the governor’s chair and Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, that would spell broad new restrictions to abortion rights in Pennsylvania — if not their demise altogether.

* The only thing that prevented this ill-conceived effort to control women’s bodies from becoming law was Wolf’s veto. Those who believe women and their physicians are in the best position to make such personal choices, as opposed to elected officials and their like-minded anti-choice agitators, must keep that in mind come November.

* Wagner, recall, not only voted for the 20-week measure before resigning from the state Senate but supports bills that would ban abortions upon detection of a fetal heartbeat —usually around six weeks — and in the case of Down syndrome.

* With Wagner in the governor’s chair and Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, that would spell broad new restrictions to abortion rights in Pennsylvania — if not their demise altogether.


ICYMI: York Dispatch: Editorial: Abortion laws factor into governor’s race

More than a quarter century after Pennsylvania found itself at the center of the seemingly never-ending national debate on abortion rights, the issue is once again front and center in the Keystone State.

As Associated Press reporter Marc Levy’s July 28 story made clear, the upcoming gubernatorial race between incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican challenger Scott Wagner may well be affected by state-level abortion politics. And the result of that race may in no small part dictate the scope of a woman’s right to choose in Pennsylvania going forward.

Those who wish to see abortion remain safe, available and legal in Pennsylvania must therefore be ready to flex their voting muscle in November.

It’s not like abortion rights haven’t already been under assault in Pennsylvania. Just last year, state Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Franklin Township, led an effort to make abortions illegal after 20 weeks, down from the current, more reasonable 24 weeks. It also would have effectively banned the common dilation and extraction method of performing the procedure.

As with past such efforts, the bill was whisked through the statehouse with nary a public hearing. No chance for constituents to weigh in. No opportunity to hear from medical professionals, whose views on the matter are shaped more by education than ideology.

The only thing that prevented this ill-conceived effort to control women’s bodies from becoming law was Wolf’s veto. Those who believe women and their physicians are in the best position to make such personal choices, as opposed to elected officials and their like-minded anti-choice agitators, must keep that in mind come November.

Wagner, recall, not only voted for the 20-week measure before resigning from the state Senate but supports bills that would ban abortions upon detection of a fetal heartbeat —usually around six weeks — and in the case of Down syndrome.

So the positions of Wolf and Wagner couldn’t be more opposed. But the stakes get higher.

As Levy reminds readers, by the time voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may well be on the bench. That strengthens the likelihood that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that has protected abortion rights in the U.S. for 45 years, could be overturned.

If that happens, it’s every state for itself. With Wagner in the governor’s chair and Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, that would spell broad new restrictions to abortion rights in Pennsylvania — if not their demise altogether.

Ironic that such a scenario could play out in the state that generated the court case that reaffirmed abortion rights a generation ago.

The Supreme Court’s widely anticipated 1992  decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey upheld Roe’s central tenet that there are limits to a government’s power to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. It did so by affirming not just privacy rights, but 14th Amendment protections that cover personal autonomy.

The Casey in that case was, of course, former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr., an abortion-opposing Democrat who had signed harsh new abortion prohibitions into law. (His son, current Sen. Bob Casey Jr., inherited both his father’s party, and his views on abortion.)

Whether the protections reaffirmed in the 1992 Casey decision can survive the probable addition of Kavanaugh to the bench is unlikely. But whether such protections would survive in any recognizable form in Pennsylvania under a Gov. Wagner is certain: They would not.

Read the piece here.

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