Art on the Issues

The following legislation undermines the rights of women, working people in unions, local government and more. A brief summary of the proposed legislation is below. Please express your thoughts to me on these issues and I will advocate on your behalf. Thank you for your citizen advocacy, participation is power.

Raising the Wage

“Pennsylvania workers continue to be left behind as this state continues to have a minimum wage that keeps workers below the poverty line,” Sen. Art Haywood said. “The time to increase the wage is now!”

Sen. Haywood, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione and Rep. Patty Kim have teamed up to push proposals to immediately raise the wage. The bills, Senate Bill 1044 and Senate Bill 1045, would raise minimum wage to $12 an hour with a goal of raising to $15 by 2024, increase pay for tipped workers to $9 an hour, and make it possible for local governments to set a minimum wage that matches their local costs of living.

Gun Violence Prevention

Every two days, three people are murdered by guns in Pennsylvania. Gun violence tragedies are an unacceptable threat to our public health, and we must do our part to improve neighborhood safety. Senator Haywood supports efforts to ensure dangerous people do not have access to guns. According to the John Hopkins Center on Gun Policy and Research, states with similar legislation have lower firearm-related death rates than those without such laws.

Sustainability & the Environment

A commitment to our environment and sustainability is a community responsibility. Senator Haywood supports efforts to increase utilization of renewable energy, and has co-sponsored legislation to: provide tax credits for green construction and manufacturing of energy start rated products; require all new state buildings to meet Department of Environmental Protection regulations on green buildings; remove solar energy systems from sales and use taxation; add LEED consideration into reimbursement for school construction under the school code; and amend the commonwealth’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to increase electricity sold in the commonwealth from renewable resources. The senator encourages neighbors to participate in community clean-ups and recycling efforts to respect our environment and the future generations that depend on it.

Retirement in Dignity

Pennsylvania will see a large share of our population retire in the next 40 years. We have the second highest population of retirees over the age of 65, and that number is growing. Senator Haywood supports the right to retirement in dignity, which includes financial independence and the ability to age at home.

Raising Support for Public Education

Senator Haywood supports an increased state commitment to public education funding, in addition to a fair education funding formula. The senator also supports greater community commitment to quality summer and after-school reading programs to address illiteracy.

Pennsylvania currently ranks 45th in the nation for state share of school funding according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Our commonwealth needs to make a greater commitment to our youth by raising state support to 50% the cost of K-12 education, as well as restoring funding that was cut during the previous administration.

Advancing Women's Health

Senator Haywood is pro-choice, and supports the work of organizations committed to providing women with access to healthcare. Planned Parenthood provides vital services to families across Pennsylvania and the nation. According to Planned Parenthood, the organization serves more than 2.7 million patients each year, the vast majority of whom live at or near the federal poverty line. Without Planned Parenthood, these individuals would have limited access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings and evidenced-based family planning education. The well-being and independence that Planned Parenthood provides to individuals is essential to the health of our communities.

Criminal Justice

Senator Haywood supports law enforcement officers, who have an incredibly difficult job of policing in an armed society. The senator believes that police-community relations can be improved through the recommendations of the President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing, including increased police training and independent investigations of police-involved deaths.

Senator Haywood has introduced legislation, SB400, which would establish an independent prosecutor to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute police officers involved in the deaths of Pennsylvania civilians. By removing the perceived conflict of interest between a local district attorney prosecuting a local police officer, the senator aims to increase trust in law enforcement. Restoring faith in our justice system in the aftermath of events in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York must be a priority for our commonwealth.

Fair Taxation

Pennsylvania citizens expect affordable college education, manageable property taxes for older adults and assistance when businesses leave. In Pennsylvania, we have not met these reasonable expectations. For example, our student loan debt is third highest in the nation because we fail to fund higher education at rates in-line with current needs. Right now, our system is rigged so that low and moderate income residents pay a higher share of the taxes than those with higher incomes. Under the Fair Share Tax plan, the rate on certain categories of income would be raised, while the rate on wages and interest would be reduced. Most Pennsylvanians would see a tax cut, and an additional $2 billion in revenue would be raised for investment in critical educational, environmental and infrastructural projects.