PA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 81st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Name:  Rich Irvin

Resides: Tyrone

Email address: richirvin7@gmail.com

Age: 45

Party affiliation:  Republican

Education:  Juniata Valley High School / B.S. in accounting Indiana University of PA

Have you ever run for or held an elected position?

Elected to five terms as Huntingdon County Treasurer

If elected/re-elected, what can be done to get the economy moving again and help unemployed Pennsylvanians get back to work?

Pennsylvania needs family-sustaining jobs and to create a climate that attracts businesses both large and small to our area and encourages job growth.  Reducing the corporate tax rate as Pa. has one of the highest in the nation, also limit the legal requirements and regulations businesses must jump through so companies want to call our state home. Start up and emerging business should be afforded their full operating loss carry forward to give them the opportunity to expand and create jobs. Continued development of highways, bridges and cyber business solutions.  These efforts will increase employment get Pennsylvanians back to work.

Do you support natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania? Why or why not?

I do support natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania. Before oil prices fell, the natural gas industry provided an economic boom for our state both directly for conventional and unconventional well land owners but also indirectly by the thousands of jobs it created to help support the extraction. As history tells us, oil prices will not remain as low as today’s prices and the natural gas in this state has the potential to provide low-cost energy to foster business if we support the infrastructure to move the product.

Do you support labeling genetically modified foods? Why or why not?

Consumers in society today are expecting more and more in disclosures on products and services they purchase and why should food we eat be any different? When you debate any issue, it can become more complex than what it seems but it has called into question the labeling of a product “organic” and does it necessarily mean the food is without genetic modification. As farmers are forced to squeeze more production out of an acre of land, there needs to be an agreement on how much labeling should be involved for grocery shoppers to make educated choices in the market.

Is the state’s share of funding for public education adequate, or should more money be given to local schools even if that means higher taxes?

I don’t believe throwing money at any problem is ever the answer.  Education is the key to providing opportunities to our youth and one of the state’s major responsibilities. Education should work from a bottom up, an approach that puts our children first and parents in charge and lets our teachers teach. Not all children learn at the same speed or level and there is not a set design or model that can be used on every child to advance them into adulthood or prepare them for the workforce. I encourage anyone to further their education but in this day and age of unemployment and underemployment, applied learning may be the future to securing a family-sustaining job.

How can we improve our education system in general and how can we make higher education more affordable?

Education is the key to providing opportunities to our youth and one of the state’s major responsibilities.  Decisions on education are best made at the local level. Parents and taxpayers, must demand our school boards and teachers have the final decisions to meet the educational needs of our students rather than mandates and program specific funding handed down from the state and federal level. We must develop every child to their maximum potential and our role as a state should be to match our educators and job creators in both primary and secondary education.

 

Name:  Rick Rogers

Resides: Mount Union

Email address: rickrogers81st@gmail.com

Campaign website:  www.rickjrogers.com

Age: 70

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation/work history: Retired U.S. Army Major, 27-year military veteran (served in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy and Adjutant, Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army), community developer, mentor, vocational substitute teacher and VFW Post 5754 commander.

Education:  Obtained a B.S. in Community Development at Penn State University and graduated at Captain Jack Joint High School in Mount Union.

Family:  Sarah (wife), Rick, Jr. (son), Caryn (daughter)

Clubs, organizations, special interests: VFW, American Legion, Huntingdon County Planning Commission, and Huntingdon County Business and Industry.

Interests include: Community developing, gardening, and mentoring

Have you ever run for or held an elected position?

No.

If elected what can be done to get the economy moving again and help unemployed Pennsylvanians get back to work?

We must exterminate the increasing poverty caused by the unequal amounts of quality resources and services distributed to our small towns compared to our urban districts. I would propose investing in redevelopment of our infrastructure that I believe will vastly improve the connectivity of the industry and the community. Economic sustainability will only happen if we attract the innovative job markets, health care facilities and education institutions into this district by promoting our great talents and breathtaking landscape. Not only will this effort incentivize our great talents from leaving the district, but it will also promote growth.

Do you support natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania? Why or why not?

Though I do believe developing this energy source is important in Pennsylvania, I would like to see more research and caution taken on the effects of extraction before and after drilling occurs.  The Marcellus Shale has been underneath Pennsylvania for centuries; however, the extraction of natural gas has only begun recently. “Fracking” is not only changing the landscape, but threatens the stability of our environment and conservation of wildlife.

Do you support labeling genetically modified foods? Why or why not?

Consumers have a right to know what is in the food they purchase and eat. Transparency by labeling genetically modified foods allows consumers to make a choice.

Is the state’s share of funding for public education adequate, or should more money be given to local schools even if that means higher taxes?

Funding for public education is not adequate and we don’t need to raise taxes to properly fund local schools. That roadblock is the allocation of proper funding and I do not believe that people in a community should have to live with the notion that their children will be given less of an opportunity right from the start than a child even in the neighboring county solely due to the economic ability of the locality.

How can we improve our education system in general and how can we make higher education more affordable?

Improvement in our education system has to come with obtaining and retaining quality educators with competitive wages. Every child should have the opportunity to receive an education that will properly prepare them to become skilled contributors to our society through whatever avenue they pursue. Up-to-date textbooks are one simple yet essential aspect of a comprehensive learning tool that creates a more well-informed and engaged citizen. School-funded programs that promote anti-bullying and involvement with the arts are critical foundations to building a lifelong passion for knowledge.

How can we improve our education system in general and how can we make higher education more affordable?

State and Federal funded higher education institutions need better regulatory caps on raising the tuition, housing cost and meal plans. Every time more funding is provided for students in higher education, the cost to attend increases. That results in students taking out student loans. We also need more accessible vocational/technical schools and community college.