Hay­wood, Holt vie for state Se­nate seat

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Bob Keeler bkeeler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @by­bob­keeler on Twit­ter

This year’s Penn­syl­va­nia Se­nate 4th District race is be­tween in­cum­bent Demo­crat Art Hay­wood and Repub­li­can Ron Holt.

Both can­di­dates were emailed a ques­tion­naire ask­ing what in their back­ground has helped pre­pare them for this of­fice, why they are run­ning for the of­fice and where to get in­for­ma­tion about them and their can­di­dacy.

They were also asked two pol­icy ques­tions:

What changes, if any, would you like to see to the cur­rent sys­tem of fund­ing pub­lic schools pri­mar­ily through prop­erty taxes? If prop­erty taxes are re­duced or elim­i­nated, how would you re­place the fund­ing?

What is your an­swer to the opi­oid epi­demic? What mea­sures would you sup­port (Safe in­jec­tion sites? More pub­lic fund­ing for re­hab or men­tal health ser­vices? Tougher laws

for deal­ers? etc.)?

Art Hay­wood

“I have been a lawyer, ad­vo­cat­ing for vic­tims of hous­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion and for fair hous­ing for 33 years. I be­lieve we owe each other a com­mu­nity free from gun vi­o­lence, a com­mu­nity where we pay a liv­ing wage and a com­mu­nity where we put com­pas­sion first to sup­port our chil­dren and our most vul­ner­a­ble,” Hay­wood said.

His five years as a Chel­tenham Town­ship com­mis­sioner and four years in the Penn­syl­va­nia Se­nate have taught him how to make the govern­ment work for peo­ple, he said.

“I was in­spired to run for pub­lic of­fice through the 2008 Obama cam­paign. I be­lieved in the mes­sage of hope and felt en­cour­aged to make a dif­fer­ence through

lo­cal govern­ment,” Hay­wood said.

“I am run­ning for re-elec­tion to keep fight­ing for our fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties in the 4th District and across the state,” he said. “In my first term, de­spite the Demo­crat su­per mi­nor­ity, we have started to see some suc­cess in pass­ing leg­is­la­tion, in­clud­ing re­quir­ing lead test­ing in PA’s pub­lic schools, re­lo­cat­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims in pub­lic hous­ing away from their abusers and bring­ing over $15 mil­lion to the 4th District.”

In re­sponse to the ques­tion about ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing, he said he thinks char­ter schools should be funded by the state, not lo­cal school dis­tricts.

“When school dis­tricts have to pay for char­ter schools, it places a huge bur­den on them, par­tic­u­larly in low-in­come ar­eas. Sim­i­larly, I be­lieve cy­ber-char­ter schools should be paid based upon on­line costs, not build­ing costs,

which would more ac­cu­rately and eq­ui­tably fund stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tion based on ac­tual costs,” Hay­wood said.

He said he thinks there should be prop­erty tax re­lief for se­nior cit­i­zens who can’t af­ford it, which could be paid for through a nat­u­ral gas sev­er­ance tax.

“Fi­nally, the fair fund­ing of PA’s pub­lic schools needs to be more eq­ui­tably ad­dressed. Cur­rently, Penn­syl­va­nia has a fair fund­ing for­mula, but it only af­fects about 7 per­cent of the to­tal fund­ing for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. We must work to in­crease the amount of money that is in­cluded in the fair fund­ing for­mula to bet­ter fund and sup­port our lo­cal

schools,” Hay­wood said.

More re­hab treat­ment is needed for those suf­fer­ing from opi­oid ad­dic­tion, he said.

“The drug com­pa­nies need to pay. I fully sup­port lit­i­ga­tion against the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies who pushed these drugs into our com­mu­ni­ties. I also sup­port lim­it­ing pre­scrib­ing of opi­oids,” Hay­wood said.

In­for­ma­tion about Art Hay­wood’s cam­paign for the 4th District Se­nate seat is avail­able at hay­wood­fors­e­n­ate.com and on so­cial me­dia sites linked to the web­site.

Ron Holt

Holt said he was a tax ac­coun­tant for 20 years, a Penn­syl­va­nia De­part­ment of Rev­enue au­di­tor for 17 years and is a for­mer Mont­gomery County Reg­is­ter of Wills. He is also a for­mer Tem­ple Univer­sity po­lice of­fi­cer, he said.

“The peo­ple of PA 4th Se­nate District need help,” Holt said.

The district in­cludes part of Mont­gomery County and part of Philadel­phia.

“The district is a fam­ily rich com­mu­nity with su­pe­rior in­fra­struc­ture and as­sets — great high schools, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties to name a few,” Holt said.

How­ever, there are also parts of the district that are plagued with poverty and crime, he said.

“I can change that,” he said.

“Philadel­phia is in a cri­sis,” Holt said.

That in­cludes high poverty, more than 250 mur­ders this year and $26 mil­lion of city money that was unaccounted for, he said.

“Our largest city de­serves bet­ter,” Holt said.

Holt said he’d like to see Philadel­phia have an elected school board with the schools, not the mayor, con­trol­ling the money.

He said he would look first at sales taxes as an al­ter­na­tive to prop­erty taxes but said there are other taxes that would be less of a bur­den on those with low in­come.

“The opi­oid prob­lem is not new in low in­come ar­eas. We ig­nored the prob­lem too long,” Holt said, cit­ing Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion sta­tis­tics about the growth over the years of over­dose deaths in the United States. In 2017, there were 72,000 recorded over­dose deaths.

“I would go with a task force of ex­perts to rec­om­mend a plan that will work,” Holt said.

In­for­ma­tion about Ron Holt’s cam­paign for the 4th District Se­nate seat is avail­able on the Ron Holt for PA State Se­nate Face­book page, in the Meet the Can­di­dates sec­tion of mont­gomerycoun­ty­gop.com and atro­gop.org.

The Penn­syl­va­nia Se­nate 4th District in­cludes Abing­ton, Chel­tenham, Jenk­in­town, Rock­ledge and Spring­field in Mont­gomery County, along with por­tions of Philadel­phia.

Art Hay­wood

Ron Holt

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