By Priscilla Long and Erin Roache
Kevin J. Boyle is the Democratic representative of the 172nd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He has been in office since 2011, and has accurately represented our views on taxes, gun control and education for the past seven years.
Kevin Boyle wants to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. He believes that this measure is vital for Pennsylvanians, because many heads of households are living off of a minimum wage salary, resulting in those who work 40 hours a week still living under the poverty line. We agree with his stance, as we believe that Pennsylvanians who work hard should not have to live on such a tight budget. By raising the minimum wage, more and more Pennsylvanians will be lifted above the poverty line.
We also share a similar viewpoint on taxes. Boyle banded together with other representatives to finalize the state budget. He said that “without closing the so-called Delaware loophole here in Pennsylvania, we lose hundreds of millions in revenues each year by allowing large corporations to avoid state taxes using loopholes not available to small businesses or you and your family.” It is unjust that large companies avoid taxes based on technicalities when they are the ones that need tax breaks the least. We believe that large companies should have more taxes than an average Pennsylvanian, but we agree with the steps that Boyle is taking now.
In today’s day and age, we believe that stronger gun control is the key component for a safer society. Boyle has actively fought for this stance, with his key votes and even his own bill. In 2015, he introduced a bill that would limit large ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. While this bill did not make it into the committee, Boyle has shown active interest in making Pennsylvania safer for all. He believes that municipalities should be able to pass gun control laws without getting sued by outside companies, such as the NRA. However, a lot has happened since 2015 in the realm of gun control, and we believe that now more than ever this issue needs extra attention. We want to see Boyle try to pass laws on stricter gun control.
Boyle has been passive on the issue of gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. He has not expressed support or dissent for drawing new, non-partisan district lines. While we would like our representative to support this idea, we understand why this topic is not his priority. We prefer that he focuses more on issues like the economy or gun control rather than something as simple as drawing new district lines.
Being students in the School District of Philadelphia, laws pertaining to education affect us directly. Boyle has spoken up about how he believes that every child “should have equal access to an education”. He has previously voted against a bill that would implement budget cuts for low-performing charter schools. However, it is obvious that he has not taken a specific stance on this issue. He has not passed or attempted to pass laws based on this issue that he claims to care about. We would like to see Boyle advocate for more school funding. He should try to work with the other representatives on a bill for a new state budget for public education.
Overall, we are pleased with what Boyle has been doing for Pennsylvania and we are excited to see what he will do in his new term. ••
Priscilla and Erin are seniors at Julia R. Masterman High School. In their social sciences class, they have been assigned a project to write an op-ed on their local state representative.