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Letters to the Editor

Good old boy network

Our new governor has nominated Darrell Clarke to serve on the board of the LCB. His compensation will be $89,000 a year for 2 meetings a month. This will help supplement his city pension, which I believe is very generous, earned from his time on City Council. PA has almost 13 million residents. There had to be another more qualified person in our state who has not been on a government payroll forever. Next will be the feds.

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Smells like payback for helping Shapiro get votes in Philly to help him win the election. Will it ever stop?

Anthony Dello Russo

Fox Chase

Shapiro budget will help Northeast

Earlier this month, Gov. Shapiro delivered a budget proposal that addresses some key issues facing Northeast Philadelphia. As your senator, I’m excited to highlight how this plan lines up with our community’s needs.

Last year, my staff met with the Decatur Home & School Association and learned about their campaign to replace dangerous auditorium seats and remove asbestos floor tiles from the gymnasium. Safe conditions for our children should be a given, not a goal achieved through the fundraising efforts of parents and faculty. Thankfully, Shapiro’s budget proposes a $300 million investment to eliminate hazards like lead, asbestos and mold from Pennsylvania’s schools.  

Visiting Kinder Academy in 2023, I saw firsthand that state-of-the-art facilities are only as effective as the educators who use them. Sadly, a survey of 30,000 early childhood educators in Pennsylvania found that the sector is struggling with low wages, high turnover and inadequate staffing. The challenge confronting these dedicated professionals, torn between their passion for the classroom and their financial well being, illustrates why Shapiro’s $94 million increase for Pre-K programs and providers is essential to keep our teachers where they belong. This approach not only uplifts the quality of early childhood education but addresses the broader  challenges facing the sector, ensuring that young learners receive the best possible start in life.  

The time I’ve spent at SPIN highlighted another essential, yet undervalued, workforce. Direct Support Professionals aid and care for our neighbors with intellectual disabilities and autism. By allocating over $250 million to enhance care quality, expand the DSP workforce and increase salaries, the governor is demonstrating a real commitment to those who serve our most vulnerable.

As a small business owner, I understand that running a business is hard work. This challenge is magnified by findings from a recent Forbes survey that ranks Pennsylvania as one of the five states most affected by organized retail crime. Recognizing this problem, Shapiro proposes nearly $3 million aimed at combating organized retail theft. Through this targeted support, we can address a pressing public safety concern and strengthen the foundation of our local economies.

In January, nearly half of the United States raised their minimum wage. Unfortunately,  Pennsylvania wasn’t among them. The importance of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, currently the lowest among our neighbors, cannot be overstated. Shapiro’s budget proposes increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a change that would positively impact 25,000 workers in my district. Raising the minimum wage ensures we advance together rather than staying stuck in last place.

The governor’s strategy is both ambitious and responsible, projecting an $11 billion surplus without new taxes. This balanced approach allows for significant investments in human services, education, the economy and public safety that will pay dividends for years to come. I’m excited to work with Gov. Shapiro and my colleagues in the General Assembly to get this budget over the finish line and deliver for your families.

Sen. Jimmy Dillon

5th Senatorial District

Trump puppets must answer

To all of you potential Trump supporters and MAGA-heads: How do you explain Mr. Trump’s recent declaration that Russia can “ … do whatever the hell it wants … ” to NATO nations that, in Trump’s opinion, do not spend enough of their GNP on military defense?

Some Republican “Trump puppets” explain this by saying oh, that’s just “Trump being Trump.” But, this is exactly what we fear in a second Trump presidency. That Trump’s dancing to Putin’s tune would lead us into WWIII. Trump’s love of world dictators, and serious lack of understanding of world affairs, would leave our country weak and vulnerable or, alternatively, involve us in prolonged warfare in defense of our European allies.

Does Trump seriously think the decision to abandon freedom-loving countries is his alone to make? Has he no sense that the free world would not stand by to let Putin continue his murderous campaign against innocent Ukrainian children, women and men, and then move on to Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe?

Ironic that Trump may look forward to another world war, a conflict that would surely result in countless veterans of battle, considering Trump’s publicly stated contempt for the brave women and men who risked their lives in defense of freedom. What would Trump say to these veterans of his war? “Sorry?” Not good enough.

Those of you who have ever contemplated voting for Trump, you will have plenty to answer for. Be prepared … the questions will come from your own children.

Roland Williams

Pennypack East

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