On Nov. 6, voters in Pennsylvania’s 40th House District will have a choice of two candidates for state representative: Sharon Guidi (Democrat) or Natalie Mihalek (Republican). Rep. Maher (R), who currently holds this seat, is retiring.
This district comprises the TOWNSHIP of Upper St. Clair and part of the BOROUGH of Bethel Park. It also includes part of Washington County.
We asked each candidate five questions about their stance on key policies to combat hunger in Pennsylvania. We did not receive a response from Mihalek despite multiple requests, and were not able to determine her position based on public statements.
Guidi’s full response is below the graphic.
Do you support work requirements as a condition to access public benefit programs, even though it would prevent people from accessing healthcare or food assistance?
Work requirements, especially for the elderly constituents of the 40th District, would put many people in situations that make it incredible difficult to get the healthcare or food assistance that they need. We need to be empowering those who receive benefits, and are able, to be active members of their community and positive role models to younger generations.
What should the state minimum wage be?
The minimum wage should be raised to $12 immediately and then to $15 by 2024. I support SB 1044.
Do you support state laws that preempt laws on local taxes, local public health regulations, or local labor protections? In particular, do you support HB 861?
No, I do not support HB 861. As the Women’s Law Project states, “Preemption bills like HB 861 prohibit local governments from passing local ordinances to meet the needs and reflect the values of their own communities.” The state legislature should be empowering local governments to listen to their constituents.
Do you support the Fair Share Tax Plan?
Yes, I support the Fair Share Tax Plan. The up-side-down income tax structure of PA disproportionately affects low-income earners. Loopholes and a low tax rate allows the wealthiest members of our state to pay a tax rate much lower than that of low-income citizens. We should not be asking the low-income members of our communities to assume the majority of the state’s financial burden.
Do you support the Marcellus Shale severance tax, as proposed in Gov. Wolf’s budget, as a way to provide sustained revenue for Pennsylvania?
Yes, I support the natural gas severance tax. The revenue from the severance tax could be used to help ease the property tax burden that many PA residents find overwhelming. Local school boards would have guaranteed funding and not have to rely on the local tax pay to entirely fund schools.