On Nov. 6, voters in Pennsylvania’s 38th Senate District will have a choice of two candidates for state senator: Lindsey Williams (Democrat) or Jeremy Shaffer (Republican). Shaffer defeated Rep. Vulakovich (R), who currently holds this seat, in the 2018 primary election.
This district comprises Northern Allegheny County: TOWNSHIPS of East Deer, Fawn, Frazer, Hampton, Harmar, Harrison, Indiana, Marshall, McCandless, O’Hara, Pine, Richland, Ross, Shaler, Springdale and West Deer and the BOROUGHS of Aspinwall, Blawnox, Brackenridge, Bradford Woods, Cheswick, Etna, Fox Chapel, Franklin Park, Millvale, Springdale, Tarentum and West View.
It also includes Pittsburgh wards 11 & 12 (East Liberty, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, and part of Garfield).
We asked each candidate five questions about their stance on key policies to combat hunger in Pennsylvania. We did not receive a response from Shaffer despite multiple requests, so we determined his position where possible based on public statements.
Williams’ 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?
I oppose work requirements as a condition of receiving benefits, as the majority of recipients are elderly, disabled, or children who are receiving these benefits precisely because they cannot work.
What should the state minimum wage be?
I am a long-standing supporter of the Fight for $15 and a union. As a member of One Pennsylvania and former board member of Fight Back Pittsburgh, I have participated in and helped organize numerous marches and actions in support of this movement.
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, HB861 is a thinly veiled effort to strip protections from workers and LGBTQ individuals extended by local governments because state and federal governments refuse to do the right thing and enact these protections on a large scale. I strongly oppose this and any similar measure that takes authority away from local government to enact stronger protections for our vulnerable populations.
Do you support the Fair Share Tax Plan?
I support the Fair Share Tax Plan. We need to update our tax system to reflect the realities of current economics and ensure that incomes are taxed accordingly.
Do you support the Marcellus Shale severance tax, as proposed in Gov. Wolf’s budget, as a way to provide sustained revenue for Pennsylvania?
I support a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Pennsylvania is the only gas producing state without a Shale tax. Those corporations reap outsized profits while failing to pay their fair share.