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Pennsylvania State Representative District 85

Description of office: The General Assembly is the legislative branch of government in Pennsylvania. It is composed of two houses: the Senate is the upper house, and the House of Representatives is the lower house. A majority vote in both houses is necessary to pass a law. The PA House of Representatives consists of 203 members representing one district each, with an equal number of constituents. Representatives must be at least 21 years old, have been a citizen and a resident of the state four years and a resident of their respective districts one year before their election, and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service. The House develops budget packages, makes taxation decisions, allocates spending, and passes laws (including redistricting in collaboration with the Senate). The House also has the exclusive authority to impeach public officials. Representatives also serve on various policy committees that may propose legislation. Term: 2 years Salary: $106,422 Vote for ONE.

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    Nick Jacobson

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    David H. Rowe

Biographical Information

What do you see as the most pressing issues facing Pennsylvanians, and how would you address them?

What changes would you support making to Pennsylvania’s voting laws to expand access, ensure security, and support local election officials and processes?

What legislation would you support to comply with the Commonwealth Court's ruling that Pennsylvania’s school funding system is unconstitutional and must be reformed?

What changes, if any, would you support making to Pennsylvania’s abortion laws?

County Union
Occupation Public Policy
Education Yale University, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Qualifications Worked in Harrisburg at the Department of Health and the Department of the Auditor General, public policy experience at Senator Bob Casey's Washington, DC office as well as the Center for American Progress and Public Citizen, economics research at Yale University and Yale Law School
Campaign Website
Three top issues for me are developing our local economy, expanding access to affordable healthcare, and investing in local public education. Securing funding for broadband is essential to realizing each of these priorities. Regarding local enterprise, Pennsylvania taxes unfairly burden working people and small business owners, and I will work to lower those taxes. In healthcare, I will work with providers to maintain emergency care access and reduce costs. Finally, I will fight for fair funding for our public schools. I also believe that we need to restore decency in government to get things done. Elected officials should be responsible for their work, not cast blame or make excuses. I will always be accountable to our district.
Safe, secure, and accessible elections depend on the work of local election officials, and I will always listen to their needs. I support allowing counties to prepare mail-in ballots for counting (not to count them) before Election Day in order to ensure that winners are determined without delay. I also support allowing people who share a primary residence to deliver mail-in ballots for each other and eliminating other non-security-related obstacles to voting by mail. I would join bipartisan support for early voting. I am open to expanding the ability of 16- and 17-year-olds to prepare for voting when they turn 18 through pre-registration programs. I also support an opt-out system for voter registration when obtaining a driver’s license.
All our schools in the 85th district are underfunded and have faced a decade of costs rising far faster than state revenue support (up to six times as fast over the past decade). Property taxes have increased across the district, too, increasing the burden on local families, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes. The court’s ruling demands that we do better. I support increasing state funding for public schools while also increasing accountability for all education providers receiving state funds to educate our children. I would fight for funding systems that address the needs of our district, including for vo-tech programs, increased school support staff, and resources for special education services.
Pennsylvanians have the right to the care they need for themselves and their families. The recent instances across the country of mothers, at the risk of their lives, unable to access abortion services for wanted but non-viable pregnancies demonstrate the need to protect access to healthcare in our district. That said, I believe it is essential to guarantee that health centers are transparent and accountable for the services they offer–especially when they receive taxpayer funds.

More broadly, I think conversations about abortion cannot take place in a vacuum. We need to work on access to affordable childcare, early-childhood education, prenatal care and other health care services to support all Pennsylvania families.
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