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Pennsylvania State Senator District 29

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 Senate consists of 50 members, representing one district each, with an equal number of constituents. Senators must be at least 25 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 Senate develops budget packages, makes taxation decisions, allocates spending, and passes laws (including redistricting in collaboration with the House of Representatives). In addition, the Senate tries officials impeached by the House and authorizes executive appointments. Senators serve on various policy committees that may propose legislation. Term: 4 years Salary: $106,422 Vote for ONE.

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    John Zugarek

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    Dave Argall

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 Luzerne
Occupation Educator
Education BA-Wilkes University; MA-East Stroudsburg University
Qualifications 5 and 1/2 Years member of White Haven Borough Council (Police Public Safety Committee, Anti-Tolling Committee, Bicentennial Committee, etc.)
Campaign Website
X Handle @JohnZugarek4pa
Pennsylvania has long been a reactive state - we wait until there is a problem & then spend years trying to fix it. As a borough councilperson, I see firsthand how difficult it is to maintain services in your municipality. The rapidly increasing cost of Fire, Police, & Ambulances has seen many good departments close their doors. Right now, PA’s legislature is one of the most expensive & least productive in the country. We need to move forward & ensure that the government starts working on providing these basic services, as well as school & infrastructure, to provide our communities with safe environments that they can grow & succeed in. I believe a start would be reforming the grant process to one that rotates awards based on needs.
Elections need to be safe, secure, and accessible. The state legislature needs to ensure that everyone who can vote has access to voting and that we can all be confident in the results of the election. I believe this needs to be a bipartisan approach that looks at options such as early in-person voting, automatic voter registration, and free and available voter verification.
Funding for education has been a long running issue in the state. It’s time that we step up and make sure that we adequately fund our schools, but also use this as an opportunity to help reduce or eliminate property taxes. I believe that zip code should not determine success, and that our public school system needs to work for all students. I believe that a variety of funding sources could be used to help fund our schools in a more equitable way and take the pressure of overtaxed property owners, especially seniors.
Reproductive freedom is one of the most important and personal issues that we face in recent times. Many women face very difficult decisions when it comes to their health and well-being and we should strive to make sure those decisions are between them and their healthcare providers.
County Schuylkill
Occupation State Senator & Adjunct Professor
Education Tamaqua Area High School, 1976 //// Lycoming College, B.A., Political Science and International Studies, 1980 //// Penn State, M.A., American Studies, 1993 //// Penn State, Ph.D, Public Administration, 2006
Qualifications Former Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 124th Legislative District (1985-2009) /// Current Member, Pennsylvania State Senate, 29th Senatorial District (2009-present)
X Handle @SenatorArgall
For me, fighting blight and revitalizing our downtowns and older industrial neighborhoods in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties is a high priority, as is finding a fairer way to fund our public schools. My goal is to further improve the education of all Pennsylvania students, from pre-school to graduate school, in our smallest towns and villages to our largest cities, for generations to come.
Ensuring our elections are accessible and secure is vital. I would support any measure that boosts election security and supports our county and local election boards. Voter ID is a high priority for the people I represent.
The Commonwealth Court has spoken, and I agree that we must find a fairer way to fund our public schools. The key here is developing legislation that allows us to invest in our most valuable resource, our students, but also avoids massive tax burdens on Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania’s voters should be the ones deciding whether taxpayers should be required to pay for abortions—not the courts, not the governor, not the legislature.