Jobs and the economy

As a small business owner in Delaware County, Tom understands the challenges facing local business owners. In the Pennsylvania Senate, Tom will support efforts to reduce taxes on job creators that hinder economic growth and limit opportunity. Tom will also work to streamline costly, burdensome, and time-consuming Harrisburg regulations on businesses, enabling entrepreneurs and business owners to spend more time growing their business and less time dealing with government bureaucracy and paperwork.

As Chairman of Delaware County Council, Tom was instrumental in bringing together a coalition of state and federal government leaders who worked to prevent the closure of two oil refineries in Delaware County. Working with both Republicans and Democrats, Tom and other regional leaders helped preserve a way of life for Delaware County families that has endured for generations. Thousands of jobs were saved, and an industry that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to our region's economy was protected.

As a county elected official, Tom knows that simply maintaining the status quo isn't enough to keep our communities economically competitive. That's why he's taken an innovative, proactive approach to expanding opportunities for businesses in our region. He played a key role in attracting the Philadelphia Union Soccer Club to Delaware County and in facilitating the constriction of PPL Park. The construction of PPL Park created thousands of union jobs and has revitalized the City of Chester's waterfront. Tom also worked closely with the developer of Sun Center Studio, a movie and film production studio now operating in Chester Township, where a number of major motion pictures have already been produced.

Recognizing that Delaware County needed a focused effort on job creation and business growth, two years ago Tom spearheaded the development of a comprehensive economic plan for Delaware County. Tom's leadership and his forward-thinking approach to jobs and the economy made Delaware County the number one county in Southeastern Pennsylvania for new job creation.

Education

A good education is the foundation of economic opportunity, and Tom McGarrigle believes every child deserves access to a high-quality education that puts them on the path to success later in life. The quality of our students' education should not be determined by their zip code or which school district they attend. Tom believes the state's current method of allocating taxpayer dollars to school districts is inherently unfair. It's letting too many of our students down. That's why Tom supports the development of a new funding formula that will make the distribution of state education funding more fair, and more equitable.

Tom also supports an increase in state funding for education. We need to ensure the financial burden of increased education funding does not fall on hardworking families in the form of higher income or property taxes. That's why Tom unveiled an innovative proposal to direct more funding to our schools by establishing a severance tax on the state's Marcellus Shale industry. This bold proposal has earned widespread bipartisan acclaim and will generate billions of dollars in new education funding for our children and schools over the course of the next decade.

Fiscal responsibility

Tom has a proven record of fighting for fiscal responsibility, both as a township commissioner and as Chairman of Delaware County Council. He has consistently prepared and approved balanced budgets that keep taxes low and ensure our local government operates as efficiently as possible. In the face of state and federal funding cuts for county services and programs, Tom has worked to do more with less while still meeting the critical needs of local residents. In the Pennsylvania Senate, Tom will work to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in Harrisburg and ensure out tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

Crime and Public Safety Issues

Tom has always been a leader in protecting our communities from crime and ensuring our first responders have the support they need to do their jobs safely. In the State Senate, Tom will bring the same innovation and creativity he brought to his job-creation initiatives to his efforts to promote public safety.

Under Tom’s leadership, Delaware County government spearheaded an initiative last year to equip every public and private school in Delaware County with state-of-the-art panic buttons that provide school administrators with a direct link to law enforcement if there is a threat to the safety of students. As Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said, “Saving time saves lives when it comes to emergency response...a silent alarm greatly reduces the time gap between someone recognizing a threat and calling for and getting help.” Tom's efforts will literally save lives should the unthinkable happen at one of our schools.

Tom has also worked closely with District Attorney Whelan on the Delaware County Heroin Task Force to educate local residents and young people about the dangers of heroin and other drug abuse. Tom has also worked on a countywide prescription drug take-back initiative. Earlier this year, Tom also launched a new initiative designed to raise awareness of child abuse and encourage individuals who are aware of abuse to speak out. In the legislature, Tom will be a strong advocate on these and other issues, working to keep our seniors, children, and all residents safe.

Reforming Government

Tom is a small business owner, and when Pennsylvania families say they're tired of bureaucrats in Washington and Harrisburg issuing rules, mandates and regulations, Tom is right there standing with them. It's the leadership in local municipalities -- the township commissioners and school board members -- that know what is best for their communities, and we need to stop taking power away from our own neighborhoods and sending it to Harrisburg. Tom will support efforts to rein in out-of-control bureaucracy in Harrisburg and give more authority to local municipalities to make the decisions best for the families that live within them.

This is a challenging economy, and government budgets at all levels have been slashed. We need to cut the fat and the waste out of Harrisburg's budget, and Tom will work tirelessly to make the difficult choices necessary to ensure we're both funding vital services while protecting taxpayer dollars.

Public Pensions

Pennsylvania's public pension crisis threatens to overwhelm the state's budget and leave us in bankruptcy. Today, Pennsylvania faces an unfunded liability of $50 billion if it fails to reform our pension system.

It's not too late to fix our public pensions, but it's going to take real leadership and a willingness to make tough decisions to do it. With Tom McGarrigle at the helm, Delaware County was able to both protect taxpayers and ensure it lived up to the promises made to pensioners by funding 95% of its pension program.

Tom will take the same dedication to cutting costs and protecting taxpayers and employees to Harrisburg, where fixing our pension system will be a top priority.