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Health Care
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Fiscal Discipline
Farms and Open Spaces
Campaign Finance Reform

Protecting Family Farms and Open Spaces

The government must assume its fair share of the responsibility for ensuring the sustainability of our natural resources, the livability of our communities, and the continuity of the Pennsylvania tradition of family farming.

Natural Resources
Government has a responsibility to enforce the laws that help keep toxic chemicals from our water and smog from our air. Pennsylvanians - and their representatives - should insist that toxic waste cleanup is paid for by those who cause it, and not foisted onto the taxpayers. We can - we must - find new ways to protect our natural resources and expand the economy at the same time. I believe that more jobs can be created in the long run by protecting the environment. Government should challenge businesses to take more initiative in developing cleaner ways to operate, and reward them when they succeed.

Open Spaces
As our communities grow, so must our commitment to preserving the open spaces of South Central Pennsylvania. All parents want their children to grow up next to parks, not parking lots, and no one wants 18-wheelers rumbling through their towns, shaking and wearing away at the very foundations of our historic buildings. The federal government can promote wise land use by rewarding state and local efforts to curb sprawl, promote reinvestment in our downtown areas, and strengthen the role of local governments in deciding transportation matters while encouraging states to integrate transportation, land use and economic development. The federal government can also provide localities with the tools they need to make the best land use decisions by analyzing spending and travel patterns by jurisdiction, allowing local leaders to see the tradeoffs between rebuilding existing infrastructure and promoting sprawl.

Family Farms
One important way to maintain the beauty of our countryside and improve the quality of life in South Central Pennsylvania is to preserve our family farms. Family farms are the backbone of Pennsylvania, and they help ensure that the entire nation has the best and most plentiful food supply on earth. But this is not an easy time for our farmers. The 1996 Freedom to Farm Act was supposed to work for our farmers, but instead it has worked against them. Freedom to farm has become freedom to fail. This year's drought, prevailing low prices, and the outbreak if the plum pox virus have made it clear that the federal government has a responsibility to strengthen the farm safety net, improve crop insurance, and create new markets for our agricultural products.