Issues

Rob McCord understands the economic struggle facing millions of Pennsylvanians because he’s experienced it himself, and he’s got what it takes to end the Corbett era and give every child in the Commonwealth the chance to succeed.

Raised by a single mom, Rob had to overcome economic insecurity and a learning disability, but quality education and great teachers paved the path towards his successful career in business and in public service.

Rob is the only Democrat with real executive experience in both the private and public sectors – as a business leader who helped create thousands of Pennsylvania jobs, and a state treasurer who battled Wall Street greed and incompetence. And Rob isn’t just talking about taking on Corbett; he’s doing it day in and day out.

Rob is running for governor to make sure that every Pennsylvania child has the same shot at success that he had.

Issue links:

Economy and JobsEducation (Early Learning and K-12) | Health Care | Infrastructure
Working Families | Energy & Environment | Public Safety | Raising the Minimum Wage | Marcellus Shale | McCord Agenda for Pennsylvania Families

Economy & Jobs

After two decades in the private sector, Rob McCord understands the need to invest in people, communities, and businesses. If we want Pennsylvania to have a thriving economy, we must improve our schools, ensure workers are treated and paid fairly, create easy access to low-cost capital, and give businesses certainty so that they have the confidence to invest and grow right here in the Keystone State.

Rob’s vision for Pennsylvania is to create a state where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has an equal shot at success. As governor, McCord will:

  • Develop innovative approaches to create jobs by starting new businesses, attracting companies to Pennsylvania, and helping more Pennsylvanians benefit from the resulting prosperity.
  • Invest in Pennsylvania’s struggling cities to make them centers of commerce, culture, recreation, and safe places to live.
  • End special tax breaks for big businesses that have led to deficits and families being made to shoulder a larger share of the burden.
  • Support and develop training programs for displaced workers to learn new skills, qualifying them for new opportunities and new careers.
  • Leverage Pennsylvania’s leadership in biomedical research to attract word-class talent, investment capital, and innovative start-ups.
  • Renew support for the state’s two largest industries – agriculture and tourism – so that we can continue to supply our families with safe, nutritious food and we can showcase to the world the many recreational opportunities and natural wonders Pennsylvania has to offer.

 

Education (Early Learning and K-12)

As governor, one of Rob McCord’s top priorities will be to reverse Tom Corbett’s devastating cuts to Pennsylvania classrooms. McCord’s 10 percent drillers’ tax – the boldest proposal of any candidate to ensure Pennsylvania is being fairly compensated for its natural gas resources – will generate as much as $1.6 billion in its first year. McCord will use $1.3 billion of that to invest in education: $220 million in voluntary, high-quality early learning and $1.1 billion in K-12 programs. Beyond providing much needed financial support, McCord’s education agenda includes special education, vigorous review of charter and cyber charter school funding, and standardized test reforms.

McCord’s early learning and K-12 education plan will also:

  • Help districts restore full-day kindergarten programs.
  • Help high school students earn credit for college while still in high school through the dual enrollment program.
  • Promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curricula for students at a young age and promote partnerships with the state’s employers and research institutions to give students more hands on opportunities in these fields.
  • Enable more school districts to offer after school programs to improve performance and reduce after school delinquency, especially in under-performing or at-risk communities.
  • Re-invest in the Governor’s Schools for Excellence.
  • Invest in teacher professional development to help Pennsylvania teachers continue to provide a great education for their students.

You can read Rob McCord’s “Investing Where it Counts” education plan here. 

Health Care

Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to quality health care—politics as usual won’t cut it when it comes to the health of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. As a business leader and as treasurer, Rob McCord knows we can’t continue to approach health care the same way we have and expect different outcomes or miracle solutions. The obligation of the next governor should be to increase the number of Pennsylvanians with health coverage and improving the quality of care and the efficiency of those health services, rather than refusing to use the tools and opportunities we have been given to meet the challenges we face.

As governor, McCord will:

  • Expand Medicaid to keep Pennsylvanians’ health care dollars in Pennsylvania and provide more affordable coverage to more working families.
  • Develop innovative approaches for a truly game-changing solution to our state’s health care challenge, using a wide range of solutions and the best practices from other states.
  • Aggressively promote the health care exchanges, especially to young, healthy consumers who can help spread out risk and lower the costs for everyone.
  • Take advantage of all of the benefits provided by the ACA and make sure it meets the needs of Pennsylvania’s working families.
  • Engage energetically and cooperatively with the federal government and health care allies to see the ACA implemented effectively.

 

Infrastructure

Pennsylvania’s infrastructure is crumbling and in desperate need of repair. As a business leader, Rob knows the quality and reliability of a state’s infrastructure is directly linked to its economic growth potential. Businesses choose locations to expand and create jobs, in part, by assessing how easily it can move products to market, the availability of clean water, and the reliability of energy supplies. Pennsylvania needs real leadership to address the tens of billions of dollars in needed infrastructure repairs and ongoing maintenance costs it will face in the coming years.

To address these challenges, a McCord administration will:

  • Continue the push to find new funds to invest in its transportation systems, including mass transit, roads, bridges, rail lines, and aviation facilities.
  • Work with the business community to develop innovative public-private partnerships that help to fill the state’s funding gaps.
  • Renew focus on the state’s aging water and wastewater treatment facilities and delivery systems.
  • Support improvements to the electricity grid given the state’s status as the leading exporter nationally of electricity, while also encouraging the use of more efficiency and conservation measures along with other innovative ideas to reduce demands on these systems.
  • Expand the deployment of high-speed broadband to every corner of the state so all Pennsylvanians can take advantage of opportunities in the digital information age.

 

Working Families

Before moving to Pennsylvania as a young child, Rob, his brother, and his divorced single mother suffered from economic insecurity and lived below the poverty line for a number of years. However, when opportunities presented themselves, Rob’s mom was able to finish her education, find a job in Pennsylvania, and help her two sons achieve their dreams. As governor, McCord will help more families who work hard and play by the rules realize their dreams by fighting to:

  • Raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation so working families do not have to suffer life below the poverty line.
  • Ensure paid sick leave for all employees so anyone who believes in the value of working doesn’t risk falling behind because they or a loved becomes ill unexpectedly.
  • Protect collective bargaining rights and the right of workers to form or join a union.
  • Help more children earn an affordable college education in fast-growing fields that will define the 21st century, global economy.
  • Make daycare affordable for working families so no parent has to choose between finding work and arguably the most important job in society – raising our children.

 

Energy & Environment

Pennsylvania is blessed by abundant natural resources. Protecting those resources and building a healthy and sustainable economy for Pennsylvania and future generations is of paramount importance to ensuing the state’s communities are safe and livable.

As governor, McCord will:

  • Ensure tough, but fair, oversight of natural gas drilling to prevent water contamination, preserve the land, and protect the state’s air.
  • Expand the development and use of clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectricity.
  • Protect the state’s waterways from pollution by ensuring strict safeguards against development, erosion, and industrial activity.
  • Invest in conservation practices and programs that preserve farmland and open spaces.
  • Make Pennsylvania a leader in green buildings and sustainable development that mitigates the impact of human activity on the environment.

 

Public Safety

Pennsylvanians should feel safe in their homes and in their communities, yet the trafficking of illegal guns, budget cuts that have decimated or eliminated municipal police forces, and ineffective programs to treat nonviolent offenders who are paroled have made our streets unsafe. Clearly, the “get tough on crime” approach has not worked. What’s more, it has led to skyrocketing costs, which are burdening taxpayers. It’s time to “get smart on crime” and to give law enforcement personnel the tools and information they need to crack down on illegal activity.

As governor, McCord will:

  • Require background checks on all guns purchased at gun shows and online.
  • Require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms, which often end up in the hands of criminals.
  • Lobby the federal government to reinstate the federal ban on dangerous assault weapons.
  • Ensure the Pennsylvania State Police complement is fully staffed and put more troopers on patrol to keep our communities safe.
  • Reward communities that maintain their own police force rather than shift responsibility to the State Police and the costs of protection to the state.
  • Equip law enforcement agents with better technology and equipment so they can operate more efficiently and effectively and share information and data across multiple agencies to keep the focus on eliminating crime at its source.

Raising the Minimum Wage

Too many Pennsylvanians find themselves working twice as hard today, but only getting half as far. Part of the problem is that the minimum wage has not kept pace with the rate of inflation, which has diminished the purchasing power for thousands of families across the commonwealth.

As governor, McCord will:

  • Immediately increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.70 in 2015, with an increase of .10 each year through 2024.
  • Raise the tipped minimum wage from $2.83 to $5 in 2015, with .10 increases for the first 10 years.
  • Preserve a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for student employees.
  • Set annual increases, based on the rate of inflation, to the minimum wage, tipped minimum wage, and student minimum wage rates.

To read Rob McCord’s minimum wage plan, click here.

Marcellus Shale

Pennsylvania is home to the Marcellus shale, one of the largest natural gas formations in the world.  And yet, in return for giving drillers the right to make billions of dollars in profits from our resources, Pennsylvanians receive less than any other major natural gas-producing state in the country. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to be fairly and justly compensated for allowing drillers to profit from our state’s resources.

As governor, McCord will:

  • Develop a “Fair Deal for Pennsylvania” that includes a 10 percent drillers’ tax that could generate up to $1.6 billion in revenue in its first year alone.
  • Prohibit any further leasing of state lands for drilling.
  • Ban any discharge of drilling wastewater into Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams that is not treated to the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Repeal and replace Act 13 with tougher laws to protect the environment and give trained inspectors — not political appointees — the ability to stop dangerous drilling operations.
  • Increase well permit fees and bond payments so the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) can hire more inspectors and respond when drilling companies do not live up to their responsibilities.
  • Improve public access to drilling information.
  • Rescind the power of eminent domain for private gas companies to develop a natural gas storage facility.

Read Rob McCord’s “Fair Deal for Pennsylvania” plan.

McCord Agenda for Pennsylvania Families

Corrections Reform
Pennsylvania needs a smarter approach to criminal justice and incarceration. Read Rob McCord’s plan to reform the corrections system.

Diversity
All Pennsylvanians deserve fairness and a shot at economic security. Read Rob McCord’s plan to improve diversity and equality statewide.

Higher Education
Rob McCord will work to make sure more Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to pursue higher education opportunities. Read the McCord plan to improve college affordability and access.

Job Creation
It’s well past time that Harrisburg gets serious about putting Pennsylvania back to work. Read the McCord plan for an innovative and thriving economy.

Veterans
Pennsylvania is home to nearly 1 million veterans and we owe a debt of gratitude to current service members, veterans, and their families. Read the McCord plan to honor veterans for their service.

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