Rick’s efforts will be on attracting and developing vigorous economic development and business growth to Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional district. He wants people to have the option to stay and thrive in their local communities. Rick is pro-union as well as pro-small business which provide good, safe jobs with family-sustaining wages. Large companies as well as small businesses depend upon communities with strong infrastructure to be successful. These companies also depend upon quality employees, who in turn are attracted to communities with strong education as well as healthcare systems.
To attract, develop and sustain economic opportunities, Rick is a strong believer in smart, targeted, government investments in infrastructure and connectivity in the region. He supports well-maintained roads, bridges, airport, water ports, and rail connections for business and trade with the nation and world. He champions the importance of high speed and affordable broadband internet, which is the information connection for schools, business, government, tele-healthcare, and knowledge on demand.
The education and training of everyone, children and adults, is a critical part of preparing everyone to be productive members of society where everyone can earn a family-sustaining wage. Furthermore, strong educational systems attract businesses and economic opportunities to the region. An investment in education is an investment in students as well as an investment in the economy.
This starts with early education including universal pre-kindergarten so that every child can start school with the same advantages. To attract the best teachers and build the best education systems in Pennsylvania, teachers need to be paid a competitive wage and benefits. Teachers need to have the tools to prepare today’s students for the future, this includes high speed internet and broadband access in our schools and in our students’ homes, along with the technological devices that will allow students to safely access these internet and broadband resources.
In an age of global pandemic, schools also need to be provided with infrastructure support to improve facilities so they can safely stay open. This includes a variety of improvements that upgrade air circulation systems, provide space for social distancing, cleaning, masks, and whatever else may be needed to keep our schools open while keeping our teachers and students safe. In the event schools must be closed, the broadband and technological support noted above will allow students to continue their educations through virtual learning when in-person learning is not possible.
After high school, students and their families should not face exorbitant debt to further the students’ education and training, whether it be in a vocational program, community college, or a university. Rick supports government investment in students to allow them to be able to afford post-secondary education.
As a farmer, Rick understands the importance and effects of climate and climate change. As a result, Rick believes that we must develop and employ clean energy solutions for the future. At the same time, Rick also recognizes the critical value of natural gas in Pennsylvania and nationally as a means to both energy security and lower greenhouse gas emissions now and in the decades to follow. Rick walks the talk and has had fracking contracts on his land as well as a solar array.
Rick believes the strength and success of families is effected by community safety. Communities are not safe without adequately supported law enforcement agencies, which includes better pay, training and accountability. He believes law enforcements agencies need to be supported with additional mental health and social work experts to assist in de-escalating tensions between law enforcement and the members of the communities they are charged with serving and protecting. Rick strongly supports any effort to be made to reduce conflict and tension between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Rick understands that good health is a cornerstone of strong families, businesses, and communities. He support affordable healthcare and prescription drugs, so that everyone can be both secure and productive at work and in life. If you or a member of your family is not well, it will effect your ability to learn or work. Good health is a critical piece of helping people to be productive members of society.
Rick believes that it is hard-working citizens who pay into Social Security and Medicare, and as such those programs need to be protected and secured for this generation and all those that follow.
Rick is a life-long hunter who has taught all of his children to hunt. He owns several guns. Like all responsible gun owners, Rick understands the importance of gun safety. As such, he believes the role of government is to make sure guns are kept out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or to society.