Legislative Record Shows Reform, Compromise
I have been receiving some feedback on my record of reform in Harrisburg, as well as on my vote pertaining to the congressional reapportionment maps, and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my legislative record.
No piece of legislation that passes in the General Assembly is ever perfect, and it’s the process of give and take that helps put forth a compromise. Such was the case with the legislative plan that redrew the boundaries of the state’s congressional districts.
The plan that was passed wasn’t perfect, but it appropriately dealt with the many challenges before us. When looking at the plan as a whole and looking at all of the factors at play, you must realize because Pennsylvania’s population did not grow as fast as other states, we lost one seat in Congress. Couple that with the fact congressional districts must be as equal in population as possible (both the 15th and 17th districts now have populations within 3,000 people) and that the Lehigh Valley grew in size over the past decade, you’ll find it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that the Lehigh Valley have two seats in Congress.
I’m a firm believer two voices are better than one, and it will only serve the people of the Lehigh Valley better to know our region will now have two of 18 voices – more than 10 percent of the representation of our congressional delegation. I think that is something that will ultimately benefit our region.
I think it’s also important to note my record of reform in Harrisburg. For the past several years, I have voted for numerous reform efforts, including a public posting of every expense and revenue source in Pennsylvania, opening up the legislative process for more public scrutiny, requiring lobbyists to register and report, prohibiting legislators from creating their own nonprofit organizations, and strengthening whistleblower protections for all state employees in all three branches of government, plus many, many more.
At this point in time, I think our efforts need to be on the issues that matter most to the people. My legislative efforts have focused on passing legislation to strengthen our economic climate for job creators, reducing burdens and increasing flexibility to create quality educational opportunities and bringing integrity back to the welfare system so people truly in need can receive the most benefit.
I pride myself in being able to help residents of the district as much as I can, and I believe my legislative record speaks for itself.
State Representative Julie Harhart
183rd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Tricia Lehman