A Magic Act: The Republicans Make Your Money Disappear… Again

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Op-Ed by State Rep. Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna

It is no secret that I was new to politics when I was sworn into office in April of 2019. As a registered nurse and a mother of four, I am used to navigating through everyday chaos. This last year we have all had to find a way to navigate through the deadliest pandemic in 100 years, and it has not been easy.

We have lost lives and livelihoods across our state; our local businesses shuttering, our neighbors out of work, and schools struggling to keep our kids learning. Right now, we have a $3 billion surplus and $7.3 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funding that we could be spending on our communities to try to get back to what we once had and possibly make things even better for everyone; money meant for investments in businesses, public health infrastructure and preparedness, support for families, and workforce development.

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But the Pennsylvania House Republicans do not want you to know about it.

Instead, they want to distract us with unnecessary and ill-timed legislation that harms Pennsylvanians rather than helping us get back on our feet.

If there is one thing I have learned along the way as a new lawmaker, it is this: you can never have good policy through poor legislation. We are too busy voting on bills that restrict the people’s access to the ballot box and undermines our constitutional rights as voters instead of making sure our kids can sit in a classroom without literally breathing poison.

Unfortunately, this is not “fake news” but, rather, “old news”.

Last year, during the height of our pandemic when our small businesses needed us most, Republicans chose to spend $1 billion of federal funding to fill the holes in our budget.

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Those funds were meant to help the hair salons like Manely Hair in Taylor Borough or barbershops like Serge’s Barber Shop in Scranton, mom and pop restaurants like Frank’s Place in Fell Township; privately-owned health and fitness centers like Racqueteers Gym in Mayfield Borough or C&S Athletic Club in Moosic Borough; family-owned florists like Debbie’s Flower Boutique in Jermyn Borough or Corky’s Garden Path Greenhouse in Scott Township; and so many more local businesses that suffered tremendously throughout 2020.

While Republicans are too busy making sure your constitutional rights are suppressed, the Pennsylvania House Democrats are working to make sure you have a job to drive to every morning, a house to come home to every evening, and a safe school for your children to attend.

Like I said, I was new to this, but I am quickly learning why Pennsylvanians have truly lost faith in their government, because a government “For the People” does not hide away $10 billion that you deserve.

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State Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski was elected to serve the people of the 114th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives following a special election in March 2019, becoming the first woman to represent Lackawanna County in the General Assembly in more than 50 years.

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