Pledge

1.  LEGISLATIVE REFORM

  • ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE TAXPAYERS:
  • Require an independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of the General Assembly for waste, fraud and mismanagement.
  • CITIZEN INCLUSION IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS:
  • Mandate that the “PA Sunshine Law” apply uniformly to all legislative sessions, meetings and hearings conducted by State Government, granting appropriate access to the public and media.
  • Disallow passage of any legislation that has not strictly met the procedural rigor detailed in Sections 1-4, Article III, of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
  • ENACT STRICT LOBBYING REFORM:
  • Enact a five-year waiting period for former legislators and cabinet officials to become lobbyists.
  • Eliminate gifts to public officials from lobbyists for any entity desiring business with the Commonwealth.
  • Require legislators to abstain from voting on any legislation that could benefit their personal or business interests.

2.  POLITICAL REFORM

  • RESTORING THE CONCEPT OF A CITIZEN LEGISLATURE:
  • Enact a Constitutional Amendment limiting the number of years Senators and Representatives can serve to 12 years in each legislative body.
  • Enact term limits on committee chairmanships and leadership positions.
  • OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT:
  • Will post the senator’s votes within 24 hours of each session day.
  • ENDING TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED INCUMBENT PROTECTION:
  • Rein in taxpayer subsidized newsletters and public service announcements, which are tools for reelection and further the status quo in Harrisburg.

3.  TAXATION AND SPENDING REFORM

  • STOP THE SPENDING SPREE IN HARRISBURG:
  • Implement the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) to strictly limit increases in state spending to the concurrent rates of inflation and population growth.
  • Eliminate unfunded mandates to the counties, municipalities and school districts in the Commonwealth, which shift the tax increases to these taxing bodies.
  • Limit the ability of politicians to distribute tax dollars to special interests.
  • AN END TO BURDENING THE TAXPAYER:
  • Require a three-fifths majority to pass a tax increase.
  • Work to eliminate property taxation.
  • Eliminate “nuisance taxes.”

4.  LEGAL AND LABOR LAW REFORM

  • END THE JACKPOT JUSTICE SYSTEM:
  • Pass a constitutional amendment giving the General Assembly broader authority to implement commonsense legal reform.
  • Reform lawsuit abuse by ending unlimited jury awards and enforcing a “loser pays” rule.
  • PROMOTE WORKERS’ FREEDOM:
  • End forced unionism in Pennsylvania, giving people the freedom to choose whether or not they want to join a union.

I hereby pledge my name to this Promise to Pennsylvania.

Senator Mike Folmer