Rep. Bob Merski
My predecessor, the late Congressman Flo Fabrizo, told me: “Good governance is consensus and compromise.” In a world where blind ideology has overtaken common sense in many areas of politics, I go to Harrisburg always thinking of his wise words, and of you, the people of Erie County, when I vote. It is this experience of working across the aisle to deliver for Erie that makes me the best candidate for Representative in the 2nd Legislative District.
I have delivered for schools, businesses, seniors, families and for the Erie region. All school districts saw an increase in education funding last year, which helps local school boards keep property tax increases low. The Erie school district received $17 million in state funding, allowing them to successfully exit financial watchdog status. Additionally, this year the Erie, Iroquois and Harbor Creek school districts received Ready to Learn grants to help our youngest students with readiness skills. I fought for this funding and will continue to push for more state funding for schools to reduce the tax burden on local property owners.
My wife and I work and have small children. I understand how difficult it can be for families today. That’s why I voted for the Pennsylvania Child Tax Credit for Families. This will help working families with childcare needs so they can go back to work and know their child is in good hands. I am a co-sponsor of the PA Opportunity Program, to give every working-class Pennsylvanian a one-time payment of $2,000 to help offset rising inflation. It’s sitting in the bottom of rainy days, but for many Pennsylvanians, it’s raining now. I voted to help our seniors with an increase in the property/rent tax refund this year, and I sponsored legislation to raise the income thresholds for the programs that our seniors use the most big ones like property tax/rental reimbursement, prescription drug PACE. program and reduced car registration for seniors. I believe we should use the money to give back to Pennsylvanians and provide help to seniors and families now, when they need it most.
I have always been an advocate for local small businesses and have worked hard to support them as they grow and grow. Serving on the Mayor’s Business Roundtable, I have toured over 50 businesses in the district and listened to their needs and concerns. One of the things that constantly came up in these conversations was the high corporate net income tax rate in Pennsylvania. I was proud to vote to lower business taxes in Pennsylvania, raising the rate from 9.9% to 8.9% next year and eventually lowering it to 4.9%, which will make our business climate is more competitive to retain and attract jobs. I worked with the delegation to bring more money to Erie to support business. These investments, such as needed renovations at UPMC Park, have kept the Erie Seawolves in our community, expanded jobs at Berry Plastics and elsewhere, and improved transportation to support commerce. When business is strong, Erie is strong.
While redistricting has changed the boundaries of the 2nd District, what hasn’t changed is my commitment to you. I will continue to fight for working people, including the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively for fair wages and benefits. I will continue to push for fair funding for our schools and tax breaks for the working class and seniors. And I promise you that blind ideology will never be how I legislate. I believe that we are Americans first and that my colleagues across the aisle are not my enemies, even when we disagree with each other. My father, retired Erie County Sheriff Bob Merski, gave me some advice early in my first term. He said, “Make decisions that you can lay your head on the pillow at night and have a clear conscience.” These are the values I bring with me to represent you at the Capitol. It is a privilege to serve you, and I respectfully ask for your vote. The best is yet to come!
Rep. Bob Merski, Democrat, is seeking re-election to the state House of Representatives, 2nd Legislative District.