Q Hubo News Staff
PA State Senate Candidate (district 48) Calvin “Doc” Clements announced Saturday, that if he is elected, he will not accept the $11,000 pay raise that the Pennsylvania State Senate and State House passed for themselves earlier this year, and he said that if his opponent agrees to six legislative initiatives that he will withdraw his candidacy.
This pay raise will be enacted in two waves. The first wave will be for $5,000 for this year; the second wave will automatically be another $6,000 increase for 2023. Both of these pay increases will also be accompanied by additional raises to legislator’s retirement packages.
Clements said, “In a year’s time, they’ll be getting an $11,000 raise. How many of you out there are going to be getting an $11,000 raise next year?” He said, “I am going to announce, if elected to this seat, I will not take the raise of 2022, and I will not take the retirement package. I will not take the raise of 2023, and I will not take the retirement package.”
Clements added that if elected, he will work diligently to roll back the raises.
Clements also said that if his opponent (Incumbent Chris Gebhard) would sign a joint contract agreeing to propose and push six legislative initiates, that he would agree to drop out of the race.
The six issues are:
• Roll back the raises- and enact a reasonable salary increase (2-3% per year).
• Remove all judges and legislators from unfunded pensions (which will require a constitutional amendment).
• Work to enact property tax relief within the next year.
• Repeal/refine the gas tax (a tax where 50% of it is being used to fund things other than road repair).
• Enact a new minimum wage law to ensure that Pennsylvania employees stay in Pennsylvania.
• Ban the giving of gifts to Legislators “that’s just buying government.”
Clements also announced that if elected, he will serve for no more than two terms in the Senate. He said that when our forefathers established the legislative branch, they did so with the intention that everyone could have their turn.
Clements said that we currently have people who have been in positions of power for 25, 30, or even 40 years, who have effectively established the legislative branch as their “own personal kingdom.” He said that currently we have five lifelong politicians who have complete control of everything and have stalled most of the legislation that has been introduced.
He announced that if elected, he will work to pass legislation which will permanently enact term limits for legislative offices.
During his speech, which he made on the steps of the Lebanon County Courthouse, Clements said that he is running for the seat because he believes that the Pennsylvania State Legislature is intrinsically broken. He said, “Last year there were 4,200 bills that were introduced in Harrisburg, and only 270 of them got out of committee, and only 30 of them have anything to do with you or me. The rest of them were for naming buildings and cleaning up old bills that had problems.”
Clements said that many of the bills that died on introduction were the types of bills that would reduce property taxes, raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, adopt fair funding for education, and give aid to senior care.
Clements specifically said that Pennsylvania is the only state on the eastern seaboard that has not raised its minimum wage. He said that this has caused Pennsylvania to become a bypass state (a state where people live but do not work in), which has caused the state to lose a large section of its working population.
“These are all things that were in committee, that never got passes, and never got out to be discussed or voted. That has to change,” he said.