Phyllis Mundy said she is running for her 12th term in the state House of Representatives because she still has work ahead.
Over the last 22 years I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge, experience, expertise in the issues that are important to the people I represent, Mundy said. I still have the energy and the desire to continue to serve and so that's why I'm running again.
Looking back on her last term representing the 120th District, Mundy named three earmarks and three laws as her greatest recent accomplishments. She secured million-dollar earmarks for The Lands at Hillside Farms, the Hoyt Library and the West Pittston Memorial Library and authored bills to reimburse family members who care for elders in the home, to enumerate a Foster Children's Bill of Rights and to close a legal loophole that created an incentive for drivers to flee the scene of an accident if they had been drinking.
Mundy said creating jobs and spurring economic development continues to be the most pressing issue for her constituents this election, and noted that she approaches the issue differently from her Republican colleagues.
It's really interesting to me that the approach to jobs and economic development in Harrisburg nowadays seems to be tax cuts, tax credits, tax incentives that benefit the wealthiest corporations, perhaps at the expense of the smaller businesses and other businesses that are already in Pennsylvania, Mundy said.
Instead, Mundy said she favors tying tax incentives to actual jobs, not jobs that we move from one company to another, but actual new employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians.
She named the tax incentives offered to Shell to build an ethane cracker outside Pittsburgh as the type of incentives she does not support because those incentives are tied to the amount of gas purchased rather than the number of jobs created.
I believe that we as Pennsylvanians will be subsidizing Ohio and West Virginia jobs, she said. There may be some Pennsylvania jobs created but it's not tied to that, and it should be.
Mundy also supports lowering the state's corporate income tax rate from 9.9 to 7.4 percent and closing loopholes like the Delaware loophole that allow large corporations to avoid paying state taxes, and said investing in education and job training is key to preparing Pennsylvania residents for the future workforce.
That's why these continued funding cuts to basic and higher education, to pre-K and early childhood programs is of grave concern to me, Mundy said.
Mundy also favors revamping the state's method of funding schools through property taxes, and supports moving to a system of funding through sales taxes, personal income taxes and gaming funds. She was prepared to vote in committee for House Bill 1776, a now tabled property-tax relief bill, only because it would have moved the issue forward and continued the discussion.
But she also noted problems with the bill, chiefly the $3.5 billion funding gap the Department of Revenue estimated it would create in education funding.
You cannot cut $3.5 billion out of our education system without replacing it in some way, she said.
Mundy has also been a staunch advocate for greater regulation of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. She proposed a moratorium on new Marcellus Shale drilling permits in 2010 and introduced subsequent bills to strengthen environmental regulations on gas drilling in Pennsylvania, including a bill to track the storage and disposal of drilling waste water and to ban drilling in flood plains.
She supports a severance tax on natural gas above the impact fee rates imposed by Act 13, which she voted against, keeping zoning authority over natural gas installations in the hands of local officials and increasing minimum setback distances to ban drilling within 2,500 feet of a primary water supply for a community water system.
On reform of legislator compensation, an issue her opponent has championed, Mundy said she would vote for any bill that's brought before me to change the way we do business in Harrisburg, but also noted the Republican-controlled legislature has not brought those bills up for a vote.
Occupation: Full-time legislator
Education: Graduated from Bloomsburg State College, now Bloomsburg University
Family: Divorced; one son, Brian
Unemployment and creating investment in Pennsylvania
Supports corporate tax incentives tied to actual jobs, not jobs that we move from one company to another. Opposes tax incentives for the Shell ethane cracker proposed in Western Pennsylvania because those incentives are tied to gas purchases rather than job creation. Believes investing in education and job training to prepare a highly skilled workforce is crucial, and therefore opposes cuts to education.
Said she would vote for any bill that's brought before me to change the way we do business in Harrisburg, and believes those measures would pass overwhelmingly, but that Republicans setting the legislative agenda have not called such bills for a vote. Doesn't take per diem payments; itemizes expenses for reimbursement.
Supports a severance tax on natural gas above the impact fee rates imposed by Act 13, which she voted against. Proposed a moratorium on new Marcellus Shale drilling permits in 2010, and has introduced subsequent bills to strengthen environmental regulations on gas drilling in Pennsylvania, including a bill to track the storage and disposal of drilling waste water and to ban drilling in flood plains.
Candidate's Key Asset
With 22 years in office Mundy holds a powerful position as minority chair of the House Finance Committee. Mundy said she has earned the trust and confidence of her constituents by choosing her positions through common sense and research.
Geographic description: Represents 13 municipalities on the west side of the Wyoming Valley and parts of the Back Mountain. The district stretches from Kingston to West Pittston, and back as far as Kingston Township and Exeter Township.