The Status Quo doesn’t work for you.

We can do better.

Meet Michele Wherley

I’m Michele Wherley and I am running to be your state house representative. Growing up, my dad was a truck driver and my mother stayed home with my brother and me. I was the first in my family to earn a college degree — an associates degree at a local business college. I returned to that college 20 years later, juggling work and motherhood, and earned my Bachelor’s degree.

I grew up believing that hard work creates success, but that’s becoming less and less true for so many of our neighbors who haven’t had a raise in years and whose property taxes threaten to push them out of homes they’ve owned for decades.

It’s also not true for the farmers, many of them working farms that have been in their family for generations, watching the only way of life they’ve known slip away from development and economic pressure. And it’s not true for our recent college graduates, underwater in school debt.

We can do better. 

It’s time to send a representative to Harrisburg who will work for YOU. I’ve never been afraid of hard work, and I’ll bring my experience as a business leader, as a mother, and as an advocate to Harrisburg with me, but I need your help to get there.

Issues

Education

I believe in a robust public education system. All of our students deserve quality, safe neighborhood schools where they will have the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop their talents and skills. A quality education opens many doors, provides opportunity for upward mobility and is important to the economic development of our communities.

Pennsylvania must meet its constitutional obligations by fully funding our schools and making the necessary changes to the funding formula in order to better serve underfunded school districts. Making these changes would improve the learning environment for our students and our teachers alike and it would lower property taxes by removing the heavy burden placed on our taxpayers. I am a product of strong public schools and I will fight for them as a state representative.

In our current economy, a high school diploma is often not enough to ensure long-term career success for young people and adults in our communities. Access to affordable higher education opportunities has never been more important, but many families are struggling with the burden of high tuition rates which prevents young people and adults from obtaining the skills they need to move into higher paying and more economically secure jobs. We can do better. As your state representative, I will support measures that open up opportunities for job training and affordable educational opportunities at all levels.

Environmental Justice

Our energy sector is going to continue growing. While we welcome new energy business to Pennsylvania, we must be sure to maintain transparency and the regulations needed to protect our air, water, and soil quality from dangerous pollution. We must work to achieve balance and not place corporate profits over people.

It is also important that we restore funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Currently, our regulators do not have the resources they need to enforce current laws that protect our environment from abuse and misuse.

Pennsylvania should strive to be a leader in alternative energy. The development, promotion, and use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind would improve our environment, provide jobs for Pennsylvanians, and help strengthen our economy.

Tax Policy

Severance Tax
I believe that we need to move toward renewable energy sources for the long-term benefit to our society. However, as a society, we are not yet in a position to break our dependence on fossil fuels. This is why I strongly support a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas drillers.

Pennsylvania is the only energy producing state that has not enacted a meaningful severance tax on the extraction of shale for the production of natural gas. A severance tax would bring in continuous annual revenue that would allow us to address the priorities of the residents of Pennsylvania and build a stronger more sustainable future for all of us.

Delaware Loophole
The Delaware Loophole is a tax avoidance trick used by large corporations who do business in Pennsylvania, but who want to avoid paying taxes in Pennsylvania. This is how it works – large corporations incorporate in Delaware, claim all of their profits in Delaware and then avoid paying taxes here. This practice impacts our state budget and forces small businesses that operate here in Pennsylvania to pay higher taxes so the big guys can get a free ride. Pennsylvania should join other states who have done away with this loophole by implementing combined reporting.

Economic Security and Living Wages

Hardworking Pennsylvanians deserve living wages and economic security. At this time, Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state maintaining a minimum wage of $7.25/hour. While corporations and shareholders are making record profits, our hardworking citizens must turn to local food banks and social service agencies to provide food for their families and pay their electric bill. As your state representative, I will push for the following:

  • An increase in the Minimum Wage. I support proposed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Fully funding our Educational system. An educated, skilled workforce is vital to economic development and the long-term success of our local communities and our Commonwealth. Education and economic security are interconnected and must be treated as such.

Equality

Unfortunately, there is still no statewide Pennsylvania law that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people. I support the PA Fairness Act because I believe that everyone deserves freedom from discrimination. No one should be denied employment, housing or public accommodation because of who they are or who they love.

Pennsylvania is also the only state in the Northeast that doesn’t recognize LGBTQ people in its hate crimes laws. There is ample research showing that the LGBTQ community deals with oppression and violence on a daily basis. This is unacceptable. All citizens must be protected under the law. As your state representative, I will advocate for a comprehensive hate crimes law that protects LGBTQ people.

Healthcare

Access to healthcare is fundamental human right not a privilege reserved for those who can most afford it. In Washington, some legislators are actively trying to undo popular provisions granted in the Affordable Care Act. Should these changes come to pass, they will have an impact on citizens here in the Commonwealth. No one should be denied needed care because of a pre-existing condition. Allowing young adults to remain on their parent’s health plans until the age of 26 has helped to provide coverage for many young Pennsylvanians. Many Pennsylvanians have benefited from the Medicaid expansion. As your state representative, I will fight any attempt to eliminate these important benefits and I’ll be sure that we are working to deliver healthcare in the most affordable and effective way possible for the citizens of Pennsylvania.

Women’s Healthcare

It is vitally important to retain women’s rights to have agency over their bodies and to make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors, their families, and their faith traditions. As your state representative I will push for pro-family policies and fight for stronger protections for victims of domestic violence.

Government Reform

Pennsylvania needs leaders who are transparent, long-term strategic thinkers and who act with integrity. As State Representative I will be committed to campaign finance reform, increased access for voting, and ending political bribery. I also support the creation of an independent commission for redistricting in order to end gerrymandering.

News & Updates

17Jan

Michele Wherley announces she’ll run again for state Rep. Brett Miller’s seat (LNP)

In November 2018, Michele Wherley got 44% of the vote — the highest percentage a Democrat has ever gotten in the 41st House.. Read More →

We can do better than the status quo.

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