Tom Mehaffie

Issues showing a check mark indicate research included.  Check back for research on other issues as it is available. Full meeting minutes are at end of section. 

May 11, 2017 HIT Meeting: ": I disagreed with the state budget cut in corrections because it puts the onus on the counties, and the consolidation of prisons. People who do bad things should go to prison. The opioid epidemic is driving a lot of crime. Cut, cut, cut to budgets doesn’t work, work, work. Re-assimilating released inmates into society is a tough problem. I won’t hire an ex-felon because I have to worry about the safety of my employees and my customers and I support the box on application forms. It’s hard to hire someone with a felony. But we need ex-felons to be able to find that first job. Maybe the state could offer tax credits to the first company to hire an ex-felon. Dauphin County can handle the rehabilitation, but only if it’s funded. We have to help people get back to society. A law was passed in September to prevent people from jumping from doctor to doctor to get opioids for pain relief. The law places limits on frequency of doses and prescriptions, but people then go to heroin and this heroin is much worse the heroin of past years."
February 2, 2017 HIT Meeting: Rep.Mehaffie stated that the most important asset of his business is his employees and he encourages them to contribute to 401Ks. Mehaffie even gave an older employee a raise so that the employee could afford to contribute to a retirement fund. He does not support Act 76 which would do away with property tax but place a huge burden especially on the elderly or those requiring long term care with a 7% tax.
November 9, 2017 HIT Meeting: Our first question to him dealt with the budget process in general and, specifically, the final revenue bill, HB 542, which was passed on a bipartisan basis. Representative Mehaffie opposed this bill. His reasoning was that they passed an expenditure bill before the revenue bill and that was not the right way to do it. Also, he is against all types of gaming, although he notes that revenue from Hollywood Casino does help fund 911 responders. Representative Mehaffie does not like the use of “one-time fixes,” and he noted that the state had a $1.5 billion dollar shortfall. The state, he said, wanted to cut corrections and human services, including defunding mental hospitals and Medicaid, which he said is wrong. It would be left to the county to make up the difference."
"When queried about the Marcellus Shale extraction tax, Representative Mehaffie said he voted against it. He called it a “discharge resolution,” and he stated that he was informed that if he voted for the resolution, “the shale tax would die.” He noted, rather unhappily, that the bill had 320 amendments attached to it."
February 2, 2017 HIT Meeting: "He supports Act 120 which will allow PSERS to become fully funded over a 20 year period. (His step-daughter is a teacher and he is very supportive of teachers). He does not support the voucher system."
May 11, 2017 HIT Meeting: "I don’t like charter schools, cyber schools, or vouchers. I’m a big public-schools guy [applause]. We are lucky and blessed to have good schools in our district. I voted for HB97, which put a lot of teeth in cyber-charter schools. We have to make public education better. Cyber schools do not work for Learning Disabled students. My General Assembly colleagues are mixed on charter schools. Programs like U-Grow and PA for Pre-K are working. We need good school boards, with vision and mission. They need to put focus on education. Steelton-Highspire is the second worst school district in the state. You can get a good education in Harrisburg public schools but you have to show up for class. Two-thirds of tax revenue in PA comes from the Southeast --- from Dauphin County to Philadelphia. In some districts students are given food for the weekend on Friday or they would not eat over the weekend. And I will not vote to eliminate property taxes – that would hurt schools."
November 9, 2017: "The referendum to eliminate property taxes in PA passed recently. Currently, these taxes provide stable funding for local school districts. Representative Mehaffie was asked about his thoughts on this. He stated that he is a strong supporter of public education. Charter and cyber schools, he pointed out, do not have to meet the same standards as public schools and he feels this is wrong. Currently, he is co-sponsoring a bill that will support pre-K education, which he feels is a great investment in our schools. He will not vote for Bill #76 (the charter school bill)."
May 11, 2017: "In terms of redistricting reform, my responsibility is my district. Communities should be kept together. Co-sponsoring a bill is not a big thing; bills change from the time they are introduced and when they come to the floor and I will not support HB722 on redistricting. My district is not gerrymandered – Middletown was added back to our district. I would like to see re redistricting more on a county level. I am willing to look at modeling and computer mapping. Previous bills have had sponsors who later backed out. I’m against the repeal of the property tax because it will hurt schools. At the end of the day, I want good representation."
November 9, 2017: "Although he said he thinks the drawing of districts should be “more localized,” he stated that he would not support the bill [HB 722 calling for an amendment to the constitution to create a non-partisan redistricting committee] as it is written. He further stated that he talks to Representative Samuelson on a regular basis. He also thinks there needs to be representation from every county on an independent commission."
February 2, 2017: "We discussed the contamination of wells and the fact that once a well is contaminated, it is impossible to reverse the situation. He was interested in solar panels and questioned why vast areas of parking lots are not covered with panels. We shared that there is at least one Harrisburg parking lot that has already implemented that (2601 N 7th St Harrisburg, PA 17110) and in a follow-up email, the link was provided to that location as well as a link to the parking lot outside Eagle’s stadium in Philly (Lincoln Financial Field -950 Pattison Ave, Philadelphia PA 19148 (Eagles Stadium - Lot K), and a link to Solar Roadways. He said he would be willing to attend an April 19th Lunch and Learn (from 11am-1pm) on fracking in the PA? The program will be presented to newly elected leaders (both Senate and House) and includes clips from Groundswell Rising and a panel of experts on the impact of fracking on health, environment and a just transition to clean climate jobs."
May 11, 2017: "The DEP is underfunded; it needs more and better engineers. I do not support cuts to DEP and have concerns about the crematory in Middletown. Big business should not affect a person’s quality of life. The DEP in our district is reasonably good, but it’s tied to the pipeline. The DEP is struggling; it needs to be funded properly. I met with Gov. Wolf about the M&H Railroad. Blocking route 322 is a major problem. I spoke with Secretary Richards and Kaiser [Who are they?]; they are willing to look at our concerns. There will be 200-300 trains over 322. I recommend that you all write letters to me and Sen. DiSanto expressing your opposition. I favor a severance tax for fracking, not a ban. The companies that dig for conventional sources (crude oil) follow the rules. There should be a shale tax, but I want to see the bill first before I decide whether to support it. We need to make sure that the drillers do the right thing; we need to fund the DEP to address this. Medical studies are coming out on fracking. While you are all here, let me ask you what you think about nuclear. We are meeting with nuclear regulators about subsidizing the nuclear industry." November 9, 2017: "When queried about the Marcellus Shale extraction tax, Representative Mehaffie said he voted against it. He called it a “discharge resolution,” and he stated that he was informed that if he voted for the resolution, “the shale tax would die.” He noted, rather unhappily, that the bill had 320 amendments attached to it." "Representative Mehaffie noted that he had voted against a bill to allow magnesium runoff from mines. Following this, he spoke strongly about what he feels is the need for the continued use of nuclear power."
November 9, 2017: He pointed out several problems with it [HB153, the Pennsylvania Size of Legislature Reduction Amendment, which would reduce the size of the House from 203 to 151 members and save taxpayers $10 to $15 million per year]. First, he remarked that he finds his staff to be crucial to doing a good job. Second, the representatives will become less accessible. He also thinks Congressmen should have longer terms, as he is gearing up for re-election soon.
No information is currently verified from HIT.
May 11, 2017: " I’m a 2nd Amendment person. I’m a hunter, fisher, and outdoor sportsman. But I respect what guns are and what they can do. Some people are too reactionary on this issue. I have great concerns about the bill in which teachers could carry guns into schools. I need to research it, but I have great concerns. I am big into research. It’s currently in a House committee. Remember that thousands of bills are introduced each year, but very few pass. People wanting to buy guns find weak links in the chain, and then everybody else goes there to buy guns. Law enforcement in this district does a good job. I don’t like the idea where you can drive from one municipality to another in PA and you’re breaking the law because you’re carrying a concealed weapon. That doesn’t work. People with mental health problems shouldn’t have access to guns, but where do you draw the line?"
November 9, 2017: " As the Center for American Progress notes, from 2005 to 2014, there were 13,781 gun deaths in Pennsylvania. That figure is two-and-a-half times the number of US soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Also, Pennsylvania is a top supplier of crime guns recovered in other states. We asked the representative what it would take for him to support common-sense gun legislation, such a requiring those convicted of domestic violence to surrender their weapons and ammunition to law enforcement. He said that he is an NRA supporter. As far as the above questions, he replied, “I don’t have an answer about it.”
November 9, 2017: "Regarding Healthcare: Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Representative Mehaffie criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for charging a fine that is cheaper than a premium. He informed us that as a representative, he visits the Hershey Medical Center regularly. He is very concerned about rising healthcare costs. Importantly, he explained that the UPMC/Pinnacle Health merger could push the Hershey Medical Center out of business. In his concern about this, he has spoken to the Attorney General about this upsetting possibility."
No information is currently verified from HIT.
May 11, 2017: "The state minimum wage is $7.25/hour, but I pay all my employees at least $10/hr. If someone is not happy with their job or pay, they can find another job. We can’t go to $15/hour or else we’ll put businesses out of business. We need to raise the minimum wage in a step-wise process."
November 9, 2017: "[When asked about the possible closure of Three Mile Island] He emphasized that TMI has 675 employees and there is a possibility of losing 300 jobs there. He said that it was largely on the industry to figure out a way to stay competitive as nuclear facilities all over are having trouble."
November 9, 2017: "We asked the representative about CHIP covering gender reassignment surgery. It was noted that House Republicans are holding the bill hostage over this issue. If not passed by December 31st, the program lapses and approximately 176,000 children will be without healthcare. “I have no problem with transgender children being included in CHIP,” he answered. He said that he is practical and cannot put everyone in harm’s way due to ideology. Speaking personally, he said that he has a gay uncle, so he doesn’t discriminate. Representative Mehaffie added that we need to have more moderate people elected."
No information is currently verified from HIT.
No information is currently verified from HIT.
No information is currently verified from HIT.
No information is currently verified from HIT.
May 11, 2017: "Planned Parenthood has gotten a bad rap nationally, but other clinics are popping up and meeting the needs of women in other ways. Other similar clinics are popping up. These clinics are focusing on reproductive health, especially for women. I’m pro-life, but I also favor the life of the mother. Legislation is moving forward but trying to address high-risk concerns may be through amendment. I also don’t want to go back to the days of back-alley abortions. This is a balancing act."
November 9, 2017: "He replied that he is supportive of Planned Parenthood, but thinks it needs a name change to get out from the current stigma. However, he remarked that pro choice does not necessarily mean pro abortion, and that abortion should not be used as contraception. He said, “We can’t cut things that are helping out people.” Rep. Mehaffie added that in college he helped a friend get to plan parenthood to use their services."

February 2, 2017 Full HIT Meeting Minutes with Representative Tom Mehaffie

November 9, 2017 Full HIT Meeting Minutes with Representative Tom Mehaffie