It was a brief debate but differences between the candidates -- Rep. Gary Day (R) and Joseph Haas (D) -- were evident. In case you missed it, here are four important points the candidates made during the debate that aired recently on WLVT:
- Regarding experience:
- Day stressed the importance of his experience - four years as a state legislator and fiscal experience with five City of Allentown budgets as well as experience working for Service Electric Cable.
- Haas talked about his experience growing up in Pennsylvania and working for campaigns. He talked about a difficult family financial situation that ultimately led to him postponing college. He did go back and finish at Kutztown University, where he said he graduated with honors, and he said he wants every Pennsylvanian to have the same opportunities.
2. Regarding Job Creation:
- Day said step one in the Gov. Corbett administration has been getting the financial house in order. He talked about "hearings" held throughout the state where employers said they need a more ethical work force and a changing need for skills, from mechanical manufacturing to computer-based. He said he wants state money to support businesses that invest in educating their employees.
- Haas said re-funding education is critical to ensure a skilled work force. He stressed later in the debate the importance of promoting trades as viable alternatives to four-year college degrees.
3. Regarding Marcellus Shale:
- Haas criticized the current administration for not taxing Marcellus Shale gas production as other states do and said it "is too busy giving out handouts to companies."
- Day said Haas was wrong to say there was no tax on Marcellus Shale.
- Haas questioned whether Day was being honest and said the 2.4 percent impact fee was not a significant severance tax.
4. Regarding Education:
- Haas said he wants to restore education funding to pre-Corbett levels and work toward creating a different mindset toward education in Pennsylvania that would put more focus on educating students so they will be ready to take on all types of jobs.
- Day said Corbett did cut a lot of education funding but as a member of the appropriations committee, he said he worked to bring back 50 percent. "We developed a way to find cuts elsewhere to re-fund education and bring back 50 percent of what was cut."