CLARKS SUMMIT – Today candidate for State Representative of Pennsylvania’s 114th District, Bridget Malloy Kosierowski, announces her 5-Point Plan to reform government in Pennsylvania.

Kosierowski believes that public servants should be in the business of serving and enriching the lives of their constituents, not the other way around. It’s critical that leaders advance meaningful reforms that make a difference in people’s lives.

Bridget’s 5-Point Plan to Reform Government

Independent Organization for Redistricting

We need to change the way state and federal district boundaries are drawn in Pennsylvania. Because legislators have a clear and vested interest in securing safe districts, the current system protects lawmakers instead of citizens.

I support the creation of an impartial and independent commission of citizens tasked with drawing district lines. This process must have the trust of voters at its heart. An independent commission is a good first step.

2. Per Diems

In addition to the salary our state legislators receive every year, they charge taxpayers millions more in unnamed expenses.

Per diem submission (up to $175/per day) is in place to house and feed legislators while in Harrisburg performing their elected duties. However, the system in its current form is ripe for abuse.

Lawmakers are not required to submit receipts for expenses and there is insufficient oversight on how expense disbursements are spent.

I support – and will personally adhere to – either obligatory receipt collection and submission for all lawmakers or complete elimination of per diems.

3. Suspend Lawmaker and Staff Pay

When lawmakers cannot work together to get things done, families, workers, and children are forced to endure the consequences.

It’s critical that our full-time legislature finalizes – and the governor signs – a budget on time each and every year. When this does not happen because of gridlock in the legislature or in the executive branch, I support suspending both lawmaker and staff pay until a resolution is reached.

4. Gift Ban for All Elected State Officials

Pennsylvania has some of the weakest lawmaker gift regulations in the country. It is very concerning to know that elected officials are able and willing to accept overseas trips, event tickets, dinners – in theory, anything from anyone – as long as the gifts are reported on annual statements of financial interest.

I will support and/or introduce legislation that bans elected officials from accepting gifts in an amount greater than $100.00 from any private citizens and/or organization(s) seeking to affect legislation, contracts, grants, or loans.

5. Improve Voter Access

The act of voting is fundamental to our great democracy. When citizens can easily register to vote and cast ballots, election outcomes more accurately reflect our districts, our states, and our country.

In Pennsylvania, eligible citizens should be able to register to vote online and/or at his or her polling place on Election Day. Eligible Pennsylvania citizens should also have early voting access. Statistics in states offering early voting show that many more people vote before Election Day when provided the opportunity.