Hughesville native campaigns for 84th District
PICTURE ROCKS – On the campaign trail, Hughesville native and Picture Rocks resident Linda Sosniak is running for the 84th district House of Representatives. Calling it “We the People Campaign”, Sosniak is running against a 12 year incumbent and hopes to make it to Harrisburg to focus on “ways to grow the economy of our district,” she said while speaking to various organizations and borough councils throughout her district in Lycoming County.
She wants to seek more funding for vo-tech schools and STEM training programs, more “clean and green” technology, and create jobs so young adults can find employment here at decent wages. “Workforce development is our future,” she said.
Sosniak is dedicated to her community. She serves on the Picture Rocks Borough Council, organizes PopWarner football and wrestling and is retired from the United States Postal Service where she served as National Secretary of Postmasters of the US, and was the first woman ever elected to that position in 1999.
She said she did some extensive lobbying not to exclude Saturday delivery of the mail as it is important for the small business owner to have their mail over the weekend. And she wants to “revamp the business tax rate so it is fair. Let’s simplify the unemployment insurance rates so they are inline with other states.”
Sosniak came back here to retire and made Picture Rocks her permanent home once again after living in several places where she served as Postmaster for 28 years. “I want to run on the state level, because the middle class needs someone to go and run for them,” she said. “I want to work for the middle class.”
Besides lots of lobbying experience, Sosniak has dealt with four employment unions and has bargaining experience as well. She also led disaster teams along the eastern seaboard during her term as USPS leadership coordinator for the southeast US. She is pro-union and wants to protect the safety and benefits of the worker. “I also want to raise the minimum wage to $9. It’s not right to have young families working 3 and 4 jobs to support their families. They deserve a better quality of life.”
Another big issue that Sosniak is focusing on is public education, and sees a lot of ways “to solve, invest and strengthen our public school system to compete with other countries.”
“Just in East Lycoming School District, $400,000 was give to 30 cyber students. We must go back to investing in public education,” she added. “Public schools are where the greatest population of future workers learn their a-b-c’s.”
There are 38 townships in the 84th district and 6 boroughs which occupies the largest land mass in Pennsylvania according to Sosniak, and she has contacted all of them for speaking engagements. They have responded back favorably and she wants to “listen to their issues and concerns,” she replied, and will be speaking with all of them.
Sosniak is in favor of the severance tax but also wants to keep the impact fees for better infrastructure. “I support a combined severance and impact fee for roads, townships and boroughs.”
She is pushing for better legislature for dairy farmers and royalty fees for 100 percent renewable energy. She attended the state conference for farmers and was alarmed at the large suicide rate among them due to lost land, income and families. “The farmers are just not coping. Co-ops are adding on fees, and big corporations are taking over. At 9.9 percent we have the second highest corporation tax in the country,” she said.
According to Sosniak, 74 percent of big business in PA doesn’t pay the corporate tax. “If they have another location in another state such as Walmart in Delaware, then they don’t pay,” she explained. “Let’s get rid of the big tax loop holes.”
Having access to rural broadband is another focus for Sosniak and she spoke to a small group of business owners about it at Fry’s Turkey Ranch in Jackson Township. “Many of them said they were forced to move closer to town.”
She is in favor of protecting our environment and wants to enforce environmental laws to control runoff and reduce flooding. “Let’s brag about our natural beauty. Our trails are some of the best in the world,” she said and hopes to attract more tourism dollars to our area. “People come here to bike, fish, hike, hunt and play.”
Her platform overall is for fairness. With a 10 percent tax rate for the lowest, and a 3.3 percent tax rate for the wealthiest, Sosniak finds this ” totally unfair” and is seeking other options to make it more fair for everyone. “I am for fairness, equality, dignity and respect for everybody.”