State Rep. Matt Gabler, R-Clearfield/Elk, said creating jobs, particularly in rural areas like his legislative district, and ensuring fiscal responsibility in state spending are top priorities for 2012.
"The single most important thing that an elected official can do this year is work to make Pennsylvania – and specifically our area – attractive for job growth. I believe this must be done by controlling our tax burden, passing a budget that lives within our means, and working to ensure that government agencies are partners, not obstacles, with job creators," Gabler said. "I continue to scrutinize our expenditures to make sure taxpayers are receiving the most bang for their buck. Focusing on the tax and regulatory burden will enable Pennsylvania's economy to flourish and compete with other states."
Gabler said he is a cosponsor of House Bill 2022, which would create the Pennsylvania Business Permitting Portal. He described the portal as a "one-stop" experience for people who need to apply for various permits, licenses and registrations in order to start or operate a business in Pennsylvania.
"Streamlining government processes would minimize government's tendency to obstruct job creation and instead enable state government to become a partner in the process," Gabler said.
Gabler said he is the prime sponsor of other pieces of legislation he believes will help retain jobs in the state and particularly in his legislative district.
"In support of local jobs, I have introduced House Bill 1622, the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which would allow the continued manufacture, sale, purchase and use of incandescent light bulbs, such as those manufactured here in Elk County, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Gabler said. "While the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government jurisdiction over interstate commerce, jurisdiction over commerce within Pennsylvania should be retained by the state government. House Bill 752, the Firearms Freedom Act, is another bill I have introduced with this same theme."
Gabler has also introduced H.B. 753, which he said would help local entities in regard to the impact of elk-related tourism in the region.
"Every year, the Game Commission auctions off an elk license to the highest bidder, and the proceeds are shared with a wildlife conservation organization. My bill would permit the Game Commission to share the auction proceeds with an emergency services organization within the elk range, such as a fire department or search and rescue organization. This would ensure that local residents are not the only ones paying for the emergency services that benefit so many visitors to our area every year," Gabler said.
Gabler also reiterated that as state budget discussions unfold following Gov. Tom Corbett's budget address on Tuesday, legislators determine how to fund the state's most pressing needs while keeping spending in check.