The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 3, 2014

Brooks to seek Robbins’ Senate seat


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JAMESTOWN — “With the pending retirement of Sen. Bob Robbins, I have been approached by many friends, neighbors and colleagues urging me to consider seeking the nomination,” Brooks said. “After careful personal consideration and thoughtful discussions with my husband and children, I have decided to seek the nomination for the state Senate.”

“Sen. Robbins has served not only the northwest region but the entire Commonwealth with distinction and honor during his tenure in public service,” said Brooks. “While Bob is someone who will never be replaced, I pledge to bring with me to the state Senate the same principles that have guided me as a member of the state House – accessibility, hard work and strong ethics.”

“Michele Brooks has established herself as a champion for rural Pennsylvania and the northwest region,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. “Her tireless work ethic and high moral character will continue to serve the residents of the northwest well as a member of the Senate.”

While serving on the House Republican’s Job Creation Policy Development Committee, Brooks has focused her work on removing hurdles to economic development while recognizing the important role the Port of Erie plays in the local and international economies. In partnership with local employers and community leaders, Brooks has successfully helped secure critical state resources for economic development and job creation throughout the region.  

Brooks pointed to the significant state resources that have been awarded to development areas, the former Damascus-Bishop Tube site and the Reynolds East Business Park, and the Canadian company Noise Solution’s relocation to Mercer County as prime examples of her effectiveness in working with others to improve the region’s economic climate.

Brooks emphasized that developing and strengthening those and other sites will help bring family-sustaining manufacturing jobs to the area.  Additionally, she fought hard to bring critical resources to Pymatuning State Park and helped preserve Linesville Spillway, which has provided great recreational opportunities for families.

A member of a number of important committees, Brooks has aggressively pursued legislative initiatives tailored to rural Pennsylvania.   A vocal member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Brooks supported sweeping changes to the state’s inheritance tax and realty transfer tax laws that will protect the viability of family farms.

Our farms have required a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice by entire families to make a living and provide food for our communities,” Brooks said. “Farming is a life’s mission for so many who dedicate themselves to agriculture and these farms are the lifeblood of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and our economy. While this is an important change, this is just the first step in my fight to help eliminate the inheritance tax for all Pennsylvania families and businesses, which I feel is double taxation.”

As a member of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, Brooks authored legislation signed into law that protected senior citizens and their access to the state’s PACE and PACENET prescription programs. This important legislation assisted thousands of seniors across the state who could have been determined to be ineligible for much needed prescription drug coverage due to minimal increases in Social Security cost-of-living increases.  

“Many older Pennsylvanians rely heavily on the PACE and PACENET Programs for their prescription drugs,” Brooks said.  ”Senior citizens should not have to worry about their prescription drug coverage because of a minimal cost-of-living increase in their Social Security.”

Brooks has been a vocal supporter of several initiatives designed to reduce the size and cost of government and is an outspoken defender of Second Amendment rights. She was an ardent proponent of the Castle Doctrine and measures that dramatically reformed the welfare system by cutting down on rampant waste, fraud and abuse. On the other side of the ledger, she also understands the importance of prioritized state spending to target agricultural programs, education, and technical schools.  Additionally, Brooks recently had legislation signed into law that helped local fire departments and veterans, sportsmen’s, booster, civic and charitable organizations by providing them more flexibility and tools to carry out their missions to support important community initiatives.