PA Catholic Conference Shares Voter Guide

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of the Catholic bishops across the state. We monitor hundreds of pieces of legislation throughout the year and determine whether or not to take a position for or against what we feel are the ones most important to our faith.

This Voter Guide includes a cross-section of seven bills spanning seven categories to show how incumbent legislators have voted. We have also invited their challengers in the general election to indicate how they would vote on these same bills. This guide is meant to be an educational piece, which we hope will provide you with information so that you can make your own decisions.

A listing of the bills used for this comparison and their descriptions are below. Please understand we continue to work with legislators from all parties on various pieces of legislation. Unlike these, not all of that legislation has been sent to the Governor. 

The Conference neither supports nor opposes any candidate or political party. The Catholic Conference aims to educate and inform Catholics about a wide range of issues.

List of issues included for comparison:

Pro Life:
House Bill 321 was a prolife measure which would prohibit the aborting of a fetus solely on the basis of a possible diagnosis of Down syndrome. The PCC strongly supported this bill and worked with prolife lawmakers to gain its passage.  The bill passed both the House and the Senate but was vetoed by Governor Wolf.  

Criminal Justice Reform:
Senate Bill 637 is a bill that will remove procedural boundaries that have prevented many ex-offenders from getting professional licenses in a number of professions. The PCC supported this measure, which got bi-partisan support. It’s a bill that many law enforcement professionals say will result in a reduction of crime. The bill passed both chambers and was recently signed by the Governor.

Disability Rights:
Senate Bill 906 was a measure that would delay the closing of two state long-term centers. The Wolf Administration had called for the closing of both facilities, but the PCC had concerns about what would happen to the residents. We supported the bill, which passed both the House and Senate but was vetoed by the Governor.

Health Care: 
House Bill 427 required that health insurers stay out of decisions between doctors and patients suffering from Stage IV metastatic cancer. The PCC supported this measure.

Human Trafficking:
Senate Bill 60 increased penalties for those connected with crimes of human trafficking. The PCC actively supported this measure in continuing with our efforts to work against human trafficking. This bill was one such bill that was passed and signed into law by the Governor this session.

Poverty:
House Bill 33 was a move to eliminate public assistance due to a purported lack of accountability of recipients.  Voting ‘yes’ on the bill would advocate the ending of that $200 per month payment.  The PCC opposed this bill. The bill ultimately was signed into law.

School Choice:
House Bill 800 was a bill that would have provided tax credits toward children who were attending a failing public school and wanted to attend another school of their choice. The PCC supported this measure as we do with all bills designed to further school choice. Both the House and Senate approved the measure but it was vetoed by the Governor.

Detailed voting breakdown of legislators voting with or against PCC’s position:

Senate

District

Candidate

SB 637

SB 906

HB 427

SB 60

HB 33

HB 321

HB 800

11

Judith Schwank (D)*

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

11

Annette C. Baker (R)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

29

David Argall(R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

*incumbent

House

District

Candidate

HB 321

SB 637

SB 906

HB 427

SB 60

HB 33

HB 800

5

Barry J. Jozwiak (R*)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

5

Graham S. Gonzales (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

Peter Schweyer (D)*

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

122

Doyle Heffley (R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

123

Peter James Symons (D)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

123

Timothy F. Twardzik (R)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

124

Jerome P. Knowles (R)*

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

124

Taylor Evan Picone (D)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

125

Joseph P. Kerwin (R)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

126

Mark Rozzi (D)*

NV

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NV

Yes

126

James Daniel Oswald (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

127

Vincent D. Gagliardo (R)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

127

Manuel Guzman (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

128

Mark M. Gillen (R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

129

James A. Cox,(R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

129

Kelly McDonough (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

130

David M. Maloney (R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

130

Francis Lamar Foley (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

131

Kevin Branco (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

131

V. Milou MacKenzie (R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

132

Michael Schlossberg SchMichael (D)*

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

133

Jeanne McNeill (D)*

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

133

David Molony (R)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

134

Ryan Mackenzie (R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

135

Stephen Samuelson (D)*

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

135

Scott J. Hough (R)

Yes

Yes

NV

Yes

Yes

NV

Yes

136

Robert Freeman (D)*

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

137

Joseph T. Emrick (R)*

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

137

Katelind A. Brennan (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

138

Ann L. Flood (R)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

138

Tara M. Zrinski (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

District

Candidate

HB 321

SB 637

SB 906

HB 427

SB 60

HB 33

HB 800

183

Jason Ruff (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

187

Gary Day (R)*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

187

Michael E. Blichar (D)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No