Pennsylvania should root out the root cause of hunger

Moving forward to fight addiction

This week Gov. Wolf addressed a joint session of the House and Senate, calling on lawmakers to act this fall on legislation that would address Pennsylvania's opioid and heroin addiction crisis – an epidemic that spans all social and geographic lines. TEN people die every day in Pennsylvania from opioid and heroin overdoses.

House Democrats agree with Gov. Wolf. We cannot afford to stall. We must soon pass legislation that does the most to reduce the impact of this crisis on families and communities and slow its growth in the future.

House Democrats support legislation that would require continuing education for medical professionals on proper pain management and the safe use of opioid prescriptions.

Pennsylvania also should work to make abuse-deterrent opioids more affordable, limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed in emergency rooms, limit opioid prescriptions for minors, and allow patients who don't want to be prescribed opioids to establish a voluntary directive.

Finally, we should pass legislation that makes instruction on the dangers of misusing and abusing prescription drugs part of our regular public school curriculum.  

The House and Senate began moving some of this legislation on Wednesday. Join in the fight and have your voice heard by contacting Harrisburg leaders and your state lawmakers. Tell them to send this legislation to the governor now, before the 2015-16 legislative session closes.

Pennsylvania should root out the root cause of hunger

A sad statistic -- 1.7 million Pennsylvanians experience hunger at some point during the year. As Hunger Action Month comes to a close, House Democrats remain committed to reducing hunger in Pennsylvania, and getting to its root cause.  

To reduce hunger we must reduce poverty. One way to do that is to support our working families and rebuild the middle class. This includes:

  • Fair funding for education at all levels.

  • A minimum-wage increase to boost the economic security of low-wage earners, many of them women.

  • Paid sick leave so that parents can take a sick day for themselves or their children without sacrificing wages or risking their job.

  • Pay equity to restore hundreds of millions of dollars in income that many women and their families never see due to the persistent wage gap.

  • Affordable, quality child care.

With just two weeks left in the fall legislative session, the House has not addressed any of these issues. A comprehensive approach to reducing hunger must include a focus on increasing financial security for working families and building a broader, stronger middle class.