Guzman highlights legislative priorities for first term

READING, Jan. 4 – State Rep.-elect Manny Guzman highlighted three of his legislative priorities.

Increasing minimum wage: “There is no reason a worker in Maryland deserves to be paid more than twice as much for completing the same job being performed by workers in Pennsylvania,” Guzman said. “Like nine other states, including many of our neighboring states like Maryland, Pennsylvania needs to approve a living wage of $15 as the minimum wage. Hard work should be rewarded, but accepting a minimum wage job in 2021 in Pennsylvania often means workers are forced to accept a welfare lifestyle since they cannot support themselves – let alone a family or a child – on $7.25 an hour.”

Extending eviction moratorium: “Studies have shown a housing crisis in Pennsylvania will also lead to a health crisis in Pennsylvania, and we can’t let that happen during this pandemic,” Guzman said. “Homelessness is the tragic reality facing nearly a quarter of a million Pennsylvania families right now – just as we are entering the coldest months of the year and trying to curtail the latest surge in coronavirus cases. Research from the University of Pennsylvania predicts even a 1% eviction rate would push COVID-19 infections from 5% to 10% and lead to 1 death per every 60 evictions.”

Criminal justice reform: “Incarceration often worsens problems for those struggling with poverty, mental illness and addiction,” Guzman said. “We need to address the issues that many of these people struggle with, and accept they need help – not prison – in order to recover, since studies show at least 1 in 4 people who go to jail are arrested again within the same year.”