Pipeline slides up list of issues in Lancaster County state House race

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 29, 2014 4:25 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A township supervisor faces a political newcomer in the 41st legislative district in Lancaster County.

The state House seat opened up earlier this year, after state Senator Mike Brubaker announced his retirement in 2013.

Republican Brett Miller falls in line with the state Republican Party: send new state employees into a 401(k) style retirement plan, and shrink government.

"Couple years ago, I was the one that recommended that we move away from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan and we got that passed several years ago for new hires. Those who are existing are maintained on the current plan," he says, pointing to his experience as an East Hempfield Township Supervisor.


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Brett Miller argues for fiscal responsibility,and says he's proven himself as an East Hempfield Township Supervisor.

Miller says it's helped turn the township's budget deficit into a surplus.

But he says he'll also advocate for schools: he's a middle school guidance counselor himself.

Miller notes he won't support the use of eminent domain for a controversial pipeline that would run through the 41st District.

"To run a pipeline through this land, it has not been demonstrated to me that this is something that will benefit the community through which the pipeline will run," he says.

His Democratic opponent Alice Yoder, the Director of Community Health for Lancaster General, doesn't agree with the use of eminent domain in the case of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline either.

She says she needs to see direct benefits for the communities of the district before she would endorse the project.

Her pitch to voters centers around education.


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Alice Yoder names education as her top priority.

"As close to 50 percent, if we can get as close to 50 percent over the next several years, that would be my goal. And I'm in favor of a severance tax on Marcellus Shale to help support that."

Yoder acknowledges a severance tax would just be the start, saying additional funding sources would have to be tapped.

"So if we look towards how we disburse funding from a state standpoint that we need to make sure that we have a formula that the money is being shared equitably across all schools," adds Yoder.

Miller and Yoder will meet for a debate at 8 am on Thursday at the Lancaster Tennis and Yacht Club.

The 41st includes Mountville and Washington boroughs, and East Hempfield Township in Lancaster County.

A Republican has held the seat since 2003. Election Day is next Tuesday.

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