Pennsylvania Newsmakers 7/21/13: Candidate for Governor John Hanger & Credit Union Youth Ambassador

hi welcome to Pennsylvania newsmakers and as always thanks for watching well today we started our series with the Democratic candidates for governor we’re going to invite all the Democratic candidates on to be on this program over the next several months joining me today is John hanger he’s a former Department of Environmental Protection secretary and then our popular financial literacy update all of that follows these words this is Pennsylvania newsmakers a fast paced unrehearsed weekly discussion with and about the leaders who shape your world and now here’s your host Terry Madonna I welcome back well i think is almost everybody who’s who pays attention of pennsylvania politics understands we’re going to looks like we’re going to have a spirited Democratic primary I won’t even begin to list the number of candidates those who are going to appear on this show are going to have to have filed papers with the Department of State saying they’re a real candidate not considering it joining me is a guy who’s actually been on the show many times before John hanger used to be the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection he’s one of the cofounders of one of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental groups Penn future John welcome back well thank you I’d like to be with you well look let’s start with I’m not going to ask you the question it was asked of Ted Kennedy why are you running any fumbled it you wouldn’t fumble it but let’s look obviously you’re running because you you have big differences with the current administration you would like to see things get done differently in Harrisburg policy-wise give me three or four of the big things you would do if John hanger was governor right out of the box your first message to the people of the Commonwealth offensive day be the most important issue right now in Pennsylvania’s our public schools we have to in fact increase funding for our public schools we need to return the state portion of public education funding to fifty percent and then we also got to come to grips with the fact that we’re wasting a lot of money on failed public schools excuse me failed charter schools we we are sending over seven hundred million dollars a year Terry to charter schools that are not meeting the federal student performance standards for reading and math now I support good charter schools but seven hundred million dollars going to charter schools that are not meeting math and reading standards is terrible because all of that money is coming out of local schools and local schools taxpayers pockets so that’s got to stop I have a plan to improve our public schools a longer school day a longer school year I’ve lost the schoolchildren boat but that actually works to improve student performance I believe in more preschool in Pennsylvania right now we’re going in the opposite direction we’re getting less preschool lesson so you’re saying number one priority for John hang would be education absolutely what’s number two number two is jobs and I’ve actually got a jobs plan on my website if you go to my website and compare it to the other candidates who have filed those papers you’ll you’ll see a lot of plans and solutions to Pennsylvania’s problems so i have a jobs plan that would create over 380,000 jobs here in Pennsylvania starts with transportation we’ve not had a transportation plan for three construction seasons of the Corbett administration one of the results is lousy bridges and lousy roads but we’ve also lost a hundred and forty five thousand jobs that could be created so would you have supported one of the plans the Senate as you know passed to 3.5 billion dollar Trent infrastructure will call it infrastructure plan that had you know raising the wholesale gasoline tax we’ve done lots of program is that what you have in mind yeah it was 2.5 3.5 but yes absolutely I would have been one of the 45 senators had I had a vote in the Senate for that plan right now what was what’s terrible is that the governor had provided no leadership for the first two and a half years and really no leadership during this last session on transportation he wanted to privatize liquor that was the most important thing to this covenant right now whatever you think about that issue that that issue privatizing we’re not privatizing liquor is not going to fundamentally affect the course of Pennsylvania’s economy or its schools and we need to get down to the real issues which is schools and the fact that our public schools are cratering and jobs this governor has only created 5,000 jobs in the last 12 months we’re going to run to a quick break when we come back I want to ask John hanger about a couple of environmental questions which he obviously spent a lot of time on and then one of the more controversial he knew he knows I’m going to ask him this question about medical marijuana and marijuana should it be

legal at a state will find out what John hanger has the sector these words this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by the Pennsylvania Chamber of business and industry a statewide voice of business and by the Pennsylvania business council Education Foundation educating citizens and business leaders about important public policy issues and civic affairs this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is brought to you by better safer roads calm to voice your support for safer highways and less traffic congestion visit better safer roads calm and by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association business in Pennsylvania is our business welcome back to the program we’re doing a series with the Democratic candidates for governor as well as always Governor Corbett has always welcome on this pro he’s program he’s been on this program many times where we’re going to have all the candidates it’s up to you to make this decision we’re just like them express their opinions all right John hanger let’s talk a little bit about you you see Commissioner you were dep secretary fracking I mean there’s of all the issues we’re talking about fracking and the environment give us your two minute overview a what we should do about fracking and how should the we handle the environmental concerns well the first thing you got to say is the governor has lost the confidence of the public in terms of overseeing this gas the gas industry gas drilling and shale gas drilling is industrial activity and it must be strongly regulated and it should be reasonably taxed we’re doing neither in Pennsylvania we’re not strongly regulating it and we’re not reasonably taxing it so my first job would be to in fact restore public confidence in the oversight of the gas industry and I would do that by hiring another 105 gas drilling inspectors I would increase the oversight staff by 50% we do that immediately I would also open an office for citizens who have problems with gas drilling to bring their complaints to so they could be professionally and independently investigated now we have to make it clear that in Pennsylvania the gas drilling will be done as well as humanly possible and when the gas companies make a mistake they will be made to clean it up and when they get into a fight with a public or a citizen who has had a real problem this governor me would be on the side of the citizens 02 under okay I got that so you’re in favor of fracking with the proper environmental what you would argue would be the proper environmental control yeah it must be strongly regulated and reasonably tax I have I did in fact right the moratorium on gas drilling in the state forest and I would keep them that was ready go there you that’s right I was heading no drilling on on state far stores or in public parks or state parks and by the way there’s a real threat that drilling could happen in our state parks I have a plan to keep it out of our state parks okay one let one last question on this when we we have an impact fee but not a severance tax you looted to this would you support a severance tax if I understand this and you’ll correct me that would be a tax on the cubic feet extracted from the wells is that right are you in favor yeah I am and I’m gone further i’ll give you the specific tax I support the tax that West Virginia has already had on the books for more than five years that tax is right in the middle of the range from high to low if it works in West Virginia it can work here all right now should on this big issue of zoning it’s currently before the Supreme Court would you one of the courts I think it’s a Supreme Court would you allow local zoning boards to determine much of the fate of where drilling can be done you think that should be under state control what what what did right I I think act 13 which really pretty much put the local governments out of the business of figuring out where a gastrula can occur was an overreach it was an overreaction to a few municipalities that went too far a couple minute meanest valleys band gastro and that was that was against the old law the law before the legislature got in there right that was clearly illegal then so look local governments know where their schools are local governments know where their churches are people in Harrisburg actually have no clue where any of those things are anywhere in the state other than where they personally live in so it’s very important to have a good productive relationship with local governments and of course this is industrial activity and we’ve had a strong tradition that local governments get to regulate industrial activity we have about a minute this I’m going to hold the marijuana questions off until the

third segment but I want to come back to one thing taxes you’re going to be asked this you know what is your position you want to increase spending particularly on education do we have higher sales tax do we have higher income tax what are your you’re going to obviously you’ve been asked this a lot what are you putting while of the first I have not and will not sign the Grover Norquist no tax pledge the governor has he’s proud he’s done it I think that was reckless and irresponsible and by the way Grover himself says the governor’s violated it three times so I’m packed V was one right well right but I supported drilling tax I think that can raise 400 to 800 million dollars I support attacks on smokeless tobacco and cigars that will raise tens of millions of dollars I have a plan of cutting waste in charter schools the failed charter schools that’s seven hundred million dollars that we’re wasting that we can bring back to our public schools and good performing charter schools that’s seven hundred billion dollars all right we’re going to run to a break up that we’re going to get into I what I think is sort of intriguing you know medical marijuana the legalization of maybe decriminalization is a better way to put it when I asked John hanger about that after these words this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is brought to you by Pennsylvania credit union Association Pennsylvania credit unions where people are worth more than money to find a credit union that is right for you check out I belong o RG and by the Energy Association of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s energy information source this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by the hospital and health system Association of Pennsylvania working towards a healthy Pennsylvania and welcome back with John hanger candidate Democratic candidate for governor all right let’s talk about this let’s let’s go through this will take the that’s sort of the easy one because the voters of the state and poles I’ve done and others do support medical marijuana go through this list of things and explain what John hanger would write well look right now across the board the use of marijuana for any purpose is illegal in Pennsylvania correct it’s actually can get you into a lot of trouble can wreck your life and I’m certainly not here today to encourage anybody to use marijuana but i think our criminalization of marijuana is a huge public policy mistake that is in fact ruining lives so a medical marijuana we actually eat withhold marijuana or cannabis from sick patients even when a doctor says cannabis is the right medicine that’s wrong that’s cruel and I would change that immediately and I think you’re right over eighty percent of your number of voters in our state supported right and twenty states have done it then there’s the second step which is decriminalization it’s to lower the penalties make you the possession of small amounts of marijuana now we’re talking about possession only of small amounts of marijuana a traffic offense so it’s you don’t get a criminal record you don’t get branded as a drug criminal for the rest of your life we’ve had three presidents of the United States who would be branded as drug criminals had they been caught and doing what they’ve now said they did parently quite regularly you know this tremendous hypocrisy here and I’ve run across people in Pennsylvania who can’t get jobs who have infected lost educational opportunities because they got a marijuana possession offense on their record I don’t support wrecking lives in that fashion and now we know also in the third step is potential regulation or taxation of marijuana and that’s what Colorado and Washington state are doing right I have proposed doing that in 2017 if the first two steps go well and if Colorado I was questioning go away I was just going to say I read your proposal and you would monitor the third step you’re not calling for that immediate I have it right exactly we do this in sequence make sure we’re not causing harm as we go through it but let’s wreck let’s be honest with each other while we’re doing right now on marijuana doesn’t work it costs taxpayers over three hundred million dollars a year to enforce these laws it creates tremendous harm to individuals and families I’ve had mothers come to me Terry with 18 year old children who were about ready to matriculate to a college who had to put the whole year off yeah and they’re facing the inability to get jobs for the rest of their lives I don’t support that alright John hanger thanks up as I said we’re going to give all of you a chance I think that’s important we tried not to interrupt to let these Canada let these candidates get their views out you can you all can decide out there which is what you do on Election Day all right our popular financial literacy update is next this broadcast of Pennsylvania newsmakers is presented by Highmark Blue

Shield changing the way health plans work for business with a variety of plan options for employers and more choices for employees information is available at highmark com have a greater hand in your company’s health and by the Pennsylvania health care association the future of long-term care I welcome back to the program while joining me as often is the case as Mike wish now he’s a senior VP with the Pennsylvania credit union Association and Michael Williams he’s the 2013 pc you a Youth Ambassador I can’t wait to deal with this listen to this the widget financial Federal Credit Union from Erie this something we gotta find out all right Michael I can’t I mean I I want to talk about the ambassadorship but just in five seconds what is the widget financial pays a lot more than five seconds but we were formidable eerie General Electric federal credit union which of a lot of our original select employer group was GE employees got a big GE plan area but we ended up we serve a lot more than than just general electric employees to try to do a lot for the community and people thought you had to work at GE to join so we kind of went down a whole name change process widget widget area is very much a manufacturing tad i know i love your widget yeah so which it was a good video that’s from general electric transportation GE t at the end there i got it so it’s a good fit yeah you get it you you know people like respond they look at this name and ago hold your hands up place but it’s perfect just for that guy so that’s good that’s great did you think of that not know i can i think cutting those folks all right Michael let’s talk about this Youth Ambassador contest first of all explain out what you all have it to go ahead we’ve had it for 37 years at all yeah what we do is we have contests in chapters across Pennsylvania and its really very prestigious in the credit union circles when we have our annual convention all the winners come and they compete in the statewide contest and Mike was quite frankly the finest of the best he won this year’s youth ambassador contest he’s going to be representing Pennsylvania credit unions to youth and getting more youth involvement and those types of things i know mike has a lot now you one of the things that you did was that your talk focused on how you messaging I got that right a product in this case a credit union and thought what was your message oh my message had to do a lot of things I think that a lot of the reasons that young people these days are turning to two places with even higher fees is because they want things to be easy um and crediting zar certainly phenomenal because we we have lower fees we’re trying to serve our members but young people are getting suckered into things that are just generally easy easier and they they don’t necessarily care about the fees so as credit unions we’re trying to work to make things easier for our membership so we can get younger people and and truly prepare them for the future is that the part does that relate to the partnership you have with Penn State Erie defense State campuses yeah in an area put the Penn State Behrend campus we’ve done a couple of financial literacy presentations up there just walking through um it’s it’s a real life reality type demonstration where young students especially at risk can kind of go through a series of booze where they can take part and pretend like they’re doing their actual budget so i did not dinner up welcome back to this story in a minute how many participants are innocent credit unions in the youth ambassador content we have roughly 15 that make it to the states because 15 chapters old contests okay each of those chapters may have anywhere from two to five I got individuals they have to be between the ages of 18 and 25 and they compete by taking a test they do a series of interviews with our judges and then at the end they culminate with a speech and as Mike said his speech was talking about how to make credit unions more attractive to younger folks yeah so talk a little bit more Mike about the outreach that you you’ve engaged in what you got Penn State what other groups have you been working with yeah we work with Penn State and we’ve worked with our local just local schools you know as the last segment said you know that the schools are looking for ways to improve their just education in general and so we’ve been partnering with a company that writes a financial magazine that we’re able to take to the schools and give the teachers with some lesson plans to kind of augment their teaching are you in school now um no I’m not okay is it you’re obviously been to school recently is that you’re Michael

and I have talked about this and guess over the years with this guess about how young folks just need financial literacy education that you know you I go into a you know i go on i cant a college campus at the opening of a school and there are 15 booths to get a credit card yeah you go and signing up for credit card what’s your sense about the overall literacy financial literacy that young folks have oh it’s it’s pretty pretty for and that’s where credit’s can come in i mean the the biggest day I went to edinboro you know one of the pennsylvania state schools and the biggest day with the best parties is always refund check day everyone gets a refund check and that’s that’s money that’s supposed to be going to you know housing to books to to living on and you know there’s always some weights are tails and all right as a local beer distributor always makes out good as people don’t I don’t understand it till it’s too late they have to pay that back and it’s yeah gonna cost them yeah Michael moving moving forward where do you see this program going well we’re really really proud of our youth ambassador program and what we’re looking at now is developing a young professionals network which will include many of our youth ambassadors plus a wider swath of professionals working in credit unions so that we can make sure that credit unions are positioned to deliver the products and services that young people want and desire now what do you do is this a year-long commitment yes year-long of us from from started in man and will go until okay so you still have a lot of the time left so what’s ahead ahead there’s a conference where there’s a lot of like-minded individuals not necessarily from youth ambassador contest but that are in financial literacy there’s a conference but i’ll be attending for that to kind of pick up on some some techniques and find ways that I can bring things back and implement as well as just different speaking engagements try and you’ll travel around this day talking to different perhaps and credit unions and you help or schedule some of that absolutely absolutely yeah he does that on behalf of the Association for all credit unions I’m still a little I still can’t get over widget figure out what do you ever figure out what a widget is it’s it’s our financial institution our credit units you’ve ever taken a math class you have widgets in there XYZ court makes so many widgets I know something about polls doing polls and nothing but yeah so overall then you’ll spend the next year doing this you’ve got a bunch of stuff to do is there some kind of final you’ll give them a final report about what you think recommendations about how to improve the program yeah no party at the end of the convention we always youth ambassador an association talks and kind of figures out how we can further the further the movement and further on ways that we can really bring financial literacy and rich young adult okay we have about 45 seconds left the one thing and I know this wasn’t on the agenda at the payday lending bill that was in you and I have talked about that and your concerns about that and we’re all that goes in the legislature you still have concerns about payday lending in the state i’m just going to ask you generically you and i chatted about that yeah yes i mean there are programs out there including the credit union better choice program right that allows people to get small dollar wounds in a very responsible way but you haven’t a very learned about yet all right we’ll be back next week for another edition of pennsylvania newsmakers and as always stay well