The last time Scott Martin was in Indiana was 30 years ago, when he and his fellow football players at the University of Pennsylvania in Millersville faced off against Indiana University in Pennsylvania.
“Millersville in the east and IUP in the west, it was a good rivalry,” Martin said of clashes involving head coaches Gene Carpenter at Millersville and Frank Cignetti at IUP.
Since those days Martin has served as Lancaster County Commissioner, is in his second term as a state senator for the region which includes Millersville and is a member of the board of governors of the state higher education system. of Pennsylvania, which oversees the IUP. , Millersville and 12 other public universities.
He also announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination to succeed Gov. Tom Wolf, and as part of his first campaign effort since that announcement, Martin led a breakthrough in Cambria and Indiana counties.
“I think we’re at a crossroads here in Pennsylvania,” said Martin, the fourth candidate announced to visit Indiana, after former Congressman Lou Barletta and Pittsburgh attorney Jason Richey on the US side. GOP and State Attorney General Josh Shapiro on the Democratic side.
Shapiro is the only Democrat announced so far, while 13 Republicans have announced it so far, including Martin and Pro Tempore State Senate Speaker Jake Corman, R-Center.
“I think the policies of this state have left a lot of people behind, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot,” Martin said during one of his stops in Indiana, The Indiana Gazette newsroom.
“We continue to see population decline,” Martin also said. “The fastest growing age group is 85 and over. “
Wolf’s decision to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative without General Assembly approval will further accelerate that decline, the Lancaster County senator continued.
He said it was an example of “leadership overshoot” that occurred during Wolf’s two terms as governor.
“Pennsylvania is deliberately known as a place that is not friendly” for the kind of growth that would have occurred if US Steel had been allowed to overhaul its factories in Mon Valley, Martin said.
Pointing to the Pennsylvania Department for Environmental Protection. Martin said the DEP put Perdue through an eight-year clearance process before allowing her to open a mining facility in Lancaster County.
Martin said DEP was concerned about the use of hexane, a chemical used in the extraction process.
He also said that a company was looking to set up a mushroom processing plant in Chester County, but after a four-year delay in obtaining the required DEP permits, “they gave up and moved 30 minutes to the south in Maryland, where they could lead the way in 90 days. “
Senator Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, accompanied Martin on his tour, and Martin said he was fortunate enough to work with Pittman.
However, Pittman doesn’t approve of anyone in the GOP race, although he said he would “sleep a lot better” with Corman or Martin replacing Wolf in the governor’s mansion.
“We need a governor who will actually sit down with the People’s House and set an agenda for a more prosperous Pennsylvania,” Martin said.
Martin and Senator Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks, were co-sponsors of Bill 50 of 2020, which gives PASSHE the power to create, expand, consolidate, transfer or affiliate member schools. The goal is to ensure that all schools in the system remain open and available to meet the needs of students.
“Act 50 was necessary,” said Martin. “(PASSHE) had to have permission,” noting the decline in the number of PASSHE schools and competition from entities such as the New York State University system, which keeps students away from Mansfield, and the Commonwealth Campus system operated by Penn. State University.
However, he wonders if the integration of six Law 50 authorized universities, California, Clarion and Edinboro in the west, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield in the northeast, takes resources away from the other PASSHE schools.
“West Chester should get $ 6 million,” Martin said as an example.
Martin would also promote more opportunities for companies to invest in scholarship programs for elementary and secondary schools, such as the education investment tax credit program.
While nearly 80,000 students and their families were able to benefit from the EITC last year, Martin said that “more than 42,000 children applied but did not get it.”
He said the EITC recently received its second-highest increase in history, but it wasn’t enough.
Martin said there is an opportunity to develop Pennsylvania, but it must involve a change in policy that is “critical for your region and for the whole state.”