Where McCord, McGinty, Schwartz and Wolf stand

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm •  Published: May 17, 2014
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A look at where the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates — state Treasurer Rob McCord, former Clinton White House environmental adviser Katie McGinty, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and businessman Tom Wolf — stand on some key issues:

ABORTION RIGHTS

All four candidates support abortion rights. McGinty says she would oppose any effort to further restrict abortion rights.

HEALTH CARE

All four candidates would scrap Gov. Tom Corbett's "Healthy PA" plan that subsidizes private insurance coverage and instead expand Medicaid coverage under the 2010 federal health care law. They would also set up a Pennsylvania-run insurance exchange rather than the federally run insurance exchange Corbett chose.

EDUCATION

All four candidates would seek to restore money that Corbett cut from higher education and public schools to balance the budget. They also all oppose vouchers for private schools.

McCord: Would seek to expand funding for prekindergarten programs by $220 million to approximately $300 million a year. Would seek to reduce payments to charter and cyber-charter schools. Would seek to provide incentives to state-subsidized universities to slow the rate of tuition increases. Would seek to target higher education tuition assistance and loan forgiveness programs to graduates of degree programs that teach skills that are in high demand.

McGinty: Would propose rewarding state-subsidized universities with additional state aid for keeping an annual tuition increase to below the inflation rate. Would seek to reduce payments to charter schools and fund them based on "auditable costs." Would refuse aid to any charter school that is operated by a for-profit company. Would seek to create a grant program to help 35,000 middle-income families of college-bound children and create the "Pennsylvania Dream Scholarship Program" to provide merit-based grants of up to $4,000 for 10,000 high-achieving, low-income students.

Schwartz: Would offer universal access to prekindergarten for 4-year-olds and provide funding for districts to offer full-day kindergarten. Would seek to reduce payments to charter schools and end state support for cyber charters. Would seek a two-year tuition freeze at state-subsidized universities in return for more state aid to the institutions. Would seek to create a new $40 million higher-education grant program with a family income eligibility ceiling of $110,000 and maximum grants of $5,000.

Wolf: Would seek to increase the state's share of public school spending to 50 percent of the overall cost. Would convene a commission to develop funding formulas for charter schools and cyber charters. Would develop a five-year funding plan for state-subsidized universities.

MINIMUM WAGE

McCord: Supports increasing Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $10.70 per hour and provide annual increases of 10 cents per year through 2024 before indexing it to inflation.

McGinty: Supports increasing Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016, including tipped workers like waiters and waitresses, and indexing it to inflation.

Schwartz: Supports increasing Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to inflation.

Wolf: Supports increasing Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $10.10 over a two-year period and indexing it to inflation.

PUBLIC PENSIONS

All four candidates would maintain a defined benefit pension program for public employees and would oppose switching the system to a 401(k)-style plan and further delaying the state's annual pension obligation payments. McCord, McGinty and Schwartz oppose further reductions in the pension benefits of public employees, while Wolf would not say whether he would support or oppose such reductions. None put forward a specific plan to fully fund the state's pension funds. McCord also would support a taxpayer-backed bond to borrow money at a lower rate to pay down the pension systems' unfunded liability.

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