PROTECTING MOTHERS AND CHILDREN
Pennsylvania’s maternal mortality rate has doubled since 2004 and the US has the worst maternal mortality rates of similarly wealthy countries. Additionally, PA’s infant mortality rate is higher than the national average. Mary Jo is committed to fighting for our mothers and children to receive the care and support they deserve as the chair of the Women’s Health Caucus. She has sponsored legislation providing protections for nursing mothers, as well as sponsoring a bill to limit the use of shackles and restraints on incarcerated pregnant individuals. The legislations also seeks to document every instance where they are used, so that we may better understand the practices involving incarcerated individuals in these circumstances. Mary Jo knows just how important mothers are to our Commonwealth, and she knows it is imperative for the government to treat them and their children with the utmost dignity and respect.
Mary Jo Daley believes in science. She will never let partisan politics interfere with the administration of public health policy. Mary Jo also believes decisions on the health of our Commonwealth should be made in coordination with qualified experts like doctors and scientists, not just by politicians. PA House Republicans have shown a consistent dereliction in their duties when it comes to the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians. Through their scorn for science and deliberate undermining of Gov. Wolf’s mitigation efforts, they have shown that their true priorities lie not in the protection of their constituents, but in scoring political points.
Mary Jo shuns this type of reckless political grandstanding, and instead stands with the Governor and health experts as they seek to address the COVID-19 crisis. In every decision that she makes, Mary Jo prioritizes the welfare of Pennsylvanians everywhere. She has co-sponsored legislation imposing a moratorium on evictions during the resulting recession, and along with rent recovery measures, this legislation prohibits fees or penalties related to late or missed rent payments. She will continue to take similarly bold action as the Commonwealth seeks to navigate this crisis. With that said, Mary Jo is acutely aware of how much work still remains undone: increased access to testing, PPE, social distancing capabilities, and supportive funding, are all measures that still need to be undertaken in order to combat the virus and allow the Commonwealth to build towards a better recovery.
In the midst of our ongoing public health crisis in relation to COVID-19, it has become clearer than ever that everyone must be guaranteed access to affordable high quality healthcare. With ongoing threats to the Affordable Care act happening in Congress and the courts, the healthcare of over 1.5 million PA residents is at stake. Pennsylvania lawmakers must step up to ensure their constituents’ health is protected. Mary Jo has committed herself to fighting for the health of all Pennsylvanians, especially women who face constant attacks on their reproductive health and bodily autonomy. In the end, Mary Jo believes that the goal should be the empowerment of every Pennsylvanian to to make their own healthcare decisions regardless of personal finances or employment status.
Special Note: In their 2019 report, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate”. This scenario would be catastrophic for all human life on this planet, and we must fight to ensure we do not reach the 1.5°C increase in temperatures from pre-industrial levels.
As a member of the House Committee on Environmental Resources & Energy, and the Climate Caucus, Mary Jo is committed to safety, sustainability, and the socio-economic advantages of reducing carbon emissions. A shift to green energy would greatly benefit communities in Pennsylvania devastated by the loss of manufacturing by creating good paying stable jobs. However, the economic impact of this type of policy is only one outcome of a transition to green energy; there are health concerns to consider as well.
Over 1.5 million Pennsylvanians have asthma, and countless more have health ailments such as emphysema that are exacerbated by air pollutants. We cannot trade the health and safety of Pennsylvanian communities for the convenience of total reliance on fossil fuels. Instead, we must begin a rapid shift to include more sustainable efforts when fulfilling the energy needs of our Commonwealth. Weatherization of buildings, clean technology in our cars and public transportation, a greater emphasis on solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, a revitalization of our nuclear power infrastructure, as well as a shift in agricultural processes, are all facets of a more sound energy policy. Mary Jo believes that these policy points as well as holding big oil accountable, are all a part of a smooth transition to a new energy economy in Pennsylvania.