Your Guide To Candidates Steve Santarsiero & Matthew … –

1. Please provide a short biography of yourself, including current town of residence  and age. 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was in my law office in Newark, New Jersey, about 11  miles west of Lower Manhattan. In the weeks after witnessing the attacks that day, I decided to  go back to school at night to become a teacher as a way of serving the community. After  graduating from Holy Family University’s education program, I got a job as a history teacher at  Bensalem High School.  
Around the same time, I ran for local office to preserve open space and make our township’s  government more open and responsive to people. Later, as a State Representative, and now for  the past 4 years as a State Senator, I have fought for education funding, jobs, the right of workers  to organize, reasonable laws to stop gun violence and protect our children, environmental  protection and women’s reproductive rights.  
I am 57 and have lived in the same house in Lower Makefield for 27 years. It’s where my wife of 28 years, Ronni, and I have raised our three children, Nancy, Bill and John.  
2. Why are you seeking this office? 
I am running for re-election to continue to fight for our community and to make change in  Pennsylvania. While I am proud of bringing millions of dollars in investments into the 10th District in the last four years, which has resulted in the creation of jobs in our community that  pay well, and for the role that I played in helping get the redevelopment of the US Steel Site in  Falls off the ground – which will create10,000 new jobs when finished – there is more yet to do.  
We need to safeguard women’s reproductive freedom and pass reasonable gun violence  prevention laws. We need to continue to invest in our schools, even after this year’s historic increase in funding. We need to protect our communities by funding the police – I am proud to  have secured grants for our local police departments and, when I was a township supervisor, to  have voted to hire more officers. We need protect our children – I played a key role in passing a  new $200 million grant program for school security and student mental health.  
But part of protecting kids is reforming our broken child custody system. That is why I worked  with my Republican colleague on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lisa Baker, to write and pass  Kayden’s Law in the Senate. It’s a bill that would make the health and safety of the child the  number one consideration in any custody case, and would prevent unsupervised visits with an  abusive parent. We still need to get the bill passed in the House and to the Governor’s desk. If  that does not happen this fall, I will be working hard again in the next term to get it passed. 
Finally, we need to protect the environment, as I describe in answer to question 6, below.
3. If re-/elected, what legislation would you propose or support in regards to the  economy? How would you support small businesses? 
Pennsylvania is getting older. The older we get as a state, the more our workforce shrinks. A  shrinking workforce limits economic growth. So, we need to keep and attract more young  people to the Commonwealth. We can do that by investing in businesses large and small,  rebuilding our roads and bridges, fully funding our schools, and reducing the costs of higher  education and job training so that young people are not saddled with enormous debt. This year  we passed a bill that cut business taxes in Pennsylvania. It was a measure that I sponsored in the  Senate, and it will make us more competitive in getting companies to move and hire here. 

4. With reversal of Roe v. Wade, what is your position on abortion? 
I am pro-choice and am honored to have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood. I will continue  to fight any attempt to overturn existing abortion rights in Pennsylvania, as I did in July when I  voted against the Republicans’ proposed amendment to the state constitution that would abolish  the right to abortion in our state (SB 106). Women and their doctors should not be put in jail for  making their own health care decisions.  
5. Health care has consistently ranked among the most important issues for  Levittown-area voters. What is your stance on health care and the state  government’s role in it? 

I supported the Affordable Care Act from the start and the expansion of Medicaid here in  Pennsylvania under it. That expansion has insured an additional 600,000 people in our state. I  also supported Gov. Wolf’s proposal to create our own health care exchanges under the ACA.  But we need to do more. We need to lower drug costs, make health insurance more affordable  and accessible and hold insurance companies to account when they try to deny coverage to  people. 
6. The Pennsylvania Constitution states “people have a right to clean air, pure  water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of  the environment.” What is your position on protecting the environment and  combating climate change? 
I have always been a strong advocate for environmental protection, including combatting climate  change. Because of that record, I am proud to have been endorsed by all the major environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters. I  will continue to fight to increase requirements for renewable energy and for tax breaks and  incentives for people to use renewable energy at home and to make electric vehicles more  affordable. We also need to protect our drinking water from PFAS and other dangerous  chemicals. Recently, I led a federal lawsuit to stop an effort by all the Republicans in the State  Senate to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin. We just won that case, and now the ban 
on fracking here will continue and our drinking water will be protected from the hazardous  chemicals used in the fracking process. 
7. Where do you stand on the issue of gun control? Also, where do you stand on  combating gun violence? 
Since the massacre of innocent children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in  Connecticut back in 2012, I have been a leader in trying to pass reasonable gun violence  measures here in Pennsylvania like universal background checks, a bill that I have authored (SB  88). I have also proposed a ban on the future sale of assault weapons and a limit on magazine  capacities in the wake of the massacre in Uvalde, Texas earlier this year (SB 1300). But the big  companies that make guns have a lot of power here in Pennsylvania. All of us, elected officials  and ordinary citizens, need to tell them that we have had enough. No one should accept the same  old, bogus arguments that we already have enough laws on the books – we do not – or that this is  just a mental health problem, not a gun problem – we need to address the issue of mental health, but it is not simply a mental health problem, because if it were, all the other industrialized  counties that have the same rates of mental illness as we do, but which have passed stricter gun  laws, would not have lower rates of gun violence, which they do. 
8. If a voter expressed concern to you about election security in Pennsylvania, how  would you respond? 
In early 2021, I was part of a special, bipartisan committee in the State Senate that was tasked  with looking into what happened in the 2020 election. After taking testimony from both  Republican and Democratic elections officials across Pennsylvania, it became clear that there  was no fraud in the 2020 election and that the vote count at every level was accurate. So, we  have a secure system right now. What we should be focusing on is making it easier for people to  vote and allowing counties like Bucks more time to process mail-in ballots so that they can get a  result on election night. 
9. What are the greatest problems in your district, and how do you intend to address  them? 
The greatest challenge facing us today is whether we and our children will have the same  opportunities to live and thrive in an expanding economy and stable democracy – with all the  benefits that they bring – that our parents’ generation and those that came before it had. There  was a time, not long ago, when each generation assumed, because it had long been a fact, that it  would do better than the one that came before it. That is no longer the case; but it is not too late  to make it true again, if we do the things that I have described in response to the questions above.
10. What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? 
Easy: Don’t ever give up. Sometimes the problems that we face in life can seem overwhelming.  But I continue to believe that we can change things. It won’t happen if we just wish for it,  however. We have to make it happen. That is why I am running.
1. Please provide a short biography of yourself, including current town of residence and age.
I am 48 years old. Reside in Newtown Township with my wife Debbie, our 2 kids and 2 dogs. I have worked in healthcare since I was a teenager. First as a nursing assistant, then a Registered Nurse, and a Nurse Anesthetist. Currently I am a small business owner in the healthcare sector and while I’ve taken time away from work this year to campaign, I can generally be found in an operating room giving anesthesia or in the office working on new contracts with healthcare facilities or insurance companies. I attended undergrad at West Chester University and grad school at St Joe’s University. 
2. Why are you seeking this office?
The last few years have been rough on so many people and in so many ways. Business shutdowns leading to closures, school closures and masking of our kids leading to learning loss and increased mental health issues, inflation and energy prices rising causing harm to our working families to name just a few. Unfortunately, we have had a State Senator more interested in playing the game of partisan politics than helping the people and small business owners in the district. I can be the leader who can reach across the aisle to get things done. Someone who will fight for everyone, not just the special interest groups. We all know that it’s the vocal minority in the extremes of both parties that make the most noise. We need someone who isn’t going to forget about the majority of voters who really aren’t that far apart on most issues. We need someone who will unite, not divide us further.
3. If re-/elected, what legislation would you propose or support in regards to the economy? How would you support small businesses? 
The top issue is clearly the economy and its negative impacts on our citizens. Rising inflation, gas prices, and cost/availability of goods are having a significant impact on the people of Pennsylvania. Addressing this must be a multi-pronged approach of lowering taxes, utilizing the resources in the state, and creating jobs by bringing production of essential goods back to the area. 
We need to do more for small businesses. They are the economic driver of the state and were the hardest hit by Governor Wolf’s inconsistent restrictions and closures during the pandemic. We cannot allow that to happen again. We also need to look at streamlining burdensome business regulations that make it harder for small businesses to be in business. While the recent CNIT reduction plan is a step in the right direction, I do not believe it goes far enough if our goal is to help businesses in the state stay here and to lure new industry investment and manufacturing to the state. Bucks county has much to offer if these can be addressed.
4. With reversal of Roe v. Wade, what is your position on abortion?
I do not support changing current Pennsylvania law regarding access to abortion access. I do not believe we need a constitutional amendment on this issue. I do consider myself to be pro-life, but I do not believe we can protect life by legislating away a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices. The bottom line is that abortion rates in countries where abortion is illegal are the same as in countries where it’s legal. There are evidenced backed ways to reduce the number of abortions such as investing in comprehensive sex education, reducing sexual violence, improving access to contraception, providing prenatal and postnatal medical care including mental health support, and supporting affordable childcare options. I don’t believe you can truly be pro-life unless you are committed to not only bringing more children into the world but also supporting them and their mothers after they are born.
5. Health care has consistently ranked among the most important issues for Levittown-area voters. What is your stance on health care and the state government’s role in it?
The state government is responsible for creating and implementing the laws and regulations that manage our healthcare system, as well as managing the Medicaid program within the state. As in anything the government does their role should be kept as minimalistic as possible. The goal should always be to provide good stewardship of resources, maintaining patient safety, and providing the most public good possible with available resources.
Healthcare costs in the Pennsylvania and United States both sit at 18% of GDP. The biggest step we can take to reduce these costs are to tackle waste and inefficiency, which account for 25% of healthcare spending. Regarding prescription drug costs, we need to move forward with pending legislation to audit and review Pharmacy Benefit Managers and to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board.
6.The Pennsylvania Constitution states “people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.” What is your position on protecting the environment and combating climate change? 
We do need to continue to develop alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. Yes, climate change is real and human activity does have an accelerating effect. Our state constitution guarantees clean air and water to all our citizens and that will always be a priority for me. It is important to remember though that our energy needs and storage capacity aren’t compatible with a 100% renewable energy sector. Often people aren’t aware of the impact on the environment that “going green” causes, as well as the vast improvements in air and water quality attributable to increased use of natural gas. The right approach requires balance, using the vast energy sources in Pennsylvania as a bridge to the future of renewable energy.
7. Where do you stand on the issue of gun control? Also, where do you stand on combating gun violence? 
The most impactful thing we can do to prevent gun violence is to enforce the innumerable gun control laws already on the books. New laws impact law abiding citizens. Criminals aren’t going to follow new laws any more than they follow the current ones. The vast majority of gun crimes are committed with guns obtained illegally.
We also need to increase access to mental health resources in our communities. I do support banning 3-D printed, non-serialized gun parts.
8. If a voter expressed concern to you about election security in Pennsylvania, how would you respond?
We are often told that there is no election fraud occurring. The truth is that it happens and is prosecuted in every election. Whether it occurs at a level that has changed the outcome of an election is another matter entirely and a question I don’t have an answer to. What I do know is that there are common sense things we can do to maintain confidence in our election system. I do support voter identification and the majority of voters agree. The United States is one of only a few countries that does not require some form of identification at the polling place. I also support removing the financial barrier to getting a government issued ID by having the Commonwealth pay for it. This will ensure that for the 10% of eligible voters without ID, it can be obtained without cost. We should also create harsher penalties for anyone found trying to undermine the process.
9. What are the greatest problems in your district, and how do you intend to address them?
Aside from the economy and inflation which are the biggest issue in every district and were discussed above I would say education. There are so many facets of our education system that need attention. Special interest groups are intent on removing parents from the educational process and that must stop. Our schools should not be the battleground of partisan politicking. We need to get back to the basics, teaching math, science, writing and life skills. We should be focused on preparing our children for success in the real world. We should be teaching them how to think for themselves, not what to think.
I will always support increasing funding for our schools, while opening avenues for choice. I will support our teachers and parents as they work together to educate our youth. I will fight for programs that support our kids who are struggling to catch up after the learning loss that occurred during the school closures. I will support mental health initiatives aimed at helping our students figure out who they are and their place in this world. 
10. What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Try to leave the world a little better than how you found it.
Report a correction via email | Editorial standards and policies

List Your Event

Proud to be members of:


You have successfully joined our email list.

Back to Top


Leave a Comment