Pa. governor pushes his agenda

March 11, 1997


Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge told nearly 500 Franklin County Republicans Tuesday night that while Pennsylvania is pulling out of the doldrums of high taxes, high crime and over-regulation left by his predecessor, he needs their support to keep the state moving toward what he calls a new agenda.

Ridge, the keynote speaker at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant, said he has moved the state forward in his two years and three months in office, but challenges remain. He said he had to move quickly at first.

"Pennsylvania needed immediate results," Ridge said. "We've made dramatic changes. We cut taxes and changed welfare."

Ridge brought about regulatory reform and set a new industrial reuse policy to make use of abandoned buildings, he said.

"We had to make changes," he said. "We're in a more competitive arena as states compete against each other for jobs."


Ridge spoke in general terms when describing what his administration has accomplished. "We inherited a state with enormous potential, but it wasn't going anywhere," he said.

He said solutions to Pennsylvania's problems lie in building stronger families, sustaining jobs and better education. He favors charter schools where parents and teachers design their own programs.

He also said local governments and nonprofit groups will become more involved as the welfare system changes.

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