Simmons announces his bid for re-election
State Rep. Justin Simmons, R-131st, recently announced he will seek re-election to the 131st District of the State House of Representatives in the 2016 election.
“It has been an honor to serve the residents of the 131st District and work with them to reach our common goals,” Simmons said. “I humbly ask for their support so that we can continue working together on priorities like education funding, economic and job growth, and addressing local issues,” Simmons provided in a recent press release.
“It’s clear that with an Administration intent on raising income or sales taxes when local residents can least afford it, that now is not the time to leave the fight for fiscally responsible government to the unknown, unproven, or untested,” Simmons stated in explaining why he is running for a fourth term despite a 2010 plan to run for only three.
“Further, despite my strong commitment to reforming Harrisburg to help all Pennsylvanians, I was unrealistic in my belief about how quickly we could push change on an entrenched bureaucracy and special interests.”
Throughout his tenure, and the recent budget negotiations, Simmons has supported numerous budget packages that increase state funding for education to its highest level ever, and restore the funding lost with the end of temporary federal stimulus monies - all without raising taxes.
“I have consistently voted for budgets that increased state funding for basic education, including this year’s which included $400 million more for education and set state funding at record levels,” Simmons stated.
“Ensuring a strong education system is, and always will be, one of my top priorities. A quality education system prepares our children for the future, helps attract the jobs our families need, and even helps maintain strong property values,” Simmons stated in his press announcement.
Simmons is a leading supporter of public pension reform that would move all new hires – and all legislators – into a 401(k) type system. Public pensions are repeatedly cited as one of the primary cost drivers in rising budgets at the state, local, and school district levels – and the property tax and other tax increases that result.
Simmons has also continued his commitment to reforming how state government works and ending the influence of special interests. He refuses the taxpayer-funded pension and supports initiatives to ban per diems while not collecting them himself.
“I lead by example on issues of reform and continue to push Harrisburg to change its ways because the public needs to know that the people they elect are working for them,” Simmons stated.
Simmons and his wife Erica live in Upper Saucon Township and are the parents of a newborn girl.
The 131st District includes more than 60,000 local residents and covers all or part of eleven different municipalities in Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.
Simmons received nearly 62 percent of the vote in his 2014 re-election campaign.