MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR DELAWARE COUNTY: STATE SENATOR EDWIN B. ERICKSON
It's summer and that means vacation for many of us but today State Senator Edwin Erickson took time to answer a few questions that have been in the news. State Senator Erickson has been tackling the issues of education, health care and even making a suggestion that could be a big change for townships such as Upper Darby or Haverford. Funding is key to most issues and as Senator Erickson relates, new ways need to be found to reduce the burden to taxpayers.
State Senator Edwin “Ted “Erickson was elected in 2001 to the Pennsylvania State House and represents the municipalities of Marple, Newtown, Ridley, Springfield, Tinicum, Upper Darby and Upper Providence and the BOROUGHS of Aldan, Clifton Heights, East Lansdowne, Glenolden, Media, Millbourne, Morton, Prospect Park, Ridley Park, Rutledge and Swarthmore as well as the townships of Easttown and Willistown in Chester County. Senator Erickson had previously been elected to Delaware County Council and also served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Upper Darby. Senator Erickson was also an educator Drexel University and East Stroudsburg State College.
Education is a priority of Senator Erickson’s and he serves on Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Board of Directors. Speaking to Senator Erickson today, he stated that” there is still work to do regarding the funding of public education in the Commonwealth with helping students and their families in regard to special education."
In January of 2013, Senator Erickson chaired a committee that focused on the challenges that face the school districts with regard to special education. Senator Erickson listened to the testimony of local educators about funding that can be a burden on these school districts but is required by federal guidelines. The guidelines in place do not come with adequate funding from the federal government and as such the financial impact to school districts can be a very difficult challenge.Senator Erickson stated that there needs to be “non-monetary steps that the state can take to help school districts with the costs, including reviewing state special Ed class size requirements and assisting with alternative dispute resolution options that lower legal costs. "
On May 22, 2013 Governor Corbett signed into law, legislation that was written by Senator Erickson that funds community health clinics where the hope is to reduce the burden on hospitals around the state by providing the access to medical treatment and preventative diagnostic testing. The act will expand access to nurse-managed clinics, volunteer clinics and hospital-based clinics. Senator Erickson stated that “health clinics will actually serve to reduce healthcare costs and enable more state residents to receive the health care that they need in the most appropriate setting.” By creating neighborhood clinics it harkens back to a time when the family physician was someone in your own neighborhood and could be reached on a daily basis.
Another area that Senator Erickson would like to explore is the idea of merging some municipality's services that overlap which could possibly cause a decrease in taxes for all. “It is not an easy answer though”, he stated.” We need to have a roundtable of ideas and the ability to exchange information.” It is an idea that may be tough to sell but Senator Erickson is ready to open the discussion.
Senator Erickson’s local office can be contacted at
5037 Township Line Road
Drexel Hill, PA