Pennsylvania voters will finally have a say this spring in the state’s handling of extended disaster emergencies. At the upcoming primary election, on May 18, voters will be asked to vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would limit the duration of an emergency declaration by a governor to a maximum of 21 days. Under the proposed amendment, the declaration could be extended, but only with legislative approval.
Remember, there will be more than just candidates on the ballot, as four questions – three constitutional amendments and one referendum – are slated to appear as well. I voted to put these questions on the ballot because I believe they will restore the foundational system of check and balances that has been missing over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure you, the people, have a voice in how we deal with similar situations in the future. I am frustrated that a select few people in Harrisburg are making arbitrary decisions while our employers and communities hang in the balance. Community leaders and the people of Pennsylvania must have the ability to control their lives and livelihoods.
Voters need to be aware these questions were written by the governor’s Department of State using language that is politically charged and prejudicial, and more than a little confusing. Here is what the questions entail in its simplest form:
Question 1 asks if the General Assembly, by majority vote, should be authorized to end a disaster emergency declaration without a governor’s approval.
Question 2 asks if a disaster emergency declaration should be limited to 21 days, unless a majority in the General Assembly votes to extend it.
Question 3 addresses the Declaration of Rights section in the state Constitution and asks voters if it should be amended to specifically prohibit the denial or limitation of a person’s rights discrimination based on race or ethnicity.
Finally, there is a ballot referendum which asks voters to weigh in on whether an existing loan program for volunteer fire companies can be expanded to include fire departments and ambulance companies that are staffed with paid personnel.
I am indifferent to the third ballot question. I believe it mirrors current law. However I am concerned about tinkering with the volunteer fire fighter’s program of low cost loans.
Executive powers to declare emergencies are sometimes needed to free up resources for an immediate response to situations such as natural disasters. I do not believe they should be used to circumvent the state Constitution, the separation of powers or – most importantly – the will of the people for extended periods of time. Limiting power and increasing transparency is a win-win for the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is currently under two long-term disaster emergency declarations: one regarding the opioid crisis, which has been in place for more than three years, and the other regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been going on for more than 10 months. Both of these are serious matters that require our collective attention. We should all be working together to develop policies that will better protect the health and safety of the people we serve.
It is up to you on your feelings toward the ballot questions and you should vote accordingly. I believe these proposed constitutional amendments, especially the first two, when approved, will facilitate more cooperation and better representation for you, the people in and around the 54th District.
Bob and his high school sweetheart, Sue, are celebrating 51 years of marriage. Bob is the proud father of three who raised his children to care about their community and give back to the place the Brooks have called home for over 37 years, where Bob served 26 years as a trusted councilman and then Mayor of Murrysville. His proven conservative leadership provided residents with the quality services they deserved.
“If you want to live in a great community, you have to give to that community.”
Bob led by example, serving as Director and Council President of Boy Scouts of America for the Westmoreland/Fayette Council. Bob has also been involved in the local Rotary for over 30 years and serves as Treasurer of Murrysville Presbyterian Church.
Bob Brooks is a proven businessman who has created hundreds of private sector jobs and with his daughter owns and operates the family business, Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena, providing quality recreation for Allegheny and Westmoreland counties’ children and families.
“As a business owner and job creator, I know what it will take to protect our jobs and create new,
good-paying opportunities. We need to start by getting government out of the way.”
Bob also serves as Director of Redstone Highlands Senior Care, helping to care for local seniors. Earlier in Bob’s career, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Westinghouse Air Brake Technology Company (Wabtec), and remains today a member of its Board of Directors, focused on the growth and long-term success of the company and the 600 jobs it creates in our community.
Businessman Bob Brooks knows we need to provide employers with more stability, focus on fiscally-responsible growth, and cut regulations to get government out of the way and allow our small businesses, manufacturers, farmers and entrepreneurs to create the good-paying, livable wage jobs our children and grandchildren will need to chase their American Dreams right here in southwestern Pennsylvania.
It’s the kind of proven courage and experience we need in our next State Representative.
As a staunch fiscal conservative, Bob Brooks will continue to fight to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure government runs more efficiently and effectively for less.
As Mayor of Murrysville, Bob Brooks held the line on property taxes, with no increase in over a decade, while providing residents with quality services.
Taxpayers deserve open, honest, accountable government that puts conservative Republican principles into action.
As Mayor of Murrysville, Bob Brooks worked to make local government more transparent, including airing meetings on television for the local community and making codes, regulations, and laws available to all online.
A great community grows from great leadership.
Bob’s record includes leading the capital campaign for the local library, helping raise and coordinate over $1.6 million to build an accessible “Miracle Field” for children with special needs, worked with the County to secure 10 miles of Rails for Trails walking and bike trails, raising $4 million for the YMCA, creating the county’s first dog parks, and helping to secure more park land per resident than any other surrounding community, including 100 acres for Duff Park.
Our leadership needs to stand for the conservative values that we stand behind.
Bob has consistently stood for the lives of the defenseless at every stage of life, our right to bear arms, and defending our borders.
MURRYSVILLE, PA – Bob Brooks, a proven businessman, local elected official and dedicated community leader, this week announced his bid for State Representative in the 54th District, which includes portions of Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. He is seeking the Republican nomination in the May Primary Election. The official campaign kick-off event will be held at the Sardis Volunteer Fire Company Firehouse on Tuesday, February 13th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
“Throughout my life, I’ve worked hard to deliver positive results and conservative solutions to help improve the lives of families across southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Brooks. “Like many local residents, I believe we need elected officials who are focused on people, not politics. That’s what I’ll do as State Representative.”
Bob and his wife of 51 years, Sue, met in high school. They raised their daughter and two sons in Murrysville, and have been active within many of the communities in the Pittsburgh area. Bob is Director and Council President of Boy Scouts of America for the Westmoreland/Fayette Council, and has been very involved in the local Rotary for over 30 years. The Brooks family own and operate the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena (PISA), which provides quality recreation for children and families in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Bob also serves as Director of Redstone Highlands Senior Care where he provides quality care to local seniors.
“Although it was 37 years ago, it seems like only yesterday when my wife, Sue, and I moved here. We raised our three children in this community and taught them the importance of helping others,” said Brooks. “We always told our children that ‘If you want to live in a great community, you have to give to that community.’ That is something I have worked to do throughout my professional career, time in public service, and as a citizen. Running for State Representative is just another way to give back to a community that has been so good to me and my family.”
As State Representative, one of Bob’s top priorities will be to fight for good paying jobs, and he has the proven experience to do just that. He served as the Chief Financial Officer of Westinghouse Air Brake Technology Company (Wabtec) for nearly 15 years, and currently serves on the Board of Directors where he helped to significantly grow the company. In addition to their headquarters, Wabtec has 3 plants located in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, which provide over 600 family sustaining jobs here in our community. Prior to the company becoming a public entity, Bob served for 10 years as Division Controller for Wabtec when it was owned by American Standard. He has also been involved in several successful businesses as the Director of Brooks Sports Group. His extensive financial and strategic planning experience in the private sector will serve him well as representative, and will provide hard working taxpayers with a strong voice in the State House.
“I’m prepared to use my real-world business experience to get government out of the way of the small businesses, manufacturers, farmers and entrepreneurs who create the jobs our families need here in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Brooks said.
A staunch fiscal conservative, Bob has had the privilege of serving the residents of Murrysville for 26 years, first as a councilman and then Mayor. In those roles, he used his financial experience to make local government run more efficiently and effectively for residents to protect taxpayers while providing top-notch services. Some highlights of Bob’s service include:
“I worked hard with my colleagues on council to protect taxpayers and to develop long-range plans and priorities that enabled us to provide the top-quality services our residents deserved,” said Brooks. “I am proud of the results we achieved here in Murrysville, and I’m prepared to deliver the same for local residents as State Representative.”
In 2015, Bob was nominated by his peers across the state and named “Pennsylvania’s Mayor of the Year” by the PA State Mayor’s Association. He was the first mayor from Westmoreland County to receive the honor in the association’s 43-year history.
Bob believes local residents deserve conservative leadership and common sense solutions to address the challenges we face, and that is what he is prepared to provide as:
“I’m running for State Representative because I have much more to offer our community,” said Brooks. “I’m prepared to use my proven experience to provide families with a strong voice on the important issues of job creation, government reform, and fiscal responsibility.”
Bob was part of the team that helped save our local Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins because he believed they are such an important part of our larger community. For all of his economic development efforts on behalf of his county and community, Bob was honored by The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGC) in 2017.
In addition to being the proud parents of three, Bob and Sue have 6 grandchildren. They are active members of Murrysville Presbyterian Church where he serves as Treasurer, which he has done for many years, and served as an Elder/Trustee. Bob is also Treasurer of the Franklin Regional Panther Foundation, and Treasurer of his Rotary Club and the District 7330. He is a member of the NRA.
Paid for by Friends of Bob Brooks
Friends of Bob Brooks | PO Box 213 | Murrysville, PA 15668