Joe Soloski is running for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2022. As the Libertarian candidate, Joe believes in the principles of limited government and minimum state spending as the best way to maximize the freedom and personal liberties of each resident of Pennsylvania.

Below, you can find where Joe stands on the key issues facing our Commonwealth.

Term Limits for State Legislators

Term limits will breed a class of legislators that are more interested in serving the Citizens of Pennsylvania as opposed to perpetuating a career in elected office. Special interest groups will have less influence on an elected official that has a limited term of service. Legislators with imposed shorter terms will have a greater interest in reducing and/or eliminating personal benefit from serving since their terms in office are limited.

Therefore, I am proposing these limits for our elected state representatives:

  • For State Legislators: 8 years; 4 terms (in any order)

  • For State Senators: 8 years; 2 terms (in any order)

Reduce the Emergency Powers of the Governor

As we saw in 2020, the Governor wields tremendous power in emergency situations within the Commonwealth. The COVID-19 economic shutdown crippled Pennsylvania’s economy and needlessly resulted in the premature death of many small businesses. The economic lockdown also resulted in an increase in domestic violence, child abuse, marital strain, divorce, depression, and suicides.

When elected, I will be asking the Legislature to put legislation on my desk that curtails the emergency powers of the Governor. It is my opinion that those emergency powers, while situationally necessary, should be capped at 21 days. After that, if I, as Governor, feel that certain emergency measures must be continued, I will have to obtain Legislative concurrence to do that.

Convert the Legislature to a Part-Time Assembly

Pennsylvania is one of only ten state legislatures to operate with full-time elected officials. Changing to a six-month, part-time legislature would allow the Commonwealth to cut the compensation of elected legislators (currently approximately $90,000 per year, second only to California) in half, to almost $45,000 per year, saving the taxpayers over $9 million per year in compensation expense. The savings in compensation-related benefits would be in addition to this amount.

Reduce State Spending

Pennsylvania's spending has increased from $20 billion in 2004 to $35 billion in 2020. That’s a $15 billion, or 75%, increase in just 16 years! During that time, the State’s tax coffers increased due to personal income taxes and sales taxes generated by the fracking and casino industries that the State did not have before. Pennsylvania doesn’t have a revenue problem; it’s got a spending problem. We need to hold the line on taxes and then decrease them while decreasing spending.

Sell Pennsylvania's State-Owned Liquor System

Only Pennsylvania and Utah employ complete government control of wholesale and retail liquor sales. While it is progress to see that wine and beer can now be readily available in some retail outlets, Pennsylvania's stranglehold on liquor sales is inefficient, inconvenient, and proven to be a failure. Pennsylvania needs to relinquish its control of the distribution and sale of distilled spirits.

Legalize Cannabis and Other Certain Drugs

The War on Drugs has proven to be an abject failure and a horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars and law enforcement efforts, and has only resulted in filling our prisons with so-called violators of victimless events. In states and countries that have legalized cannabis and other drugs, the rates of drug usage and addiction have decreased. This has also led to a decrease in other crimes, such as theft and robberies.

While it is great to see Congress pass the MORE Act to take steps to legalize cannabis, more must be done. As Governor, I will pass legislation that decriminalizes cannabis, and move to pardon any state prisoner that is wrongfully locked up for a non-violent drug offense.

More Issues:

Defend the Second Amendment

The Constitution of the United States restricts government from intruding on the right of each individual to defend themselves from harm. It states that, “…. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. The Constitution of Pennsylvania also clearly states that “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned”.

I find those articles of each respective Constitution to be very clear. I also believe that each person has the right to own and keep any firearms of their desire and to use them to defend themselves and their families.

Protect Small Businesses by Ending Coronavirus-related Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic and its related lockdowns taught us several things:

  1. We need to protect those that are most vulnerable to the virus.

  2. Blanket lockdowns have horrendous economic consequences.

  3. Ancillary consequences can be caused by the lockdowns: increased depression, suicides, domestic abuse, child abuse, family strain, and marital failures, just to name a few.

The virus is real and it must be addressed effectively. The unintended ancillary consequences have devastating long-term effects and that damages individuals, families, and fray our society.

Listen to Joe Soloski's stance on Tom Wolf's shutdowns below.

Eliminate the State Inheritance Tax

For decades, Pennsylvania has had an Inheritance tax that is imposed on a person (and their estate) when they die. Death should never be a taxable event. Any assets that a person owns at their death have already been taxed via the income that they earned in their lifetime to acquire those assets. If I am elected, I will repeal Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax.

End Gerrymandering

I am for redrawing the Congressional Districts in Pennsylvania so that District lines eliminate the disenfranchisement of voters. The current Congressional District map of Pennsylvania was intentionally designed to ensure that incumbent elected officials will get re-elected regardless of how unpopular they are.

Reduce the Corporate Income Tax Rate

Pennsylvania has the second highest corporate income tax rate in the nation. This is only a deterrent to prevent businesses from opening their doors in Pennsylvania. Businesses create jobs, not the government. If we are serious about attracting more companies to locate in Pennsylvania, we need to do all that we can to promote a positive climate for commerce. Reducing the corporate income tax will only help to make Pennsylvania more competitive in attracting new business here, while also keeping existing ones in Pennsylvania.

Reform Pennsylvania's Education System

Our system of public education needs to be completely overhauled. During the 2020 lockdowns, we have witnessed virtual learning and home-schooling becoming more popular choices, out of necessity. Parents and students need more choices when it comes to education. More charter schools, more private education enterprises, school choice, education competition, tuition vouchers, and the re-directing of tax monies to the parents’ schools of choice should be part of this continued natural evolution of our education system.

Promote Free Market Healthcare Solutions

Free market health care is the solution to our healthcare problems. Only competition will drive down prices for all medical services and procedures. Government has no place in the management or rationing of healthcare services. Government only causes artificial shortages of services and increased prices.

Reduce Property Taxes

Our current system of property taxation is outmoded and unfair. Be it your home or another piece of investment property, the current property tax system is nothing more than a system of “renting” your property from the government until you die or sell that property. I have seen too many people lose the homes that they have worked so hard to acquire and pay-off, only to have the government seize those properties from them due to financial hardship and unpaid real estate tax bills.

Unfortunately, our current property tax system currently funds public education. While I support a complete overhaul of our public education system, in the interim, I would advocate for a different system of taxation, like local sales taxes, to fund education while working to completely overhaul our system of education for our children.

Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Achieve Pension Reform

Since 2001, the Pennsylvania State Employee Pension System has gone from an almost $7 billion surplus to a $50+ billion unfunded deficit. This happened because our elected lawmakers decided to take their existing good pension plan and put it ‘on steroids’. In the process, they saddled all Pennsylvania taxpayers with an obscene pension obligation. It benefitted our lawmakers and other State employees, but it was, and remains, a terrible disservice to Pennsylvania taxpayers.

The Pennsylvania Constitution protects the State pension system, so we cannot simply pass legislation to fix it back to the good state that it was in before our lawmakers changed it. So, when I am elected, I will be proposing that a referendum be placed on the ballot to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution so that I can then propose legislation to reverse the irresponsible actions of our lawmakers and revert the State Pension system to its former rules and conditions.