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WESA Candidate Survey: Dan Deasy and Ed Brosky on the issues

We surveyed Republican Ed Brosky and Democrat Dan Deasy, the candidates for Pennsylvania's 27th State House District, on top issues for the 2022 election.

About the WESA Candidate Survey: WESA sent surveys to all candidates running in competitive races for federal and state offices in our listening area, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Our candidate survey was based upon input we solicited from voters.

We followed up with candidates multiple times via both phone and email. If a candidate did not respond, we have noted that below. (If you're a candidate and would like to complete the survey now, please email Patrick Doyle,

We have fixed basic capitalization and punctuation issues, but have not otherwise edited candidates' answers.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, some state lawmakers believe Pennsylvania should ban abortion after six weeks, with no exceptions. Would you support such a proposal — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and identify other changes, if any, you would like to make to the state’s abortion laws.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: No, I do not support such a ban on abortion after 6 weeks. I vehemently disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court and will work to make sure that we maintain the current laws on the books that provide for safe and accessible abortions.

Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been set at the federal rate of $7.25 an hour since 2009. Do you favor state action to change the minimum wage? Yes/no?

  • Please explain our stance and, if you support a change, identify the minimum wage rate you believe is appropriate.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: Yes, I believe that the legislature should take action to increase the minimum wage. It’s embarrassing that we have not addressed the issue for so many years. One positive impact of the pandemic has been the demand for workers and increased wages have reflected that.

Do you support no-excuse mail-in voting in Pennsylvania — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and identify any other changes you believe should be made to state voting laws.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: Yes, I support no excuse mail in voting. Act 77 was a bipartisan (Republican driven) bill intended to enhance voter participation while providing security and integrity in the system. It has increased turnout and engaged those who have difficulty getting to the polls for various reasons. All voters should be heard and I oppose any effort to suppress voters.

Do you support Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which sets pricing for carbon emissions — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance, and describe any changes you wish to see to state energy or climate policy.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: No, I did not support the current proposal of Gov Wolf joining RGGI. I am absolutely in favor of moving towards renewables and all forms of clean energy, but his plan needed some adjustment in my opinion. I believe with the current spike in inflation, many seniors would struggle with the potentially higher utility bills that would occur. I hope that the new administration will work with all stakeholders to achieve the goals necessary to combat climate change.

Inflation is a concern for Pennsylvanians, and some legislators have called for either reducing or suspending the 58-cent-a-gallon gas tax. Would you support such a measure? Yes/no?

  • If yes, how would you replace the revenue to pay for State Police and road spending — and are there other inflation-fighting policies you would pursue?

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: A gas tax suspension/reduction is a risky proposal at a time when we are faced with so many deficient roads and bridges. However, if we were able to shift State Police funding to those municipalities who primarily use it for coverage, it is certainly possible to potentially reduce it. It is extremely unfair that many rural affluent suburbs (Hempfield for example) do not have a local police force and my constituents subsidize their law enforcement. We should enact a law calling for a fee from those municipalities to cover the cost. It would enable us to look at a gas tax reduction.

In the face of rising homicide and other crime rates, would you support requiring universal background checks for gun purchases? Yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance, and describe other approaches to fighting crime that you would support.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: Yes, I support requiring universal background checks for firearm purchases. We must work to encourage responsible gun ownership and safe storage laws. Lost and stolen reporting laws are also reasonable ways to keep guns in safe possession. By passing Red Flag legislation, we would also be able to access significant federal dollars for gun violence prevention programs.

School funding in Pennsylvania is heavily supported by property taxes. Would you support efforts to change that system — yes/no?

  • Please explain your stance and describe the changes you would support to how public education is funded.

Brosky: Did not respond.

Deasy: Yes. I believe that local property taxes will always have a role in school funding. We must provide more dollars from the state level to relieve the burden on local taxpayers, particularly senior citizens. The recently enacted Level Up funding formula is a great step in the right direction to help those communities with a declining tax base. It helps to provide funding equity where it is desperately needed and the program needs expanded. I am hesitant with many proposals to eliminate property taxes because the numbers simply have not added up.

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio. As a contributor to the NPR-Kaiser Health News Member Station Reporting Project on Health Care in the States, Sarah's print and audio reporting frequently appears on NPR and KFF Health News.