We were privileged to host incumbent State Senator Tommy Tomlinson speak to our Club again.
Senator Tomlinson began by relating how his dad wasa founder of the Andalusia/Bensalem Rotary Club and how is subsequent 25-plus years a a Rotarian and its motto of "Service Above Self" set his moal compass for serving his community
Tomlinson is a 1964 graduate of Bensalem High School and attended the Bordentown Military Institute. He attended West Chester State College, receiving a B.S. degree in 1970. While at West Chester, he served as captain of the football team in 1969 and helped the team capture the state championship in 1967 and 1969. He also played in the Tangerine Bowl in 1967. In 1971, Tomlinson graduated from Miami Dade University with a degree in Mortuary Science.
He was a member of the Bensalem Township School Board for 12 years, serving as vice president for two years and president for one. He is currently a member of Bensalem Rotary; the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce; the Bensalem Lions Club; the Bensalem Republican Committee; the Bensalem Business Association; the Bensalem Historical Society; Friends of Bolton Mansion; the Pennsbury Manor Society; Washington Crossing Foundation; Friends of the Silver Lake Nature Center; YWCA Advisory Council; West Chester University Football Hall of Fame; Sturzbecker Foundation Hall of Fame at West Chester University; Bensalem High School Hall of Fame; Bensalem High School Alumni Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.
In the past, he served as the Chairman of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and as a member of the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund; the Lower Bucks Hospital Board of Directors; the St. Mary’s Medical Center Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home; The Bensalem Hall of Fame – Memorial Stadium Committee and the Bensalem Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.
Tomlinson points to his many achievements that have positively impacted the lives of the people in Bucks County and points to some of his major legislative achievements:
- Authoring gaming legislation that directly resulted in 18,000 jobs statewide and 2,300 permanent local jobs at PARX Casino.
- Led efforts to pass a transportation package (including the recently opened I-95 Interchange) that has put tens of thousands of people to work and is fixing roads and bridges.
- Authored legislation that has generated more than $100 million in revenue for Bensalem Township, in addition to $30 million for communities such as Bristol Township, Hulmeville Borough, and Middletown Township and an additional $30 million dedicated to Bucks County.
Property tax relief
- Wrote the Pennsylvania Gaming Law which has provided more than $5.5 billion in property tax relief since 2008 without raising taxes.
He discussed some of his current concerns:
- Charter schools are nor required to confirm to the same standards of accountability as are public schools.
- Gambling, and specifically Internet gambling, in Pennsylvania will begin to erode casino revenues.
- The push to eliminate the property tax as a means of funding local schools could require a 40% increase in the Personal Income Tax and a 20% increase in the state sales tax.
- Support for a natural gas extraction tax with the proceeds being dedicated to reducing the state's grossly underfunded public pension fund.
- The lack of education in all schools of citizenship, the history and benefits of our representative democracy, and assumption of responsibilty.
- The current narcissistic pop culture focused on "what's in it for me".
- Supports stronger border security measures and regulation of immigration policies.
- Rejects the concept of so-called sanctuary cities.
- Does not agree with opening "injection " sites, while recognizing the need to deal with the opiod crisis.
When asked about how he differs from his opponent, Tina Davis, the Senator indicated that they had been good friends for many years, but felt that during the campaign she has misrepresented her alleged support of funding for infrastructure projects which benefit residents of the 6th Senatorial District..