This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website and the Delaware County Delaware Times‘ website.
WEST CHESTER — Students at West Chester University got the chance to pick the brain of the second-highest elected official in Pennsylvania when Lt. Gov. Michael Stack stopped by Wednesday.
Stack first talked to the gathered crowd in Sykes Student Union about what’s going on in the state before opening the floor up to questions.
“(College students) are very important because they are the key to our future success in Pennsylvania,” Stack said. “We haven’t invested in them enough from a financial standpoint or from a personal standpoint, where we who are elected come and visit with them and find out what’s going on.”
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As he told the students, Pennsylvania, right now, isn’t where anyone wants it to be.
“In 2010, we were in the top 10 in the United States in job growth,” Stack said to the students. “Where were we last year? 50. It doesn’t get any worse than that.
“We want to succeed and we expect to succeed and we’re not. We’re not just not succeeding, we’re really horrible. We’re getting beat by other states like Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. All do respect to those states, but they’re states we make fun of.”
To top it all off, as Stack pointed out, the state is also facing a large budget deficit.
“The governor said he wants to increase public education funding by a billion dollars,” Stack said. “We also have a $2 billion budget deficit. We still have these budget deficits going on where other states are having state surpluses. … (There’s) an idea that we have to tighten our belts. We’ve tightened our belt as far as we can tighten it — We’ve cut everything we can cut and we’ve moved money from one account to the other.”
But the entire evening didn’t focus on just that sour note.
With Wolf at the helm, Stack believes the state can begin to right the ship.
“I think there is an opportunity here to change our state and try and move forward in a very positive way,” he said. “Timing is very important in government and politics and I think Tom Wolf is the right guy at the right time and I think I’ll be able to help him move his agenda forward.”
Stack also knows the future is in the hands of the students in college right now, which is a reason why he made the trip to the university.
“We’re not going to be a top state unless we get behind these kids and make sure they can achieve great things and be successful,” he said. “As usual, I’m always super impressed with how smart they are, how focused they are and I have great confidence they’re going to be successful and are going to help Pennsylvania be successful.”
When it came time for the students to chime in, Stack wasn’t disappointed.
In the remaining 15 minutes, there wasn’t a shortage of hands in the air and questions to be asked.
“There were some questions that showed these guys are reading about stuff, are focused in and are very well-informed,” Stack said afterward. “It’s impressive. They’re leading the way.”
As someone who has grown up in a political family, Stack urged everyone in attendance to think about following a path in politics as well.
“I urge you all to think about being in politics and running for office,” he said. “It’s a great adventure. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and you can really make a difference.”