WEST GROVE -- John Lawrence, the current representative of southern Chester County’s 13th District in the state House of Representatives will seek his third term in this year’s election.
Lawrence, 35, of Kemblesville said he wants to address some important issues in the Commonwealth, among them state liquor stores, drug testing and property taxes.
“I think we should follow the lead of 48 other states and get out of the liquor store business,” he said.
Lawrence said he also believes that state representatives, like teachers, should have to pass a drug test in order to qualify for their office. “Every job I ever had, I had to pass a drug test,” he said.
He said he is concerned as well about the fiscal crisis the state faces. “Folks don’t want to talk about it,” he said. However, he said the state has an unfunded liability to pay the high cost of retirement benefits for teachers and state employees at the rate of between 67 and 68 percent of their working salaries.
“They are funded, but not 100 percent,” he said.
Lawrence said he wants to change the system so that new state employees and teachers participate in 401K plans instead. “We can’t put the taxpayer on the hook,” he said.
He said he also wants to address property taxes. Previously, he supported eliminating property taxes entirely. “I voted for House Bill 76,” he said.
That bill did not pass, but he said he’s still working for some legislation that would at least give seniors further tax relief beyond the current rent and property tax rebate program.
Lawrence, a Republican, was first elected in 2010 when he defeated Democrat Tom Houghton. In 2012 he was re-elected when he defeated Democrat Eric Schott.
“As a legislator, I’m a steward of the people’s money. ... I’m mindful each and every day to lead by example the 60,000 people who are my bosses,” he said.