Special election winner Helen Tai is now officially representing the 178th district. Tai, who was backed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Tom Wolf, was sworn in Tuesday as State Representative after her May 15th victory against Wendi Thomas.
Previously a member of the Solebury Township Board of Supervisors for four and a half, the new politician has already taken to working in the legislature.
“I spoke with voters and one of the things everybody agreed on is that we need to pass a balanced budget every year,” Tai said. “I just introduced a bill ‘No Budget, No Pay’ which means that if we don’t pass the budget by June 30th, which is the end of the fiscal year, then we don’t get paid.”
The first ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ was introduced to the U.S. Congress in 2012 by Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper, but garnered only 48 supporters in the House of Representatives.
Since then, with budgets becoming seemingly harder to pass, more people have advocated for similar legislation. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick advocated for an Amendment to the United States Constitution on the day of his swearing-in as well.
The new representative also has public education as a priority for her focus, as well as a few other key issues.
“I think one of the most important things is to ensure that we have good public schools so everybody has a good education,” Tai stated. “I want to make sure everybody has access to high quality healthcare and that everybody is able to earn fair and sustainable wages.”
Tai won her election against Thomas by 96 votes, with more than twelve and a half thousand total votes cast.
However, Tai only has a short time until she is back up for reelection along with all other state reps in the general election this November.