“While we’re making progress in central Florida, too many families are struggling with stagnant wages and a rising cost of living. I’m fighting every day to strengthen the middle class because it’s about time working families had an ally in Washington.” – Stephanie Murphy
We need an economy that works for all of us. At the center of our economy should be a robust middle class – where all children grow up in safe, state-of-the-art schools; where college is affordable and workers are paid a livable wage; where every family has access to quality, affordable health care; and where seniors are guaranteed their benefits after a lifetime of hard work.
Here are seven key ways Stephanie is helping to create more good-paying jobs for central Florida and grow our middle class:
- BETTER EDUCATION: We must invest more in early childhood and pre-k education and encourage a stronger emphasis in our public schools on STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math). We should support our technical schools with more resources for job training and retraining programs. And, we should make college more affordable, with more Pell Grant funding, lower student loan interest rates, and the ability to renegotiate your loan when interest rates fall.
- SMARTER TRADE DEALS: Our global economy is more interconnected than it has ever been, but it’s also more competitive. That’s why it’s critical we adopt fairer and smarter trade deals that protect the American worker, support our small businesses and strengthen our middle class. Stephanie supports smart trade deals that raise American wages and help our businesses export more of their goods and products to other countries.
- FEWER REGULATIONS: As someone who has worked in the private sector and as someone who counseled small businesses and startups, Stephanie knows firsthand how frustrating and harmful bad or senseless regulations can be. That’s why she supports efforts to review rules and regulations to modify or roll back those that are out-of-date, unnecessary, duplicative or overly-burdensome to entrepreneurs and small businesses. She also strongly supports the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, which is the small business watchdog throughout the federal regulatory process.
- STRONGER INFRASTRUCTURE: We need a strong, robust infrastructure in order to ensure our economy keeps moving, including historic investments in alternative and renewable “green energy” that creates 21st century jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and helps protect our environment. We must also increase investments in local infrastructure, such as water systems, to keep companies here in Florida. Finally, we need more investments in modern technology infrastructure, such as broadband, so that more budding entrepreneurs can compete in the global marketplace – and so more consumers can buy their products.
- FAIRER TAXES: Stephanie supports lower taxes for working families and small businesses, but she voted against the Republican tax scheme that disproportionately gave tax cuts to the super-wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of the middle class and seniors. This tax scheme skyrocketed our deficit and now Republicans are using the rising national debt as an excuse to go after cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which is exactly why Stephanie voted against the plan in the first place.
- PUTTING FAMILIES FIRST: It’s time we put families first and treat women equally in the workplace, which is why we must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. We must also protect the rights of employees to collectively bargain and raise the minimum wage to a livable wage because if you work 40 hours a week, you shouldn’t be living in poverty. Finally, it’s time to pass paid family and medical leave because no American should ever be forced to choose between taking care of a sick relative and their job.
- HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES: We must do more to support budding entrepreneurs and our small businesses because they are the backbone of our economy and employ nearly half of all Floridians. First, we should ensure the Small Business Administration has the resources to support small businesses and entrepreneurs through loans, advocacy and guidance. We should streamline the regulatory process and make it easier to start and grow a small business. Finally, we must also do more to encourage and support women and minority-owned small businesses, which is why Stephanie passed legislation to fund more Women Business Centers across the U.S.