To the Future! Young Lawmakers Goals in Pennsylvania

May 22, 2024

Erie News Now | By Kara Jeffers

The median age of a U.S. Congress member is the highest its ever been— 58 for representatives and 65 for senators. With governments trending older, getting perspectives from all generations is key.

“For the first time ever, millennials are the largest voting bloc by population,” said Rep. Thomas Kutz (R-87).

The Representative, along with Rep. Justin Fleming (D-105) co-chair Pennsylvania’s Bipartisan Future Caucus. This week, the group laid out their legislative priorities for 2024.

“Making higher education more affordable, making housing and home ownership more affordable, and making child care more affordable,” said Kutz for a brief description.

Kutz linked these goals to legislation examples; a realty transfer tax exemption for first time home buyers, a higher education cost comparison tool, and tax incentives for businesses that help pay for child care and give paid parental leave.

The future caucus consists of younger lawmakers focused on the needs of young families and citizens in the state.

“For states like Pennsylvania, which we are growing, but not at the rate of other states-“ said Fleming, “A lot of this is around thinking about how we keep those future generations here.”

Reps Kutz and Fleming are two of 81 Gen Z or Millennial lawmakers in the state. The caucus itself has 20 members.

Their real-life experience can be invaluable in solutions for the state’s aging population.

“These are people who are facing six figures of student loan debt while also trying to get childcare paid for, while also trying to pay a mortgage on their home,” said Kutz. “So I think it’s vital that we have younger lawmakers who are willing to step up and say, if you guys want to help the next generation, we’re the next generation of younger lawmakers. Here’s what we know.”

Past offering fresh perspectives…

“Gen Z and Millennial statistically are better at passing bipartisan legislation,” said Maloreigh Todd, associate director of public affairs for the national Future Caucus.

The group says that nationally, 1 in 5 lawmakers are Gen Z/Millennial, but 1 in 3 bipartisan bills are sponsored or co-sponsored by those younger lawmakers.

“You know, we’re the generations that are going to face the consequences if we don’t act,” said Todd.

For those wondering, the official cut off for Millennials and Gen Z is anyone born between 1981 and 2012. For Future Caucus, they focus training and support efforts towards lawmakers under the age of 45.

Rep. Sara Jacobs


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