Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pennsylvania's Do Nothing Legislature

If you look at my "Headline" section to the right you will see a news item where State Sen. Elder Vogel Jr introduced legislation to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania legislature by 40% to save approximately $100 million per year. It has now been 92 days into 2009 and do you know how many bills have been passed by the PA legislature? Well, almost none. How many became law? Well that answer is none.

Read this piece by John Baer of the Philly Daily News to get the full facts. Here's are some highlight of what he had to say.

How about legislation making it a crime to install or reinstall "fraudulent airbags"? Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, has that in the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.

This actually sounds like a good idea that should have been law years ago. It's just, I thought that installing or reinstalling "fraudulent airbags" was a reference to legislative elections and re-elections.

The State Government Committee also has a bill sponsored by Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Sullivan County, naming celestite (a vitreous crystal) as the state's official mineral.

My, what a busy committee that must be.

(So busy that last year it couldn't get around to moving a redistricting reform bill to make legislative campaigns competitive - in a year that 98 incumbents or candidates faced no opposition in the General Election. The committee's chaired by Philly Democrat Babette Josephs.)

And while U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's Web site says that the chocolate chip is the state cookie, the official designation hasn't happened.

Oh, and no other legislation has passed this year, either. Not one bill. The Senate passed some anti-drug and mortgage reform measures. The House passed some bills, too. But you'll just have to wait for both chambers to agree on any new laws.

Bada bing, bada boom. Back to the reason and need for Elder Vogel's legislation. I do agree about "fradulent airbags".

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