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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Failure of Reform: Who's to Blame?

Brad Bumsted in the Tribune-Review reports on the inability of the General Assembly to pass reform legislation this session. The Senate is blaming the House for failing to act on any of the 7 reform bills passed this summer. Members of the House blame the leadership and a spokesman for Speaker DeWeese plays the partisan card, "[Rep. Turzai] knows very well that when the House was Republican (controlled), the Senate was Republican and the governor was Republican, they didn't move any of these issues."

In an election year you would think politicians would be eager to impress voters by jumping on the reform bandwagon. Instead, they're busy playing the blame game. Bonusgate is officially a distant memory. . . until November.


Nathan Benefield said...

Does this mean Pileggi will allow votes on the three Constitutional Convention bills - SB 291, SB 1236, and SB 1290?

Anonymous said...

Great point - Nice to decide on the "Official Reform Flag," as if the vanilla "Sacred Seven Sittin' in the House" are the End-All....a Constitutional Convention would shake up Harrisburg, but there's no political appetite for flavors like rocky road. Even no-brainer reforms local governments have pushed for years don't make the official banner: Case in point, reforming the taxpayer-funded, $26 Million Legal Advertising Racket. While Harrisburg remains immune from major league RFPs, local officials have to shell out for advertising on everything beyond a few cases of toilet paper. Not only can't they get reasonable bid thresholds adopted, they're still forced to buy "legal advertising" in a closed market, the costliest in America. The internet? Not an option. Free weekly papers delivered to every household? Not an option. By law, Boroughs, Townships et al must satisfy this $26 Million unfunded mandate only in papers with a cover price, who are actually invited by the same law to charge government more than they charge business. Every other state in the Union either allows for cost-effective alternatives, establishes rates to be charged (NJ), or sets a cap at the papers' own commercial rates (OH) -- but here in PA, we still have a legal monopoly on legal advertising, with a bonus license to gouge. Reform bills like SB 1087 & SB 428 cleared committees in the spring, and now sit like so many others in the shadow of the Sacred Senate Seven. When Harrisburg can't reform itself, and it takes mass canine-ocide to stand up to the Puppy & Kitten Concentration Camp Lobby, what will ever get state legislators to put the needs of Local Government before the wants of profiteers?