Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Civics on the PA General Assembly

Having visited the PA Legislature on behalf of the American Cancer Society advocacy a few years ago was a rewarding experience and a lesson on how the General Assembly works.

With the election for governor coming up, there was a protest on drilling for natural gas in PA held at the Capitol in Harrisburg.  The rally is around stopping drilling to figure out a way it could be regulated and taxed.  I would be shocked if this happened before the November election.

Legislation is usually introduced in January after the "new" Assembly is sworn-in. and is on the calendar until for two years.  Every year the Assembly adjourns after July 1st until after Labor Day.  Every other year, elections are the worry from September through October.  In the election years, little is done until the "new" Assembly is seated.  Add to this, the annual battle of the budget that now takes place from the middle of May until early July. 

Even though our state legislators are full-time and compensated very well, they have many built in excuses not to get things done in 24 months. 

Natural gas is an opportunity for the PA economy.  However don't pollute the land and contaminate my water while drilling.  Growing up in the anthracite coalfields of the last PA energy boom, the scars and pollution are still evident today.  Anyone ever hear of the term "shit crick"?

This is only a small story in relative to the bigger story.  We have a candidate for governor who doesn't like bloggers and has received and "investment" of over 370K in contributions from the gas industry.  A former governor receiving 900K per year to act as a spokesman.  Same said governor also served as the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

If you have objections to you local gas company, you can be spied  upon and labeled an anarchist with your own tax money. These two topics and men will be covered in future posts.

Those of you who haven't learned the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

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