The LuLac Edition #1659, June 28th, 2011
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Vice President Biden and the Republican leaders are trying to negotiate the budget. Various interest groups who take care of disabled people like Easter Seals are speaking out about what might be cut. In a message to members Katy Beh Neas outlined the concerns about any change in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Medicaid and Medicare provide critical often life-saving services to millions of Americans living with disabilities. But as I write this, members of Congress are considering budget proposals that would slash funding and restructure these important programs, potentially eliminating the safety net they provide. Other key disability programs are at risk, including those that:
Support infants with disabilities through therapy and other services;
Provide job training and employment services for low-income people with disabilities and older adults; and Help low-income people with disabilities find housing. The focus sometimes is way too much on the numbers instead of what needs to be addressed in terms of true human services needs.
WASTING 10 MILLION BUCKS
Leave it to the Republican controlled legislature in Pennsylvania to waste 10 million bucks. I had a conversation with my friend L.A. Tarone on Topic A this past Friday and I think this bill is a pretty bad idea.
An effort is afoot in the General Assembly to pass a bill that will make it harder for many voters to cast their vote while wasting millions of dollars. House Bill 934 is a Republican-sponsored bill which would require every voter to provide unexpired, valid government photo identification in order to vote in each election.
We all want to prevent fraud, but the only thing this bill would prevent is a lot of good people, especially our senior citizens, those with disabilities and our young people, from exercising their right to vote. The League of Women Voters has pointed out that 18 percent of seniors do not have photo ID. In Pennsylvania, that's 340,000 seniors, many of whom have voted for decades.
This bill will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $10 million. That's more than enough to restore the $6.1 million in state funding cuts proposed to the school districts in my legislative district. It's also legislation in search of a problem. On the program Tarone and I talked about voter fraud. My point was that with all of the electronic voting going on in almost every county, voter fraud would be easier to detect than the old day. As a matter of fact, just FOUR people have been convicted of voter fraud in Pennsylvania since the 2008 election.
Pennsylvania should be making it easier for residents to vote, not making it harder.
I also stated on the program that the Legislature has way better things to do than worry about ID’s at the polls. This is the same GOP that by the way cries all the time that “we have to get government out of our lives”. Except for when they want to benefit their needs.