Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2463, July 3rd, 2013

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 



It’s been a few weeks since we had a “Write On Wednesday” column worthy of repeating. But in today’s Times Tribune papers, this editorial was right on target about our legislators. All through the winter and spring we heard about Transportation, Pension Reform, and Liquor Privatization. And as usual, the lawmakers (ha!!)  waited until the last minute and did nothing. People need to wake up and reduce the size of this bloated legislature that can’t get out of its own. Individually all of them want to do the right thing but the institution that is the State Legislature is just too big, incestuous and impotent to get results. Here’s what the Times wrote. Makes sense.  
America's most expensive state legislature worked through the weekend to pass the state budget by the constitutional deadline of June 30 - but also to be off for most of the summer. 
When Pennsylvania lawmakers hustled out of Harrisburg on Sunday night and Monday, to head for the beaches and mountains, they left behind some of the state's most important business. They didn't pass a badly needed transportation bill, took a pass on the long-overdue privatization of the state government's booze monopoly, and couldn't bring themselves to reform their own bloated pensions and those for every other state and public school employee - the costs of which adversely affect every taxpayer and every public school student in Pennsylvania. 
While the lawmakers sun themselves, PennDOT engineers will decide whether to post weight restrictions on hundreds of bridges that legislators decided to fix later rather than sooner. 
The $28.375 billion budget includes a $122 million increase in basic education funding that still leaves most school districts in the position of cutting services or increasing local taxes, or both, partially because the Legislature failed to address pension reform. 
The rush to pass the budget results from deadline pressure acting as a catalyst to complete deals on each aspect of revenue and spending. But Gov. Tom Corbett introduced his budget back in February, after which the Legislature did nothing. 
Because the Legislature works part-time anyway, lawmakers and the people of Pennsylvania should make the Legislature formally part-time and term-limited. If deadline pressure is needed to conduct business, part-time status, which would mandate limited sessions, will help because lawmakers won't have the luxury of procrastination at public expense. 
One aspect of the new budget should help convince state residents. It includes just more than $500,000 to cover the automatic pay raises lawmakers will receive later this year - about $2,000 each not counting automatic increases in pension and health care costs - without a word of debate or justification. 
For that to happen, voters need to present lawmakers with some deadlines of their own.


Post a Comment

<< Home