Got a message for Harrisburg? How’s that budget comin’ along is probably the most glaring – if obvious – of questions you could ask, but few seem to be in the know on that one. And that might well include the governor himself. At this point, going on seven months, the commonwealth deserves its own special rating – PPP. That’s for Paralysis in PA Politics, and it’s beginning to look like an awe-inspiring, if twisted, achievement.
The state is about to unleash the next budget cycle in February, even as this one stands shattered. There must be a special legislative maneuver executed only in the wee hours of the morning – in prime PA-style – that can obliterate this current fiscal year by the touch of the pen, and, in the interest of hope, harmony and resolute fiscal responsibility, start from scratch with 2016-17. Who would know, except maybe a few gripers and soreheads? Probably not Wall Street and the bond rating agencies, who seem rather preoccupied at the moment with plunging markets. It’s the perfect opportunity for both sides of the aisle to come together, salve their wounds and wholeheartedly resolve to do better – next year. Can’t they bury the hatchet and just move on without getting overwhelmed by budget numbers that will only revive past rancor? Banish this year and start again!
That could be one of any number of suggestions, concerns and questions offered to area state legislators tonight, Jan. 21, at the “legislative interview” of the League of Women Voters of Abington-Cheltenham-Jenkintown in Abington. Better ones maybe. Legislators expected to be on hand include: state Sen. Art Haywood (4th District); State Rep. Madeline Dean (153rd District); state Rep. Steve McCarter (154th District); and state Rep. Kevin Boyle (172nd District).
If there is a downside to these meetings, which provide a solid opportunity to interact with local legislators, it is that with the four incumbents being Democrats, activist Republicans tend to stay home, sending the conversation in a fairly uniform direction that does not at all reflect the political realities at the Capitol. Nevertheless, here’s your chance to talk and learn about state politics and policy with the people you sent to Harrisburg.
The session gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Abington Township Building, 1176 Old York Rd. in Abington (across from the Abington Hospital parking lot on Horace Avenue).