Tuesday PA Political Potpourri

  • The following is from the office of Steve Santarsiero, PA’s State House Rep for District 31…

    HARRISBURG, March 30 – State Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero, D-Bucks, today announced plans to introduce legislation that would give counties such as Bucks the ability to streamline local offices for greater transparency and taxpayer savings.

    Santarsiero’s legislation would allow second-class counties to abolish the office of Jury Commissioner and consolidate the offices of Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts by way of county ordinance or ballot referendum.

    Further, the legislation would regulate the payment of benefits to county solicitors, assistant solicitors and row office solicitors by prohibiting such benefits for solicitors working fewer than 35 hours per week. Santarsiero said the bill also would make the process of retaining outside counsel more transparent.

    “These are tough times, with homeowners struggling to make ends meet,” Santarsiero said. “My bill would help counties such as Bucks save tens of thousands of dollars, directly benefiting taxpayers. I hope that there will be broad support for this measure in the state legislature and at home in Bucks County.”

    Santarsiero authored the bill in response to recent news that Bucks county solicitors received full benefits packages despite working far fewer hours than full-time employees. He currently is seeking co-sponsors for the bill in the House.

    Santarsiero’s main constituent service office is located at 2 N. State St. in Newtown. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the phone number is 215-968-3975. Additionally, staff is available in the Lower Makefield Township Building, located at 1100 Edgewood Road. Office hours there are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the first Saturday of every month.

    The 31st Legislative District includes Newtown Township, Newtown Borough, Lower Makefield Township, Yardley Borough and part of Upper Makefield Township.

    I wonder how long it will take Bucks County Commissioners Jim Cawley and Charley Martin to start howling over this one? Good for Steve (to contact him, click here).

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  • Also, this comes from Michael Morrill at Keystone Progress; he put together a document listing the impact of the Obama stimulus plan on Pennsylvania…

    Companies in Pennsylvania poised to create jobs in clean energy industries if a cap is instituted on carbon emissions.

    $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars
    What Pennsylvania is now spending to subsidize multi-billion dollar oil and gas companies. The Obama budget ends these wasteful subsidies.

    Between $2.1 billion and $12.9 billion
    Could flow into Pennsylvania coffers if emissions permits were capped and auctioned.

    Number of Pennsylvanians who are losing their health insurance every day who could be covered if President Obama’s request to put aside money in the budget for health care reform is granted.

    Pennsylvanians are becoming unemployed every day because of the troubled economy left behind by the Bush Administration.

    4.7 million
    Pennsylvanians would see their taxes lowered permanently if Obama’s Make Work Pay Tax credit was made permanent.

    Average debt load for Pennsylvania college students, which would be lowered substantially by President Obama’s proposal to reform and expand Pell Grants and simplify federal student loan programs.

    What the typical Pennsylvania family will save if the tax proposals in President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget are enacted.

    0.6 %
    Percentage of the Pennsylvanians who owed estate tax in 2007(President Obama has proposed keeping the estate tax from expiring in 2010).

    This was prepared by Keystone Progress and Renew and Rebuild America, based on research done by Environmental Defense, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Project on Student Debt, and Citizens for Tax Justice.

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  • Finally, here is something of interest concerning PA’s Republican U.S. Senator (you knew there had to be some bad news in here somewhere, didn’t you?)…

    Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has spent a career crafting an image of independence and integrity. On March 24 he sacrificed both when he turned his back on the working people in his state. Specter announced that he would not vote to allow the Employee Free Choice Act to receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor; a move that some consider fatal to the legislation. In a statement on the Senate floor he waxed eloquent about his belief that a difficult economic climate is no time for workers to receive a living wage.

    Specter received $235,350 in 2008 from Blank Rome LLP a self described “union avoidance” law firm.

    Read the whole article here:

    A hat tip goes out from Michael Morrill to Alan Hart from UE News for pointing us to this article.

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    2 Responses to Tuesday PA Political Potpourri

    1. Johnicrus says:

      Santiserio is attacking patronage, good luck.

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