Pennsylvania Observer

A blog for progressive people in Pennsylvania. Greens, Democrats and others who want to comment on current news items in the Keystone State.

Monday, December 13, 2004

End Sine Die

End Sine Die. The lame duck session of the General Assembly, known as Sine Die, is notorious for being a time when PA's solons wreak the most mischief. This year is no exception. Bills to ban gay adoption and civil unions, corporate welfare for Comcast, monopoly communication rights for Verizon and others, pay raises for the legislators were just some of the schemes considered this year. One would think "good government" Democrats would lead the charge to end the post-election shenanigans. One would be wrong.

A conservative Republican, Rep. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango/Butler), promised to re-introduce a bill to eliminate the Sine Die session early in the next session. Hutchinson introduced a similar bill (HB 3012) at the end of the just-concluded session, but it was ignored by his own party's leadership. “The practice of calling the legislature back to the Capitol following the general election for a week of marathon late-night sessions prior to the end of the two-year term has become a notorious tradition in Pennsylvania politics,” Hutchinson said. “This [year] has been a prime example of the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing that goes on during a lame duck session. Although an attempt to increase various taxes as well as legislative salaries was thwarted this time, a lame duck session can often end on a mischievous note, leaving a bad taste in the voters’ mouths.”

Hutchinson stood alone in 2004. Will he be singing solo in 2005 as well?

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