October 17, 2014

Legislative Review

After unproductive session, legislature needs to make fresh start in 2015-16

While the state House and Senate passed a number of positive measures this week – including expanding hospital screenings for newborns, ensuring rape victims get timely access to services, and updating Pennsylvania’s law for distressed cities -- many important challenges facing the state remain unaddressed.

As the 2013-14 legislatives session draws to a close, Gov. Corbett and Republican leaders have so far failed to take action on restoring and reforming funding for public schools;  failed to address Pennsylvania’s budget concerns, including passing a Marcellus Shale tax like other major natural gas-producing states have; and ignored popular and effective Democratic proposals for helping Pennsylvania working families, such as a minimum wage increase to lift thousands of families out of poverty, fair wages and workplace protections for women, and equal treatment for ALL Pennsylvanians under the law.

The House is scheduled to return Monday to finish work on many bills the Senate acted on this week. That could be the last day of the current legislative session. If it is, the 2013-14 Republican-controlled legislature will have been one of the least productive and least effective in recent memory.

House Democrats believe Pennsylvania families, school children, seniors, veterans and others deserve much more. The legislature needs to make a fresh start in the next legislative session and tackle the issues and agenda truly important to the people of Pennsylvania.


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