An Open letter to Pennsylvania’s General Assembly

Posted by By at 31 January, at 17 : 02 PM Print

Dear Senators and Representatives,

You’re all aware of the episode that took place this past Wednesday during the meeting of the House Rules Committee.

It reminded me of some meetings in England’s Parliament where screaming and interruptions are commonplace.  Ironically, the topic of the meeting was government reform. We’ve been in need of government reform since the General Assembly decided in the ‘60’s that they should be a fulltime instead of a part-time legislature.

Thus began the growth of salaries, staff and benefits that you enjoy today.  When a retiring senator can collect in retirement over $300,000 annually of taxpayer’s money, plus benefits for life; it screams reform is definitely needed in Pennsylvania’s government.

The question remains – can you do it yourselves?  Many of us taxpayers doubt you’ve the desire and/or ability to do it.  Many of you have become too comfortable with your perks and benefits to institute the changes needed.  It’s not all your fault.

For far too long the voters ignored what was happening in our state’s capitol.    That’s not the case any longer.  You’ll recall July 7, 2005 and the pay raise fiasco.  That incident opened my eyes and the eyes of many others who fell asleep on our watch.

I blinked when in 2001, the majority then in the legislature decided they, and the state’s unions needed to increase an already good retirement income by 50% for the legislature and 25% for state workers.  Then Gov. Tom Ridge agreed and signed the increases into law. That was a much larger mistake.

Now our state is $billions in debt.  Could it be we’ve overpromised and overspent in the past and present?  Could it be our government is too large and expensive?  Do we really need 50 full-time senators and 203 representatives, plus the largest support staff of any state in the nation?

There is a solution to many of the state’s problems.  If you’re really serious about government reform and not thinking only of your own welfare, then act.  You were elected to office to represent the interest of the citizens of our state; not your own interests.  Turn over the responsibility of government reform over to the citizens by passing legislation permitting a CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.

Just think, no more time wasted and hurt feelings by shouting at each other and walking out of meetings.  Civility could return to the legislature.  It’s been over 5 ½ years since the ill-fated pay raise and you’re still talking government reform.  No action; just talking and/or shouting!  It’s time you permit the citizens to talk and to act.  You could then turn your attention on getting the state out of our financial mess.

Thank you for your consideration and action,

Bill McIntyre

(If you are like Bill, you can do something about it right now, click on Rock The Capital and sign the petition for a Constitutional Convention.)

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