LWV sponsors #FixHarrisburg campaign

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton League of Women Voters of Warren County Communications VP Phyllis Wright speaks during an event on the League’s #FixHarrisburg initiative held Thursday night at the Warren Public Library.

The premise of the League of Women Voters #FixHarrisburg campaign is pretty clear: “Our legislature is big, expensive and not productive.”

That was a piece of the message that Phyllis Wright, communications VP, brough to a League event Thursday night at the Warren Public Library.

The state House has been in Republican control for years. It flipped Democratic in the most recent election.

“No matter who is in power in Harrisburg, they all play this little game,” Wright said. “They passed the fewest bills of any full-time legislature” in the nation.

A key piece of evidence, she proposed, is the low number of bills that make it through.

In the 2019-20 session, she said over 5,000 bills were proposed and about 320 were passed.

“Seventy million pages of bills are printed per session,” she said. “How can anyone read and understand all of that? (It’s) a huge waste of money… to create a defective government. Four out of five proposed bills are never voted on in committee.

“Any one of the six major party leaders can singularly block any bill.”

While she outlined many of the league’s legislative priorities, the most pressing is likely the vote on the rule of procedure in the General Assembly that will be voted on early next year.

“If we could get people to vote no on these same old same old rules,” League secretary Susan Stout said, “for the least at last 20 years they’ve basically voted the same rules in every two years to cement majority party control.”

“It’s the will of the people we’re trying to get across here,” Wright said. “Unchecked power creates a real dangerous balance…. Bipartisan rules should get a vote no matter what.”


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