February 3 – Okay. At this point, we have passed the date that three new amendments for the Pennsylvania constitution could make it on the ballot for May.
The three amendments included voter ID, regulatory reform and extending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases so lawsuits could be brought against perpetrators.
The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases was a pet project of current Speaker of the House in Harrisburg Mark Rozzi.
Both the PA House and Senate have been in recess since last week and will be until February 27.
So now that the date has passed for them to be on the ballot could we maybe get our lawmakers back to work?
Well, no. It looks like the recess will hold.
In addition to that, reports have come out that locks are being changed on office doors and offices are being locked in the Capitol by Rozzi.
Read that again – money is being spent to CHANGE LOCKS in offices in the Harrisburg Capitol building.
Does anyone really know why?
Representative Jesse Topper said, “This has not changed my opinion from what it was after swearing in day. What we have here is egos and pride that have gotten in the way of the institution and governing. It’s sad. It’s unfortunate. I guess I can’t call myself surprised anymore given the nature and the tenor of politics in this country at the moment. It’s not productive. I’ve told people my plan is to get to work and that’s what I’m doing.”
Topper has been in Harrisburg this week meeting with educational stakeholders.
“I’m getting to work,” he assured. “Obviously that’s what the people in my district expect of me and that’s what I’m going to do. It’s just, it’s not worthy of the institution in which we serve. I still believe, maybe it’s the idealist in me, maybe it’s the son of a social studies teacher, I don’t know, but I still believe this government can work and right now it’s not and it’s actually kind of heartbreaking to me.”
Rozzi became the Speaker of the House after an out-of-the-blue nomination from Republican leadership on swearing in day in January. A number of people believed Rozzi would switch his registration from Democrat to Independent if he was elected speaker.
That hasn’t happened and likely won’t.
Others speculated that Rozzi jumped in to be speaker in the hopes of pushing his amendment through and would step down once Democrats gain control of the House following special elections next week, giving room for Democrat Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia to take the reins.
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM wondered, “What happens if Mark Rozzi refuses to give up the speakership? Because it doesn’t seem like from what I’m hearing Democrats aren’t going to hold all together to vote him out because some are a little concerned about Joanna McClinton and her very far-leftist, progressive, extreme ideology and what she would do if she was in there and the kind of votes they might be asked to take. So we could be stuck with Mark Rozzi potentially for the next two years.”
Topper suggested, “We could be, but it might not be up to him. If 102 members of either party say that the institution is better served with someone else as speaker, that can happen. I’m not going to get into hypotheticals. I don’t know what will happen. My point is it’s not up to individuals whether they’re going to be speaker or not. It’s up to the will of the House. If things continue the way they are, there’s going to be discussions.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I can’t imagine the prevailing wage it took to change some locks out on a building that we own in the first place. It costs five, ten times as much for something that is just ridiculous.”