Famed science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein served as an ensign aboard the famed aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1929. He entered a short story in a shipboard writing contest. He didn’t win.
Regulations Crush Pennsylvania Employers
By Scott Wagner
By every measure, Pennsylvania’s economy is lagging behind other states. People are struggling to find good-paying jobs, our young people are leaving for better opportunities, and industry is floundering.
Pennsylvania’s number one roadblock are the crushing government regulations and restrictions on Pennsylvania’s job providers.
When I started my first waste company in 1985, there were five regulations we had to comply with. We kept them in a single manila folder.
Fast forward to 2017, there are almost 100 regulations that we have to comply with, and these are just transportation regulations. What I once kept in a flat manila folder, we now keep in a three and a half-inch thick binder.
There are several other binders of regulations that are in our human resources department that we must comply with just to employ people.
Government regulations are crushing businesses, jobs, and wage levels.
This past week I had an opportunity to meet three experts from the Mercatus Center, which is associated with George Mason University.
They gave me a policy brief, which was titled A Snapshot of Pennsylvania Regulation in 2017.
To put in perspective the rules and restrictions Pennsylvania businesses are forced to navigate, consider the following statements contained in the brief:
It would take an ordinary person almost three years to read the entire code of the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which contained over 103 million words in 2012.
The sheer size of the CFR poses a problem not just for the individuals and businesses that want to stay in compliance with the law, but also for anyone interested in understanding the consequences of this massive system of rules.
The Pennsylvania Code contains 153,661 restrictions, or roughly 12.8 million words. It would take an individual about 713 hours – or just under 18 weeks – to read the entire Pennsylvania Code. That’s assuming the reader spends 40 hours per week reading and reads at a rate of 300 words per minute.
In 2016, there were over 1.08 million additional restrictions in the federal code.
This business-restrictive environment is putting Pennsylvania out of business and it’s time for Pennsylvanians to wake up and realize how these regulations and restrictions are affecting their daily lives, their families, and the companies they work for.
I joined the Pennsylvania State Senate for this very reason. I was fed up with the non-stop pile on of regulations and restrictions created mainly by state and federal lawyers working in various government agencies.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Resources has approximately seventy-five, in house attorneys who write regulations each and every day that impact Pennsylvania businesses – and YOU.
Some regulations and restrictions are necessary, but Pennsylvania does not need 153,661 restrictions that contain 12.8 million words.
It’s madness and it has to stop.
That is why I’m running to be the next Governor of Pennsylvania. I am the only candidate who has real life experience dealing with all of the federal and state regulations.
The time is now for all of us to wake up to the fact that the Pennsylvania’s economy will not grow and good income producing jobs will not materialize.
Our hopes and dreams of prosperity will continue to die a slow, painful death unless we stop the regulation madness.
As the next Governor of Pennsylvania, my administration will immediately stop new regulations until we review each and every regulation currently on the books.
I can assure that Republican House and Senate members will act with a sense of urgency to roll back regulations, and if I have to, I will use executive orders to roll back regulations as Governor.
Sen. Wagner represents the 28th District in the Pennsylvania Senate.
Regulations Crush Pennsylvania Employers
Women Veterans Honored In Delco — The public is invited to a flying of Women Veterans Casket Flags, 5 p.m., Sunday, May 21 at the Delaware County Veterans Memorial, 4599 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pa. 19073.
To be honored are Elizabeth McGrath of Broomall who served as a U.S. Navy radioman during World War II and Margaret Jane Lozinak Lawrence of Springfield who served a U.S. Army Nurse during the Korean War.
Vocals will be by Theresa Flanagan Murtagh.
Women Veterans Honored In Delco
Pennsylvania Corruption Has Accomplices In The Courts
By Lowman S. Henry
Pennsylvania has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to corruption among elected officials. In just the last few years both the elected state treasurer and attorney general have pled guilty or been convicted of crimes and forced to resign.
This is, unfortunately, nothing new. Entire books have been written detailing the sordid history of official corruption in state government. We even witnessed the spectacle of two former speakers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives – one Democrat and one Republican – occupying the same prison at the same time.
Scandals ensnared a long list of powerful legislative leaders making household names of John Perzel, Bill DeWeese, Robert Mellow, Vincent Fumo and Mike Veon to name just a few. Not to be outdone, the judicial branch chipped in with two justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court being forced to resign in an e-mail scandal and another convicted of using public resources for campaigning.
To the degree there is any good news in all of this it has been that these wayward public officials have been caught, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and most sent off to prison. But the story has not stopped with prison sentences with some emerging from the jailhouse armed with lawyers seeking to regain their pensions, reduce or vacate fines, or even overturn their convictions.
Unfortunately the courts have become willing accomplices in allowing these convicted felons to escape parts of their punishment. Recently the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that former Speaker DeWeese, who has already served his prison time, will not be required to pay $116,000 in restitution. This based on the astounding theory that the commonwealth was not a “direct victim” in the case.
Keeping in mind that we the taxpayers are the commonwealth; that DeWeese’s actions in office resulted in the misuse of our money by having state workers illegally perform political work on government time; and that our tax dollars were used to investigate, prosecute, and confine DeWeese it is an appalling act of judicial jujitsu to claim we are not “direct victims,” because we have clearly suffered financial loss. That same court also left former Speaker John Perzel off the hook for $1 million in restitution ordered by the lower courts.
In another case, former Senate Democratic Leader Robert Mellow has petitioned the state to restore his state pension which was ordered forfeited upon his corruption conviction. Mellow is now arguing that he is entitled to a $20,000 per month pension payment from the state’s public employee pension fund. It might be some time before Mellow’s appeal is decided.
While the appellate courts have gone soft on punishing these criminals, the state legislature is moving aggressively to close the pension loophole. Current law only makes about a dozen offenses subject to pension forfeiture. As a result, many of the accused plead guilty to lesser offenses in order to preserve their pension benefits. The state House of Representatives this past week – in a rare show of bipartisan unity – voted nearly unanimously to make all felony convictions subject to pension forfeiture. Similar legislation is pending in the state Senate.
Given the recent sordid history of corruption in Pennsylvania’s judicial system it is outrageous to see our appellate courts weaken the penalties for those convicted of committing crimes in office. These recent rulings further erode the credibility of and confidence in our courts at the exact time the judiciary is still reeling from its own scandals.
Those convicted of abusing the public trust deserve not only prison time, but they should not benefit from lifelong public pensions after having committed crimes while in office. As well, taxpayers deserve to be compensated for our financial losses through the payment of restitution and prosecution costs.
Prosecutors and the lower courts have done their job in cleaning up the state of corruption that is Pennsylvania. It is a miscarriage of justice to see the appellate courts chip away at penalties that must justly be paid by those who have flagrantly violated the public trust.
What can you as a citizen and a voter do about this? Here in Pennsylvania we elect the judges and justices who serve on our statewide appellate courts. This November we will elect a Supreme Court Justice, four Superior Court Judges and two Commonwealth Court Judges. Make an effort to learn which candidates will hold those who violate the public trust accountable for their actions.
William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-18-17
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