What Are Our Trusted Leaders in Harrisburg Doing?
How much do we know about what our trusted elected leaders are doing in Harrisburg? Most see the latest national headlines:
* Biden family received more than $10 million from foreign nationals;
* Donald Trump rape verdict: $5 million for battery;
* Debt ceiling standoff between White House & Congress;
* Tucker Carlson to relaunch show on Twitter while Fox News ratings fall off a cliff;
* Title 42 ends; border in chaos
but we know little about the issues closer to us. As the “Cradle of Liberty” we would expect that Constitutional rights and freedoms would never be in danger in Pennsylvania. However, based on some pending legislation, we have reason to be concerned.
Right to Know Law
As citizens of this commonwealth, we are entitled to certain information regarding the workings of our local and state agencies. The Right to Know Law was passed in 2008 and provided mechanisms for open records and appeals processes at every level of government. It is similar to the Freedom of Information Act at the national level.
Since its passage, many citizens request governmental information through a Right to Know (RTK) request, due to the lack of voluntary transparency in agency processes. Often these RTKs are denied, delayed, and appealed.
Senate Bill 525 allows a governmental agency to label a citizen requesting information as a “vexatious requester.” A non-elected state employee would make the determination if a citizen meets the “vexatious requester” parameters. The citizen would be allowed an appeal in court. Here’s a thought…how about the government agencies be more transparent so RTKs wouldn’t be required?
Multiple bills are currently circulating in the PA General Assembly including:
- HB 338 – Mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms
- HB 1018 – Criminalizes gun ownership by certain citizens; allows for gun confiscation;
- HB 731 – Requires locking device on firearm, regulating storage containers;
- SB 672 – Defining “Assault weapon” as a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun
Our legislators in Pennsylvania understand the people’s right to keep and bear arms. They only want to infringe on that right for really good reasons!
HB 330 is touted as a bill to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination; however, in doing so the bill undermines the freedom of speech and religion as guaranteed under the 1st Amendment.
Co-sponsors of the bill suggest that this legislation will:
- Force women’s shelters to accept biological men who identify as female;
- Force people to use preferred pronouns;
- Force doctors to violate their consciences & Hippocratic Oath by participating in the sex transitioning process.
As Rep. Dawn Keefer, Chair of the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus, wrote, “Discrimination must never be tolerated, but different does not equal discrimination. I believe this bill divides, rather than unites, our Commonwealth and its citizens. We can and must do better.”
We encourage you to understand the legislation that our representatives are putting forth for our benefit and to contact your state representatives and senators to let them know your thoughts.
Finally, remember that Tuesday, May 16, is Primary Election Day where you choose party candidates for the November General Election. The municipal elections involve choosing school board directors, township supervisors, county leaders, and county & statewide judges. We urge you to understand your choices and to be prudent in you selections.