"What's black and white and read all over?"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Posted 10:14 PM by

Snippets from the House floor

It was hard to tell at one point whether I was watching the Pennsylvania House debate a property tax reform bill or a bad Phillies game on PCN tonight, judging from the amount of boos being shouted by lawmakers.

At one point, state Rep. Anthony DeLuca drew a round of raspberries for deriding House Bill 39. They only grew louder as he called the state Senate "a country club" and said, "The real work is done here."

I would have loved to have heard what came next, but PCN turned off the microphone.

House Minority Leader H. William DeWeese called the bill "the art of the compromise," but said he would still favor increasing the state's sales taxes to offset further decreases in property taxes.

"A percent or half-a-percent in sales tax would cut property taxes in Greene County by half," DeWeese said.

House Majority Leader Sam Smith oversaw the House the last time H.B. 39 came up for a vote and opted to table it saying, "We can do better than this bill." That's because heavy-handed House Speaker John Perzel was in Florida at the time, attending a board meeting of prison management firm GEO Group Inc. which hired him as a director.

"I'm a little disappointed we weren't able to achieve something more in the last few weeks," Smith told lawmakers.

However, he then said the debate surrounding the measure this week was "open and transparent" and done in "good faith.

"That's the way the people of Pennsylvania want us to run this House."


To read my take on House Bill 39 and what the Legislature did and didn't do, click here.


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