Perspectives: Restore trust first Perspectives: Restore trust firstThen I got this email as a reply. It is worthy of posting here, regardless of if the P-G prints it or not.
It's time to change the way state legislators do business
Friday, December 01, 2006 By Jay Costa
RESPONSE TO: http://postgazette.com/pg/06335/742602-109.stm
In response to Senator Jay Costa’s perspective: Restore Trust First, on December 1st, I am in agreement with the proposed rule changes and reforms that have been recommended and hope our legislature does even more to see that the people’s business is done in a moral, ethical, open, and honest way. After gambling lobbyist’s contributions have quadrupled, even more must be done to stop their anonymous influence, as well as those of other profit seeking lobbyists. That influence was observed in the recent lame duck session in Harrisburg.Did Costa agree to the rule change for free drinks at casinos, or not? How did he vote? Why didn't he protest from the floor to ask that the bill be held? Where is the text of his statement from the floor of the chamber?
The legislature decided to offer us free drinks at gambling facilities as part of twenty six pages of amendments to a bill. This decision was done: without public hearings or input, without the constitutionally required waiting period, and without giving small business owners who will be affected by this provision the time to contact their representatives and let them know how it may affect them. The people were left out.
This was done even after a bipartisan house group signed on to the REFORM agenda. Twenty three of the fifty three house members of this group voted for these recent changes. (See November 12 Forum: The pay off and July 10: House Rebels try to break the Iron grip of Leadership, both in the Post Gazette)
While Senator Costa’s initiatives should be commended and would be a great service to the Commonwealth, a greater service would be done if the members of the general assembly simply followed the rules that were already in place.
Steve Karas, Forest Hills