Taxpayers deserve protection

A good idea can come from a member of either political party, which is why I’m supporting the Taxpayer Protection Act and its aims of reigning in excessive state spending while making the often-murky state budget more transparent.

House Bill 1316 seeks to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution in ways we should all embrace.  It would limit the rate of state spending increases, tying them to the Consumer Price Index and population growth. And it would create greater transparency in a state budget process that often leaves rank-and-file legislators and the public in the dark.

 There shouldn’t be any money hidden in secret or special accounts, but as of today, there certainly is.
That practice must end – and if it takes my support of legislation introduced by a Republican to make that happen, so be it.

I learned last year just how detached and self-serving state government can be. When I asked the state Liquor Control Board to provide me with the number of restaurant liquor licenses it has available for auction in each county, the LCB not only flatly denied my request, they ignored a state Office of Open Records ruling in my favor and forced me into a court fight to obtain the information.

If we’re going to make Pennsylvania a better place for all its citizens, we must end the strident partisanship that paralyzes and polarizes. We must come together and rally behind good proposals that ultimately benefit us all.

That’s what I’m doing.