2013-14 legislative session ends with critical issues unaddressed
The 2013-14 legislative session ended Monday when the state House of Representatives voted on nearly 15 bills that had already been approved in the Senate. The House and Senate each have one session day scheduled for after the November election, but Republican leaders have indicated there probably won’t be any votes of substance on those days. That means issues critical to education, the economy, health care and the environment won’t get addressed.
Majority Republicans gaveled out of session without passing a Marcellus Shale extraction tax that could provide hundreds of millions of dollars for schools and other services. Every major natural gas-producing state except Pennsylvania has an extraction tax.
Republicans also skipped town without increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, leaving tens of thousands of working adults – a majority of whom are women – stuck in poverty even though they are working full time.
House Republicans failed to vote on a medical cannabis bill passed by the Senate that would have provided relief to thousands of children, veterans and others suffering from seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer. And, they ignored legislation – supported by Gov. Tom Corbett – that would have finally prohibited housing and job discriminationagainst ALL residents in Pennsylvania.