Community Matters in Pittsburgh . . . Concerns about Pennsylvania’s budget and the fate of our teachers

I received the following email from Patricia Connelly of Pittsburgh.  Rather than offering a personal response to Patricia, I thought it would be interesting for Community Matters readers to respond.  Any thoughts or words of encouragement to offer . . . it is apparent that the budget and concern for public education spending cuts is not isolated to our part of the state.

Hello,

I just came across your site and want to ask a question about our State Legislators. Does Pennsylvania have what Wisconsin has and that is the right to repeal an elected official? If the Governor’s budget gets passed, and it will, as someone who has lived a lifetime (66 yrs) in Pa, I believe that budget will ruin our state.

Education, please, what education? No new taxes, except for voters who will pay higher property taxes and not be able to sell their homes because the taxes will go through the roof and their local schools will be overcrowded. Today’s teachers are treated horrible and get blamed for their state’s deficit.  My son is a teacher.

Anyway, is there an answer to this or do we not live in a democracy any longer?

Sincerely,
Patricia Connelly
Patricia Connelly from the Pittsburgh Area

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9 Comments

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  1. The Pennsylvania Constitution sets out the procedures for removing elected officials. The exact procedures vary depending on the office held, but a 2/3 vote of the Senate in favor of removal or impeachment is required in every case. See Sections 5, 6 and 7 of Article VI (http://www.duq.edu/law/pa-constitution/constitutions/current.cfm#6).

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that the procedures in the Constitution are the exclusive procedures for removing an elected official from office. See South Newton Township Electors v. South Newton Township Supervisor, 838 A.2d 643 (Pa. 2003) ( http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4453075269833721442&q=838+a2d+643&hl=en&as_sdt=2,39#%5B2%5D).

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Welcome Back JudgeNJury!

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  2. Repeal an elected official because you don’t like his policies?

    Typically playground tattle. Vote him out. You don’t know how many of us can’t wait to vote Obama out. But I am not sure a repeal or impeachment is the way. GROW UP! Just because you don’t like how the game is going is not an excuse for changing the rules, unless of course you are a NJ politician, whats his name, Robert Toricilli? or maybe Mayor Bloomberg.

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    Version Reply:

    “But I am not sure a repeal or impeachment is the way”

    I hate doing this, being that one side is just as bad as the other. But the statement above is to funny. Spoken like a true Republican!!!!

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  3. yea well Republicans don’t “attempt to bring the roof down” and have petulant temper tantrums. They also clean up after themselves. You may be on to something though, each side is bought and paid for. Tea anyone?

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  4. The time to review the plans of the government is in the candidate stage. How tiring to have so many people come out of the woodwork AFTER elections with “I didn’t know that was going to happen.”
    While it is draconian, what is happening in Wisconsin is precisely what that candidate promised if elected. I truly believe the same of Corbett. As to not taxing oil and gas — I cannot imagine wanting to add taxes onto any corporation in this stage of trying to win back jobs to a state that built its economy on the back of steel and coal, but perhaps those more familiar with the cost of that business could chime in and educate us on how attractive the technology is and whether a tax of any size would alter the appeal of drilling here.

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  5. Party loyalty sometimes defies logic and ignores fact, FF, but at least you’re consistent and predictable in your “pronouncements”.

    No tantrums here.. Just some facts:

    Under Republican presidents, federal spending increased 12.1% and the federal debt rose a whopping 36.4%. from Carter through G.W. Bush..

    In contrast, during that same period, under Democratic presidents, spending rose 9.9% and the federal debt increased just 4.4%.

    Meanwhile GDP was almost 20% higher when a
    Democrat occupied the White House..

    You may be anxious to vote Obama out regardless of the facts, FF, but you cannot deny reality. He inherited a perfect storm of economic challenges AND a massive national debt . He must try to move forward under a Republican Congress that wants nothing more than to see him fail.

    W’s contribution alone to the national debt added a HUGE $4.36 TRILLION for his unfunded wars, Rx plan that was a giveaway to the drug industry and his TARP giveaway to the banks..

    Given the extraordinary 2008 downturn requiring government intervention, Obama’s spending, adjusted for inflation, increased by 1.5% last year. While stimulus and other spending did increase the federal debt by 6.2% in 2010, this compares favorably to the sainted Ronald Reagon, who averaged a 2.6% annual increase in spending and an average 10% annual increase in the national debt.

    These nos are taken from the CBO and Whitehouse FY 2011 budget.

    Republicans clean up after themselves? Look at the numbers before you start spouting off. The American taxpayers will be living with the mess started under Reagan and fully realized under G.W. Bush for decades to come.

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  6. AH katie I was wondering aloud where you have been.. Probably Wisconsin I dare say. Good to hear ya voice

    How about FDR and LBJ for mess makers… yea but……

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  7. Do we live in a democracy any longer? That’s rich, especially in reference to public union employees: If we eliminate public unions we may get a stronger taste of democracy, since we won’t have this vicious cycle of government giving tax dollars to public unions, who then spend more than any other entity to re-elect politicians who cement their financial power and monopoly status.

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