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Fiscal Fiasco in Pennsylvania

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By Nadia Steinzor

December 15, 2015

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is being downright subversive. Not in the sense of resisting injustice or speaking truth to power, but by subverting the democratic process. 

Late last week, the Senate voted 48-2 to pass the latest version of the fiscal code, the bill that implements the state budget. The House could vote to pass the same bill this week. Legislators have packed the fiscal code with provisions that would never survive as stand-alone bills, avoiding debate and public scrutiny. While the tactic isn’t new, it’s a blatant example of “backdoor” governance and an attempt to usurp the authority of government agencies. It may even be unconstitutional. 

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The short memory of Pennsylvania’s fracking regulators

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By Nadia Steinzor

October 28, 2015

The phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is often used when talking about war or major social conflicts. But last week, John Quigley, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), seemed to be committing the same mistake.

In commenting to a reporter about water supply problems in the Woodlands area of Butler County, Quigley said,  “I don't think it would be a productive use of my time to review how the agency handled certain cases…I'm much more interested in ongoing instances of pollution of the waterways of the commonwealth.” 

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