Submitted for the LPPA by Nick Sullivan

 

For the second year in a row, the PA General Assembly has passed an unbalanced appropriations bill and Gov. Wolf has decided to let it pass without his signature. Over the last year the state collected over a billion dollars less than originally estimated, but that did not stop the General Assembly from adding another $450 million in spending to this year’s budget which has a deficit of $2 billion.

 

In the PA Constitution Article VIII Section 13(a) it states, “Operating budget appropriations made by the General Assembly shall not exceed the actual and estimated revenues and surplus available in the same fiscal year.”

In the PA Administrative Code Article VI Section 618(a) it states, “The Governor shall item veto any part of any appropriation bill that causes total appropriations to exceed the official estimate plus any unappropriated surplus.”

 

PA is currently operating under a Democratic Governor and Republican General Assembly. Both major parties are to blame for this blatant disregard for our state’s Constitution as well as its laws. In 2018, the people of Pennsylvania will have the power to hold these public servants accountable for their failures. There is another option in the Libertarian Party. 

In response to this lawlessness, the State Chair of the Libertarian Party, Drew Bingaman, said, ”Typical of Harrisburg, they cannot come to a balanced budget because nobody will do what needs done, which is cut spending. Too many special interests rely on these budgets and nobody is willing to give up their piece of the pie. Meanwhile the people of the Commonwealth continue to be robbed blind barely able to make ends meet.”

Steven Brenize, Secretary for the Libertarian Party in PA added the following on the state of the Commonwealth, “The state legislature and executive branch has continued its trend of solving problems that they themselves caused with band aids and partisan indecision. For multiple decades Harrisburg has been negligent in its defined duties, instead focusing on the amount of revenue it can suck out of our communities while adding no value. The commonwealth government has become nothing more than a high-rate loan shark that taxes our communities with the sole purpose of getting their cut and adding costs and hurdles to projects in communities across the state. The Libertarian Party seeks to work with citizens around the commonwealth to elect a government that will empower and strengthen our communities instead of threatening and punishing innovation.”

Don’t let career politicians get away with kicking the can down the road and not making the hard decisions now. Vote for real fiscal responsibility and liberty in 2018 or even better run for office yourself and let’s clear out the career politicians. Our great nation, founded on the principles of liberty was formed in this state and it is past time we return to those principles and reign in the behemoth that is Harrisburg.

 

Find out more at www.LPPA.org

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Pittsburgh attorney, Drew G. Miller, became the Libertarian Party candidate for Commonwealth Court at the party’s state convention and is now seeking signatures to be on the November ballot .  He is the party’s only statewide candidate, and if elected, would become the youngest member of the 9-judge appellate court at just 37 year of age.

Miller, a self-described political centrist, is running for a judicial seat in order to offer voters a 3rd party option, and to recreate a Constitution-centered judiciary.  He has chosen to run for Commonwealth Court because it has original jurisdiction over lawsuits against the government.  “Every state law that impacts your civil liberties on issues such as marijuana, gender equality, guns, education, healthcare and the environment, would likely begin or end with the Commonwealth Court,” said Miller, “Simply put, the Commonwealth Court could be the first -- and last -- defense against government overreach, and I promise that if elect, I will diligently work to protect all Pennsylvanians from government injustices.”

As former Legal Counsel to the Majority Whip of the Pennsylvania Senate, Miller has 3 years of experience working for the government where he helped to resolve over 3,000 constituent issues.  However, he is most passionate about his role as Board President of one of the largest human services organization in Pittsburgh, where he advocates ending homelessness and hunger in Allegheny County.

“The Commonwealth Court handles cases mostly involving state government or its agencies. Therefore electing Libertarian Drew Gray Miller becomes extremely important as the State increases regulations and expands taxation across the Commonwealth. Major victories can happen rapidly that restore freedoms and strike down bad laws” said Drew Bingaman Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania of the Party’s support for Mr. Miller. In order to be on the November ballot, Miller must obtain at least 2,500 signatures from registered PA voters, including a minimum of 250 signatures each from at least 5 counties, by August 1st.  The Libertarian Party of PA is calling on all of its members, and anyone who would like to see a 3rd party option, to get signatures.

For more information on Miller or to schedule an Interview contact:

Drew G. Miller

(412) 760-3286

www.DrewForJudge.com

Facebook.com/DrewGrayMiller

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Reposted from LibertyScout.Org
Lethal Injection Table

Imagine you own a business with zero customers.  How long will you keep paying your employees to look busy?  In the private world, owners of failing businesses quickly change their strategy or shut down to minimize their losses.  In contrast, an ineffective government program can operate for decades and cost the taxpayers billions of dollars.

The Death Penalty Is A Government Program

The witness areas at SCI Rockview (PA Dept of Corrections)

It is easy to forget that the death penalty is a program run by the state.  The last time the department of death did anything was in 1999, when they put deranged serial killer Gary Heidnik out of his misery after he asked to be executed. Even though they have not had anything to do for the past 18 years, the state employees responsible for the death penalty practice executing a fake prisoner five times a year.  I suppose they need to maintain their skills just in case they need to execute someone on short order.  Is this really a good use of your money?

The Death Penalty Is Expensive

In addition to keeping the death house running in Centre County, Pennsylvanians also pay for the high cost of prosecuting capital cases.  A Maryland study found that due to the lengthy and complex appeals process, death penalty cases cost taxpayers approximately $2 million more to prosecute compared to standard murder cases.  A review by the Reading Eagle of all the capital cases in PA from 1978 to 2016 concluded that the additional cost of seeking the death penalty vs life without parole is in the neighborhood of $1 billion.  During that time three people were executed.  Can I get a refund?

Does The Death Penalty Make You Safer?

The Gurney at Rockview SCI (PA Dept of Corrections)

Pennsylvanians pay for this “service”, but does the threat of death by the state deter murderers?  It seems not.  A study comparing Hong Kong, which has no death penalty, to Singapore, which has a death penalty, found no significant difference in the murder rates. In the US, people who live in the 31 states with the death penalty are no safer from murderers than the people in the 19 states without it. Apparently the threat of the death penalty does not deter psychopaths from going on a murderous rampage any more than the threat of life in prison without parole.

The Death Penalty Is Immoral

The worst part of the death penalty is the risk that the state will execute an innocent person.  Since 1978, PA courts have sentenced 408 people to death.  Of these 408, six people were later freed after an appeal. The odds of being wrongfully sentenced to death in PA is about 100 times more likely than winning the Powerball jackpot. One of the six people wrongly convicted includes Nicholas Yarris, who was freed after 21 years on death row when DNA testing proved his innocence.  Eventually, if PA continues with the death penalty, an innocent person will be executed.  Vengeance is not worth this risk. Death is final, and the courts make mistakes.  No government agency should be empowered to take a life.

 

What You Can Do

There are two bills currently before the PA legislature that will end the death penalty. State Representative Christopher Rabb of Philadelphia sponsored house bill 1466 and State Senator Daylin Leach of Delaware and Montgomery counties sponsored senate bill 703.  The bills are currently before the house and senate judiciary committees respectively.   Please contact your state representative and senator and ask them to support the bills.  The leaders of the Judiciary Committees are Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County and Ron Marsico of Dauphin County. Ask them to put the bills forward for a vote.  It’s time to finally put an end to this barbaric and wasteful practice.

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Reposted From Liberty Scout
If it pleases the crown, may I play music for sick people without licensing?

In a blow to personal liberty, a group of PA House members led by representative Eddie Day Pashinski of Wilkes-Barre sponsored House Bill 1438 which makes it illegal to practice “Music Therapy” without a license. Without citing any evidence of a problem, the authors of the bill claim the licensing will protect the public from “unprofessional, improper, unauthorized and unqualified” music therapists. This is not The Onion folks. This is government run amok.

In addition to dictating educational and training requirements, the bill imposes other disturbing restrictions.

  • An unelected board will have complete authority decide who can and cannot practice music therapy.
  • The board may approve an applicant only if he or she “is of good moral character.”  This looks like an opportunity for arbitrary discrimination by the board.
  • The applicant must not have been convicted of a drug related felony in the last 10 years.

Many recovered addicts have a drug conviction on their record.  Should they not be allowed to play music for sick people?

Occupational Licensing Is a Racket

The negative effects of occupational licensing are well known, but lawmakers can’t seem to get enough of them.  Like other licensing laws, this bill protects entrenched interests from new competition, drives up health care prices for everyone and makes it harder for new people to start working in the field.

The problem is not that there are certifying organizations.  Voluntary certifications are an excellent way for one to show they are qualified to perform a job. If one wishes to be certified by the American Music Therapy Association and work in PA, he or she is free to do so today.  It may even be helpful for one’s music therapy career to become certified by the AMTA.  The problem occurs certifying organizations like the AMTA and the government collude.  HB1438 requires music therapists to be certified by the AMTA, granting the organization a monopoly and guaranteed market for certifying music therapists in the Commonwealth.  This sounds like a great deal for the AMTA.  Could it be that the politicians promoting this bill are more interested in finding donors for their next campaign rather than serving the public?

Everyone should have a right to make a living however they choose as long as they are not committing fraud.  In a free society, individual employers and employees determine job qualifications voluntarily – not through the force of government.

Call to Action

Please join me in promoting individual liberty by opposing this bill.  Here is a Facebook video from Representative Pashinski promoting the bill. Please let Representative Pashinski know how you feel by commenting on it.

 

 

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