Monday, February 8, 2016

Marriage, Guns, Pets and Voter ID

The Legislature faces a busy week dealing with the things most on Pennsylvanians minds: marriage, guns, pets and voter ID.

Marriage, Guns, Pets and Voter ID


You might think your Legislature's bold action to spend your money to stop alleged fraud at the ballot box with a new law requiring voter ID is the only way your electeds are looking out for your best interests this week.

Well, you'd be wrong.

Not only is the Legislature poised to pass a new ID law that Democrats say is designed to reduce turnout of older, poorer urban residents and that Republicans say is simply a common sense protection of the sacred right to vote (debate is scheduled in the House today; it'll pass and the Guv will sign it), but lawmakers are also poised to push other vital issues.

For example:

State Rep. Daryl "The Daryl" Metcalfe, R-Butler County, chairman of the House State Government Committee and prime sponsor of the voter ID bill, tomorrow holds a Capitol hearing on his bill (HB 1434) to amend the state Constitution to state that marriage is the legal union between one man and one woman.

And if that doesn't make you stand up and cheer, maybe this will.

There's a chance Pennsylvania will finally get an official firearm.

Yep. Rep. Seth Grove, R-York County, has a bill (HB 910) to be considered by Metcalfe's committee on Tuesday making the Pennsylvania Rifle the state's official weapon.

I don't know how we've gone so long without one.

Also, Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-Chester County, is clearing up any questions regarding, um, pet disposal.

His bill (SB 1329), to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee today, requires sodium pentobarbital to be the exclusive method for euthanasia of small domestic animals, defined in the bill as "cats, dogs, rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters, ferrets, birds, reptiles and amphibians."

So rest easy, Pennsylvania, your Legislature is busy working on the issues most critical to the health and safety of all citizens, to the furtherance of democracy and to the overall betterment of the Keystone State.



Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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