Monday, May 25, 2015

Republicans are Rollin'

The GOP agenda pushes forward on multiple fronts in Harrisburg.

Republicans are Rollin'

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: It's like an elephant stampede, boss. You can feel the earth rumble.

BE: You on safari?

JB: I'm talking about the rollin' tide in your state Capitol. The GOP, which controls both House and Senate, is having its way.

BE: Well, they're in charge.

JB: And they are charging. The House Appropriations Committee yesterday voted out a state budget bill restoring some of Corbett's education cuts but slashing welfare to stay within the Guv's $27.3 billion limit. Not one Democrat voted for it.

BE: But it's on track?

JB: Yessir. GOP leaders say they'll take it to the floor the week of May 23.

BE: Why not sooner?

JB: Well, come on, next week is the primary election and even though it's only for locals and judges and not lawmakers, they all are taking next week off, I assume to help at the polls.

BE: And I saw the House passed a new abortion bill.

JB: Another Republican initiative. It came in response to the horrors at the Gosnell clinic in West Philly where the owner in January was charged with murder, but opponents say it could end up closing centers that provide abortions and present new barriers and potential risks to women, especially poor women, seeking abortions.

BE: But it passed easily with lots of Democratic votes.

JB: It's Pennsylvania. West of Paoli a pro-life state.

BE: And anti-union, too, right?

JB: In lots of places. That's part of the reason the Senate just passed a bill to allow school districts to layoff teachers and other school employees for economic reasons, regardless of seniority.

BE: Well, that actually sounds sensible.

JB: You must be a Republican. Unions and lots of Democrats don't like it. It's all part of the overall plan to cut state funding to schools but give local school directors more tools to cope with having less.

BE: This was also yesterday, right?

JB: Right. Republicans leaders in the House and Senate are pushing ahead. You could say they're rollin.'

BE: What do elephants say when they're "rollin.'"

JB: I think you know.


Daily News Political Columnist
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

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