Our opinion: Feel good ‘legislation’

During each legislative session the hundreds of well-compensated members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly introduce and pass – always by overwhelming majorities – generally non-controversial, fairly meaningless and absolutely unenforceable resolutions.

Hundreds of them.

And, our experience has been that the sheer volume of these empty gestures increases during election cycles.

Generally they are produced to allow legislators to expound on concepts designed to ingratiate themselves with the electorate, either their core constituency or the general public. After all, who can possibly be opposed to Maple Producers Week.

Take for instance, House Resolution 341, passed unanimously by the Pennsylvania House – real and true bipartisan support – that condemns the persecution of Christians around the world. There being far more Christians than Buddhists, Taoists or Muslims among potential voters in Pennsylvania, it was a can’t-miss throw.

Allow us to relieve you of any hope that a non-binding resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will dissuade anyone in the Middle East or elsewhere of abandoning their persecution of Christians. Will the international power of the Pennsylvania General Assembly persuade Ali Hosseini Khamenei to invite Pope Francis for lunch to talk about ways to elevate the status of Christians in Iran?

Probably not.

And, did you know, that among the 710 resolutions introduced by the state House of Representatives in this session, that February was officially “Hockey Is For Everyone Month” in the Commonwealth. It was passed unanimously, even by those who perhaps do not count themselves as hockey fans.

It’s not that we’re opposed to the end of any religious persecution or hockey, or the hundreds of other statements of recognition, support or opposition to everything from the Cambodian New Year to bladder cancer awareness. What we’re opposed to is paying people more than $82,000 a year plus benefits to produce generally non-controversial, fairly meaningless and absolutely unenforceable resolutions when there are controversial, meaningful and enforceable actions that they have been ducking for too long, like public pension reform, property tax reform, and adequately and fairly funding education and transportation.