For various reasons I haven’t posted anything for a while. Within that long gap, a majority of state and territory primaries and caucuses have come and gone and we now have two presumptive Presidential nominees. The Pennsylvania primary has also winnowed down the number of candidates for various races, leaving the Senate race between Katie McGinty and Pat Toomey and the Attorney General race between Josh Shapiro and John Rafferty Jr. The Pennsylvania Senate is also back to full strength as Republican Thomas Killion defeated Martin Molloy and will have the honor of running again this coming November. This leaves a ratio of 31 Republicans to 19 Democrats in the Senate.
Locally, both Guy Reschenthaler and Ed Eichenlaub have defeated the perennial candidate of “Write-In” and will face each other for the 37th district seat this coming November. There is a slight advantage in registered Democrats in the district, and though the following stats may be insignificant, Reschenthaler received more actual votes that Eichenlaub, 34,153-32,332. This difference is smaller than the difference in Peters Township alone, meaning that Eichenlaub has to win the rest of the district by a significant margin in order to make up for the loss he, and any Democrat, is bound to see in Peters. Matt Smith won only 38.95% of the vote there in 2012, and Heather Arnet won 29%, with both losing by over 2,000 votes. Eichenlaub’s name recognition probably works against him as he was named on 80.59% of the Democratic ballots while Reschenthaler was named on 91.43% of the Republican ballots. That means Eichenlaub will need to work hard to increase his name recognition and make the voters comfortable with him.
Reschenthaler seems to have gotten busier in the Senate has he is now the prime sponsor on four bills:
SB 1155, which creates special plates for active members of the armed forces
SB 1161, which sets deadlines on the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to mail tax credit award letters to businesses applying for Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) or Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits (OSTC)
SB 1189, which increases fines related to lobbying disclosure and also adds verbiage regarding the Internet (capitalized!) and electronic receipts
and SB 1231, which requires social service employees to report suspected incidences of animal cruelty
The first is far from groundbreaking and is now under consideration in the House after being passed unanimously by the Senate.
The second is largely of the result of this year’s budget impasse, where the letters were not sent out until December, leaving the businesses who applied without enough time to actually make the contributions required by the credits. The bill allows the businesses also to apply the credit to either the year they applied or the year they made the contribution. I would like to think that businesses would be willing to contribute funds towards educational scholarships whether they get a tax credit or not, but I guess charity will only go so far. I have to wonder if a contribution is truly charitable if it is made only because the contributor gets some sort of financial advantage out of it.
The third is a part of the “lobbying reform package” announced by Scott Wagner and allies on December 10th, with the bill itself being introduced on April 19th. I also seems to make changes to the law that don’t seem terribly significant, but I could be wrong.
The fourth is as simple as the summary, requiring a social services employee to report suspected animal cruelty to a registered animal cruelty prevention society, such as the ASPCA.
Reschenthaler also endorsed Marco Rubio for President some time ago, but there is no word yet on any endorsement of the remaining Republican candidate for President.