PA House GOP Says Will Finally Focus on Jobs–Monday
It’s been a long year and some. After Pennsylvania Republican Party swept into control of both Legislative bodies and the governorship with the promise of restoring more Pennsylvania jobs, they began their session of hateful rule in January 2011. But instead of a Keystone economic boost, they’ve mainly focused on social issues, voter suppression, cutting off medical care to children, English-only government documents, Birther-tested ballot requirements, invasive anti-abortion requirements, laying off government employees and updating their Facebook pages to include the new Timeline.
I shit you not.
So, it comes with surprise and, maybe, a little bit of hope (?) that Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (writer of the watered-down liquor privatization bill) has announced a coming announcement on Monday that they’ll will seek to talk about, eventually, at some point, encouraging job growth in Pennsylvania.
It may be happening at the perfect time. The lack of any job proposals while Gov. Corbett jumped through hoops to sign Voter ID legislation and encourage the “close your eyes” ultrasound bill hasn’t sat well with many and his negatives are inching up in the polls.
Late last year, an estimated half of Philadelphians in their 20s were unemployed with one-in-five children living in poverty. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has remained just under 8 percent for an extended period of time all the while. When we talked to state Rep. Babette Josephs of Philadelphia about this in late 2011, she noted: “People want to stay in Philadelphia, but they’re doing nationwide searches [for jobs], just so they can make a living. And what are the Republicans in Pennsylvania doing about this? They’re talking about English-only. What a good idea. And they’re making it harder for us to vote. That’s sure bringing a lot of jobs.”
Similar sentiments have been expressed by state residents in recent months. “Aren’t we supposed to be worrying about jobs and the environment? No. We’re worrying about uteruses. Enough is enough, and we‘re not going to stand for it,” pro-choice demonstrator Stacy Soloman told protesters at a recent gathering in Penn Township against House Bill 1077. As we noted this week, a recent report uses Pennsylvania as an example of a stagnant unemployment rate due mainly to government employment sinking while private employment grows.