Man­date study a good thing

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION -

It is the bane of al­most ev­ery lo­cal bor­ough coun­cilPDn, tRwn­shLS FRPPLssLRnHr Dnd sFhRRl bRDrd RI­fiFLDl.

They all look at the lat­est man­date from Harrisburg, raise their hands and say, in uni­son, who’s go­ing to pay for this? UsuDlly Lt’s thH tDxSDyHrs. 2SHn uS thH wDl­lHt, IRlNs. That’s why we were heart­ened to hear of the work of the Penn­syl­va­nia Leg­is­la­ture’s Man­date Study Task FRrFH. ,I thHrH’s RnH thLng thDt FRuld usH grHDtHr sFrutLny, Lt’s stDtH PDndDtHs. 6R D tDsN IRrFH tR dR Must thDt wRuld sHHP lLNH D grHDt LdHD.

The task force has been study­ing ways to re­duce state PDndDtHs Rn lRFDl PunLFLSDlLtLHs. 6hDrSHn uS thRsH SHnFLls, IRlNs. ,t dLdn’t tDNH thHP lRng tR hLt SDy dLrt.

The panel al­ready has come up with some good ideas — Ln SDrtLFulDr, RnH thDt wRuld rHTuLrH D fisFDl DnDl­y­sis of how pro­posed leg­is­la­tion would af­fect lo­cal gov­HrnPHnts. 7hDt DF­tuDlly hRlds thH SrRPLsH RI D Ful­turH FhDngH, gHt­tLng Dt thH rRRt RI thH Ls­suH. 7hH PRvH wRuld tar­get not only the sim­ple num­ber-crunch­ing by leg­isla­tive staffers that ad­dresses the costs to state gov­ern­ment, but also to the gov­ern­ment en­tity that would end up holdLng thH bDg.

7hH FDutLRn hHrH Ls nRt tR gR RvHr­bRDrd. EvHry­bRdy hDtHs PDndDtHs. UnIRr­tunDtHly, wLthRut thHP nRt D lRt gHts dRnH.

The task force sug­gests there are cur­rently some 6,500 PDndDtHs — lDws — DIIHFtLng lRFDl PunLFLSDlLtLHs.

LDws dRn’t PDtHrLDlLzH by D PDgLFDl Rr HvLl SrRFHss. In Penn­syl­va­nia, we the peo­ple elect 253 other peo­ple, whRP wH FDll lDwPDNHrs, tR SrR­duFH thRsH lDws. 7hHsH are the same peo­ple who have now cre­ated a task force tR slLP dRwn thRsH vHry sDPH PDndDtHs. ,t’s NLnd RI lLNH FhDsLng yRur tDLl DItHr D whLlH.

It’s not hard to see why Penn­syl­va­nia is the proud home of one of the largest and most ex­pen­sive law­mak­ing bodLHs Ln thH FRun­try. And thHrHLn lLHs thH rHDl sR­lutLRn tR thH PDndDtH SrRblHP.

EvHry lDw hDs D FRn­stL­tuHnFy. LDws RrLgLnDtH wLth LndLvid­u­als and in­ter­est groups, and those folks turn to their HlHFtHd RI­fiFLDls tR tDNH FDrH RI thHP Ln thH stDtH FDSLtDl. 2nH SHrsRn’s hDtHd PDndDtH Ls DnRthHr’s vLtDl SublLF sDIHguDrd. 7hHrH’s D rHFHnt lDw rHgulDtLng SuSSy PLlls. AlPRst HvHryRnH Ls DgDLnst thHP. But FrDFNLng dRwn Rn thHP Ls nRt LnHxSHn­sLvH.

Nearly ev­ery­one is clam­or­ing right now for more laws re­quir­ing the re­port­ing of sus­pected child sex­ual abuse, Dnd PRrH lDws rHgulDtLng stDtH-rHlDtHd unLvHrsLtLHs. :hHn some­thing goes wrong, we con­clude it hap­pened be­cause wH dLdn’t hDvH HnRugh lDws Rr thH rLght RnHs.

Law­mak­ers feel like they’re ac­com­plish­ing some­thing (Dnd MustLIyLng thHLr HxLstHnFH) whHn thHy’rH SDssLng laws — es­pe­cially those in­tended to ad­dress prob­lems SRLn­tHd Rut by FRn­stL­tuHnts. At HlHFtLRn tLPH thHy brDg about laws they’ve spon­sored or co-spon­sored and we re­ward them by re-elect­ing them for look­ing out for our Ln­tHrHsts.

So by all means, re­view the plethora of state man­dates Dnd whDFN thRsH dHHPHd tRR HxSHn­sLvH Rr RnHrRus. But while we’re at it, we’re re­minded there’s a much eas­ier wDy tR PDNH stDtH gRvHrnPHnt PRrH FRst-HIIHFtLvH.

Re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple de­voted to cre­at­ing laws — by down­siz­ing Penn­syl­va­nia’s Leg­is­la­ture, and maybe HvHn rH­duFLng Lt tR SDrt tLPH.

- Jour­nal Reg­is­ter News Ser­vice

Sub­mit­ted photo

GEAR UP TO WIN ... Pen­nridge Rams football play­ers, from left, Alex Krivda, Macken­zie Craw­ford, Shane Kraynik, John Dubyk and Sam Krivda dis­trib­ute do­nated gear to mem­bers of the East­wick Dy­nasty Dragons youth football pro­gram. Sev­eral mem­bers of the...

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