|Charlie Dent commends Simmons|
I learned two things.
First and foremost, Justin Simmons is for real. He may be a freshman legislator, but has managed to get more accomplished in his first term than Bob Casey has done in six years as a U.S. Senator.
Simmons, incidentally, is the LV legislator who broke the legislative logjam that resulted in a serious dispute between Allentown and surrounding municipalities over the diversion of their local taxes to fund a hockey arena. His common-sense solution was to listen to these municipalities and remove the local tax grab. For that alone, he deserves re-election.
But Simmons, unlike most legislators, has actually been legislating, too!
I'm not talking about yet another resolution naming some park or post office after Harry Trexler. I'm talking real, honest-to-goodness, legislation. Pig roast stuff. Topics like giving voters more say over government borrowing. If a municipality actually wants to increase its debt limit, shouldn't voters have the final say? Especially in a home rule municipality?
Former Lehigh County Comm'r Dean Browning thinks so. Before leaving office, he wanted to enact precisely that kind of legislation. But a state law, known as the Debt Act, prevented him. So Browning turned to the kid.
Simmons actually managed to push a bill through the House, where it passed by a vote of 186-2. It will give home rule voters a say.
One of those No votes comes from lameduck Jennifer Mann.
Although the Senate will only meet for nine days in September, Simmons has been assured that they'll approve the bill next month.
So what's the second thing I learned?
We put too much milk in everything, even frickin' pigs. I was unable to eat anything but the baked beans, the sliced tomatoes and pickles. On the bright side, I had a methane-fueled bike ride back to Nazareth.