Some legislators recognize the need to get serious in Harrisburg. Just not these two
Two glaring omissions in Pennsylvania law obviously were eating away at a pair of state legislators.
As a result, Rep. John Maher of Upper St. Clair is trying to ensure no one makes a meal from animals that formerly were pets. Meanwhile, Rep. Rick Saccone of Elizabeth Township is attempting to force-feed the nation's motto to public-school students.
Both Republican lawmakers should be applauded for their efforts. Rather than address the same old problems plaguing the state (infrastructure funding, for example), they are taking aim at critical problems their detractors cynically might suggest do not exist.
Maher's bill, which would prohibit the processing and selling of dog and cat meat for human consumption, can't become law quickly enough. Pet lovers across the state should be grateful he perceptibly noticed how common this disgusting practice has become.
I can't tell you how many times I've been repulsed at the supermarket by the sight of puppy patties sitting next to the frozen hamburgers. Equally revolting are the feline franks — some with whiskers protruding from the package — sitting in the same refrigerated case as the all-beef wieners.
You don't have to be at a grocery to have your appetite ambushed in this manner. I've walked out of restaurants when diners at the next table ordered as an entrée portions of a creature that once answered to the name “Tippy.”
Maher's legislation finally would establish clear limits on what can be done with dog and cat flesh. Specifically, if it barks or meows, it would not be available for purchase in 1-pound packages or served with Bernaise sauce.
Saccone's bill would correct what educators near-unanimously haven't agreed is the most significant problem plaguing school districts today: The national motto, “In God We Trust,” isn't prominently displayed in every school building.
Saccone suggested there could be tangible educational benefit to displaying the motto, as students might be prompted to consider its origin. Who knows? They might even be inspired to stop playing Candy Crush on their cellphones long enough to embrace learning.
Before long, peer-reviewed educational journals would be marveling over the proven link between the motto and significantly higher SAT scores in Pennsylvania schools.
The motto measure is Saccone's most legislatively significant action since April. He sponsored a resolution calling for a “National Fast Day” in Pennsylvania to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation for a national day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
Aren't resolutions like that the reason we send representatives to Harrisburg? If our elected officials don't advise us to masochistically starve ourselves while devoting our time to religious contemplation, who will?
Maher and Saccone's bills are the latest examples of an indisputable truth about state lawmakers.
They can be trusted as much as God — at least when it comes to conceiving utterly useless legislation.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or [email protected].