Letters to the Editor

Money clouding state politics

There has been a lot of talk this election season about money in politics, with most of the focus on Wall Street.

What would you say if I told you there is money influencing decisions here in our own state legislature?

There is a bill in the state House that passed the Senate overwhelmingly 40-7 last year. It now sits in the House where it awaits a vote, but things seem stalled after months and months of waiting.

So much time has now gone by that one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. Mike Folmer, has gone to the floor of the state Senate asking his colleagues why a bill concerning a subject more than 80 percent of Pennsylvanians agree on — medical marijuana — can’t get a simple vote in the House.

While thousands of people wait for legal access to a medicinal alternative to addictive opiates and narcotics, alcohol, tobacco and private prison lobbyists are funneling millions into state legislatures like ours to block legislation that would provide relief to those waiting for the passage of SB 3.

It is time we ask our politicians in Harrisburg why a bill ready for vote is being held up and delayed for no viable reason. The voters of Pennsylvania have spoken clearly in poll after poll. There is no excuse for what is so obviously a delay tactic funded by special interests in opposition to the democratic will of the people.

Call for a vote on SB 3 today.

Timothy Havener, Mill Hall