Need focus on state agencies (letter) | Letters To The Editor

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Thank you for providing quality information that can help local folks get a better return from their investment in Pennsylvania government.

Popular media reports decry the state General Assembly as being too costly, but a review of the budget indicates that the entire General Assembly typically operates at less than 2% of the state budget, while agencies under the governor’s control consume more than 90%.

There is a sense in which the General Assembly is not really part of the government; members are elected from among the people to oversee the operation of government in the name of the people.

State agency practices in the following areas invite more focused review:

1. Housing justice: Government agency planning, regulatory and tax policies that make housing units that could be built for $100,000 cost $300,000 are a significant part of our affordable housing problem.

2. Environmental justice: State Department of Environmental Protection permitting and related enforcement practices that escalate the cost of water access — without returning measurable improvements to the quality of the water available — place improper burdens on the local poor.

3. Educational justice: The growing cost of unfunded state mandates has been stressing local school budgets for many years. State Department of Health orders closing the schools to reduce viral spread are an essential taking of the local investment in education. State agency officials with a hand in closing the local schools have an obligation to compensate the local taxpayers for the value lost.

Please continue to provide information that can help local folks to be better served by state agencies.

Joe Heller

New Holland



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