The Legislature finished our 2014 spring/summer voting session on July 2, 2014…or did we?
No taxation without representation! An idea from the founding of our nation was that citizens should not be taxed by their government without having a representative voice in the decision to take more from the fruit of their labor. As citizens, we may disagree with how our tax dollars are spent, but under our constitutions we are provided with an elected voice to represent us. If our elected representatives do not reflect our views, then we can hold them accountable through the election process.
It is budget season at the Capitol. On Feb. 4, 2014, the governor delivered his budget address to the Pennsylvania Legislature. Typically before the governor speaks before the joint session of the Legislature, we are given copies of his speech and budget documents.
A Democrat Pennsylvania judge who heard arguments against our voter identification law last June, after delaying the hearing for his vacation, finally made his ruling on January 17, 2014. In an activist partisan maneuver, he struck down the law as unconstitutional.
To prepare for 2014, I held a conference call with my staff in my district office and at the State Capitol to develop a legislative plan for the New Year. The plan is an update of my two-year legislative session plan that we developed at the end of 2012. It includes consideration of legislation that I will personally introduce and legislation that has been referred to me as Chairman of the State Government Committee. It also includes State Government Committee hearings, district events and State Capitol events, such as my annual 2nd Amendment Action Day. In preparation for the New Year, I also reviewed my office budget. The state legislative expense accounts that I have direct control over have received the same annual appropriation since I was first elected in 1998. Operating my office on a zero growth budget for 15 years is just one way that I lead by example. Our government should live within its means.
Liberals in both major political parties resort to slander and libel when they are not able to defeat their opposition through legitimate political debate. Their politics of the personal destruction of their adversaries in a civil society should cause one to reflect on how they would act in a society unrestrained by our Constitution and the law.
In the U.S.A, no one is above the law. We do not have a king or queen, but a Constitution and the rule of law. If an elected official has a responsibility under the law, but refuses to comply with the law, then that individual should no longer be allowed to remain in office.
An attack website was launched against me last week by an anonymous source. The day after I learned of the attack, anonymous robo-calls were made into Butler County homes to promote the misleading and deceptive website. They even called my Capitol office
I was raised to believe in the personal responsibility that each citizen owes and the individual rights that each citizen owns. Personal responsibility and individual rights are like two sides of the same coin. Our rights are accompanied by responsibilities. As our government expands entitlement programs it erodes personal responsibility. The erosion of personal responsibility by our government simultaneously strips away our individual rights.
“Mr. Metcalfe should worry about his own business,” said Governor Tom Corbett in a Butler Eagle article dated July 3, 2013. He was responding to my comments regarding his failure to complete the budget on time this year, due to his spending too much time on his other proposals before the Legislature. In the same article, he also claimed that the budget was “on time.”
On May 30, I held my annual Senior Expo at the Cranberry Township Municipal Building. The event offers attendees an opportunity to learn more about their health, along with opportunities and services available to them in our community. I always enjoy the time it gives me to visit with, and most importantly listen to, those citizens who are able to attend the expo.
Last week I was surprised to have two gentlemen from the Azerbaijan Embassy visit my office and ask to meet with me.
The month started off, thanks to a faithful friend who invites me yearly, with my attending the Greater Pittsburgh Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast on March 1.
On February 5, 2013, the Governor addressed the Legislature to present his annual budget. Privatizing the state stores, pension reform and transportation funding were some of the issues he mentioned during his address. As proposed by the Governor, each of these action items would require legislation, in addition to the appropriations bill, in order to be enacted.
On January 1, 2013, I was sworn into my eighth term of service in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. I am reminded of the first time I raised my hand and took the oath to defend the Constitution at the age of 17 when I joined the U.S. Army. Many veterans still embrace their original oath. I believe that it is important for every patriotic American to embrace the duty of defending our Constitution.