PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the state legislature left Harrisburg earlier this week for summer break, Governor Corbett wasn’t the only one frustrated with their inability to pass major pieces of legislation like transportation funding and liquor reform.
Some of the newest members of the legislature are also unhappy.
Having passed a budget on time, two new local freshmen state representatives — Erin Molchany of Mt. Washington and Dan Miller of Mt. Lebanon — came home for a 12-week summer break, saying Harrisburg sure left a lot of unfinished business on the table.
“The legislature getting to work on transportation, Medicaid expansion, is absolutely something we should be focusing on sooner rather than later,” Molchany told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
“The issues that we’re dealing with are major. And that to me is worth going back. Again I was surprised by the time in between given the issues we were debating,” added Miller.
As exciting as their first legislative session was, what really surprises these freshmen legislators is that the legislature does not return to regular business for nearly three months — Sept. 23. That’s after the Steelers have played four pre-season games and three regular season games.
No legislative session until Sept. 23?
“It did surprise me. It did surprise me,” noted Miller.
“I had actually emailed a couple of my colleagues, did I see this right, is it Sept. 23?” said Molchany.
That’s the return date set by Republican leaders who control both chambers.
Jon Delano tried to get Gov. Corbett to comment on the failure to meet until Sept. 23 — but he ducked.
“Well, Jon, if you talk to members they work back in their district offices, and that’s as far as you’re going to get me to comment on that. Nice try,” said the governor.
But the freshmen say they’re willing to get back to Harrisburg this summer to finish the work.
“I’d be happy to go back to the floor of the House and have debates on Medicaid expansion and sustainable funding for transportation,” said Molchany.
“Let’s go back,” said Miller. “Let’s talk about these big issues. And let’s do it with a new sense of compromise to get something done.”