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Possible Germaneness Issue in Preemption Bill?

Unlike the federal government, but like many other states, Pennsylvania’s constitution has a germaneness requirement for bill amendments. Article III, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states:

No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except a general appropriation bill or a bill codifying or compiling the law or a part thereof.

My concern about the addition of A10397, the preemption enhancement,  to House Bill 80 is that H.B. 80 is about metal theft. That would seem to violate the germaneness requirement. Now, I suspect, though I’m not certain, that because the Senate attached this amendment to a House Bill, that it will go to conference, and the House can strip out the metal theft language and essentially make H.B. 80 a preemption bill only. If the legislature is intent on having a metal theft bill, they can always pass it later with a different bill number, or in a different session. But I do still believe there is a way to save the preemption enhancement on the germaneness issue.

We are, however, getting really close to the election, and this also could have been a last ditch effort for lawmakers to get on record so NRA’s lobbyist will release their grades. I’m not sure what there’s time to do or not. It’s looking like Corbett is going to be toast, and I think it’s a safe bet Tom Wolf will veto the measure. But Corbett will still be able to sign as a lame duck. To me the important thing is we get this done.

BTW, the pigeon shooting ban passed the Senate 3 to 1. NRA is opposing the pigeon shooting ban, but I personally think they are fighting a losing battle on that topic. Wayne Pacelle, head of the phoney-baloney Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is no doubt pleased, even if it still has an uphill climb in the House. If you think those people are going to stop with pigeon shooting, you’re a fool. HSUS is an anti-hunting group, and any victory they get is a step closer to their goal of ending hunting. Unlike the anti-gun groups, they are very well funded, and have a highly motivated, rabid, and broad base of grassroots activists. That’s one reason I believe that, long term, hunting in the United States is probably doomed if trends among hunters keeps going the way it’s going. The time to stop arguing about what hunting is, and stand together, was yesterday.

5 Responses to “Possible Germaneness Issue in Preemption Bill?”

  1. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    Wolf is on record in supporting municipalities that violate PA Code and not being held accountable, so he would definitely veto it. Would that serve as a very early wake-up call to all the fudds that will surely vote for him in a couple weeks? Probably not, since it won’t effect them, or so they think.

    It has been amusing however watching Hillary and Michelle shill for Wolf in Philadelphia, and now the President has apparently signed on for next week. Looking good by campaigning for Democratic locks, or signs of a nervous campaign due to some internal polling? I’m sure it’s the former but I wish it was the latter.

  2. HSR47 says:

    Whether or not they are germane is likely a matter of opinion; both the original bill and the amendment apply to title 18, and both deal with crimes, so at least from that point they are germane.

    I mean, it’s not like they’re attaching a crimes code amendment to a bill about education or transportation…

  3. Beatbox says:

    The pigeons are low hanging fruit. Tough to muster great opposition to that one.

    • HSR47 says:

      Maybe, but…

      If, for example, you swing by Pileggi’s facebook page, the comments on his post bragging about the passage of HB1750 make it fairly clear that they’re the type of moonbats that see it as a step towards a total ban on hunting:

      Betty Emery: “This bill was not JUST about pigeons! THANK YOU Sen. Dominick Pileggi for caring about animals in the state of PA.”

      Walter Ready: “Thank you Senator! As many have mentioned, this bill helps society as a whole as we help put an end to teaching children that cruelty to animals is okay. As an elementary teacher of 15 years I can most certainly tell you that my experience and the research say that kids who see adults harming animals grow up thinking this is normal and then go on to repeat the cycle, many who then go on to harm people. It may seem like “just pigeons”, but there is truly a LOT more to it than that. Thank you Senator for recognizing that.”

      Several other comments seem to be in the same direction, but aren’t quite as open about it.

      To be entirely clear, the issue is that the other side wants to use pigeon shoots as a stepping stone. While I agree that it’s something that may eventually happen, I’d prefer if the language were more specifically tailored, and if we got something tangible in exchange.

  4. Jeff Dege says:

    Minnesota’s 2003 shall-issue permitting law was tossed by the courts for exactly this reason. Which is why we passed it again in 2005.

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