You might remember how, back in July, I pretty much went batshit insane when the Pennsylvania State Assembly decided to discontinue its General Assistance program, despite the fact that it throws 68,000 people under the bus – my fiancée one of them – even though they could have actually afforded it if they weren’t a pack of greedy cunts. Well, the issue has reared its ugly head once again, thanks to a lawsuit that’s been brought against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for trying to cornholing the poor, and today could be the day the judge presiding over the hearing decides whether or not he will grant a preliminary injunction over the issue.
It’s important to note that the lawsuit being brought isn’t just a bunch of mentally ill people and minorities whining about losing their $205 a month tugboat. In fact, there are some serious procedural issues that have been raised by the fact that the budget that held these changes to the General Assistance program was passed, according to the lawsuit. The rules for legislative process in Pennsylvania are very exacting, and Act 80, the legislative act that dismantled General Assistance, allegedly violated this process in several ways according to Community Legal Services of Pennsylvania, who is helping to bring the case, stating that:
- Act 80 made historic and sweeping changes to seven different programs in a single omnibus bill that had no connection to the bill’s original, narrow purpose and language. Such drastic and extensive changes to an original piece of legislation are considered “log-rolling” that violates Article III of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
- Neither the Senate nor House considered Act 80 on three separate days as required by Article III. The complex core of the Legislation – including the termination of General Assistance cash grants and the creation of the pilot block grant program – was considered in less than a day by each chamber on the last two days of the fiscal year contrary to Article III’s goal of a transparent and public legislative process.
- Act 80 violates Article III by giving the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and individual counties the unlawful authority to spend money for purposes other than those for which the Legislature appropriated funding.
- Act 80 violates Article II of the Constitution by allowing DPW to implement the pilot block grant program without adequate legislative guidance.
This means, of course, that if you’re trying to fuck over the poor, you should try to do it in such a way that complies with your own god damned laws. Hopefully this hearing will result in some justice, though I can’t say I’m particularly expecting any. Still, my fingers are going to be crossed, even if I’m not going to hold my breath.