Friday, December 25, 2009

"Reformer" Gives Up

A second-term Pennsylvania state representative who came to Harrisburg as a reformer says she no longer thinks the state's government can be fixed from the inside.
Chester County Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith has been in the House since 2007, when she arrived with a slew of other first-term lawmakers who were elected in the wake of the pay raise uproar.
She's pressed for reform for three years, but now says it's no longer worth the effort.
McIlvaine Smith won't run for reelection next year, because she says she's convinced the system can't be changed from the inside.

"I wish it were different, because I wish that Harrisburg functioned better. I see it as a dysfunctional place to work."

McIlvaine Smith says she'll work with Common Cause, Democracy Rising and other good government groups to call for reforms like a shift to a part-time legislature.
She says it's now clear to her that a bill without the blessings of House and Senate leaders doesn't have a chance of becoming law, and that it likely would have taken several years to pass any of the measures she has pushed for.

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