Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Castle Doctrine" Bill Vetoed

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is defending his veto of a bill expanding the right to self-defense with deadly force.
Rendell says he supports language in the measure closing loopholes in Megan's Law statutes, but in the end, he was worried the legislation would make streets more dangerous.
Political observers expect the "Castle Doctrine" measure to become law next year, when Republicans control the House, Senate and governor's office, but Rendell says he isn't sure what will happen.

"I just don't know. We'll see. And look - I can only do what I believe is right. I can't take care of the future. I'm not going to be a factor in it. I did what I believe was right."

Rendell concedes his gun control efforts were an "abject failure," pointing out lawmakers never voted for a measure he promoted requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons to the police. However, many municipalities in the state, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have approved ordinances requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns.

The governor also vetoed a bill expanding fire fighters worker's compensation claims for cancer caused by exposure to carcinogens on the job.
He says the language put an unfair burden of proof on municipalities by assuming cancer was caused by firefighting, unless lawyers could prove otherwise.......

"For things like, as I said in my veto message, prostate cancer or brain cancer, there is no evidence whatsoever - scientific evidence - that anything you do, any of your activities, can promote those. And those are perhaps exclusively genetic. But there's no scientific link. It would have been absolutely impossible to prove

He says the bill would lead to skyrocketing insurance costs, and would force local governments to cut services or raise taxes. Union leaders oppose the veto, but Rendell argues he pushed for a compromise bill expanding firefighters' ability to file for claims, but on a more limited scale that offered more legal protection for municipalities.
The bill passed the House on a unanimous vote, and just four Senators voted against it.

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