Repeal some 1930s vintage laws? Yeah, a Pa. House committee is going to do that | Tuesday Morning Coffee

April 16, 2019 7:06 am

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Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
If you stop by the House State Government Committee’s meeting this Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in 60 East Wing, you’ll get the chance to see the Republican-controlled panel engaging in the legislative equivalent of spring cleaning.

The committee is slated to act on a quartet of bills sponsored by Reps. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette, and Jonathan Fritz, R-Susquehanna, that would get rid of a handful of mostly 1930s-vintage laws that, like some of the 203-member chamber’s more undistinguished backbenchers, still exist, even if no one’s quite sure of what they do, or why they’re still hanging around after all these years.

For instance, one of Dowling’s bills would repeal Act 49 of 1933, which — and we swear we’re not making this up — “prohibits individuals and associations from playing or engaging in baseball or football games before 2:00 pm, and after 6:00 pm on Sundays.”  

That’s a pretty ridiculous piece of law. Nonetheless, we can’t help but think there are some among you who would eagerly call the cops on the Phillies when they inevitably collapse and can’t even see the playoffs by late August. And we’re Orioles fans, so we don’t say that lightly.

Here’s the best of the rest:

HB1175 (Dowling): Would repeal Act 99 of 1973 which states,“this act suspends sports, musical, theatrical and dramatic performances before 1:00 pm on Sundays throughout Pennsylvania.”
HB1179 (Fritz): Would repeal laws from 1933 which regulate when music can be played on Sundays.
HB1180 (Fritz): Would repeal laws from 1935 which regulate when movies can be played on Sundays.

Again, this effort might seem a tad frivolous. After all, why waste time on legislation repealing laws that are remnants of the past and are never enforced?

Two reasons: First, purging statute from time to time increases government efficiency, and it gets rid of redundancies within state law. And second, unlike the time when it was chaired by Someone Else, the committee — at least for today — won’t be actively trying turn back time for thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Progress, friends. Progress.

Our Stuff:
State House committees have advanced the last two recommendations from the Catholic Church grand jury report, Stephen Caruso reports.
debate over subsidies for coal, gas and nukes was front-and-center during a state House hearing on a proposed nuclear bailout bill on Monday, Caruso also reports.
Speaking of grand juries, another one of them has recommended ways to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in Pennsylvania’s $33 billion Medicaid program.
In this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket, we run down the Top 5 most – and least – environmentally friendly states in the nation. Pennsylvania finished about where you expected it would.

On the Opinion side of the house, Duquesne University nursing professor explains why lawmakers should finally pass that bill expanding the scope of practice for nurse-practitioners. 

Via The Inquirer, here are the 55, yes, 55, people running for Philadelphia City Council in 2019.
You will probably not be surprised to learn that confusion reigned at Monday night’s Harrisburg school board meetingPennLive has the story.
Mad props this morning to the staff of The Post-Gazettewho won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Tree of LIfe shootings last October. Know what would look great hanging on the wall next to that? A new contract for a PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING staff that’s been without one for two years. Just sayin’.
The warden of the Westmoreland County prison is looking for an apology from a county commissioner for trying yet again to have him fired, The Tribune-Review reports.
Bernie Sanders held a Fox News town hall in BethlehemThe Morning Call has the story.

What Happens on Twitter:
Hearts were breaking all over the world Monday at the news of the horrible fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. We all exhaled when we learned the cathedral’s structure could be saved.

A Philly councilwoman is calling for the head of the city’s Free Library to step downWHYY-FM reports. 
A Lancaster County school board has adopted a policy that will likely end the practice of allowing a transgender boy to use the locker room that matches his gender identityThe PA Post reports. The district’s superintendent says it’ll probably get the district sued. Good.
Refugee-welcoming Lancaster is not a target of President Trump’s sanctuary city threat,LancasterOnline reports.
BillyPenn is joining the WHYY-FM family. That’s great news for independent journalism.
The Incline has six places to find cherry blossoms in Pittsburgh.
U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Chuck Schumer are squabbling over disaster aid to Puerto RicoPolitico reports.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


What Goes On:
The House gavels in at 11 a.m.
10 a.m., Main Rotunda: Student Government Association leadership oaths are administered.
12 p.m., Media Center: The Legislative Black Caucus talks about police reform and improving police-community relations
12 pm., Main Rotunda: Rally against gerrymandering

Gov. Tom Wolf 
heads to SePa today for a pair of events. At 11 a.m, he’s in Ardmore to attend the opening of One Ardmore Place. At 2 p.m, he’s at the Independence Visitors Center in Philly, where he’ll join MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred and the Phillies for a ‘major announcement.’ Our dream: Gritty is the new mascot.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Adam Ravenstahl
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Zach Mako
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Natalie Mihalek
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Jake Wheatley
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Steve Kinsey
5 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Craig Staats
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Mark Keller
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Neal Goodman
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Todd Stephens
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out an eye-watering $8,250 today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out to our old pal and veteran PR hand, Jeanette Krebs, of Harrisburg, who celebrates today. Congratulations and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s one from The Postal Service. It’s ‘Tattered Line of String.’

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Now that’s the team we recognize. Carolina came roaring back to blank Washington 5-0 on Monday night. The ‘Canes trail the Caps 2-1 heading into Game 4 in Raleigh tonight.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.