Central PA's LGBT News Source
Two protesters were arrested Oct. 4 after a group of community organizations and members of the Services Employees International Union occupied the McCandless office of PA House Speaker Mike Turzai. The protestors demanded that Turzai hold a vote on a state budget that includes a severance tax on Marcellus Shale.
“For Mike Turzai to not even bring the shale tax to the floor for a vote is wrong. This should come to the floor for a vote now,” said Linda Bishop, reportedly a constituent of Speaker Turzai’s and member of PA12 for Progress.
As state budget negotiations continue in Harrisburg, Turzai has reportedly refused to tax the natural gas industry and instead has proposed a series of taxes like the controversial hotel tax that would harm job creation in the state.
“Speaker Turzai is singlehandedly stalling the budget process by refusing to allow a vote on a severance tax," said Gabe Morgan, Vice President and Pennsylvania Director for 32BJ SEIU. "This reckless behavior from Speaker Turzai has already cost the state a credit downgrade, will kill thousands of jobs and will very soon mean deep cuts to education, road and bridges and health care. It’s time to stop playing chicken with the budget and bring forth a long overdue, common sense severance tax to a vote.”