The last three months have been hell in Pennsylvania, to say the least. As our collective nightmare begins to end, the Wolf Administration has floated the term "new normal" into the conversation of what our Commonwealth will look like. I don't disagree that after this we need a new normal, but it isn't anything like what the Governor imagines. In fact, his errors in judgment and obtuse policies during the COVID-19 disaster emergency were so horrific that he should surrender any authority over what comes next.
The new normal I envision is a Keystone State where no single individual can EVER torture our entire population like this again. What we need is a modern-day Declaration of Independence and Equality. Just as Pennsylvania was the hub of activity leading to freedom from the chains of King George III and his successors, we should once again lead the way in re-establishing Liberty and escaping the chains of King Thomas I and his potential successors.
Below are a few policy points I believe need to be included in our new Declaration of Independence and Equality. I already have legislation introduced or drafted to address some of these points, while I am working on legislation for others. I am also open to additional suggestions as to how to reform our Commonwealth to make sure Liberty and Equality are safe from tyranny.
Rewrite the Emergency Services Management code to include legislative approval for the purpose of mandating cooperation and to keep future governors from going rogue.
Law enforcement reform, aimed at restoring respect for authority by ensuring law enforcement authority is carried out with restraint, dignity, and an eye on resolving engagements with citizens as peacefully as possible
Professional and business licensing reform, aimed at putting industry and professional organizations fully in charge of licensing enforcement, with the state merely acting on their behalf. Additionally, we should be open to re-examining and repealing some classifications of licensing.
Establishing a Right to Refuse law, to give every Pennsylvanian the freedom to opt out of medical testing and vaccinations as a prerequisite to employment and other activities.
A complete overhaul of Pennsylvania's sales, income, and property tax systems to establish fairness and equality.
Re-inventing our public school system to reflect changing needs of the Commonwealth and advances in technology.
Making civics and constitutional studies a prominent feature of every child's education.
Criminal justice reform to stop incarcerating Pennsylvanians for non-violent crimes.
Consolidating local police, fire, and EMS services under county, rather than municipal, jurisdiction. Limiting the Pennsylvanian State Police to highway patrol and running a state crime lab and detective bureau, while transferring excess troopers to the county-level departments where they reside.
These are just some of the paths I believe need to be traveled to create a proper new normal in Pennsylvania. We need to have serious discussions about big ideas to ensure the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government shall be recognized and unalterably re-established. We need to enact policies to enhance, rather than to restrict, the Liberty of the 12.8 million citizens of this Commonwealth.