On behalf of more than 70,000 Pro-life Christian Pennsylvanians, please VOTE NO on Senate Bill 561. We oppose the bill, which would amend the Regulatory Review Act as it would establish an unconstitutional one-chamber veto of executive agency actions at the expense of the lives, health, safety, and welfare of Pennsylvania’s children, both born and unborn.
SB 561, which is modeled after the H.R. 26 (“REINS” Act of 2017) in the U.S. Congress, would change the current system by blocking any new “economically significant regulation” from becoming law unless both the House and the Senate vote to approve it. A proposed regulation would be considered “economically significant” if it was estimated to have a “direct or indirect cost” to state and local government and the private sector of more than $1,000,000. The Bill does not account for the millions of dollars in lost wages, birth defects, health care costs or other direct cost borne in the lives, lungs, hearts, and minds of our children.
Medical Research has demonstrated birth defects and pre-term births associated with fugitive methane and other chemicals from natural gas extraction. Pennsylvania’s fresh waters have 100’s of fish eating advisories for mercury and PBC’s, known to cause brain damage. The Susquehanna is filled with cancerous bass and in many localities smog and soot adversely impact our unborn children.
For far too long we have allowed businesses to privatize their profits while dumping the costs into our kids’ bodies. We are not against natural gas production or other significant industries for Pennsylvania. As market based conservatives, we want true costs to be known so the market can work and the subsidizing of industry by allowing free license to pollute our air, water, and children must stop. The only way to insure our unborn children’s right to an abundant life is for our Legislature to provide adequate laws and protections that defend our kids and correct for market failures.
This bill fails to defend our children by not considering the massive health benefits of a regulation, is probably unconstitutional in allowing one side of the Legislature to derail a standard and violates:
Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution:
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all of the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
As you consider your vote please consider the lives of our unborn children and our Pennsylvania Constitution.
Please understand that caring for God’s creation care is a matter of life, so respectfully we ask you to vote no on SB 561 and protect our children.
The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox