On August 4, 2009 the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 195-3 to pass Senate Bill 850 to pay workers. As written, S.B. 850 makes deep cuts to key programs that would force more disabled people out of their homes and into nursing homes.
The PA ADAPT members were told that the senator was busy in Harrisburg. With the senator unavailable, the group had a conference call with Casey Long, Scarnati’s director of legislative affairs. Mr. Long attempted to answer the group’s concerns with typical political rhetoric.
Unsatisfied with this dialogue, the PA ADAPT members requested to speak with the Senator via phone, and decided to stay at Scarnati’s office until he talked to them. A short time later, Warren City Police were dispatched to the senator’s office. Since the group wasn’t blocking access to the senator’s office or other offices, they were allowed to remain.
The PA ADAPT Members spent the afternoon of the 1st and the morning of the 2nd waiting to speak with Scarnati. Although the senator’s staff members where polite and understanding, it became obvious that the senator had no intention of speaking with the group. “Ignore them and they’ll go away” seemed to be his strategy.
On the morning of the 2nd, all public restroom facilities in the building were locked, preventing PA ADAPT Members from using them. This rude move provided another subtle hint that the senator didn’t want to deal with the group.
The PA ADAPT members are appalled at Scarnati’s refusal to speak with concerned citizens of Pennsylvania about the budget. He needs to realize that he represents all PA citizens in the state budget negotiations. His refusal to speak with PA ADAPT members gives the undeniable message that he DOES NOT CARE about what the citizens of Pennsylvania think.
Despite Scarnati’s refusal to speak with the PA ADAPT members, local radio and newspaper helped spread the word to his local constituents. Additionally the group got to speak with local citizens, and almost all agreed with the message.
PA ADAPT is not finished with Senator Scarnati. He now has been introduced to PA ADAPT and will hear from the organization again in the near future.
You Can Help! Call Senator Scarnati’s offices and tell him to stop playing politics with peoples’ lives. Demand that state government quit using the disabled community as political pawns. Tell him to fund people first.
Harrisburg, PA – 717-787-7084
Warren, PA – 814-726-7201
Brockway, PA – 814-265-2030
Wellsboro, PA – 570-724-5231