Monday, July 03, 2006

Kansas Would Be Proud

I’m sure that, if I read the fine print of the recently passed PA state budget which was signed by Gov. Ed Rendell last night, I would realize that it does a lot to provide health care for the neediest families in our state as well as funding for our schools and libraries, and even some business tax cuts (though there was some last-minute Machiavellian maneuver by Sen. Vince Fumo in the process, which is typical). This is all good and marks another accomplishment in Rendell’s administration, along with delivering property tax relief.

But I’m really burned up over the following item (from the Inquirer story that can be accessed here – registration required of course):

The only major defeat for Rendell was a proposed $1 billion program to advance bioscience research. Republicans, who control the House and Senate, balked at the so-called Jonas Salk Legacy Fund, named after the developer of the polio vaccine, believing it was too costly.

Speaking with reporters shortly before signing the budget bill, Rendell criticized legislators for axing the proposal, which "had no budget implications."

The two-year program would rely on $500 million in matching funds from research institutions and would be financed by $35 million a year in future funding from the national tobacco settlement. Rendell stressed that he would work in the coming months to build enough support to enact it.
The senators who axed this program obviously have no clue of what the life sciences industry means to Philadelphia. This is why students from all over the world come to this area for study.

I sincerely hope Rendell is successful in reviving this program despite the dunderheaded actions of some provincial pols who apparently want this state to regress into the dominion where those who teach evolution are threatened as part of the ongoing war against the scientific method and critical analysis, relying exclusively instead on the sort of blind adherence to doctrine best practiced by those who chant incantations in the woods, read ouija boards and rely on The Psychic Friends Network for everyday guidance.

By the way, I don't know how my state senator Joe Conti voted on this. If I find out, I'll update this post.

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