– Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) will focus his agenda for the 2021-22 Legislative Session on bills designed to preserve individual rights and update outdated government edicts. Other initiatives have local interest.
“As the representative of the 51st District, I have had many conversations with residents about their state-related frustrations and concerns, and individual rights is one of the most frequent topics,” Dowling said. “That’s why it’s going to be my top focus this session, while also working on issues with local interest and to repeal archaic laws that only contribute to the complex and confusing nature of government.”
Dowling is seeking co-sponsors for legislation that highlights the need for better enforcement of Pennsylvania’s current state preemption over local firearms and ammunition regulations. Despite a specific prohibition of local regulation of ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components in the Crimes Code, local governments continue to pass ordinances in defiance of the law.
Other planned legislation would deter local jurisdictions from imposing illegal ordinances by entitling any party that successfully challenges an illegal local firearm ordinance to reimbursement for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to bring the lawsuit. To give municipalities fair notice, the attorney general would notify all municipalities of the bill before it goes into effect.
The second proposal to protect rights would allow people to own tasers without fear of legal ramifications if the label has worn off, been removed or is otherwise not on the device. The owner would still need to be a law-abiding citizen to legally own the device.
A proposal of local interest would move the scenic byway designation in the Uniontown area to the original National Road (Route 40) from the Uniontown Bypass (Route 119). New billboards would be limited, and the National Road Heritage Corridor would be better suited to preserve the downtown corridor.
Another proposal of local interest would modernize the membership of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission Board, which hasn’t been updated in more than 25 years and lists entities that no longer exist for board representation. It would reduce the commission from 15 to 13 members by retaining the current four legislative appointments and four members appointed by the governor. The remaining members would be three members appointed by the governor from a list of at least five nominees submitted by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission, one member nominated by the Port of Pittsburgh’s Executive Committee and appointed by the board, and one member appointed by the governor from a list of at least three nominees submitted by the board.
Lastly, two outdated laws would be repealed by bills Dowling plans to introduce. One law he is seeking to repeal prohibits individuals and associations from playing or engaging in baseball or football games on Sundays before 2 p.m. or after 6 p.m. The other law he is seeking to repeal suspends sports, musicals and theatrical and dramatic performances before 1 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information about Dowling’s legislative priorities, please visit his website at RepDowling.com or call his office at 724-438-6100.