EDITORIAL: Metcalfe finally out as state government chair
After eight long years, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, is no longer chairman of the House State Government Committee.
For four terms, Metcalfe presided over his committee with an iron fist, proudly stopping nearly all legislation written by Democrats from even getting a hearing, much less a vote.
"As Chairman of the House State Government Committee, I have made it my priority during the last eight years to advance only winning Republican policies that promote liberty and freedom, protect hardworking taxpayers, and rein in excessive government," Metcalfe wrote on his Facebook page in November.
We have Metcalfe — and the Republicans on his committee last spring, including Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover, and then-Rep. and now-Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township — to thank for stopping bills creating an independent redistricting committee, without debate or advance warning.
Bills that came to the State Government Committee to create an 11-member commission of citizens to redraw the legislative and congressional committees every 10 years suddenly had amendments giving state House and Senate caucus leaders each one appointment and the full House and Senate voting on one member each, for a total of six members on the commission, all chosen by the Legislature.
Of the 110 co-sponsors of the original bill, Metcalfe said: "Well, most of them are Democrats to begin with, and they're in the minority so they're not governing."
He's also personally responsible for stopping progress on the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which would extend protection against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations to the LGBT community.
These are protections that were supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle last year and even by Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and other businessmen.
But Metcalfe has issues with the LGBT community. He even made a point of informing his colleagues that he is not gay.
“Look, I'm a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife, I don't like men — as you might. But stop touching me all the time,” Metcalfe said during a debate in December 2017 when a male representative sitting next to him touched his arm for a moment.
Of course, Metcalfe will almost certainly— continue to do damage in his new position as chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Last August, he wrote on Facebook that he was "proud to have earned a ZERO ranking on this year’s Pennsylvania "ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD" which is compiled by several far left, environmental extremist organizations."
We can only wait and see what he comes up with for his new committee.
As for the State Government Committee, there is some hope. The new leader is Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy. Everett has served in the House since 2007 and is not generally listed among the conservative wing of the party — he received a “D” grade this fall from the Pennsylvania wing of Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit group focused on taxpayer issues, according to Pennsylvania Watchdog. Metcalfe had received an “A+” from the group.
We can only hope that Everett will take note of his predecessor's actions — and do the exact opposite.