The Senate Local Government Committee was unable to continue with its hearing Friday in Philadelphia on the Philadelphia soda tax because supporters of the tax blew plastic horns and whistles and chanted “This is our house,” for 45 minutes.
Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York), Chair of the Committee, released this statement on the hearing: “Today’s public hearing of the Senate Local Government Committee, which I chair, was held at the request of my Democratic colleague, Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), to learn more about the recently enacted Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
“These bipartisan public hearings are vital for both legislators and the public to learn about all sides of an issue. As witnessed at today’s public hearing, there is a lot of passion on both sides of this issue and I respect those strong feelings.
“Unfortunately, some protesters would not permit the hearing to be conducted in a civilized manner. It’s disappointing that the residents of Philadelphia could not hear a balanced hearing as requested by Senator Williams this morning.
“I have never been one to shy away from passionate debate. But this trend of shouting down people on the other side of an issue has to stop. It is unproductive.
“It was unfortunate that due to the behavior of those in attendance, we were not even able to announce the cancellation of the hearing.
“Fortunately for those interested in the issue -- all testimony that was to be presented is publicly available on the Senate Local Government Committee’s website to allow those to learn more about this issue.”
Click Here for copies of the hearing testimony.