Curry Re-Introduces Turtle Bill Boxed Out Last Session
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
State Representative Lawrence Curry (D-Montgomery/Phila) has re-introduced legislation to designate the Eastern box turtle as Pennsylvania’s official state reptile.
Curry has slowly and steadily pushed his bill through the legislative process and a diverse cadre of legislators have come out of their shells to support the measure, ranging from Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) to Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango).
House Bill 634 is being sponsored by Curry on behalf of Glenside Elementary School students and budding herpetologists who asked him to do so after learning about the plight of the turtle in their environmental class last year.
“This is an important exercise in bringing the political process to life for our young students, and in saving the Eastern Box Turtle from extinction in Pennsylvania,” said Curry. “By involving students with the ins and outs of a bill becoming law, we show them the importance of being active and informed participants of the political process.”
The bill was introduced last session, but was boxed out by a competing Senate bill that sought to give the official honor to the Eastern timber rattlesnake.
It is unclear whether the two sides remain at loggerheads, or whether a competing bill will slither its way back into consideration.
The bill may also create contention within Curry’s Montgomery County colleagues, as Reps. Mike Gerber and Josh Shapiro have been alternating as tortoise and hare for several years.