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).

Rep. Curry (left); Eastern Box Turtle

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.

February 15th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Curry Re-Introduces Turtle Bill Boxed Out Last Session”

  1. Deb McCarter says:

    Thank goodness for legislators like Rep. Curry who not only supports environmentally threatened animals but also supports eliminating BPA from bottles and procedures to protect babies from SIDS. Rep. Curry takes the time to bring these issues to his constituents whether they be seniors or children at Glenside Elementary School.

  2. Tom Williams says:

    Getting kids involved in the process at an early age is VITAL to our democracy, and to the integrity of our legislative institution. The earlier we can expose children to the process of governing, the greater chance we have of improving voter participation. Civic education has been lost on generations of young people, and has been replaced by cynicism and partisan bickering. No wonder our young people run to the hills. Cynicism breeds cynicism. Movies, TV, music and video games are not the only disturbing form of media that is corrupting our youth — so are the 24-hour faux news channels that encourage, and praise, cynicism. We need to teach our young folks how the process works — give them a hands on approach with an issue they can understand, and that should be FREE of cynicism. Yet, there are some who simply relish in destructing our democracy. Rather than encourage involvement, some would rather continue to try to bring the institution down.

    I want to thank Rep. Curry, and all of the legislators from BOTH parties, for caring enough about our kids and our democracy, to join in getting this legislation passed.

  3. This is a trivial example of the need to go to a part time legislature. It is also a poor example for students, unless you are teaching them that nothing important happens in Harrisburg.
    — Maybe a robust School Choice bill instead?? That might get their attention.
    What next, Mr. Curry? A state atomic particle?

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