In this legislative autobiography Franklin L. Kury tells the story about his election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and later the Senate, against the senior Republican in the House and an entrenched patronage organization. The only Democrat elected from his district to serve in the House or Senate since the Roosevelt landslide in 1936, Kury was instrumental in enacting the environmental amendment to the state constitution, a comprehensive clean streams law, the gubernatorial disability law, reform of the Senate’s procedure for confirmation of gubernatorial appointments, a new public utility law, and flood plain and storm water management laws.
The story told here is based on Kury’s recollections of his experience, supplemented by his personal files, extensive research in the legislative archives, and conversations with persons knowledgeable on the issues. This book is well documented with notes and appendices of significant documents. Several chapters provide detailed “inside” descriptions of how campaigns succeeded and the enactment of legislation happened. The passage of the environmental amendment, clean streams law, public utility code, flood plain and storm water management laws, and the gubernatorial disability law are recounted in a manner that reveals what it takes to pass such proposals.
The book concludes with the author’s reflections on the legislature’s historical legacies, its present operation, and its future.