DeLuca outraged at GOP’s failure to consider outside income amendment

Says majority leader’s comments show disconnect with working families

HARRISBURG, Dec. 15 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ following the House’s failure to consider his legislation that would bar PA House members from having outside income while working for the legislature.

“Members of the House and Senate are paid a full-time salary and should do a full-time job,” DeLuca said. “They’re already making far more than the average Pennsylvania worker and owe it to the people they represent to put their constituents’ interests, and not their own, first.”

DeLuca had offered his legislation as an amendment to H.B. 71, which would amend the state constitution to establish spending limits that the state must abide by each fiscal year. However, his amendment was defeated in a party-line procedural vote.

The lawmaker said he was also outraged by comments made by the House majority leader, state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, who urged members to vote against allowing DeLuca’s amendment to move forward, and who said the cost of living varies across the state and some members may require outside income to pay mortgages or car insurance.

“To suggest that House and Senate members -- who are already paid generously -- aren’t making enough money is insulting to the many working Pennsylvania families who are struggling to make ends meet,” DeLuca said. “Further, having an outside source of income opens lawmakers up to corruption because they might vote to further their own business interests and not those of the common man or woman.

“All I asked is that we leave it up the voters to decide, and I am disappointed my colleagues chose not to do so.”

Editor note: Video of Rep. DeLuca’s remarks can be found here.