DeLuca legislation looks to free stalled bills in House committees

HARRISBURG, June 7 – In response to a Republican committee chairman who openly admitted to blocking bills sponsored by House Democrats, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today introduced legislation geared toward releasing stalled bills from House committees.

If adopted, H.R. 955 would make bills eligible for discharge from House committees after 15 calendar days instead of 15 legislative days. This measure, also known as a discharge resolution, is used to force a stalled bill out of a House committee.

DeLuca said if two-thirds of the House members wish to move a bill out of a committee and sign the resolution, the bill would be put on the calendar and then considered on the next scheduled legislative day.

“As you probably know, some chairmen openly refuse to move bills, regardless of their merit and importance, simply because they’re sponsored by a member of the opposing party,” DeLuca said.

“This is the epitome of what’s wrong with politics in Harrisburg. Committees are designed to consider and improve bills so they can be openly debated among the full House. When chairmen make the decision to bottle up good bills that benefit the people, they betray the trust of all Pennsylvanians.”

The resolution comes on the heels of DeLuca’s package of “good government” bills aimed at increasing political transparency and expanding voter rights throughout the commonwealth. They include:

  • H.B. 945, which would allow for same-day voter registration;
  • H.B. 946, which would establish an early voting process in the commonwealth;
  • H.B. 947, which would require a candidate holding one office to resign from that office before running for a new elected position; 
  • H.B. 948, which would limit legislators’ outside income to 35 percent of their base legislative salary; and 
  • H.B. 949, which would require legislators to disclose the amount and source of outside income.

All bills introduced under DeLuca’s “good government” package currently are stalled in the House State Government Committee because the GOP committee chairman has refused to consider them.