DeLuca calls upon Republican committee chairman to release bill package

HARRISBURG, June 13 – Today, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, again called upon the State House Government Committee chairman to release his package of “good government” bills, which were referred to the committee more than a year ago.

It’s Deluca’s third attempt in roughly two months to have the bill package – geared toward increasing political transparency and expanding voter rights throughout the commonwealth – released from the committee.

“It’s been well over a year since Speaker of the House Mike Turzai referred my bills to this committee,” DeLuca said. “These bills will benefit all Pennsylvanians and provide transparency for politicians in Harrisburg, something which has been missing for quite some time. However, that doesn’t seem to matter to the committee chairman, who openly admitted to blocking bills sponsored by House Democrats.”

In April, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, chairman of the House State Government Committee, acknowledged on his official state representative Facebook page that he blocks “all substantive Democrat legislation” sent to his committee.

Today, DeLuca called upon Metcalfe to release H.B. 946, H.B. 948 and H.B. 949, three of the five measures included in his “good government” bill package.

House Bill 946 would permit early voting; H.B. 948 would limit outside income for legislators to 35 percent of their base legislative pay; and H.B. 949 would require disclosure from where that income is derived.

“These are commonsense bills crafted to benefit commonwealth residents. One bill looks to permit early voting so that those who struggle to make it to the polls on voting day can ensure that their right-to-vote is utilized and not squandered due to age-old voting practices,” DeLuca said. “The other two pieces of legislation look to improve the trust between the public and elected officials here at the Capitol.”

In an effort to help House Democrats, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, on April 30 reintroduced roughly 88 bills and resolutions that Metcalfe had blocked in the House State Government Committee, including DeLuca’s bill package. He requested the speaker refer each to different committees where they stand a chance of receiving the due consideration they deserve.

The bills have yet to be referred to a committee.