Frankel: Republicans shut down debate on constitutional amendment

Majority’s actions akin to ‘bulldozing over’ discussion, debates

HARRISBURG, July 13 – On Monday, state House Republicans took unilateral action to shut down debate and discussion over proposed constitutional amendments before the House, an ironic move given the contents of the bill under debate, said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny.

“House Republicans seem to be modeling themselves after the Trump administration, where democracy looks like bulldozing over any potential disagreement or discussion,” Frankel said. “They propose to change the constitution – the founding document of the commonwealth – without considering any of more than 60 ideas to enhance their legislation.”

Proposed amendments would have addressed non-discrimination protection for LGBT residents, redistricting, and the length of a natural disaster declaration. Frankel proposed an amendment to enshrine a right to health in the constitution.

“It’s ironic that their goal is to attack public health efforts by deliberately undermining our governor – meanwhile, they won’t even allow debate on the idea that Pennsylvanians might want to protect their health, and the health of their neighbors, as a fundamental protection in Pennsylvania,” he said.

The decision to end debate on S.B. 1166 passed almost entirely along party lines, with one Republican voting against the measure. The bill, which would amend the state constitution to limit disaster declarations in Pennsylvania to 21 days, is scheduled to be voted on final passage Tuesday.