Democrats reintroduce bills blocked by partisan chairman

HARRISBURG, April 30 -- Pennsylvania House Democrats today reintroduced roughly 88 bills and resolutions that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has blocked in the House State Government Committee and called for Speaker Mike Turzai to repudiate Metcalfe’s obstructionism.

Democratic Leader Frank Dermody sent a letter to notify Turzai of the reintroduction of dozens of bills and requested that the speaker refer each to different committees where they stand a chance of receiving the due consideration they deserve.

Recently, Republican chairman Metcalfe bragged at a public meeting and on Facebook that he routinely blocks substantive Democratic bills in his committee without review. Because of Metcalfe, these bills never see the light of day nor a debate on their merits.

Metcalfe acknowledged he is blocking the bills solely because they were introduced by Democrats and based on his personal biases and partisan extremism.

"Our state government cannot work the way it’s supposed to if the committee system in the House of Representatives is hijacked and held hostage by one extremist with a personal agenda," Dermody said. "We all understand that politics plays a role in how quickly legislation moves forward in the House, but this is beyond the pale.

“Never before have we seen a committee chairman whose own inability to tolerate dissent shows complete disdain for the legislative process, for other lawmakers, and for millions of people who care about these important issues," Dermody said.

Those issues include redistricting reform, campaign finance reform, and banning discrimination against LGBT residents, he said.

"It's unconscionable for the speaker of the House and other Republicans to hide behind this extremist chairman and continue to use him as a way to quietly block legislation they don't support and thwart public consideration of bills that don't reflect  their own political agenda."

In his letter to Turzai, Dermody wrote: "All we seek is that you use your authority and discretion as speaker and give each bill a chance before a different committee with a different chairman."

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LIST OF BILLS HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE REINTRODUCING

These are the bills sponsored by House Democrats that current State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe refused to consider in his committee during the last 16 months. House Democrats reintroduced the bills today with new bill numbers (H.B. 2331-2412) and requested that Speaker Mike Turzai refer each to a new committee.

HB 68 (Burns)

HB 75 (Snyder)

HB 101 (Bizzarro – same-day voter registration)

HB 189 (Rabb)

HB 193 (Gainey)

HB 222 (Briggs)

HB 336 (D.Costa)

HB 427 (Pashinski)

HB 493 (Schlossberg)

HB 499 (T.Davis)

HB 563 (Neilson – independent redistricting commission)

HB 568 (T.Davis – gift ban for public officers)

HB 569 (T.Davis)

HB 570 (T.Davis)

HB 611 (Cruz)

HB 620 (Cruz)

HB 621 (Cruz)

HB 722 (Samuelson – independent redistricting commission)

HB 733 (Longietti)

HB 736 (Longietti)

HB 793 (T.Davis)

HB 869 (Bizzarro)

HB 924 (Daley)

HB 945 (DeLuca)

HB 946 (DeLuca)

HB 947 (DeLuca)

HB 948 (DeLuca)

HB 949 (DeLuca)

HB 950 (DeLuca)

HB 951 (DeLuca)

HB 1016 (Caltagirone)

HB 1093 (McClinton)

HB 1114 (Sims)

HB 1117 (Sims)

HB 1138 (Goodman)

HB 1145 (Briggs)

HB 1167 (Dawkins)

HB 1168 (Dawkins)

HB 1173 (Caltagirone)

HB 1208 (Solomon)

HB 1229 (Hanna)

HB 1241 (Dawkins)

HB 1253 (Caltagirone)

HB 1258 (Freeman)

HB 1262 (Harkins)

HB 1272 (Goodman)

HB 1303 (Matzie)

HB 1304 (Matzie)

HB 1332 (Dermody – comprehensive campaign finance reform)

HB 1410 (Frankel – LGBT non-discrimination)

HB 1417 (Pashinski)

HB 1433 (Caltagirone)

HB 1439 (Caltagirone)

HB 1454 (Rabb)

HB 1465 (Rabb)

HB 1546 (Matzie)

HB 1572 (Rabb)

HB 1604 (Rabb)

HB 1627 (Freeman)

HB 1655 (Wheatley)

HB 1669 (DeLuca)

HB 1703 (Daley)

HB 1726 (Conklin)

HB 1758 (Rabb)

HB 1767 (Youngblood)

HB 1783 (Solomon)

HB 2020 (Conklin – congressional redistricting commission)

HB 2053 (Wheatley)

HB 2100 (T.Davis – gift ban for members of General Assembly)

HB 2114 (Wheatley)

HB 2285 (Snyder)

Resolutions with substantive content (reintroduced 4/30/18 and numbered H.R. 885-893):

HR 108 (Cruz)

HR 154 (Kinsey)

HR 265 (Wheatley)

HR 404 (Cruz)

HR 440 (Dermody)

HR 491 (Cruz)

HR 538 (Vazquez)

HR 672 (J.Harris)

HR 772 (Frankel)