A New Way of Governing in the PA State House
Passing impactful legislation that benefits ALL Pennsylvanians
In November, Pennsylvanians chose democracy and opposed partisan political grandstanding. They said ‘no’ to repealing reproductive rights. And they realized that the old way of doing things here in Harrisburg was no longer working. The system – and all who supported it – didn’t seem to have all our best interests in mind.
The system was more than fractured – it was broken.
In January and officially in February, we ushered in a new way of governing – a House Democratic majority. We restructured our leadership team, and my colleagues elected me to be first female speaker of the House. What an honor!
More importantly, our caucus has remained true to our principles. In the first week of our leadership, we passed impactful legislation that would give survivors of child sex abuse a pathway to justice by changing the statute of limitations laws.
State Rep. Mark Rozzi penned for this legislation while he was speaker of the House, and I’m grateful to say that the legislation had overwhelming bipartisan support. It’s now up to the state Senate to protect these survivors and help us hold these abusers and the institutions that protected them accountable by passing this legislation.
House Democrats have also brought reform to Harrisburg by adopting new operating rules that influence how the state House works. This reform package will restore fairness that has been missing for many years and make Pennsylvania’s government more responsive to all its people.
Key takeaways from the rules package:
- Members of the minority party will have a chance to be heard
- Fair committee composition
- No committee chair can stop a good bill with bipartisan support from being considered
- Expanded protections against harassment and discrimination
House Democrats spent 12 years in the minority prior to the 2023-24 legislative session. We said it then and we can say it now – we want what is best for all Pennsylvanians. Our first two matters of business this year reflect our genuine intention of moving the commonwealth forward and ensuring residents that their state representatives spend their time at the state Capitol creating change – not chaos.
I’m hopeful and confident that this year is the year we truly begin doing the people’s work.