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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 19, 2019 12:38 PM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Streamlining Discharge Resolution Process
We have seen, on both the national and state stage, an extreme partisanship and polarization of our political bodies and, as a result, gridlock. At a time when discussion and compromise are so badly needed, one-sided approaches make matters worse and progress impossible. Good ideas are squelched and bad ideas forced through by a party in power can take years, if not decades to undo.

This is why committees are so vital to our democracy. Committees are designed to consider, discuss, and improve bills and then move them onto the floor for an open debate among all the members of the House. This deliberative process created by our founders is considered the best ever designed. That is, when it works as it should.

As you are probably aware, in the past, some committee chairs openly refuse to move bills, regardless of their merit and importance, simply because they are sponsored by a member of the opposing party. This is the epitome of what's wrong with politics in Harrisburg and the country at large, and runs counter to what we need to be doing as elected representatives of the people.

When chairmen make the decision to bottle up good bills that will benefit the entire constituency, they betray the trust of all Pennsylvanians.

To get our process back to where it should be, I am introducing a resolution that would minimize the effects of such extreme partisanship. My proposal would allow a bill out onto the House floor if a super majority of all representatives want it moved.

My changes would make bills eligible for discharge after 15 calendar days instead of 15 legislative days. As mentioned, if two-thirds of the members desire to move a bill out of committee, and sign the resolution, the bill will be put on the calendar and then considered on the next scheduled legislative day.

Last session this was HR 955.

Please join me in support of this important legislation that reinstates the vital role committees play in the larger scope of responsive and honest governance and to discourage partisan obstruction.

Introduced as HR169