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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2020 01:52 PM
From: Representative Frank Dermody
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Remote Voting Contingency Plan Task Force
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that the continued operation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is essential in providing for the welfare of all Pennsylvanians.  Being able to respond quickly and pass legislation that helps the people of our state in an emergency should be of the highest importance.  While we have recently come together in unprecedented ways to provide for remote operations through designated voting, we must prepare for the day where an emergency might make it impossible or unsafe for any member to be present in the House Chamber.

This is why I will be introducing legislation to create a task force to study and recommend an emergency remote voting contingency plan for the House of Representatives.  The task force will consist of the legislative leaders along with the heads of our nonpartisan institutional offices most directly connected to our legislative operations:  the Chief Clerks Office, the Parliamentarian’s Office, the Legislative Reference Bureau, and the Legislative Data Processing Center.  

We must prepare for future emergencies and ensure that the House of Representatives can continue to function uninterrupted regardless of the circumstances.  The essence of our democracy lies not within the physical walls of our hallowed House, but within our collective membership and the constituents that we represent. Please join me in ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of our democratic process regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.

Introduced as HR878