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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 24, 2016 03:49 PM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation – Senate Voting Requirements
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that will amend Senate Rule 20 by adding subsections that would prohibit a vote on a bill or resolution on final passage after 11:00 p.m. unless there is an affirmative vote by three-fourths of the members, and would prohibit a vote on a bill or resolution less than 48 hours after the bill or resolution had been introduced notwithstanding Rule 29(b). This legislation would not prohibit unanimous consent resolutions from being adopted later than 11:00 p.m.

This commonsense change will:
  • ensure members have adequate time to properly review legislation being considered on the floor;
  • further reinforce current Senate rules which prohibit session past 11:00 p.m.; and
  • improve government transparency and accountability to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Currently, Rule 11 (“Motions”) requires that the Senate shall not recess later than 11:00 p.m. each session day, unless the Senate adopts a motion that sets forth the need to recess later than 11:00 p.m. However, for the sake of clarity, similar language should be included as part of Rule 20 (“Voting”). This legislation would require a ¾ vote to waive the deadline.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this reform measure to ensure that elected officials and the people of Pennsylvania are properly informed of legislation that could have an impact on their lives, and the future of our Commonwealth.

Introduced as SR393