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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 26, 2019 10:07 AM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Establishing Term Limits for Committee Chairs
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which would place a term limit of 6 years on committee chairmanships appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore or Speaker of the House. This reform would not affect leadership positions elected by members of the caucus.

When I came to Harrisburg I believed that if a majority of the Senate or House supported a piece of legislation that it would be brought to the floor for a vote. I learned rather quickly that this is often not the case. Since I joined the Senate, I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the chair of two different committees, however, not every elected official can say the same. This has reinforced my belief that we should place term limits on committee chairmanships.

This reform is not a new idea, as the US House and Senate Republicans already institute term limits on their committee chairs.

Limiting these terms will accomplish several goals. First, it will incentivize the chair of a committee to make the most of their time and remain active in their role. Also, it will ensure a legislative idea cannot be simply shelved forever because a particular legislator doesn’t like it. Finally, it will allow a diversity of ideas to be represented in the chairmanship of a committee in a relatively short order.

I hope that you will join me in sponsoring this important piece of reform legislation. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jake Gery in my office at jgery@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB878