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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2021 11:04 AM
From: Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti and Sen. John I. Kane, Sen. Lindsey M. Williams, Sen. Katie J. Muth, Sen. Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Rules Reform: Ensuring Adequate Public Notice of Senate Action
In the near future, we will be introducing a Senate Resolution that will amend the Senate Operating Rules to ensure both members of the Senate and members of the public have adequate notice of committee meetings, amendments being offered in committee, and the Senate marked calendar. This proposed resolution is among a package of Senate Rules Reform Resolutions, many of which are included in SR4, that are intended to empower members of both sides of the aisle to effectively advocate for their constituents. This package of Rules Reforms will ensure transparency in the legislative process, encourage public participation, and hold members accountable to the public. 
Specifically, this resolution will ensure members and their constituents have adequate notice of all legislative actions by:
  • requiring notice of committee meetings be circulated no later than 72 hours in advance;
  • requiring notice of amendments to bills on the committee meeting agenda be circulated no later than 24 hours in advance;
  • ensuring emergency off the floor committee meetings are approved by 2/3rds vote of the the standing committee members; and
  • requiring the marked Senate Calendar to be circulated no later than 12 hours in advance of session.
All too often, members of the Senate are provided last minute notice of committee meetings, meeting agendas that include which bills are being voted on, amendments being offered during committee, and what bills will be amended or marked to run on the floor, limiting our ability to adequately prepare for committee meetings and the session day ahead. By codifying notice requirements in our Senate Operating Rules, members will be able to thoroughly review legislation being offered in committee, prepare amendments, vet bills and amendments with constituents and stakeholders, and ask informed questions of the bill sponsors when they present their legislation to committee or on the Senate floor. 
Please join us in cosponsoring this important change to the Senate Operating Rules. 

Introduced as SR75