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06/15/2024 03:01 AM
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2021 11:00 AM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Enhancing the Commonwealth Commissions
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will ensure the state commissions truly reflect the great diversity of our Commonwealth by providing equal appointment proportions from the General Assembly and the Governor.

Presently, the five state commissions in Pennsylvania exist by Executive Order. A Governor’s administration should not have the absolute authority over minority and marginalized community stakeholder involvement and access to Harrisburg.

My proposal will transfer these existing commissions into statute, ensuring their future existence. Additionally, each of the state commissions will have 40 volunteer members, appointed in equal proportions by the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Majority Leader, House Minority Leader and the Governor. This will ensure the social, political, and geographic diversity that is needed on these commissions.

In reviewing 229 comparable state government commissions across the country, Pennsylvania is an absolute outlier. More than 82 percent of representative commissions identified were created by Legislatures, not Governors. Pennsylvania and New York are identified as the only two states in the country with multiple commissions which are within the complete jurisdiction of their Governor.

When we are advised on the realities faced by millions of Pennsylvanians every day, we can better accomplish our goals in state government. That is why all 50 states have created commissions to address the unique challenges and opportunities for minority and marginalized communities.

Please join me by cosponsoring this legislation which would return the power back to the people and ensure our Commonwealth is a better place for all citizens.

Introduced as SB700