See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 2937
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
192
Session of
2022
INTRODUCED BY KLUNK, STEPHENS, ROTHMAN, HENNESSEY, WHITE,
HARKINS, CUTLER, BENNINGHOFF, OBERLANDER, TOMLINSON, LEWIS
DELROSSO, O'NEAL, ECKER, FARRY, FEE AND KAIL, APRIL 5, 2022
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON RULES, APRIL 5, 2022
A RESOLUTION
Amending House Rules 2.1 E and 3 E, further providing for
professional conduct and for Committee on Ethics.
RESOLVED, That House Rules 2.1 E(1) and 3 E be amended to
read:
RULE 2.1 E
Professional Conduct
(1) No Member or officer of the House shall do any of the
following:
(a) Use the submission to or rejection by a House
employee of conduct constituting sexual harassment as a basis
for an employment decision affecting the employee.
(b) Make submission to conduct constituting sexual
harassment, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or
condition of a House employee's employment.
(c) Engage in conduct constituting sexual harassment
that is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or
offensive work environment for a House employee or another
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Member or officer of the House.
(d) Engage in sexual harassment while performing House-
related services or duties or in or on any House owned or
leased property or facilities.
* * *
RULE 3 E
COMMITTEE ON ETHICS
The Committee shall consist of eight Members, four of whom
shall be members of the majority party appointed by the Speaker,
and four of whom shall be members of the minority party
appointed by the Minority Leader. From the Members appointed to
the Committee, the Speaker shall appoint a chair, vice-chair and
secretary for the Committee. The chair shall be a member of the
majority party, and the vice chair shall be a member of the
minority party.
The members of the Committee shall first meet upon the call
of the chair and perfect its organization. A majority of the
Committee shall constitute a quorum for it to proceed to
business. Unless otherwise provided in this rule, a majority of
the Committee shall be required to take any action authorized by
this rule. The Committee shall have the power to promulgate
rules not inconsistent with this rule or Rules of the House that
may be necessary for the orderly conduct of its business.
The chair of the Committee shall notify all members of the
Committee at least 24 hours in advance of the date, time and
place of meetings and, insofar as possible, the subjects on the
agenda. Meetings may be called from time to time by the chair of
the Committee as the chair deems necessary. A member of the
Committee may request that the chair call a meeting for a
specific purpose. If the chair refuses to call a meeting upon
20220HR0192PN2937 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
such request, a majority of the Committee may vote to call a
meeting by giving two days' written notice to the Speaker of the
House setting forth the time and place for such meeting. Such
notice shall be read in the House and posted in the House
Chamber by the Chief Clerk or a designee. Thereafter, the
meeting shall be held at the time and place specified in such
notice.
The Committee shall not continue to exist after sine die
adjournment of the General Assembly. Proceedings on matters
before the Committee that have not been concluded or disposed of
by sine die adjournment of the General Assembly shall cease on
such date and all documents, reports, communications,
transcripts and other materials compiled by the Committee for
such matters, as well as any communications or other materials
received by the Committee after sine die adjournment of the
General Assembly, shall be collected, organized and submitted to
the Chief Clerk under seal for transition to the reconstituted
Committee consisting of Members appointed from the incoming
General Assembly. These materials shall be held in a secure
manner and nothing in this rule shall authorize the Chief Clerk
or any other person to view such materials. Within 30 days
following the reconstitution of the Committee in the next
succeeding legislative term, the Committee shall review such
materials and determine whether or not to proceed with one or
more of the matters under review by the former Committee or
received after sine die adjournment. Any time period required
for any actions of the Committee or others under this rule shall
be tolled until the reconstituted Committee has made a
determination whether or not to proceed. If the Committee
determines to proceed with a matter, the Committee shall, if
20220HR0192PN2937 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
applicable, continue from the stage in the consideration of the
matter where the former Committee ended.
The Committee shall compile, update and distribute a Members'
Handbook on Ethics for Members and House Employees on matters
regarding the ethical conduct of their legislative duties. Each
Member shall complete two hours of ethics education and training
and one hour of sexual harassment and discrimination in the
workplace education and training each legislative term. A Member
shall be excused from one hour of ethics training for any full
year the Member was absent due to illness, injury, military
service or any other permissible excuse under General Operating
Rule 64(a). The Committee shall be responsible for planning and
offering the education and training programs.
The Committee shall issue to a Member upon the Member's
request an advisory opinion regarding the Member's duties under
Rule 2E relating to legislative nonprofit organizations. The
opinion shall be issued within 14 days following the request. No
Member who acts in good faith on an opinion issued under this
paragraph shall be subject to any sanctions for so acting if the
material facts are as stated in the request. Opinions issued
under this paragraph shall be public records and may from time
to time be published.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Member requesting the
opinion may request that an opinion undergo deletions and
changes necessary to protect the identity of the persons
involved, and the Committee shall make such deletions and
changes.
The Committee may issue other advisory opinions with regard
to questions pertaining to other legislative ethics or decorum
at the request of a Member or House employee. An opinion issued
20220HR0192PN2937 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
under this paragraph shall be confidential and shall apply
exclusively to the requestor. No requestor who acts in good
faith on an opinion issued under this paragraph shall be subject
to any sanctions for acting in accordance with the opinion if
the material facts are as stated in the request.
The Committee may receive complaints against Members and
House employees alleging unethical conduct under the Legislative
Code of Ethics or the Rules of the House and complaints against
Members and officers of the House for violations of Rule 2.1 E.
A complaint must be in writing and be signed by the person
filing the complaint under penalty of law under 18 Pa.C.S. ยง
4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities). The
complaint must set forth in detail the actions constituting the
alleged unethical conduct or violation. No person shall disclose
or acknowledge to any other person any information relating to
the filing of a complaint or the proposed filing of a complaint,
except as otherwise authorized under this rule or Rule 2.1 E,
for the purpose of seeking legal advice, as otherwise required
by law or to carry out a function of the Committee.
The Committee shall not have jurisdiction over, shall not
accept for review or action and shall return to the complainant
with a notice explaining the Committee's lack of jurisdiction
any of the following:
(1) a complaint filed later than five years following the
occurrence of the alleged unethical conduct or violation;
(2) a complaint filed against a former Member or former House
employee unless required by Section 7(c) of the Legislative Code
of Ethics; or
(3) a complaint filed against a Member during a restricted
period.
20220HR0192PN2937 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
A five-year limitations period that expires during a
restricted period shall be tolled until the day following the
election occurring at the expiration of the restricted period.
Within 30 days following receipt of a complaint over which
the Committee has jurisdiction under this rule, the Committee
shall do one of the following:
(1) dismiss the complaint, with notice explaining the basis
for the Committee's dismissal, if it:
(a) alleges facts that do not constitute unethical conduct or
a violation of Rule 2.1 E;
(b) is objectively baseless;
(c) is insufficient as to form;
(d) is a frivolous complaint; or
(2) initiate a preliminary investigation of the alleged
unethical conduct or violation.
If the Committee initiates a preliminary investigation, it
shall, promptly upon voting to proceed, send the subject a
letter setting forth each allegation in the complaint. Within 15
days after receipt of the letter, the subject may file a written
response with the Committee. Failure of the subject to file a
response shall not be deemed to be an admission, or create an
inference or presumption, that the allegations in the complaint
are true, and such failure shall not prohibit the Committee from
either proceeding with the preliminary or a formal investigation
or dismissing the complaint. The Committee may engage an
independent counsel to assist in a preliminary investigation.
The subject may be represented by counsel of the subject's
choosing at any point during an investigation under this rule.
If the Committee initiates a preliminary investigation of a
complaint of a violation under Rule 2.1 E, it shall also send to
20220HR0192PN2937 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
the appropriate employer a copy of the letter sent to the
subject setting forth each allegation in the complaint. Upon the
request of the complainant, the employer shall make adjustments
to the complainant's work hours, assignment or duties or
location that may be appropriate under the circumstances of the
allegations in the complaint. The adjustments may include:
(1) removing the complainant or the subject from the physical
work location of the complainant;
(2) allowing the complainant to be placed on administrative
leave with continued pay and benefits, if
applicable; or
(3) any other reasonable accommodation agreed to by the
employer and the complainant.
The employer shall keep the letter and the fact of the
initiation of a preliminary investigation confidential but may
disclose necessary information to Members, officers of the House
or House employees as needed in order to implement the foregoing
adjustments. No House employee shall retaliate or take adverse
actions against the complainant in response to the filing of a
complaint of a violation of Rule 2.1 E with the Committee.
A member of the Committee who is the complainant, the subject
or a witness to the unethical conduct or violation alleged in a
complaint shall not participate in any Committee consideration
of the complaint. The Member shall be temporarily replaced on
the Committee in a like manner as his or her original
appointment.
Within 30 days following the initiation of a preliminary
investigation, the Committee shall vote to dismiss the complaint
for lack of probable cause to support the alleged unethical
conduct or violation or to proceed with a formal investigation
20220HR0192PN2937 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
because it finds that probable cause exists. If a majority of
the Committee is unable to agree on either course of action, the
Committee shall dismiss the complaint. The Committee shall
promptly notify the subject in writing of the result.
If the Committee votes to proceed with a formal
investigation, the Committee shall engage an independent
counsel unless the Committee determines that the alleged
unethical conduct or violation raised in the complaint does not
warrant the expense of engaging an independent counsel. If the
Committee does not engage an independent counsel, the Committee
shall be represented in the investigation and any hearing
conducted under this rule by Committee staff attorneys,
including at least one from each party.
The Committee, including Committee staff attorneys, and any
independent counsel engaged by the Committee shall have the
power to conduct investigations and hearings under the
guidelines set out in this rule.
Where a provision of this rule conflicts with another Rule of
the House, the provision of this rule shall govern.
This rule shall be construed to empower the Committee and its
independent counsel to do all of the following:
(1) act as a neutral fact-finder;
(2) protect due process and other constitutional rights of a
subject;
(3) fully investigate and deter unethical conduct or
violation of Rule 2.1 E; and
(4) protect the public trust.
The Chief Clerk shall pay the fees and expenses of an
Independent Counsel engaged by the Committee under this rule.
The Committee may issue subpoenas for documents or testimony
20220HR0192PN2937 - 8 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
as part of a preliminary investigation, a formal investigation
or in connection with a hearing before the Committee.
Notwithstanding the provision of any other Rule of the House,
subpoenas issued under this rule shall be in the name of the
Committee, shall be signed by the chair of the Committee and
shall be attested by another member of the Committee who voted
in favor of authorizing the subpoena.
A subpoena issued by the Committee may be served upon any
person and shall have the force and effect of a subpoena issued
out of the courts of this Commonwealth. Subpoenas shall be
served by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House or another person
designated by the Committee when directed to do so by the
Committee. Each subpoena shall be addressed to the witness and
shall state that such proceeding is before a Committee of the
House for which the witness is required to attend and testify at
a specified time and place; or to produce books, papers,
records, accounts, reports, documents and data and information
produced and stored by any electronic data processing system; or
both, as the Committee may also require. Mileage and witness
fees shall be paid by the House to such witness in an amount
prescribed by law. Unless addressed to and served on the
subject, a copy of a subpoena issued by the Committee shall be
provided to the subject and the subject's counsel, if
applicable. A person who willfully neglects or refuses to comply
with a subpoena issued by the Committee shall be subject to the
penalties provided by the laws of this Commonwealth with respect
to such willful neglect or refusal. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, a recipient of a subpoena issued by the Committee may
object to the subpoena by serving notice of such objection on
the signatory to the subpoena and the Committee. The Committee
20220HR0192PN2937 - 9 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
may quash or modify the subpoena if it finds the subpoena to be
overly broad or without proper purpose. Each member of the
Committee shall have the power to administer oaths and
affirmations to witnesses appearing before the Committee.
All subpoenaed books, papers, records, accounts, reports,
documents, data and information shall be returned to the person
from whom such material was subpoenaed when the Committee has
completed its examination of such material, but in no event
later than the date of final disposition of the matter.
Following the completion of a formal investigation, the
Committee shall conduct a hearing if:
(1) the independent counsel engaged by the Committee
recommends that a hearing be conducted and the Committee votes
to adopt the recommendation; or
(2) an independent counsel was not engaged by the Committee
but the Committee finds that the testimony and documents
reviewed by the Committee during the formal investigation
indicates more likely than not that the unethical conduct or
violation alleged in the complaint occurred.
If a hearing is to be conducted, the Committee shall provide
the subject and the subject's counsel, if applicable, with
written notice consistent with constitutional principles of due
process. The Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence shall apply during
the hearing, unless the Committee determines otherwise.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may not infringe on
the right of the subject to present evidence, cross-examine
witnesses, face his or her accuser and be represented by counsel
at a hearing conducted under this rule.
Witnesses called to appear at a hearing under this rule,
including a subject, may be accompanied by his or her own
20220HR0192PN2937 - 10 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
counsel for the purpose of advising him or her concerning his or
her constitutional rights. Counsel may interpose legal objection
to any and all questions which in the opinion of counsel may
violate the constitutional rights of his or her clients.
The proceedings of a hearing conducted under this rule shall
be either stenographically or electronically recorded. The
Committee shall determine which parts of such recorded
proceedings, if any, shall be transcribed.
The burden shall be on the independent counsel, if one has
been engaged by the Committee, or the Committee staff attorneys,
if an independent counsel has not been engaged, to prove, by
clear and convincing evidence, that the unethical conduct or
violation alleged in the complaint occurred. Within 30 days
following the conclusion of the formal investigation and
hearing, the Committee shall make a determination as to whether
the burden was met and shall submit its finding to the House. If
the Committee finds that the burden was met, the Committee may
make one or more of the following recommendations to the House:
(1) a reprimand of the subject;
(2) a censure of the subject;
(3) expulsion of the subject from the House; or
(4) the denial or limitation of any right, power or privilege
of the Member granted by Rules of the House and not contrary to
the Pennsylvania Constitution.
The Committee shall provide a written report of its findings
and recommendations, if any, to the subject and shall
simultaneously submit a copy of the same to the House. Only
findings and recommendations agreed to by a majority of the
Committee shall be included in the report. The report may
include a minority report. The House shall not take any action
20220HR0192PN2937 - 11 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
on the findings and recommendations submitted by the Committee
and shall not make such findings and recommendations public
until a period of at least seven days has passed following the
Committee's provision of the report to the subject.
The Committee may extend any of the time periods, other than
those relating to the jurisdiction of the Committee, required
for any actions of the Committee or others under this rule.
[Investigations,] The Committee shall maintain the
confidentiality of all complaints and complaint-related
proceedings and actions, except as provided in this rule. The
Committee may disclose complaint data, including the number of
complaints received and dispositions on complaints in the
aggregate without identifying information regarding the
complainant or the accused. The Committee shall maintain the
confidentiality of all investigations, hearings and meetings of
the Committee relating to an investigation and the existence of
such investigations, hearings, and meetings [shall be
confidential]. A majority of the members of the Committee may
vote to suspend the confidentiality provisions in this rule in
whole or in part if information regarding a complaint or an
investigation has been entered into the public domain by someone
other than a member of the Committee and the Committee
determines that it is in the best interest of the Committee to
address public inquiry or information on the complaint or
investigation. In this case, the Committee may disclose whether
a complaint has been filed, the disposition or status of action
on the complaint and other information as the Committee may
determine is appropriate under the circumstances. All other
meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public. Any
member of the Committee breaching the confidentiality provisions
20220HR0192PN2937 - 12 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
specified in this rule shall be removed immediately from the
Committee and replaced by another Member in a like manner as his
or her original appointment.
Meetings and hearings held related to the investigation of a
complaint shall be in the nature of executive session and shall
not be open to the public. All other meetings of the Committee
shall be open to the public.
Notwithstanding the above, except for a hearing on complaints
of a violation of Rule 2.1 E, the Committee shall conduct a
hearing in public upon the written request of the subject unless
the Committee determines that evidence or testimony to be
received at the hearing may substantially defame, degrade, or
incriminate a person other than the subject. In that event, the
Committee shall receive such evidence or testimony in executive
session. No evidence or testimony taken in executive session may
be released to any person or authority or used in public
sessions without the consent of the Committee.
The Committee may enter into a consent agreement with the
subject at any point in the proceedings. The Committee may make
an appropriate referral of a complaint to a law enforcement
agency at any point in the proceedings.
The complaint, response and records of the Committee shall be
confidential. Notwithstanding the foregoing:
(1) consent agreements and final findings by the Committee of
unethical conduct and the Committee's recommendations with
respect to such findings shall not be confidential;
(1.1) consent agreements and final findings by the Committee
of a violation of Rule 2.1 E shall not be confidential, except
that at the request of a complainant, the name of the
complainant and, unless the House considers a resolution to
20220HR0192PN2937 - 13 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
discipline the subject, any facts that may lead to the
identification of the complainant, including the name of the
subject, shall be redacted before an agreement or final findings
of the Committee are made public;
(2) the subject may, in his or her discretion, make public a
finding by the Committee that no unethical conduct or violation
of Rule 2.1 E had occurred or that there was insufficient
evidence presented to the Committee that unethical conduct or a
violation of Rule 2.1 E had occurred, except that the subject
shall not make public the name of a complainant who filed a
complaint alleging a violation of Rule 2.1 E; and
(3) if the Committee makes a referral of a complaint to a law
enforcement agency, the Committee may provide the agency with
copies of documents and information in its possession.
Any member of the Committee breaching the confidentiality
provisions set forth in this rule shall be removed immediately
from the Committee and replaced by another Member in a like
manner as his or her original appointment.
A nondisclosure agreement shall not be imposed on an
individual as a condition of the initiation of the procedures
available under this rule for the filing and hearing of a
complaint of a violation of Rule 2.1 E.
Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit the
complainant and the subject from voluntarily entering into a
settlement agreement with a nondisclosure provision agreed to by
each party as part of the settlement of a complaint or
proceeding. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Member who is the
subject of a complaint of a violation of Rule 2.1 E filed with
the Committee shall not benefit from a nondisclosure agreement
or provision if a completed formal investigation of the
20220HR0192PN2937 - 14 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Committee finds that the complaint is credible or a final
decision by the Committee finds a violation.
The Committee may meet with a committee of the Senate to hold
investigations or hearings involving complaints against
employees of the two chambers jointly or officers or employees
of the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Joint State Government
Commission, the Local Government Commission, the Legislative
Budget and Finance Committee, the Legislative Data Processing
Committee or other legislative service agencies. No action may
be taken at a joint meeting unless it is approved by the
Committee. A member of the Committee who is the complainant, the
subject or a witness to the unethical conduct or violation of
Rule 2.1 E alleged in a complaint under this paragraph shall not
participate in any joint proceedings under this paragraph. The
Member shall be temporarily replaced on the Committee in a like
manner as his or her original appointment.
20220HR0192PN2937 - 15 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16