The topic of this evening's Framework session was an update on the what is happening in the Pennsylvania Legislature. We began by discussing the situation in the House.
To review, about 15 republicans voted for Mark Rozzi as speaker. He said that he was going to become an independent but has later stepped back from this. The republicans who voted for Speaker Rozzi have begun to be censored by Republican County Commissions. House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (District 100), & former Speaker himself, is facing calls to resign & was recently met with protests outside a townhall he recently held. Representative Cutler became even more irate with Speaker Rozzi last week when the Speaker locked an office suite that the Republicans had been using without warning. This is coming at a time when the Speaker has recessed the house until late February. Committees have not even been formed due to this roadblock.
In the Senate, things are different. It is still a chamber controlled by the Republican Caucus, and the bills being submitted reflect it. The State Committee is the committee in which election reform bills are referred to. It is currently comprised of seven (7) Republicans & four (4) Democrats. Representative Chris Dush (R-District 25) is the chair with Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-District 17) as the minority chair. There has only been one meeting of the committee on January 9th. There are no scheduled meetings of the State Committee at this time.
The following has bills have be submitted:
SB 1 (Laughlin-R-49)—Voter ID—This legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to require voters to provide valid identification in order to vote in an election.
SB 105 (Stefano-R-105)—This bill would bar public officials from accepting an appointment to any governmental body for one year after leaving the General Assembly.
SB 106 (Stefano-R-32)—would prohibit convicted public officials from lobbying in Pennsylvania.
SB 127 (Langerholc-R-35)—This legislation would prohibit a member of a county board of elections from serving as a State party officer of a political party.
SB 130 (Coleman-R-16)—Election Audits (by the Auditor General)— legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to require the General Assembly pass legislation to audit elections and the results.
SB 139 (Mastriano-R-33)—An act that would require all campaign finance reports to be filed electronically
SB 163 (Stefano-R-32)—This legislation would require all State Government Committee meetings to be recorded
SB 193 (Mastriano-R-33)—This legislation is aimed to ensure timely removal of deceased registered voters from the SURE system (i.e. the voter rolls).
SB 218 (Costa-D-43) This legislation would allow the residual funds of terminated political action committees (PAC's) to be donated to non-profit organizations.
SB 224 (Argall-R-29) This legislation would move up the date of our Presidential primary election in the Commonwealth from the fourth Tuesday of April to the third Tuesday of March.
SB 234 (Mastriano-R-33)—This legislation would limit a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve only two 10-year terms.
SB 272 (Mastriano-R-33)—This legislation would require new voting machines to be manufactured in the United States and sold by a vendor with a primary place of business within the United States.
SB 287 (Gebhard-R-48)—This legislation would eliminate the ability of candidates cross filing for judicial offices of county court of common pleas and magisterial district judge, formerly known as a justice of the peace, to file nomination petitions for multiple political parties in the same contest.
SB 292 (Mastriano-R-33) This legislation would add questions on a future statewide ballot referendum to repeal provisions of Act 77. Specifically, it would: eliminate “No-excuse” mail in voting, mandate the deadline for mailed ballots to be received by 5PM the Friday before Election Day, also have mandatory signature verification for all mailed ballots, furthermore it would eliminate the permanent “mail-in/absentee voter list”
Justice Debra Todd Formally Installed as First Female Chief Justice in History of Pa Supreme Court (PA Courts).
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