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Rank-And-File House Democrats Rebel, Speaker McCall Calls Voting Day
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Speaker McCall

Out-going House Speaker Keith McCall (D-Carbon) relented this week and called a one-day voting session on November 15 in the face of a rebellion by rank-and-file Democratic members.

           "While the Senate has flatly refused to return to session to address legislation passed by the House that awaits their action, after speaking to many House members who are concerned about key issues such as pension reform, I’ve decided to bring the House back for voting session Monday," Speaker McCall said. "We anticipate debate on multiple pieces of legislation sent to us by the Senate in an effort to get many of those bills passed and sent on to the governor to be signed into law."
            The voting agenda is likely to include House Bill 2497 (D.Evans-D-Philadelphia), the bill adopting pension reforms and establishing the Independent Fiscal Office, and "non-controversial" bills and resolutions.
            Late Friday, House Democrats notified House Republicans that ALL 19 bills listed by the rebellious House Democrats would be potentially brought up for a concurrence vote, including the electronics recycling bill and a bill allowing alternative energy production on preserved farmland.  (See the list below.)
            The decision follows a press conference convened by Rep. Mark Long (D-Mercer) where more than a dozen House Democrats called on their own Leadership to take final action on 19 bills in the House for a concurrence vote and send them to the Governor's desk.
            At the press conference, Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) said a majority of the Democratic Caucus want to vote on these important bills and noted there will be repercussions on members who want to be elected to Leadership positions next year.
            Rep. Caltagirone added the decision not to come back was the result of one person-- Rep. Dwight Evans-- and his concern over the Independent Fiscal Office.  Rep. Caltagirone said "Evans has got to go."
            Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Allegheny) summed up the feelings of many House Democrats saying the position taken by their Leadership was "disgusting."
            House Democrats have their Leadership elections November 16 and the Senate on November 17.    Selection of Committee Chairs and members will not happen until late December or early January.
            The bills listed for action by the group, include--
-- House Bill 1394 (Houghton-D-Chester) relating to splitting off farm and forest land under preferential assessment for alternative energy production;
-- House Bill 708 (Ross-R-Chester) requiring electronics recycling funded by industry fees;
-- House Bill 174 (Carroll-D-Monroe) amending the Eating and Drinking Place Law to further provide for organic foods, food employee certification and providing penalties;
-- House Bill 2139 (Myers-D-Philadelphia) further providing for distribution of food from food banks;
-- House Bill 2497 (D.Evans-D-Philadelphia) pension reform provisions and establishing the Independent Fiscal Office;
-- House Bill 60 (Daley-D-Washington) further providing for housing affordability and rehabilitation;
-- Senate Bill 441 (Vance-R-Cumberland) further providing for teacher certification;
-- House Bill 2521 (DeLuca-D-Allegheny) anatomic pathology service disclosure;
-- House Bill 1639 (Manderino-D-Philadelphia) Amending Titles 23 & 42 relating to child custody;
-- House Bill 1231 (Murphy-D-Lackawanna) amending Workers' Compensation Act to further provide for occupational disease related to firefighters;
-- Senate Bill 1409 (Brubaker-R-Lancaster) further providing for workforce development;
-- Senate Bills 1059 to 1063 Contracts for municipal managers;
-- House Bill 1990 (Gabler-R-Clearfield) authorizing part-time district attorneys in 8th class counties;
-- House Bill 1482 (Mann-D-Lehigh) providing for photo IDs in health care facilities;
-- House Bill 2321 (Fairchild-R-Snyder) providing for payment of wireless E-911 fee; and
-- House Bill 1196 (Boyd-R-Lancaster) further providing exemptions under the statewide Construction Code was amended to add a one year delay in requiring sprinklers in new homes.
                                House Dems Assail End Of Voting
                                Session's End Draws Ire From Lawmakers
                                Renegade House Members Seek A Voting Session
                                Rank-And-Filers Protest Canceled Votes
                                Rank-And-File Dems Angry But Powerless To Revive Session
                                Midstate Lawmakers Riled At Decision Not To Return To Session
                                No Lame-Duck Session Delays Pension Reform
                                School Superintendents Fear Pension Crisis As Vote Stalled
                                Editorial: Public Pays For Capitol Inaction
                                Editorial: House Leaders Tucking Their Tails
                                Editorial: Pension Fix, Legislature Should Wait, Do It Right

11/15/2010

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