PA Democrats don’t want lame-duck votes after election

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic leadership from the state House and Senate don’t want the Republican-controlled Legislature to vote on any bills after the Nov. 4 general election.

Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, penned a letter to Republican leaders in each chamber Monday to push them to announce there will be no lame-duck votes.

COSTA: The top Democrat in the Pennsylvania state Senate doesn’t want the Legislature to vote on bills after the Nov. 4 general election.

Dermody said in a news release that Democrats are concerned a “wave of bills” could wash over the Legislature after the election.

“Neither the governor, nor members of both parties in both chambers are immediately accountable to the citizens of their districts via the democratic process if votes are taken in a 2014 lame-duck session,” Dermody said. “The governor may try to use a lame-duck session to push aggressively for issues that found little support when he was directly accountable to the voters.”

Gov. Tom Corbett is still pursuing the privatization of the state’s liquor stores and has also faced strong resistance to privatizing the state lottery.

Steve Miskin, press secretary for the House Republican Caucus, said Monday evening there’s no set time to make an announcement about whether there will be a lame-duck votes or not.

Lawmakers are working on a tough budget and other legislation, and there had been no discussion with Democratic leadership in either chamber about the issue “or even amongst ourselves yet,” Miskin said. The message from Costa and Dermody arrived to the media before the letter reached lawmakers, he said.

“They’re just trying to create an issue out of something that’s not there,” he said.

There might not be anything to worry about anyway. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, took to Twitter on Monday to address the lame-duck issue.

“Under leadership of Senate Republicans, there has not been a lame-duck session since 2006. I see no reason to undo this common-sense reform,” Pileggi wrote on Twitter.

Andrew Staub is a reporter for PA Independent and can be reached at Andrew@PAIndependent.com. Follow @PAIndependent on Twitter for more.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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