Legislative Reform on Tap?

Regardless of who is elected Speaker of the House (see here), both the Pennsylvania House and Senate have promised to take up reforms to make the legislative process more open and accountable. See the proposed Senate rule changes here and proposed House rule changes below:

The new House Rules proposals being put forward by House Republicans for the full membership to vote include:

· Limiting the Hours of Session Operation: a rule would mandate session be limited to be between 8am and 10pm.

· Amendments can only be added at Second Consideration: in order to allow further public debate and discussion, a proposed change to the system would mandate all amendments to a bill be added by its second reading to the Chamber, which in effect will lead to a 24-hour waiting period before final vote.

· Conference Committee Report waiting period: to ensure full and better understanding of what is contained in final conference committee reports, a waiting period of 24 hours before a vote to adopt or reject conference committee reports would be mandated.

· Committee structure: this reform is aimed at having the makeup of committees better reflect the actual composition of the House; this rule in effect would divide legislative committees equally between the parties and split the chairmanships evenly.