PA House Elects New Speaker & Adopts Modified Governing Rules

Early last week, PA House Speaker Mark Rozzi resigned from his position, and supported the election of Democratic Leader Rep. Joanne McClinton (D – Philadelphia) to that post. Rozzi’s move ended several weeks of gridlock in the House by officially giving Democrats control of that body. As of the writing, the Democrats have not yet appointed committees, but that action is expected in coming days. This will be the first time in 12 years that the Republicans have not had majority control of the chamber.

Rep. Rozzi proposed multiple operational rule changes to the House prior to his resignation. The following changes were approved by the House last week.

  • Decrease the size of committees from a 15 (majority) – 10 (minority) favor to a 12 – 9 split.
  • Reduce the ability for committee chairs to unilaterally eliminate legislation.
  • Require constitutional amendments have at least one hearing before being considered by the full state House.
  • Prevent the ability for members to bundle multiple unrelated constitutional amendments into a single measure.