The state House has yet to approve standard operating rules for the 2023-24 legislative session – a point of contention and frustration for many lawmakers. House Speaker Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, who previously convened a working group of six lawmakers to develop a proposed rules package and gather other insights during a statewide listening tour, revealed a plan last week to introduce what he is calling the “Rozzi Rules” – which he believes will fix many of the issues that were addressed during that tour.
Among the changes in this proposal include:
- Reforming the discharge process so that committee chairmen cannot keep legislation in committee indefinitely;
- Reforming the special order of business process so that leaders of either party cannot keep legislation from being voted on from the majority of the House;
- Making committee composition more proportional between the parties than ever before;
- Providing that constitutional amendments cannot be placed on the primary ballot where only a small number of voters participate;
- Providing that state House-originated legislation proposing a constitutional amendment contain only one subject; and
- Providing for increased protection against sexual harassment and discrimination in the House.
In a statement, Speaker Rozzi thanked everyone who took the time to reach out to him with thoughts on how to improve Harrisburg. “While these changes may appear to be common sense, what they propose is a revolutionary return to a ‘government of the People, by the People, for the People,’” he said. “If you agree with the concepts that they propose, please do not hesitate to let your representative know that you support a different Harrisburg and that you support the Rozzi Rules.”