Since the March 1 House vote on legislative rules, our all-volunteer rules research team has continued to review changes to the rules as well as the rate at which bills introduced during the 2021-2022 session passed or did not pass. On March 17 I emailed all our PA representatives with a short memorandum summarizing some of what we’ve learned. You can find that email and memo here.
One of the more troubling statistics we discovered: more than half of the bills passed in each chamber were ignored in the other, and more than half of ignored bills had passed UNANIMOUSLY from the other chamber. That was the case even though the same party controlled both chambers. What a colossal waste of time, effort and PA funds.
But worse than that: while some of the bills that were passed unanimously in one chamber and ignored in the other named highways and bridges, far more of them addressed real, pressing, persistent problems. Some of those bills were the top legislative priorities of groups like the PA Farm Bureau, the County Commissioners Association, and major medical associations. Some have been passed in one chamber and then ignored in the other for multiple sessions, sometimes going back a decade or longer.
We’ll continue to call attention to the need for a better legislative process and more responsive representation. We need your help to make that happen!
Sign up for a shift as a Polling Place Outreach volunteer
On Primary Day (May 16th, 2023), we will once again be collecting signatures for our Fix Harrisburg Petition. Shifts are 3-4 hours long, in a polling place near you – or if you’re willing to drive, in a targeted area where we need to grow. Volunteering with Fair Districts PA means you’ll be working in a totally nonpartisan capacity. All training and materials are provided.
Help us recruit 2023 Fix Harrisburg interns
Last summer we had three interns: one in Philadelphia, one in Huntingdon County and another in Somerset County. We’re hoping to at least double that this summer. Interns join volunteers at fairs, festivals and community days to explain the Fix Harrisburg message, collect petition signatures and distribute materials about PA’s legislative process. It’s a paid, part-time, totally non-partisan opportunity. Find information here.
Next steps in redistricting
Since the 2022 redistricting process ended we’ve been focusing heavily on the legislative process and the Fix Harrisburg message but are also quietly working on next steps in redistricting. We’ll be holding a Zoom forum on May 31, along with some statewide partners, to take a preliminary look at what we’ve been learning and what comes next for redistricting reform. Watch for more information on that soon, including sign-up instructions.
We still have much work to do. Thank you for all you do to help strengthen democracy here in Pennsylvania.
Fair Districts PA Chair