Reformers offer ways to make a rank-and-file Pennsylvania lawmaker more powerful

Charles Thompson | Tuesday, January 29, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News

It has been said that you can count on two hands – and most days probably one – the number of state lawmakers who really call the shots at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

It is a place where partisanship really matters, because its whole structure is built around the five families of the governor’s office, and the Republican and Democratic caucuses of the state House and Senate, respectively.

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Why are so many state lawmakers calling it quits this year?

Jan Murphy | Friday, March 9, 2018, The Patriot

While it’s not exactly a stampede of state lawmakers heading for the exit, 30 members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly have decided not to stand for re-election this year.

That’s more than at any time since 2006, when the same number of lawmakers opted not to seek reelection in the year after they voted themselves a double digit pay raise. The backlash to that controversial pay raise vote was so strong it caused lawmakers to repeal their raise four months later and led to more than 20 additional incumbents losing their seats in that year’s election.

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