Pa. Legislative leaders use extraordinary power, and audit battles prove it | State



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Harrisburg, PA – This is a reversal of the past hardball policy of the Houses of Parliament. A strong legislative leader deprives a colleague of his staff, his committee duties and, ultimately, his post.

Between Pro Tempoa Senator Jake Corman (R., Center) and State Senator Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) on how to conduct a forensic audit of last year’s election in Pennsylvania. The ongoing story of an explosive but still mysterious feud has been a hot topic across the country since its release last week.

But at the root of that story is a little-known story about the pervasive power that comes with being in one of Pennsylvania’s top legislative leadership positions.

If lawmakers want to hire someone to hire parliamentary staff, they must receive the blessing of the caucus leader. What if you need more money for a particular committee assignment, to run a district office, or to work with an outside spokesperson, consultant or lawyer? They have to run it on a ladder.

And while any representative or senator can draft a bill, it is the leader who ultimately decides which legislative committee to assign the bill to and whether it should put them to a vote.

Eric Epstein, co-founder of the non-partisan tyranny Rock the Capital, said: “The legislature is a feudal system. Caucus leaders are as powerful as serfs in mansions. He is a tyrannical monarch. “

Epstein joked, “Most lawmakers can’t go to the bathroom without permission.”

In the Republican Senate Caucus, where Korman serves as Supreme Leader, staff working on Capitol Hill, including staff assigned to individual members, formally work in the Caucus and Yank at the discretion of senior leadership. Can be reassigned.

This is what happened last week when Corman took away the staff from Matriano. Corman also fired Masstriano as chair of the legislative committee, which was continuing forensic checks. Corman, Masstriano said: “More interested in the awe-inspiring status, I failed to get the job done.

It was a movement of strength that had not been seen for over 15 years. Based on current and previous interviews with lawmakers and staff, these types of behavior were much more common in the 1980s and 1990s and were most often seen as disciplinary.

One of the last times this happened was in 2005, a period of political instability on Capitol Hill. The legislature had just approved the controversial legislature’s salary increase at midnight.

During the political turmoil that followed, House Democratic leader Bill DeWeese removed 15 members of the leadership position from the committee, which voted against the pay hike.

Pa. Legislative leaders use extraordinary power, and audit battles prove it | State

Source link Pa. Legislative leaders use extraordinary power, and audit battles prove it | State


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