BILL Van den Berg
Do you think politicians should have their jobs for life?
Probably not. Nationwide, 15 states–both red and blue–have enacted term limits. The rationale: Electing legislators strictly focused on serving the interests of their constituents during their limited time in office.
Why not have term limits in Pennsylvania? But that would require Pennsylvania politicians to vote themselves out of a job!
Thanks to Pennsylvania’s “Rules of Procedure,” they don’t have to. A bipartisan bill to bring term limits to Pennsylvania has been introduced in the past two legislative sessions (HB902 in 2019-2020 and HB735 in 2021-2022), but after being assigned to the House State Government Committee, the bill languished without ever getting a hearing or a vote.
Legislators have proposed numerous bills to solve problems, but, because of the “rules,” the committee chairs, elected by a tiny fraction of Pennsylvania voters, can block bills–even those with strong bipartisan support.
The “rules” are not law or in the state constitution.
On the first day of each session, a vote on the rules is pushed through — quickly.
Rank and file legislators are given little time to read what’s proposed and are pressured to vote them into place. Even worse, they vote against amending the “rules” even before the “rules” are adopted. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Let your state senators and representatives know you want new rules that will allow bills with bipartisan support to be voted on. For more information, go to www.fixharrisburg.com.