With Pa. House, Senate gone, big issues remain unresolved

With Pa. House, Senate gone, big issues remain unresolved

Matt Rourke / AP File The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. HARRISBURG — When state legislators fled for summer break last week, they stranded a pile of important bills on hot-button issues such as domestic violence, fraternity hazing, redistricting, abortion, and cutting the size of the legislature. Although some could come up for votes this fall, others are likely to get passed over for less controversial measures ahead of the November election. The stakes, after all, are high: Every state House seat and half the seats in the Senate are on the ballot. Each chamber has scheduled just nine voting days before the election, and controversial votes can and will be used in campaigns. Steve Miskin, spokesperson for Republicans, who control the House, said that chamber’s priority when it returns to session is limiting regulations, including a proposal to give the legislature power to revoke individual rules. In the Senate, Republicans who hold the majority plan to make school safety measures one of their top priorities, according to spokesperson Jennifer Kocher. Less clear is what the legislature might do with several stalled high-profile bills. Among them is an anti-hazing measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre), motivated by the death of Pennsylvania State University student Tim Piazza. The bill would increase penalties for hazing, create stricter reporting requirements for universities, and add a safe harbor provision for some students who seek help in an emergency. The hazing bill sailed unanimously through the Senate and made it out […]

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