Cox Applauds House Rules Reforms
3/13/2007
Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks) today applauded the passage of a resolution making significant changes to the way the Pennsylvania House of Representatives operates, saying it will ensure more accountability and transparency during the legislative process.
 
“I am proud to serve as a member of the Speaker’s Commission on Legislative Reform, Cox said. “The work we’ve done paves the way for a more open and honest government including education funding, property tax reform and spending limits on the state budget.”
 
The commission consists of a bipartisan group of 24 lawmakers who gathered public input and discussed several proposed reforms. House Resolution 108, which passed the House unanimously, includes more than 30 rules changes.
 
The rules will now require: 
  • A list of every employee who worked for the House of Representatives for the past 12 months to be made available by Feb. 1 of each year. The list would include the employee’s name, job title and wage information.
  • Members’ expense reports to be provided electronically upon request.
  • All committee votes on bills reported out of committee to be posted on the Internet as soon as possible after the vote.
  • All committee hearing written testimony to be posted on the Internet as soon as possible after the hearing.
  • All votes made by electronic roll call to be posted on the Internet no later than the close of business on the day they are made.  
In addition to changes to increase public access to taxpayer-funded government information, the rules package also makes considerable changes in the legislative process. Cox said he was also pleased with a change to limit the hours of House session to between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
 
“Open government is not just about doing things right, it’s about doing the right thing. Open government cannot be conducted, nor condoned, in the middle of the night,” Cox said
 
Another change prohibits members from collecting reimbursements for expenses more than 90 days after they have been incurred.
 
“While we’ve made considerable progress in creating a more transparent government, we’re not done yet,” Cox said. The commission plans to discuss several additional measures aimed at delivering a more open government including the potential creation of a “Legislative Services Office” which removes control of legislative expenses from leadership, preventing leadership's ability to withhold these expenses. An additional measure on the table addresses the use of taxpayer-funded public service announcements.
 
Rep. Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(610) 670-0139
(717) 772-2435
Contact: Joe Pistorio
Member Site: RepJimCox.com
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com