Cox Appointed to Commission on Legislative Reform
1/22/2007
Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks), whose campaign focused on reform for Pennsylvania lawmakers, has been appointed as a member of the House Speaker’s Commission on Legislative Reform.
 
Newly elected Speaker Dennis O’Brien (R- Philadelphia) established this bipartisan commission to study and advise the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on legislative reforms to the rules for operating the House.
 
“The time has come to make positive change in the way business is done in Harrisburg,” Cox said. “Speaker O’Brien’s commitment to true bipartisan reform was a deciding factor in my casting my vote for him as House Speaker.”
 
Cox said that one of the commission’s primary goals is to provide a more transparent government.  Some of the proposed reforms include:
 
Limiting the hours of voting sessions in the House to between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Making roll call votes publicly available and posted on the Internet within 60 minutes of the vote.
Ending the practice of “ghost-voting” by eliminating the Capitol Leave proxy voting rule. 
Prohibiting the House Rules Committee from adding substantive amendments to bills. This will prevent quick floor votes on controversial public policy, providing greater opportunity for review and public comment.
 
Allowing bills to be amended on second consideration only. The only votes authorized on third consideration would be final passage, constitutionality and re-referral.
Limiting House standing committee chairmen to no more than four terms as chair of the same committee. 
 
“The commission is where real reform starts in the state House.” “The result of which will be a better and stronger government for all Pennsylvanians,” Cox said.
 
The commission is composed of 12 House Republicans and 12 House Democrats. The co-chairmen are Rep. David Steil (R-Bucks) and Rep. Josh Shapiro (D-Montgomery).
 
The commission’s recommendations must be presented to the House by Feb. 16. The commission’s first meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23 in Room 140 of the State Capitol.
 
Rep. Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(610) 670-0139
(717) 772-2435
Contact: Joe Pistorio
(717) 787-2932
Member Site: RepJimCox.com
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2007