PA Bill Number: HB2440
Title: Providing for the designation of shooting ranges, sportsman clubs, hunting facilities and business relating to the sale and production of firearms ...
Description: Providing for the designation of shooting ranges, sportsman clubs, hunting facilities and business relating to the sale and production of firear ...
Last Action: Veto No. 16
Last Action Date: Nov 25, 2020
Committee approves GOP-backed pension reform plan over shouting Democrats :: 07/02/2015
The Republican-backed pension reform plan for Pennsylvania state employees moved another step closer to being passed Saturday despite attempts by the Democrats to stall the vote and disrupt proceedings.
The House State Government Committee voted favorable on a bill that would move the state from its defined benefit plan to a 401-K pension system for future employees.
The committee also passed several amendments including one that carved out pension plan exemptions for several categories of state employees -- including law enforcement officers, park rangers and corrections officers.
A before and after shot of the House State Government Committee following the Democrats walk out on a vote regarding the GOP-backed pension reform plan. Christian Alexandersen, Pennlive
The Democratic members of the committee attempted to keep the amendments and the bill from being passed. They called for more time, asked to table votes, made comments and shouted over a roll call vote to ask for a chance to debate the subject.
Chairman Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, limited the debate and asked for the vote to continue despite the Democrats' pleas. Then, the Democrats walked out during the vote.
The bill and it's amendments passed with only Republican votes. It will now be moved to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for a vote.
"We look forward to debating this on the floor," Metcalfe said. "Hopefully, we won't see everybody run off the floor instead of debating when that time comes."
The GOP plan calls for moving new hires into a defined contribution, or 401(k) style plan and giving current employees an option on their pension contribution rate and benefits. Gov. Tom Wolf and other Democrats have been against the Republican's plan.
Rep. Stephen McCarter, D-Montgomery, repeatedly asked for more time to review the bill's proposed amendments, which he said he had received only minutes before the meeting. McCarter also asked for the fiscal impact of the amendments.
I don't think people should walk out of a meeting halfway through it - Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford
Metcalfe, sponsor to the amendments, said he had not yet received the actuarial note on his proposed bill amendments.
Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, said he couldn't vote on an amendment that he had gotten just before the meeting. Pashinski said the Republicans were trying to work their way around the system by not giving lawmakers enough time to review the amendments.
After the Democrats walked out, Republican lawmakers took the opportunity to criticize the minority party's actions.
"It reminds me of the kids who took their bat and ball and went home when they didn't get exactly what they wanted," said Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny.
"I don't think people should walk out of a meeting halfway through it," said Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford. "There's not going to be any Democratic 'yes' votes on this so it's very odd that they walked out."