HARRISBURG ¬– Believing state government should operate in the most efficient manner possible, the House State Government Committee approved a series of bills during its first meeting of the 2021-22 session today, Chairman Seth Grove (R-Dover) announced.
“As we set about doing the people’s work this session, it was important for me, as committee chairman, to not only lead by example but for this committee to also set the tone for the hard work that lays before us,” Grove said. “The bills the committee approved today are not only clear examples of undertaking difficult work, but also making sure government is also working efficiently and hard for the taxpayers.”
Among the bills approved by the committee were three bills to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution, including Grove’s House Bill 55. All proposals to amend the Constitution must be approved by the Legislature in two consecutive session before the amendment question is placed on the ballot. This process provides voters with the final say on the matters, and if approved, enshrines the measures in the Constitution. The bills approved were:
• House Bill 51
: Proposes and amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution related to Taxation and Finance, providing for restrictions on budgetary surpluses.
• House Bill 52
: Amends Title 72 (Taxation and Fiscal Affairs) to establish the State Council on Finance.
• House Bill 55
: Proposes separate and distinct amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution relating to emergency disaster declarations, nondiscrimination protections and presentment to the governor.
• House Bill 71
: Amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish limitations on the spending of Commonwealth funds.
• House Bill 104
: Amends Title 71 (State Government) to add a new chapter relating to the assessment and reduction of improper payments.
• House Bill 108
: Allows participation in the ‘Do Not Pay’ initiative for agencies managing funds disbursed from the United States Treasury.
A similar version of House Bill 55 was approved last session. The measure would ensure residents have a greater influence on emergency declarations through the General Assembly, which would have to approve extending declaration beyond 21 days.
“Considering Pennsylvania residents are still living under a COVID-19 state of emergency declaration, and have been for about 10 months, it is important to move this question to voters quickly,” Grove said. “A declaration is meant to allow the governor to quickly address emergencies. It is not a vehicle for a single person to set policy that impacts Pennsylvanians and the state’s economy in perpetuity.”
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross