Senator Ward Announces Measure to Ban “Lame Duck” Legislative Sessions

Constitutional amendment would prevent voting on bills by lawmakers leaving office.

Harrisburg – State Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) announced today that she will be introducing a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit so-called “lame duck” legislative sessions.

A “lame duck” or sine die session is one in which voting occurs after a general election and before the start of a new legislative session, the senator said.

“Prohibiting ‘sine die’ votes by legislators whose terms are about to expire or who will not return in January is necessary to ensure that all legislation receives proper attention and scrutiny, particularly in cases where the legislature votes on matters such as tax increases, state borrowing or pay raises,” said Ward. “Some questionable bills have passed during these sessions, and a constitutional amendment would put an end to it.”

Similar legislation was introduced in the previous session and was approved by the Senate, but died in the House of Representatives.

“This measure is just one of several steps that the General Assembly must take to preserve the integrity of the legislative process and restore confidence in state government,” said Ward. “The Senate and House should work together to make the process more open and accountable.  This will give voters the chance to vote on banning lame duck sessions and would send a strong message that we’re committed to reform.”

As a proposed amendment to the state Constitution, the legislation must be approved in two separate legislative sessions and by the voters as a referendum.

Contact:  Rob Ritson
(724) 600-7002