BREAKING NEWS: House Discharge Resolution Filed for LGBT Non-discrimination Bill
Published On June 9, 2016 » By Jason Landau Goodman » Breaking News, Pennsylvania

BREAKING NEWS: State Representative Dan Frankel (D-23, Pittsburgh) filed a discharge resolution on HB 1510, the leading LGBT non-discrimination bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, on Thursday, June 8th.

A discharge resolution is a rarely-used legislative maneuver to bring a bill that has not been voted on in committee to a full vote. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress first called for consideration of this move over two years ago, in 2014. 

HB 1510 has stalled in the House State Government Committee, as its chair Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12, Butler) has for a long time been in staunch opposition to the legislation. In Harrisburg, if a committee chair does not want to run a bill, the bill simply does not move forward. That is, unless the bill is transferred to a different committee or a discharge resolution is filed.

The first non-discrimination bill to include protection on the basis of sexual orientation was introduced in 1976. Nearly 25 non-discrimination bills inclusive of sexual orientation and/or gender identity have been introduced in the 40 years since. Rep. Frankel has introduced LGBT non-discrimination legislation six times in the House since 2001. The leading LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination bill in the State Senate is SB 974.

Only once has an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination bill been voted out of committee. In March 2009, the House State Government Committee had a historic 12-11 vote that ushered the bill forward to be considered by the House. Rep. Babette Josephs (D-182, Philadelphia) was then the chair of the committee. The bill stalled out that year.

A discharge resolution petition needs 25 signatures to call for a vote to consider the bill before the full House. If a majority vote in favor of the petition, then the bill will be voted on.

Once the petition is successfully filed, any member who has signed it can call for a vote (which no member has yet done). After two legislative session days, the vote to consider a full House vote would commence.  If the bill fails to receive a majority of votes, then the bill dies, and non-discrimination legislation would have to be reintroduced into the House.

The following House members have signed onto the discharge resolution petition for HB 1510. All but one of the signatories are Democrats.

Rep. Dan Frankel, (D-23), Allegheny
Rep. Leslie Acosta, D-197 Philadelphia
Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172), Philadelphia, Montgomery
Rep. Tim Briggs (D-149), Montgomery
Rep. Donna Bullock (D-195), Philadelphia
Rep. Tonyelle Cook-Artis (D-200), Philadelphia
Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-148), Montgomery
Rep. Tina Davis (D-141), Bucks
Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179), Philadelphia
Rep. Madeline Dean (D-153), Montgomery
Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-194), Philadelphia, Montgomery
Rep. Marty Flynn (D-113), Lackawanna
Rep. Ed Gainey (D-24), Allegheny
Rep. Jordan Harris (D-186), Philadelphia
Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-161), Delaware
Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-191), Delaware, Philadelphia
Rep. Dan Miller (D-42), Allegheny
Rep. Tom Murt (D-152), Montgomery
Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-175), Philadelphia
Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121), Luzerne
Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-126), Berks
Rep. Michael Schlossberg (D-132), Lehigh
Rep. Kevin Schreiber (D-95), York
Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-22), Lehigh
Rep. Brian Sims (D-182), Philadelphia

Two signatories of the discharge resolution petition are not co-sponsors of HB 1510, Rep. Tom Murt (R-152) and Rep. Tonyelle Cook-Artis (D-200).

Following the developments in North Carolina with their HB 2, several legislators removed themselves as co-sponsors of non-discrimination legislation, including Sen. Mario Scavello (R-40, Monroe and Northampton) and Rep. Jamie Santora (R-163, Delaware). Rep. Kathy Watson (R-144, Bucks) and Rep. Scott Petri (R-178, Bucks) have been under pressure from the hate group-designated American Family Association of Pennsylvania to remove their co-sponsorship of HB 1510 as well. When Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28, York) was approached to remove his co-sponsorship of SB 974, he publicly rebuked the push and made a clear statement in support of the bill.

We encourage all Pennsylvanians to reach out to their representatives an encourage them to vote YES on the discharge resolution on HB 1510.

You can find your House member on the General Assembly website here.

We will post updates as they become available.

 

About The Author

Jason Landau Goodman is a law student at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Jason is a fifth generation Pennsylvanian from Lower Merion, PA.

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