Pennsylvania House of Representatives
|Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
|2014 session start:||January 2, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Samuel Smith, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Mike Turzai, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Frank Dermody, (D)|
| Democratic Party (
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Pennsylvania Constitution|
|Salary:||$82,026/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (203 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (203 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 Decommissioned Committees
- 8 History
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of March 2014, Pennsylvania is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution establishes when the Pennsylvania General Assembly, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to meet. Section 4 of Article II states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January each year.
Section 4 gives the Governor of Pennsylvania the authority to convene special sessions of the General Assembly either when he judges a special session to be in the public interest, or when a majority of each legislative House requests a special session.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 2 to a date to be determined.
Like many other states, Pennsylvania lawmakers will have to work on a budget deficit. Other issues include economic development, public pension reform, liquor privatization, and child abuse.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House began its legislative session on January 3.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House will be in session from January 4 through a date to be determined by the General Assembly. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Ethics and transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Pennsylvania was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 39||Rick Saccone||0.4%||28,878||David Levdansky|
|District 146||Mark Painter||0.7%||29,568||Thomas Quigley|
|District 146||Mark Painter||0.7%||29,568||Thomas Quigley|
|District 131||Justin Simmons||1.5%||28,173||Kevin Deely|
|District 163||Nicholas Micozzie||1.7%||28,369||Sheamus Bonner|
|District 157||Warren Kampf||2.2%||34,795||Paul Drucker|
|District 156||Dan Truitt||2.7%||33,273||Bret Binder|
|District 161||Joe Hackett||5.4%||34,109||Larry DeMarco|
|District 10||Jaret Gibbons||5.5%||25,663||Michael See|
|District 13||John Lawrence||6.5%||33,527||Eric Schott|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 9, 2010. The primary election day was May 18, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $35,488,143 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte of Pennsylvania||$1,573,572|
|Pennsylvania Democratic Party||$1,495,172|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Pennsylvania||$1,413,690|
|Pennsylvania Republican Party||$1,162,537|
|Republican Party of Pennsylvania||$1,050,084|
|Pennsylvania Education Association||$650,835|
|Pennsylvania Association for Justice||$581,025|
|Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association||$427,000|
|Citizens to Elect Dwight Evans for State Representative||$352,500|
|Laborers District Council||$348,300|
Under Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age and Representatives twenty-one years of age. They shall have been citizens and inhabitants of their respective districts one year next before their election (unless absent on the public business of the United States or of this State) and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. The Speaker of the House is responsible for calling an election. There are no deadlines set in the state constitution on when a special election can be held.
- See also: Redistricting in Pennsylvania
As far as legislative redistricting, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission is responsible. This commission is normally made up of the majority and minority leaders of each legislative chamber, plus a fifth member selected by the other four to serve as chair. If the four cannot agree on a fifth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides. The commission has until the October of the redistricting year to submit a plan.
Pennsylvania received its local census data on March 9, 2011. The state had a low 3.4 percent growth rate from 2000-2010. The five most populous cities showed mostly stagnation: Philadelphia grew by 0.6 percent, Pittsburgh decreased by 8.6 percent, Allentown grew by 10.7 percent, Erie decreased by 1.9 percent, and Reading grew by 8.5 percent. By county, the major standout was Forest County with a 56 percent rate of growth.
On August 17, 2011, the Commission approved the census data and went to work on a preliminary map, which it passed on October 31, 2011 by a vote of 3-2. Democrats were not happy with the plan or the negotiation process. Final maps were approved on December 12, 2011 by a 4-1 vote, moving a Senate district and five House districts from west to east. There was a 30-day window to file appeals, of which 11 were filed. The state Supreme Court threw out the maps on January 25, 2012 after appeals were heard.
The commission met on April 12, 2012 to vote in favor of a compromise map, which contained two Senate district splits and 68 House splits. On June 8, the commission approved the final plan, which went to the state Supreme Court for final approval.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of March 2014|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are paid $82,026/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $159/day (vouchered) tied to the federal rate, which they can receive actual expenses or per diem.
Legislators in Pennsylvania are able to retire at age 50, while other state workers cannot retire until they turn 60. In 2011, the average legislative pension was $35,221 annually, while the average state employee pension was $23,491. According to former legislator David Mayernik, who began collecting a pension of $29,583 a year when he retired at age 50, the lowered retirement age was intended as compensation for small legislative salaries as well as the uncertainty of serving in office.
When sworn in
Pennsylvania legislators assume office in January.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. 
List of current members
The Pennsylvania House has 27 standing committees:
- Aging & Older Adult Services Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Appropriations Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Children & Youth Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Commerce Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Committee On Committees, Pennsylvania House
- Committee On Ethics, Pennsylvania House
- Consumer Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Education Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Finance Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Game & Fisheries Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Gaming Oversight Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Health Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Human Services Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Insurance Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Judiciary Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Labor & Industry Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Liquor Control Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Local Government Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Professional Licensure Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Rules Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- State Government Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Tourism & Recreational Development Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Transportation Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Urban Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives (Decommissioned)
- Health & Human Services Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives (Decommissioned)
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives for seven years while the Republicans were the majority for 15 years. Pennsylvania was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Wikipedia:Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Pennsylvania House of Representatives" About the Senate, March 13, 2009
- Post-Gazette, "Pennsylvania lawmakers start settling in," January 2, 2013
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- 2010 session dates for Pennsylvania legislature
- Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Pennsylvania House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- State of Pennsylvania "Pennsylvania Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article II, Section 2)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Pennsylvania's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 9, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
- Pennsylvania House Leadership
State of Pennsylvania
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