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Pennsylvania General Assembly closes shop

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The Pennsylvania General Assembly won’t hold any more votes this year.

That means several high-profile bills will stall, despite passing both the House and Senate this session.

The House was set to convene after the election, but Democratic leaders have now turned those sessions into non-voting days. The move means a pension reform bill overhauling benefits for future public employees won’t become law.

Both the House and Senate had passed versions of a measure increasing the retirement age and vesting period, and changing the way benefits are funded.
The House needed to concur on the Senate’s latest version of the measure, for the bill to go to Governor Rendell’s desk.

Rendell says he’s urging Democratic leaders to change their minds and hold a vote.
A spokesman for House Speaker Keith McCall isn’t commenting on why the lame duck session was canceled.

The House flipped from Democrat to Republican control on Tuesday, but GOP leaders said they had no problem with the lame-duck session.

Senate leaders have ruled out returning for post-election votes.

Another high-profile bill now stalled is the so-called “Castle Doctrine” measure, which expands a person’s right to deadly self-defense.

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