Pennsylvania legislative leaders ruled out a lame-duck session after the election this year, but they’ve been tight-lipped about meeting next January in the twilight of Gov. Tom Corbett’s term.
The micro-session would give the solidly Republican House and Senate time to pass bills before the governor’s office changes hands.
Neither the House Speaker-designee Mike Turzai nor a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati would comment on the possibility of a January session before Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf takes office.
“It’s pretty clear that it’s a perfectly legal thing to do,” said Erik Arneson, spokesman for the outgoing Senate majority leader.
Legislative staffers say such a move would be unprecedented – and tricky. After swearing-in day, lawmakers would have less than two weeks to organize committees, introduce bills, and send them to the governor’s desk.
“It’s certainly feasible. It’s not impossible by any stretch, but it’s a tight timeframe,” Arneson said. “Particularly if you’re working big issues.”
The state constitution sets Jan. 6, the first Tuesday of January, as the day for state lawmakers to be sworn in for the beginning of a new legislative session. Jan. 20, the third Tuesday of January, is the constitutionally mandated swearing-in day for Wolf.