Pennsylvania lawmakers shut out

    About 80 Pennsylvania state representatives showed up for work at the Capitol Monday even though House Democratic leaders have canceled the rest of this year’s session days.

    The Democratic leaders’ decision leaves a pension reform bill on the table. The measure would increase the retirement age and vesting period for state workers and public school teachers, but maintain a defined-benefit pension system.

    After the floor appearance, about two dozen lawmakers held a news conference chastising Speaker Keith McCall and Majority Leader Todd Eachus.

    Outgoing Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith of Chester County said the leaders are walking away from a pressing issue. “We have an opportunity to fix that problem,” said Smith. “But because our leadership chose to not come today to gavel us in, you see all of that frustration from all of us standing on this stage, demanding that our leaders do the right thing.”

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    Other stalled bills include measures overhauling food safety laws, creating a new recycling program and encouraging alternative energy production.

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