HARRISBURG – The House approved House Bill 1021
, part of a two-bill package, introduced by Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) to allow the House and Senate to take a more active role in legal proceedings when a law is challenged as being unconstitutional.
“As the makers of the laws being challenged, it is only right the House, Senate or both have the opportunity to serve as parties in proceedings when a bill is alleged to be unconstitutional,” Ecker said. “My bill also sets up a process to allow members of the chambers to decided if they wish to take part in the proceedings.”
Specifically, Ecker’s bill would give the Senate Committee on Management Operations and the House Bipartisan Management Committee authorization to vote to take part in the proceedings.
There is no current case law or statute that grants the General Assembly, or its members, the ability to participate in judicial proceedings challenging the constitutionality of state laws.
Part of a two-bill package, Ecker’s House Bill 1021 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Ecker’s other legislation in the package, House Bill 1020
, would require the attorney general to share any notice received with the governor and leaders of the General Assembly, together with a brief description of the allegations and a statement indicating whether the attorney general will defend the case or authorize another agency to defend the challenged statute.
Since Ecker introduced the bill, Attorney General Josh Shapiro decided that his office will be taking the steps necessary to comply with the notification requirements through an inter-agency agreement.
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross