Pennsylvania House Democrats Propose Procedure for Addressing Incapacitated Representatives

In response to recent events, Pennsylvania House Democrats are taking steps to address concerns regarding the ability of state representatives to fulfill their duties effectively.

Establishing a Process for Determining Incapacitation

Majority Leader Matt Bradford of Montgomery County introduced a resolution aimed at establishing a clear process for determining if a state representative is physically or mentally incapacitated, thereby hindering their ability to perform their legislative duties.

Addressing Recent Concerns

This initiative comes in the wake of criticism following the remote voting by State Rep. Kevin Boyle, a Philadelphia Democrat, who is currently facing allegations of violating a restraining order.

Proposed Resolution Details

Under Bradford’s proposed resolution, a new group comprising five House leaders would be tasked with evaluating whether a representative is indeed incapacitated. This group would have the authority to conduct inquiries and assessments to determine the representative’s ability to carry out their responsibilities.

Implications for Power Balance

The outcome of this resolution could have significant implications for the balance of power within the Pennsylvania House, particularly as the chamber currently maintains a delicate majority.

Calls for Action

Republican leaders have called for decisive action regarding Boyle’s voting privileges, suggesting that House Democrats should have suspended him pending the resolution of his legal issues.

Criticism and Counterproposals

However, Minority Leader Bryan Cutler has criticized Bradford’s proposal, labeling it as unnecessarily complex. Cutler has urged bipartisan cooperation to address the issue effectively.

Republican Initiatives

Meanwhile, Republicans have also been vocal about their concerns, with Rep. Charity Grimm Krupa proposing rule changes to prevent remote voting by representatives facing legal issues.

Constituent Concerns

Furthermore, Rep. Martina White has highlighted concerns from Boyle’s constituents regarding his responsiveness amidst the ongoing controversy.

Upholding Democratic Principles

Despite the criticism, Bradford’s press secretary emphasized the importance of upholding democratic principles and respecting the prerogatives of individual representatives.

Next Steps

As the House reconvenes later this month, the fate of Bradford’s proposal and its potential impact on the House dynamics remain to be seen.


The proposed resolution by Pennsylvania House Democrats reflects a proactive approach to address concerns surrounding the ability of representatives to fulfill their duties effectively. As the debate continues, the focus remains on ensuring transparency, accountability, and the smooth functioning of the legislative process.

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