New Pa. House rules tackle sexual misconduct

Tony Romeo
January 02, 2019 - 8:04 am
Pennsylvania Capitol
Categories: 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against one of its members last year, the state House has begun 2019 by approving new rules on handling such accusations. 

The New Year’s Day state House session was largely ceremonial, highlighted by swearing in new members, but the House did approve rules under which it will operate during the new two-year session. In those rules are new protocols for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct against a House member or officer.

RELATED: Pa. lawmakers mark New Year's Day by starting new session

Such allegations will be handled by the House Ethics Committee, and those accused are barred from retaliation against those who bring allegations in good faith. 

The changes come after harassment allegations last year against then-member Nick Miccarelli, a Republican from Delaware County, who did not seek re-election

The new House rules also require a vote on expelling a member upon conviction, rather than sentencing, for bribery and other offenses that disqualify a member from serving. This comes after Philadelphia Democrat Vanessa Lowery Brown did not immediately resign following sentencing for a bribery conviction last year.