Legislative Alternatives to Recall Legislation

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  • #118230 Reply


    Recall legislation is now in committee, but some legislators are interested in addressing official misconduct. Representative Jaret Gibbons, Democrat, serving Beaver County (Part), Butler County (Part), Lawrence County (Part), is reintroducing House Bill 115, Printer’s Number 994, which was introduced during the 2011-2012 legislative session. This legislation created the “Abuse of Public Office Prohibition and Penalty Act” and is intended to fix a flaw in current law. A summary follows excerpted from his web site.

    (I do not know the current status of the bill, since I am just beginning research into recall legislation. Perhaps it has already passed.)

    From the web site:

    In the near future, I plan to reintroduce House Bill 115, Printer’s Number 994, which was introduced during the 2011-2012 legislative session.  This legislation created the “Abuse of Public Office Prohibition and Penalty Act” and is intended to fix a flaw in current law. 
    Currently, Title 18’s Abuse of Office prohibition is concerned with official oppression, speculating or wagering on official action or information, and liability for reimbursement of costs for outside counsel.  There is no specific prohibition in Title 18 that makes abuse of office a criminal offense. 
    Under my proposal, abuse of office would be a criminal offense if an elected official, public officer or public employee would (1) intentionally compel a public employee to perform an activity knowing the activity is not related to the performance of the duties of the office held by the elected official or public officer and (2) intentionally compel a public contractor to provide a good or service for the private pecuniary benefit of the elected official, public officer or another person.  A violation would constitute a misdemeanor of the second degree.  However, if the aggregate value of the activities, goods or services performed would exceed $2,000, a violation would be a third degree felony.  A person who falsely reports an alleged violation would also be subject to criminal prosecution.

    View Attachment


    The pdf attachment is the bill. Title 18 can be researched.


    Hon. Jaret Gibbons
    309 Fifth Street
    Ellwood City, PA 16117
    (724) 752-1133
    Fax: (724) 752-3784

    Hon. Jaret Gibbons
    306 East Water Street
    Slippery Rock, PA 16057
    (724) 794-1215

    Hon. Jaret Gibbons
    233 Miller Road
    Rochester, PA 15074
    (724) 773-7499


    Hon. Jaret Gibbons
    302 Main Capitol Building
    PO Box 202010
    Harrisburg, PA 17120-2010
    (717) 705-2060
    Fax: (717) 780-4766


    #118256 Reply


    The following meeting will address the “recall” bill (HB 1602):

    Upcoming Meetings
    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    9:00 AM
    Voting meeting on HB 1602, HB 1873, HB 1944, HB 1945, and any other business that may come before the Committee.
    Room G50
    Irvis Office

    #118267 Reply

    #125118 Reply

    John Paul

    Note that this bill is tracked as HB1680. HB1602 deals with certain public lands.

    #125120 Reply

    John Paul
    #125991 Reply


    Thanks for the correction, JP. I noticed the error yesterday, but didn’t have time to change it.

    #126060 Reply


    I can’t change the postings referring incorrectly to H.B. 1620, John Paul. I would appreciate your deleting them, though, so people are not misdirected. Thanks, and I’ll be more careful about this if any new information arises about H.B. 1680.

    #137820 Reply


    Does anyone have an update on whether or not this bill or amendment was addressed on the 14th?

    #137822 Reply

    John Paul

    No action has been taken with this bill since it was referred to the Committee on State Government on Sept. 9, 2013.

    As of today, the Committee has not placed this bill on their agenda for hearings or consideration.

    #137850 Reply


    I received a phone call back from Jaret Gibbons’ office on Wednesday, 1/22/2014, and nothing more has transpired with the bill. Also, the secretary was personally unfamiliar with it. They put it on a watch list, though, and said they would call again if further action was taken. I plan upon checking it regularly and talking to Gibbons, if possible.

    #138690 Reply


    Thanks for all your efforts with this Raven and JP. Doesn’t surprise me that these little-known proposals are not a priority. Although the Abuse of Public Office proposal is definitely a step in the right direction, Recall legislation, if passed, gives voters more of a say-so with the opportunity for a more expedited process without an actual conviction. It’s getting into election season here pretty soon so I doubt these will make it to the top of the list any time soon. Unfortunately, other than complaining after the fact, the average voter (majority) will base their ballot selections on campaign rhetoric related to more simple issues like slinging mud at one another… and won’t dissect the real matters during the Legislator’s actual ‘working’ time.

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