Politics

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Don't Bother Showing Up to Vote

A review of records since 2011 shows several of the region's lawmakers are routinely absent on voting days. Some missed days or weeks at a time.
September 30, 2013
 

Half the battle is showing up, the adage goes.

But it's not one a handful of legislators from Philadelphia and its suburbs have taken to heart.

A review of records since 2011 shows several of the region's lawmakers are routinely absent on voting days. Some missed days or weeks at a time.

State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Philadelphia) missed nearly a third of the voting sessions in 2011, and about 15 percent this year - including a vote on a bill that affected the financial rescue plan for Philadelphia schools.

Sen. LeAnna Washington (D., Philadelphia) was absent nearly a third of the time this year and last, including days with votes on some of the most controversial issues: voter ID and Medicaid expansion.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) has skipped a quarter of this year's voting days.

And in the state Senate, at least, those absences easily escape public view. That is because senators can take steps to be recorded as present on the official record - even as voting on legislation that day - though they aren't physically in the Capitol.

That's unlike most states, including New Jersey, where legislators must be present to vote.

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