Pennsylvania Democratic state legislator quietly stripped of committee leadership and access to Capitol Hill

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State Representative Kevin Boyle was stripped of his committee chair and his access to the Capitol was restricted in a rare move by Democratic leaders in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Spotlight PA has learned.

Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, who has the power to choose committee chairs within her caucus, removed Boyle from his post as chair of the House finance committee, a move that was finalized last week during of a session little noticed and without a vote of the chamber. .

In an interview on Monday, Boyle said when he arrived at the Capitol this week, he could only enter through public entrances, which are guarded by Capitol Police and require visitors to go through a metal detector.

The Philadelphia Democrat said he received a new badge on Monday, but was unsure if that would restore his official access privileges to the Capitol. Lawmakers are given badges that allow them 24/7 access to the Capitol from all doors leading to the building, including those not monitored by law enforcement.

McClinton, also a Philadelphia Democrat, did not respond to requests for comment. Democratic House spokesman Bill Patton also declined to comment.

The decision to sideline an elected official from their own party is a decision that legislative leaders have used sparingly. When this has happened in the past, it has almost always been used either as a punishment – to punish a lawmaker who angered leaders – or because of a personnel issue involving the lawmaker.

For his part, Boyle would only say that he believes the Democratic House leadership received “incorrect information about me” over the summer. He wouldn’t elaborate.

“I’m not quite sure what they think,” he said of recent leadership moves.

The last time a legislator was stripped of the chair of a committee was during the summer. In this case, Pro Tempore Senate Speaker Jake Corman (R., Center) impeached Franklin County GOP Senator Doug Mastriano as head of a committee on a controversial presidential review of the last year.

Corman also removed the Capitol staff from Mastriano, temporarily reassigning them to other positions within the Republican caucus.

At the time, Corman would only say that he thought Mastriano was too interested in publicity and had been grand. Their dispute, which made headlines in Pennsylvania and nationwide, has been widely viewed as a political clash.

Prior to that, it had been years since leaders took action to oust a legislator from a committee.

Limiting a lawmaker’s ability to gain access to the Capitol is even rarer than removing him as chair of a committee, and it has only happened once in recent history.

In 2018, then State Representative Nick Miccarelli, a Delaware County Republican, was stripped of his security privileges on Capitol Hill after another GOP lawmaker accused him of having it. harassed and threatened after their relationship ended years earlier.

Miccarelli has denied the allegations. He did not run for office and retired from the legislature at the end of his term later in the year.

90.5 WESA partners with Spotlight PA, a collaborative, reader-funded newsroom producing accountability journalism for all of Pennsylvania. More than projectorpa.org.


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