Stories For November 2011

For a job that pays more than $87,000, it would seem like state lawmakers could make the trek to Harrisburg for the fewer than 100 session days scheduled annually. But some lawmakers don’t bother with them all — and it is starting to hit them politically.

State Rep. Kevin Haggerty, D-Lackawanna, has been absent since July — a feat first mentioned by ABC16, a Scranton-area television station. Haggerty has said he can’t go because of his divorce and a child custody issue.

That excuse is no longer good enough for Democrats. Last week, Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, and others publicly “objected” to Haggerty’s truancy, causing Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, to mark him as unexcused. If more objections are noted, the House could hold Haggerty in contempt of the House.

In November, The Morning Call reported Rep. Justin Simmons, R-Lehigh, has missed more than 500 votes since first being elected in 2011. Two days after that story published, Simmons ended his congressional campaign.

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