The Lead

Exclusive: As Legislature returns, non-essential House Dem employees are told to stay home

By: - March 15, 2020 8:25 pm

The floor of the Pa. House of Representatives during a joint session on 4/10/19 , commemorating the deaths at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue (screen capture)

(*This story has been updated to include comment from House Democratic spokesman Bill Patton)

With the state House returning to session on Monday, not all of the caucus employees who support the House Democratic Caucus will be returning to work.

An email to caucus employees, exclusively obtained by the Capital-Star, says that “caucus employees at the Capitol who are have not been determined to be critical for session this week are directed to stay home and telework until further notice.”

*Asked what employees were considered essential, Bill Patton, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny responded: “For House Democrats it’s those people who are directly involved in supporting the floor session.”

In all, that’s about 30 people, including committee support staff, Patton said Sunday. 

(Screen Capture – House D email)

(House D Email – Screen Capture)

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.