State Republican leaders are wise to avoid the legislative quackery that can accompany a lame-duck session of the General Assembly.
Top Republicans in the House and Senate announced last week that they will not call legislators back for voting sessions after the Nov. 6 general election, commonly referred to as lame-duck sessions.
At times, lame-duck sessions have been used to pass legislation that elected officials didn't want to vote on before the elections or that hasn't received much, if any, scrutiny.
In the last Pennsylvania lame-duck session in 2006, state lawmakers passed a bill that allows casinos to serve free alcoholic beverages to patrons, even though the measure never had a public hearing.
The state Senate had two voting days and the House had five in the 2006 lame-duck session, Capitolwire reports.
In 2004, the House approved 183 bills in its lame-duck session, The Associated Press reports. And a Common Cause study found between 1991 and 1998, 30 percent of all non-appropriations measures signed into law were passed during a lame-duck session.
That's not good government.
Recently, there had been some speculation that a lame-duck session may be on tap for this year to address the long-neglected issue of transportation funding. It's no secret that Pennsylvania has many more transportation needs - from roadway repairs to bridge replacements - than it has funding to address.
But fixing the problems almost certainly will require higher taxes on fuel and higher fees for things such as licenses and vehicle registrations, things that won't make most politicians popular.
A lame-duck session could give them cover by ensuring it would be at least another two years before lawmakers could be held accountable by voters. But lawmakers shouldn't be putting off important matters just because it's politically expedient.
Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, started the ball rolling by balking at the idea of a lame-duck session on transportation. Other top Pennsylvanian Republicans followed suit.
Less than a dozen states allow their legislatures to vote on measures between the general election and the start of the next session. We're glad that state legislative leaders are saying they will follow that pattern.
There's plenty of time between now and Nov. 6 for the General Assembly to act. And the decision now to not have a lame-deck session will increase the pressure for our elected officials to get their jobs done before voters go to the polls.