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    The Office of the

    Secretary of the Senate

    Welcome to the website for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate! This site is designed to explain the functions of the Office and its departments that are here to serve all Senate Members and staff. The site will provide you with important information on the legislative process, and will link you to other important Senate websites.

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    Senate of PA

    Legislative information on the Pennsylvania Senate. You can search for legislation, view session information, watch Senate session live and much more.

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    Senate Library

    For over two hundred years, the Library of the Senate has served as the major source of information on the Institution. Brimming with its collection of legislative documents, journals, and law books, the Senate Library is an excellent place of reference for Senate Members and staff. The Library is also host to a permanent museum display and rotating exhibitions, all of which tell the story of the Senate.

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    Capitol Visitor Services

    Everything you need to know about visiting the Pennsylvania Capitol. This website provides Information on how to get to the Capitol, self-guided tours, educational information and how to book a guided tour of the PA State Capitol building.

The Secretary of the Senate is one of the Senate's four officers -- the President (Lt. Governor), President Pro Tempore, and Chief Clerk. She, along with the Chief Clerk, is a statutory officer, elected by the Members at the start of each new 2-year legislative term.

Secretary Martin is the first woman to serve as the Secretary and Parliamentarian of the Pennsylvania Senate. She was first elected Secretary in June 2012 and continues to serve today.

The Secretary of the Senate has 3 important roles: Secretary; Parliamentarian; and Right-to-Know Law Appeals Officer.

Secretary

Learn more about the role of Secretary.

Parliamentarian

Learn more about the role of Parliamentarian.

RTKL Appeals Officer

Learn more about the role of Right-to-Know Law Appeals Officer.

On This Day in Pennsylvania In 1781

The Liberty Bell was rung to announce the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and the defeat of the British in America.

How Do I . . .

Book a Capitol Tour

Capitol tours are available. Make reservations online!

more details
Request A Citation

If you are interested in a Citation to honor a specific event, contact your Senator

Request A Flag

If you are interested in a flag to honor a specific event, contact your Senator

Office of the Secretary by the numbers


 

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Senate Bills and Resolutions processed July 18 - May 19

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Guests Taking a Guided Capitol Tour Jan 18 - May 19

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Capitol Tours conducted Jan 18 - May 19

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Guests hosted in a single day by Capitol Tour Guides, May 14, 2019

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Visitors to our new Senate Library Exhibition since September 2018

Legislative Glossary of Terms

  • A Senate Resolution is passed by the Senate only. Simple Resolutions are referred to a committee, while Unanimous Consent Resolutions are introduced and adopted by unanimous consent on the Senate Floor.
  • A Concurrent Resolution must pass the Senate and House. It is sent to the Governor for consideration if it commits the state to action.
  • A Joint Resolution is limited to constitutional amendments, and requires passage from both houses but is not sent to the Governor for approval. It is filed with the Department of State for further action as needed.
  • View resolutions here.

A Senate Journal is the official record of session. It is a verbatim account of all the action and debate that transpires on the Senate floor during a session day. Recorded by the Official Reporter in the Senate chamber, these transcripts are later approved by the Senate as a body. Found on the LDPC website dating back to 1949 and in the Senate Library from 1802, they are an important legislative reference.

Published at the end of the two-year session, the Senate Histories are a complete list of all Senate bills and resolutions introduced during the session. They also include information on committees, Executive Nominations, Members of the Senate and much more. This data is compiled by the Secretary's Office and available online and in our Senate Library.

The Senate Rules are the parliamentary procedures adopted by the Senate on Opening Day, the first Tuesday of January at the beginning of a two-year session.

The Pennsylvania Constitution is the foundation of our state government. Adopted in 1776, it was the framework for the U.S. Constitution, which did not take effect until 1789. The articles and amendments of the PA Constitution compose the fundamental law of the Commonwealth. Each time the Constitution is amended, the Secretary's Office produces revised booklets.

The Pennsylvania Manual is a comprehensive reference to our State government. Published biennially and for more than 200 years, this publication provides Pennsylvanians with a wealth of knowledge of PA's history, Constitution and government officials from all three branches of our State government. Compiled by the Department of General Services, and updated by the Secretary's Office, copies can be purchased online at www.ShopPAheritage.com. The Secretary's Office has a limited supply on hand.

Pursuant to the Pennsylvania Constitution, on the first Tuesday of January every year, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania begins a new legislative session. On Opening Day, in the odd-numbered years, Senators-elect are sworn in, the body elects its Officers such as the President Pro Tempore, Secretary-Parliamentarian and Chief Clerk, and the Senate organizes itself as a body ready to conduct the business at hand.

The legislative session is actually comprised of two, one-year sessions. Throughout session, the Pennsylvania General Assembly's Senators and Representatives serve their constituents and conduct legislative business. At the end of this period, all legislation not finally acted upon dies.

Every Opening Day since 1790, Pennsylvania Senators-elect and Officers of the Senate have taken the Oath of Office. Verbally and in writing, Senators vow to serve their constituents with fidelity, and Officers, to fulfill their duties with honor. Then, each adds their name to the Senate's Oath Books as proof of taking the Oath of Office. The Oath of Office is provided for in the PA constitution, Article VI, Section 3.

Our Contacts

  • 462 Main Capitol Building,
    Harrisburg, PA 17120

  • (717) 787-5920

  • Working hours: 9AM - 5PM

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