As state Rep. Kevin Boyle remains a wanted man for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order, Pennsylvania House Democrats have proposed new rules on expelling members who are incapable of performing their duties.

House Majority Leader Matthew Bradford (D-Norristown) put forward a resolution after Republican complaints that Democrats put politics before Boyle’s ability to serve. Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Pennsylvania House, with 102 seats. That is the threshold needed to pass legislation along party lines.

On Wednesday, the day after Philadelphia police issued an arrest warrant for the Philadelphia Democrat, Republicans tried to either put Boyle on leave or adjourn the House until April 29. Those attempts failed along party lines.

Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) and other Democrats relied on an obscure rule that allowed a proxy to cast votes in Boyle’s absence. In other words, Boyle was still casting votes even though House leadership said they had no idea where he was.

The new proposal, introduced Thursday, would create a subcommittee featuring the Speaker, Majority Leader, Majority Caucus Chair, Minority Leader, and Minority Caucus Chair. Expulsion procedures couldn’t start until the floor leader of the party to which the member belongs asked for an incapacity inquiry. The confidential request would include the representative’s name and a reason for the inquiry request.

According to the proposal, a confidential subcommittee hearing would be held within 30 days. Committee members could request a psychological evaluation and witness testimony. The subcommittee would recommend to the full House for a vote. Options include suspension, expulsion, or limiting a member’s power.

House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said Bradford’s proposal complicates a simple problem.

“House Democrats must join with us in immediately stopping Rep. Boyle’s ability to vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives until this issue is finally resolved,” Cutler told DVJournal. “Pennsylvania House Democrats continue to use this tragedy to further the tyranny of their majority, and that is shameful.”

Other Republicans remain frustrated with Democrats for what happened on the House floor.

“There’s no doubt Rep. Boyle needs help,” Rep. Kristin Marcell (R-Bucks) told DVJournal. “But as to Leader Bradford, it’s interesting that just a few days ago, he stood silent with his House Democrats and allowed a member wanted for arrest for violating a protection order against a woman to vote as if nothing happened.”

Boyle, who wants an eighth term in the state House, faces the end of his political career instead.

The Democratic primary is on April 23, and his opponent, Sean Dougherty, enjoys support from the state party.

Dougherty, a lawyer and son of state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, told DVJournal he hopes Boyle gets the help he needs. And Dougherty is telling voters via a television commercial about Boyle’s problems and to vote for Dougherty instead in the primary on Tuesday.

Boyle’s mental health has apparently been on the decline this year. In February, Rockledge police investigated a confrontation between Boyle and a female bartender. Charges were not filed.

His brother, Congressman Brendan Boyle, has said he refuses to get help.

Philadelphia police said Friday morning that Kevin Boyle was not in custody. Calls to his office went to a switchboard.

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