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A Guide to Proposed Changes to the PA Constitution Spotlight PA

Spotlight PA Independent, nonpartisan newsroom operated by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletter.

HARRISBURG — Constitutional amendments have shaped Pennsylvania politics for the past two years and have served as a key tool in the power struggle between the executive and legislative branches.

The Governor of Pennsylvania cannot reject such a proposal. curb executive power.

But this time, Democrats have a majority in the state legislature. This means that the parties must agree to any proposed amendment in order for it to reach voters.

amendment Must pass Congress twice in a row before going to voters statewide for consideration.If a majority of voters approve the amendment — and that withstand legal challenges — it becomes part of the Constitution.

Since the latest two-year session began in January 2023, Pennsylvania legislators have proposed about 40 changes to the state constitution. Most of these amendments are still in the early stages of the legislative process and have not yet been put to a vote.

However, six of these proposals have already passed in the last Congress. These fixes look like this:

  • Creates a two-year window for a childhood survivor of sexual abuse to sue the abuser or abuser for monetary damages in civil court.

  • Make sure your state constitution does not recognize abortion rights.

  • Require identification every time a voter casts a ballot in person or by mail.

  • Requires the State Auditor General to conduct an annual election audit.

  • Removes the governor’s power to deny legislative overrides of regulations. This effectively allows a simple majority of lawmakers to veto the regulation.

  • Rather than having the state hold a separate lieutenant governor primary, each governor candidate would be allowed to choose a lieutenant governor “subject to the party’s approval.”

Of the six amendments that could reach voters this season, the Civil Window Amendment has the most bipartisan support, with supporters of waited for years for it to move forward.

But the proposal is now at the center of a bitter debate between Democrats, who want to send it to voters on their own, and Republicans, who want to bundle it with a number of unrelated amendments that advance their policy positions.

Democrats in charge of state Houses of Representatives, which decide what gets on the ballot and what doesn’t on the floor, have thrown cold water on Republican plans to tie civil windows to proposals like expanding voter ID requirements. But Republicans control the state Senate.

In this environment, it is unclear which amendments will reach voters by November 2024. This is the last election before his current two-year term ends. But once the amendment reaches voters, it is usually approved.

Since 1968, when Pennsylvania’s current constitution took effect, voters have rejected only six of the 53 proposed amendments. Only 14 of these poll questions were posed in presidential or gubernatorial election years.

The following complaints filed during the period: series of public meetingsthis session State House Democrats Pass New Rule The constitutional amendment requires a single public hearing before being finalized and put to the ballot only in the November elections.

As with previous sessions, Spotlight PA will track and publish the status of all constitutional amendments introduced this year. We update the following databases as new proposals are introduced and as existing proposals go through the process.

If you have problems loading this visualization, please click here

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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2023/04/amendment-tracker-legislature-harrisburg-pennsylvania/ A Guide to Proposed Changes to the PA Constitution Spotlight PA

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