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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 01:07 PM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Explanation of Ballot Question
In the near future, I will be re-introducing HB 1093 from 2015-16 Session that would explain ballot questions, including fiscal notes.

The Pennsylvania Constitution provides that questions must be submitted to the voters for approval before two things may occur; the incurring of public debt and an amendment of the state Constitution. Since 1958, there have been more than 20 borrowing referendum questions placed on the ballot for review. The Pennsylvania Election Code clearly states the criteria the Attorney General must follow when generating a referendum question. When the Commonwealth proposes to incur public debt through a bond or borrowing measure, the financial repercussions of such a measure should be provided to the voters. Presently, little to no background information is provided to the public which may have an adverse impact on the communities at the expense of the uninformed voters and taxpayers.

I intend to introduce legislation that will amend the Pennsylvania Election Code to require all state-wide and local-level ballot referendum questions involving a bond or borrowing measure to have a fiscal note included within the question outlining specific information as it relates to the request. The information for the fiscal note will be developed by the Office of the Budget for state-wide questions. For local-level questions, the local government unit that petitions for the ballot question will develop the fiscal note.

Thank you for your consideration! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Former Cosponsors: Brown V, Cohen, Cutler, DeLuca, Diamond, Fee, Gabler, Gillen, Gingrich, Grell, Irvin, James, Kauffman, Metcalfe, Moul, Murt, Peifer, Saylor, Simmons, and Staats

Introduced as HB1025