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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 13, 2019 10:11 AM
From: Representative Jared G. Solomon
To: All House members
Subject: Recall of Elected Officials
As elected officials we are hired by the voters, and they should be able to fire us. And they should not have to wait for an election to do so. Sometimes, when an elected official violates the trust placed in them by the voters so egregiously, voters need recourse to remove those officials from their position before the next election.

Right now, the Pennsylvania Constitution does not provide for the recall of state or local elected officials. While public officials can be removed by impeachment and certain “civil officers” (with the exception of Governor, Lt Governor, members of the General Assembly and judges) can be removed by a process outlined in Article VI, section 7 of the PA Constitution, there is no recall in our Commonwealth.

I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to change this. This amendment, while allowing for recall in state, local, and judicial offices, will not outline the specific procedure for doing so, which will be done via enabling legislation at the state and local level.

It is not enough to rely solely on either impeachment or court proceedings to determine when an elected official is removed from office. Not all violations of the public trust are criminal in nature. They may not violate a specific statute, but still require action. Instances of corruption, sexism, and racism come readily to mind.

Critics of recalls think it is too democratic; it is a process too subject to the whims of the masses. But if we want citizens to put their trust in us, we must put ours in them.