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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 10, 2019 12:47 PM
From: Representative Danielle Friel Otten
To: All House members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment – Securing the Right to Local Self-Government
When first adopted, the Pennsylvania Constitution was widely regarded as one of the most democratic of its time, but court cases and legislation have rendered some of the most important values in this document virtually meaningless. Today, our state constitution is too often exploited by special interests and often denies our communities the legal authority they need to protect their own health, safety, natural resources, and economic interests.

It is time that we correct this failure, which is why I am proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution that will recognize the fundamental right of the people to local self-government. The legislation I am introducing secures this right and the power to enact local laws that protect health, safety, and welfare and to prevent infringement of locally enacted rights. At the same time, my proposal protects individual citizens from local laws that seek to infringe on rights guaranteed to them by international, federal, or state law.

The Local Self-Government Amendment would place the rights of citizens over the interests of private corporations, empowering communities and their municipal governments to enact local laws without interference from corporations or pre-emption by state or federal government.

Please support this legislation and join me in securing the right of people to protect themselves, their communities, and their environment at the local level.

Introduced as HB1813