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06/14/2021 12:27 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=34075
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 12, 2021 01:05 PM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Public Hearings for Constitutional Amendments
 
As you know a state constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot for consideration without ANY legislative public hearings?

The framers of the constitution had the foresight to recognize that amending the constitution was a responsibility that was not to be undertaken lightly. As such, they required that the proposed changes be considered and adopted in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly. In addition, the proposed changes are also required to be published in newspapers throughout the state.

I believe that we as the General Assembly should be of like mind as the framers of the constitution and recognize the gravity of our responsibility to truly deliberate the implications of changes to this foundational document. 
 
As you may know, the House Democratic Caucus proposed a host of good government and transparency changes to the House Rules for the 2021-2022 Legislative Session, including legislation I introduced last session (HR201) requiring that a public hearing be held on any proposed change to the constitution prior to consideration of any constitutional amendment.  
 
Unfortunately, this provision was not included in the newly drafted House Rules.  
 
As such, I will be introducing a resolution similar to my HR 201 from the 2019-2020 Legislative Session that would amend our recently enacted House Rules to require a public hearing for any constitutional amendment.  
 
I firmly believe that during consideration of a proposed constitutional amendment by the General Assembly, we MUST hear from the public on the impact of this change.  
 
Please take the time to sign onto this memo to show your support for language requiring a public hearing for all constitutional amendments be included in our new House Rules.