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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2020 11:26 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment for Direct Ballot Initiative
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation to provide for a direct ballot initiative in Pennsylvania.

Today, 26 states and the District of Columbia have some form of ballot initiative process, and of that number 21 states provide for direct statutory initiatives. Proponents of this process point to the advantages of direct democracy. They claim that elected representatives can, at times, become consumed with their power and take actions that represent their own self-interest and not the interest of the people. Initiatives can be used to make the will of the people law on issues that elected officials are unwilling to address.

While I have previously introduced a Joint Resolution in a prior legislative session that would provide for an indirect initiative and referendum process, this measure while similar, will allow voters to have the ultimate say at the ballot box. Statutes could not be proposed unless a submitted petition is signed by registered electors equal to a number of not less than 5% of the votes cast for Governor, in not less than 45 counties.

I believe that giving more power to the people to impact changes or needs is a good thing—and long overdue.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor.

​This bill was introduced as SB 525 in the 2019-20 legislative session.

Introduced as SB538