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05/08/2021 12:27 PM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 2, 2020 01:45 PM
From: Senator David J. Arnold, Jr. and Sen. Doug Mastriano, Sen. Mike Regan
To: All Senate members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment: Allowing for December Session Dates
 
In the near future Senators Mastriano, Regan, and I will introduce legislation to amend the PA Constitution, with regard to when Members of the General Assembly are seated.
 
Currently, the PA Constitution states that the Members of the General Assembly begin their term of service on the first day of December, following the election. But, those same members are not sworn-in until the first Tuesday in January. 
 
Our effort would modify the PA Constitution in that Members of the General Assembly would begin their term of service on the first day of January, rather than December. Subsequently, those Members would still be sworn-in on the first Tuesday in January. 
 
This would allow the General Assembly the option to meet through December, at the end of a two-year session, with Members who are sworn-in and ready to conduct business on behalf of the residents of Pennsylvania.
 
As we have experienced this year, the Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from convening in the month of December, except for a Special Session called by the Governor, restricting the ability of Members to take legislative action for an entire month.
 
The PA General Assembly is a full-time legislature. As Members, we should have the flexibility to conduct business in December at the end of a two-year session, should the necessity arise.