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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 03:24 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward and Sen. John DiSanto, Sen. Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Constitutional Amendments - Legislative Approval of Emergency Declarations and Racial Equality (SB 1166 of Last Session)
Soon we will be introducing legislation mirroring Senate Bill 1166, approved by the General Assembly last session and providing for two separate constitutional amendments.
As required, constitutional amendments must be passed during two separate legislative sessions before they may be placed on the ballot at the next election.  Senate Bill 1166, approved by the General Assembly in July, amends the disaster emergency provisions within the Pennsylvania Constitution to limit the duration of declarations issued by the Governor to no more than 21 days unless extended by the General Assembly through passage of a concurrent resolution.  The General Assembly would be given the ability to end an emergency declaration at any time, also through the passage of a concurrent resolution which would not have to be presented to the Governor for his approval.  The Governor would not be permitted to issue a new emergency declaration on the same issue or circumstances as a previous one without the General Assembly's approval.
Senate Bill 1166 was amended to also provide racial equality under the Pennsylvania Constitution by prohibiting the denial or abridgement of equality of rights because of race and ethnicity.
Our bill will provide for these two constitutional amendments as just as Senate Bill 1166 did.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Geri Sarfert, Senator Ward's office, at (717) 787-1640 or via email.

Introduced as SB2