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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: July 16, 2021 11:25 AM
From: Representative Ryan Warner
To: All House members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment Limiting the Powers of the Secretary of Health
Between March 2020 and June 2021, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were subjected to the unilateral orders of an unelected bureaucrat that infringed on their rights and shuttered their businesses. Those orders were given the same gravitas of law but were not subject to the checks and balances of the co-equal branches of our government. It flies in the face of democracy that one unelected individual would have the autonomous ability to enforce their will on 13 million people.

I will be introducing a joint resolution amending Article IV of the Pennsylvania Constitution to impose restrictions on the Secretary of Health to prevent a future occurrence of unchecked overreach. Identical to the language contained in the recently passed SB 618, my resolution would prohibit the Secretary of Health from ordering a closure of an entity. Further, the Secretary of Health would be prohibited from mandating that an individual who has not been exposed to a contagious disease to do any of the following: physically distance from others; wear a universal face covering; shelter in place, quarantine or isolate from other individuals; or restrict travel. In a democracy, these are decisions that can and should be made by an elected legislature.

The process of amending the Pennsylvania Constitution is relatively straight-forward: the General Assembly proposes amendments to the Constitution, but the voters have the power to decide whether to adopt the proposed amendments. Let the people, who were subjected to the government overreach and unprecedented intrusion, determine whether one unelected official should have the ability to infringe upon the rights of healthy citizens of the Commonwealth. 

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.