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                                                       PRINTER'S NO. 744



No. 649 Session of 2007

           MARCH 9, 2007


                                     AN ACT

     1  Providing for a constitutional convention with limited powers;
     2     providing for a referendum on the question; providing for the
     3     selection, nomination and election of delegates; defining the
     4     powers and duties of the convention; providing for its
     5     operation; conferring powers and imposing duties on the
     6     Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, officers of the
     7     General Assembly and county election boards; providing for a
     8     referendum on the convention's report; and making an
     9     appropriation.

    10                         TABLE OF CONTENTS
    11  Section 1.  Short title.
    12  Section 2.  Definitions.
    13  Section 3.  Referendum.
    14  Section 4.  Convention; membership; qualifications; vacancies.
    15  Section 5.  Nomination of elected delegates; withdrawals.
    16  Section 6.  Elected delegates.
    17  Section 7.  Vacancies.
    18  Section 8.  Preparatory Committee.
    19  Section 9.  Organization of convention.

     1  Section 10.  Function.
     2  Section 11.  Manner of submitting proposals to electorate.
     3  Section 12.  Submission to electorate.
     4  Section 13.  Lobbying.
     5  Section 14.  Convention open to public.
     6  Section 15.  Appropriation.
     7  Section 16.  Effective date.
     8     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     9  hereby enacts as follows:
    10  Section 1.  Short title.
    11     This act shall be known and may be cited as the
    12  Constitutional Convention Act of 2007.
    13  Section 2.  Definitions.
    14     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    15  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    16  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    17     "Candidate."  An individual seeking to become an elected
    18  delegate.
    19     "Committee."  The Preparatory Committee established in
    20  section 8.
    21     "Convention."  The constitutional convention authorized by
    22  this act.
    23     "County board."  A county board of elections.
    24     "Delegate."  A delegate to the convention. The term includes
    25  an elected delegate and an ex officio delegate.
    26     "Elected delegate."  A delegate who is elected to the
    27  convention under section 4(b)(1).
    28     "Ex officio delegate."  A delegate to the convention under
    29  section 4(b)(2).
    30     "Secretary."  The Secretary of the Commonwealth.
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     1  Section 3.  Referendum.
     2     (a)  Question.--At the general election in November 2007, the
     3  following question shall be submitted to the electorate of this
     4  Commonwealth to determine its will regarding a constitutional
     5  convention with limited powers:
     6         Shall a constitutional convention be called in accordance
     7         with and subject to the limitations and requirements
     8         contained in the Constitutional Convention Act of 2007,
     9         to prepare for submission to the electorate proposals for
    10         the revision of the following provisions of the
    11         Constitution of Pennsylvania as provided in section 10 of
    12         the Constitutional Convention Act of 2007: section 10 of
    13         Article I; sections 8 and 16 of Article II; sections 14,
    14         15, 18, 26 and 27 of Article III; Article V; section 12
    15         of Article VIII; Article IX and section 17 of Schedule
    16         No. 1?
    17     (b)  Election.--The secretary shall certify questions to the
    18  county boards of elections. The election shall be conducted in
    19  accordance with the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320),
    20  known as the Pennsylvania Election Code.
    21     (c)  Secretary.--If a majority of the electors voting on the
    22  question under subsection (a) vote in the affirmative, the
    23  secretary shall transmit notice of the vote to the Legislative
    24  Reference Bureau for publication as a notice in the Pennsylvania
    25  Bulletin.
    26  Section 4.  Convention; membership; qualifications; vacancies.
    27     (a)  Call.--If a majority of the electors voting upon the
    28  question under section 3(a) vote in the affirmative, a
    29  convention shall be called by the Governor.
    30     (b)  Delegates.--The convention shall consist of the
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     1  following delegates:
     2         (1)  Three delegates shall be elected from each
     3     senatorial district. Each elector in each senatorial district
     4     may vote for not more than two candidates. The three
     5     candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be
     6     elected delegates.
     7         (2)  The following shall be ex officio delegates and
     8     shall have the powers of elected delegates:
     9             (i)  The Lieutenant Governor.
    10             (ii)  The President pro tempore of the Senate.
    11             (iii)  The Majority Leader of the Senate.
    12             (iv)  The Majority Whip of the Senate.
    13             (v)  The Minority Leader of the Senate.
    14             (vi)  The Minority Whip of the Senate.
    15             (vii)  The Minority Caucus Chairman of the Senate.
    16             (viii)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives.
    17             (ix)  The Majority Leader of the House of
    18         Representatives.
    19             (x)  The Majority Whip of the House of
    20         Representatives.
    21             (xi)  The Minority Leader of the House of
    22         Representatives.
    23             (xii)  The Minority Whip of the House of
    24         Representatives.
    25             (xiii)  The Minority Caucus Chairman of the House of
    26         Representatives.
    27     (c)  Qualifications.--An elected delegate must meet the
    28  following qualifications:
    29         (1)  Be at least 18 years of age.
    30         (2)  Have been a citizen of the United States and
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     1     resident of this Commonwealth for at least four years before
     2     election.
     3         (3)  Have resided in and been a registered elector of the
     4     elected delegate's senatorial district for at least one year
     5     preceding election.
     6         (4)  Reside in the elected delegate's senatorial district
     7     during term of service.
     8     (d)  Expenses.--Elected delegates shall be entitled to
     9  reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the
    10  performance of their duties.
    11  Section 5.  Nomination of elected delegates; withdrawals.
    12     (a)  Political parties.--The county committee of each
    13  political party in each senatorial district shall collectively
    14  nominate two candidates in accordance with party rules and the
    15  names of the nominees submitted to the secretary. The secretary
    16  shall certify the names of the nominees to the county board as
    17  provided by law not later than September 29, 2008.
    18     (b)  Political bodies.--Subject to the limitations upon the
    19  number in this act applicable to political parties, candidates
    20  may also be nominated by political bodies by petition in
    21  accordance with the following:
    22         (1)  The secretary shall prescribe the form of the
    23     petition.
    24         (2)  A petition must be signed by at least 500 qualified
    25     electors of the senatorial district in accordance with the
    26     following:
    27             (i)  An elector may not sign more than two nomination
    28         petitions.
    29             (ii)  A signer must state occupation and residence,
    30         giving city, borough or township, with street and number,
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     1         and that the signer is a qualified elector of the
     2         district. The signature must be dated.
     3             (iii)  A petition may not be circulated prior to
     4         August 25, 2008. A signature shall not be counted unless
     5         it bears a date later than August 24, 2008.
     6             (iv)  A petition may be on one or more sheets.
     7         Different sheets must be used for signers resident in
     8         different counties. If more than one sheet is used, the
     9         sheets must be bound together when offered for filing if
    10         they are intended to constitute one petition, and each
    11         sheet must be numbered consecutively at the foot of each
    12         page, beginning with number one. Each sheet must have
    13         appended to it the affidavit of the individual who
    14         circulated it setting forth:
    15                 (A)  that the individual is a qualified elector
    16             of the senatorial district named in the petition;
    17                 (B)  the individual's residence, giving city,
    18             borough or township, with street and number;
    19                 (C)  that the signers to the petition signed with
    20             knowledge of the contents of the petition;
    21                 (D)  that the residences of the signers are
    22             correctly stated;
    23                 (E)  that each signer resides in the district
    24             named in the affidavit;
    25                 (F)  that each signer signed on the date set
    26             forth; and
    27                 (G)  that, to the best of the affiant's knowledge
    28             and belief, the signers are qualified electors of the
    29             district.
    30         (3)  A petition must be filed in the office of the
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     1     secretary by September 15, 2008. A filing fee of $100 must be
     2     paid by the candidate by certified check or money order.
     3     (c)  Candidate's affidavit.--A candidate must file with the
     4  secretary an affidavit stating all of the following:
     5         (1)  The candidate's residence with street and number and
     6     post office address.
     7         (2)  That the candidate is eligible for the office of
     8     elected delegate to the constitutional convention.
     9         (3)  That, if elected, the candidate will faithfully
    10     observe the limitations and requirements imposed upon the
    11     convention by this act.
    12         (4)  That the candidate meets the qualifications under
    13     section 4(c).
    14     (d)  Withdrawal.--A candidate may withdraw as a candidate as
    15  follows:
    16         (1)  Make a request in writing. The request must be
    17     signed by the candidate and acknowledged before an officer
    18     empowered to administer oaths.
    19         (2)  File the request in the office of the secretary by 5
    20     p.m. on September 24, 2008.
    21  Section 6.  Elected delegates.
    22     Elections for elected delegates shall be held at the general
    23  election in November 2008. The secretary shall forward to each
    24  county board the names of the candidates. Each elector voting at
    25  the municipal election shall be entitled to vote for two
    26  candidates from the elector's senatorial district. The three
    27  candidates receiving the highest number of votes in each
    28  district shall be the elected delegates of that district. In the
    29  case of a tie vote, the election shall be determined in
    30  accordance with the provisions of section 1418 of the act of
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     1  June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania
     2  Election Code. The county board shall, by November 16, 2008,
     3  certify the return to the secretary. The secretary shall, by
     4  November 23, 2008, certify to the Governor the names of the
     5  elected delegates.
     6  Section 7.  Vacancies.
     7     (a)  Candidate.--In the event of the death or withdrawal of a
     8  candidate occurring prior to October 1, 2008, a substitute
     9  nomination shall be made under section 5.
    10     (b)  Elected delegate.--In the event of a vacancy in the
    11  office of the elected delegate, a successor shall be elected as
    12  follows:
    13         (1)  If the elected delegate was nominated under section
    14     5(a), the remaining delegates of that political party shall
    15     elect a successor who meets the qualifications under section
    16     4(c). The secretary shall prescribe appropriate time
    17     limitations.
    18         (2)  If the elected delegate member was nominated under
    19     section 5(b), all of the remaining delegates shall elect a
    20     successor meeting the qualifications under section 4(c).
    21  Section 8.  Preparatory Committee.
    22     (a)  Membership.--Ex officio delegates shall constitute the
    23  Preparatory Committee to make arrangements for the convention.
    24     (b)  Meeting organization.--Upon certification by the
    25  secretary of the results of the referendum election under
    26  section 3, the committee shall have the following powers and
    27  duties:
    28         (1)  To lease or otherwise obtain suitable meeting and
    29     office space and to purchase or lease supplies, equipment,
    30     publications and other materials necessary for the work of
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     1     the convention.
     2         (2)  To hire or engage staff necessary for the
     3     preparatory work of the convention.
     4         (3)  To initiate relevant studies through its own
     5     personnel or in cooperation with any public or private
     6     agencies.
     7         (4)  To hold public hearings.
     8         (5)  To enter into contracts.
     9         (6)  To receive from Commonwealth agencies and political
    10     subdivisions and local agencies assistance necessary or
    11     desirable to carry out properly the powers and duties under
    12     this subsection.
    13         (7)  To submit a budget for the convention to the General
    14     Assembly in sufficient time for the General Assembly to pass
    15     the necessary appropriation acts.
    16         (8)  To do other acts necessary to carry out the powers
    17     and duties under this subsection.
    18  Section 9.  Organization of convention.
    19     (a)  Convening.--
    20         (1)  The convention shall convene in the Hall of the
    21     House of Representatives on December 1, 2008, at 12 noon.
    22         (2)  The convention shall be called to order by the
    23     Governor.
    24         (3)  The secretary shall certify the returns of the
    25     elections for elected delegates and issue certificates of
    26     election.
    27         (4)  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or a designee
    28     of the Chief Justice shall then administer the oath of office
    29     in the following form:
    30         I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey
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     1         and defend the Constitution of the United States and the
     2         Constitution of Pennsylvania, and that I will discharge
     3         the duties of my office with fidelity.
     4     (b)  Organization.--
     5         (1)  The convention shall be the final judge of the
     6     qualifications of its own delegates.
     7         (2)  The convention shall organize by electing from among
     8     its delegates a president, secretary and other officers.
     9         (3)  The convention shall prescribe rules for:
    10             (i)  procedure; and
    11             (ii)  conduct of its delegates, including censure,
    12         suspension or removal.
    13     (c)  Immunity.--
    14         (1)  A delegate shall in all cases, except treason,
    15     felony, violation of oath of office and breach of the peace,
    16     be privileged from arrest during attendance and travel to and
    17     from the convention.
    18         (2)  A delegate shall not be questioned in any other
    19     place for any speech or debate in the convention.
    20     (d)  Sine die adjournment.--The convention shall adjourn sine
    21  die on February 28, 2009.
    22  Section 10.  Function.
    23     (a)  Scope.--The convention has the power, by a vote of a
    24  majority of delegates, to make recommendations to the electorate
    25  on the following subjects only:
    26         (1)  Section 10 of Article I of the Constitution of
    27     Pennsylvania, pertaining to the taking of private property
    28     for a public purpose.
    29         (2)  Section 8 of Article II of the Constitution of
    30     Pennsylvania, pertaining to compensation of members of the
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     1     General Assembly.
     2         (3)  Section 16 of Article II of the Constitution of
     3     Pennsylvania, pertaining to number of legislative districts.
     4         (4)  Sections 14 and 15 of Article III of the
     5     Constitution of Pennsylvania, pertaining to public education.
     6         (5)  Section 18 of Article III of the Constitution of
     7     Pennsylvania, pertaining to limitations on the recovery of
     8     noneconomic damages for injuries resulting in death or for
     9     injuries to persons or property.
    10         (6)  Sections 26 and 27 of Article III of the
    11     Constitution of Pennsylvania, pertaining to compensation of
    12     public officers.
    13         (7)  Section 10(c) of Article V of the Constitution of
    14     Pennsylvania, pertaining to the power of the Supreme Court to
    15     make rules governing the practice of law.
    16         (8)  Section 13(b) of Article V of the Constitution of
    17     Pennsylvania, limited to the filling of vacancies in the
    18     office of judge of the court of common pleas and justices of
    19     the peace.
    20         (9)  Section 15 of Article V of the Constitution of
    21     Pennsylvania, pertaining to judicial compensation.
    22         (10)  Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania,
    23     pertaining to the appointment and qualifications of judges of
    24     courts of the Commonwealth and magisterial district justices
    25     and terms of appellate judges.
    26         (11)  Section 12 of Article VIII of the Constitution of
    27     Pennsylvania, allowing for statutory limitations on annual
    28     increases in government spending.
    29         (12)  Article IX of the Constitution of Pennsylvania,
    30     limited to provisions for consolidation of municipalities and
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     1     school districts by local referendum.
     2         (13)  Section 17 of Schedule No. 1 of the Constitution of
     3     Pennsylvania, pertaining to judicial compensation.
     4     (b)  Limitations.--The convention shall not consider or
     5  include in its recommendations any of the following:
     6         (1)  A proposal which clearly permits or prohibits the
     7     imposition of a graduated income tax by the Commonwealth or
     8     any of its political subdivisions. Section 1 of Article VIII
     9     of the Constitution of Pennsylvania providing that: "All
    10     taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects,
    11     within the territorial limits of the authority levying the
    12     tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws."
    13     shall not be modified, altered or changed in any respect
    14     whatsoever.
    15         (2)  Section 11 of Article VIII of the Constitution of
    16     Pennsylvania pertaining to the Motor License Fund.
    17     (c)  Reorganization.--In dealing with the subject matter
    18  under subsection (a), the convention may recommend amendment,
    19  deletion, transfer or continuation without change.
    20  Section 11.  Manner of submitting proposals to electorate.
    21     (a)  Convention.--
    22         (1)  The recommendations of the convention shall be
    23     submitted to the electorate as determined by the convention.
    24         (2)  The convention shall frame the ballot questions.
    25     (b)  Certification.--The changes proposed and the ballot
    26  questions shall be certified by the president and secretary of
    27  the convention to the secretary by February 28, 2009.
    28  Section 12.  Submission to electorate.
    29     (a)  Secretary.--
    30         (1)  The secretary shall advertise the proposals of the
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     1     convention in at least two newspapers of general circulation
     2     in every county once during the last week in March 2009.
     3         (2)  The secretary shall publish the Constitution of
     4     Pennsylvania showing the changes proposed by the convention
     5     in convenient form.
     6         (3)  The secretary shall send ten copies of the
     7     publication under paragraph (2) to each county board.
     8         (4)  Upon request of an elector, the secretary shall send
     9     a copy of the publication under paragraph (2).
    10     (b)  County boards.--A county board shall make the
    11  publication under subsection (a)(4) available at each polling
    12  place.
    13     (c)  Election.--
    14         (1)  The recommendations of the convention shall be
    15     submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at
    16     the primary election of 2009.
    17         (2)  A majority vote of the electors voting in the
    18     election is necessary for the adoption of the recommendations
    19     of the convention.
    20     (d)  Certification.--The secretary shall certify the results
    21  of the election.
    22  Section 13.  Lobbying.
    23     The provisions of 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 13A (relating to lobbying
    24  disclosure) apply to the convention.
    25  Section 14.  Convention open to public.
    26     Sessions of the convention as a whole shall be open to the
    27  public.
    28  Section 15.  Appropriation.
    29     The sum of $1,000,000, or as much thereof as may be
    30  necessary, is hereby appropriated to the Preparatory Committee
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     1  for the fiscal year July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, to carry out
     2  the provisions of this act.
     3  Section 16.  Effective date.
     4     This act shall take effect as follows:
     5         (1)  Section 15 shall take effect upon publication of the
     6     notice under section 3(c).
     7         (2)  The remainder of this act shall take effect
     8     immediately.

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