Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Not in Pennsylvania? Click here to change your state.

VOTE BY TUESDAY, MAY 18TH AT 8PM EST

REMINDER: PA voters must use both envelopes when returning their ballots. Place your ballot in the smaller official election envelope, seal it, and then place that into the larger ballot-return envelope. Don't forget to sign and date that!

Constitutional Amendments

Allow the legislature to terminate an emergency disaster declaration unilaterally without check and balance

  • VOTE NO
    Vote 'NO'
  • The first question is as follows:

    “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration—and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration—through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?”

    Vote NO.

    If passed, this ballot measure would give partisan Pennsylvania legislators ultimate control over the handling and declaration of emergency or natural disasters and allow legislators to terminate an emergency declaration without cause or concern.

    This is a Republican-driven measure that would insert partisan politics into emergency and natural disaster response, drastically affecting the speed and efficiency of state government to aid communities in crisis. Requiring the governor’s signature, as currently requisite, assures the handling of a disaster is thoroughly managed through the proper checks and balances. If a disaster declaration lapsed for any reason, emergency managers and first responders would lose precious time and resources, and communities risk losing relief and recovery funding from the state and federal governments. Such relief includes flood assistance and funding to rebuild homes and small businesses.

    In the midst of vaccine distribution and continued threats from unknown variants, inserting partisan legislators into our public health response could be disastrous. Pennsylvania has made great strides to ramp-up vaccination efforts and we cannot allow politics to get in the way of our path toward ending the pandemic. Among those driving this measure are reckless Republican legislators who wanted to  eliminate mask and social distancing rules that keep communities safe while allowing businesses to be open.

    This ballot measure is NOT progressive, vote ‘NO’.

    Allow the legislature to terminate an emergency disaster declaration unilaterally without check and balance

    The first question is as follows:

    “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration—and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration—through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?”

Limit an emergency disaster declaration to 21 days regardless of the severity of the emergency

  • VOTE NO
    Vote 'NO'
  • The second question is as follows:

    “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?”

    Vote NO.

    If passed, this measure would limit the total length of an emergency disaster declaration to 21 days, and said declaration could only be extended through passage of a concurrent resolution by partisan politicians in the Pennsylvania state legislature.

    Disasters have no time limit and should be handled with the utmost care, not used as fodder for a partisan fight or reduced to a battleground for unnecessary legislation. If passed, this amendment would hand the partisan legislature a crucial and deciding role in response efforts to disasters in our communities.

    Disaster response in the United States has been some of the best in the developed world because experts are able to move swiftly to save lives without career politicians jockeying for power and sound-bites. This amendment would create unnecessary bureaucracy and give politicians, not experts, the authority to disrupt emergency response for partisan reasons or incompetence.

    This ballot measure is NOT progressive, vote ‘NO’.

    Limit an emergency disaster declaration to 21 days regardless of the severity of the emergency

    The second question is as follows:

    “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?”

Prohibit denial or abridgment of rights on account of an individual's race or ethnicity