Details for MANSI MEDIA - Ad from 2021-03-15
• PUBLIC NOTICE • his approval or veto. Resolutions for the adjournment of the General Assembly are exempted from this process. If the order, resolution or vote is approved by the Governor, it becomes law. If the Governor vetoes the resolution, it does not become law unless two-thirds of the House and Senate vote to override the veto. The proposed amendment would create an additional exception to this customary legislative procedure for concurrent resolutions to terminate or extend, in whole or in part, a disaster emergency declaration issued by the Governor. The proposed amendment will also have the effect of reversing a recent ruling of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which held the Pennsylvania Constitution prohibited the General Assembly from passing a concurrent resolution to terminate the Governor’s Covid-19 disaster emergency declaration without presenting it to the Governor for his approval. It will change the law to allow the General Assembly to terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration through a concurrent resolution approved by only a majority of the members of the House and Senate, without having to present the resolution to the Governor for his approval or veto. The proposed amendment is limited in that it only changes the traditional legislative process for terminating or extending disaster emergency declarations issued by the Governor. The amendment will not alter the current legislative procedure with respect to which orders, resolutions or votes of the General Assembly must be presented to the Governor for his approval on any other subject matter. PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT – ARTICLE IV DISASTER EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND MANAGEMENT Ballot Question 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? Plain English Statement of the Office of Attorney General Joint Resolution No. 2021-1 proposes adding a new section to Article IV of the Pennsylvania Constitution. This amendment incorporates disaster emergency declaration and management powers directly into the Constitution by: • • • • • If approved, the General Assembly would be required to pass new laws establishing the manner in which each type of disaster shall be managed. If added to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the proposed amendment cannot be modified or repealed except by a judicial decision finding all or part of the proposed amendment unconstitutional or by the approval of a subsequent constitutional amendment. PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT – ARTICLE I PROHIBITION AGAINST DENIAL OR ABRIDGEMENT OF EQUALITY OF RIGHTS BECAUSE OF RACE OR ETHNICITY Ballot Question Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity? Plain English Statement of the Office of Attorney General Joint Resolution No. 2021-1, if approved by the electorate, will add a new section to Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution. This amendment creates a constitutional prohibition against restricting or denying an individual’s equal rights under Pennsylvania law because of race or ethnicity. Generally, inclusion of this amendment within the Pennsylvania Constitution signifies that freedom from discrimination based on race or ethnicity is an essential principle of liberty and free government. This amendment applies to all Pennsylvania state, county and local governmental entities, and guarantees equality of rights under the law. The amendment, if enacted, will become a part of the Pennsylvania Constitution. As such, its provisions must be applied consistent with the other provisions of the Constitution. This equal right to be free from racial or ethnic discrimination will exist independent from any such rights under the United States Constitution or corresponding federal law. If the current federal protections proscribing racial or ethnic discrimination are abolished, the prohibition against such discrimination will remain in the Pennsylvania Constitution. The amendment is limited in that it creates a right only under Pennsylvania law. Once added to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the right to be free from racial or ethnic discrimination under the law cannot be eliminated except by a judicial decision finding the amendment unconstitutional or the approval of a subsequent constitutional amendment. If approved, the General Assembly may pass new laws to implement the amendment, but it may not pass a law inconsistent with it. Granting the Governor authority to declare a disaster emergency declaration by proclamation or executive order; Requiring each declaration to indicate the nature, location and type of disaster; Granting the General Assembly authority to pass laws providing for the manner in which each disaster shall be managed; Limiting the duration of a Governor’s declaration to 21 days, unless otherwise extended, in whole or in part, by a concurrent resolution of the General Assembly; Preventing the Governor, upon the expiration of a declaration, from issuing a new declaration based upon the same or substantially similar facts, unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution expressly approving a new declaration. Currently, disaster emergency declaration and management powers are delegated by statute to the Governor. The Governor has the sole authority to issue and manage all disaster emergency declarations, which cannot extend beyond 90 days unless renewed by the Governor. The General Assembly may override a Governor’s disaster emergency declaration by concurrent resolution that must be presented to the Governor for his approval or veto. If approved, the amendment would transfer certain of the Governor’s existing authority to respond to and manage disaster emergencies to the General Assembly. The Governor would retain the authority to issue an initial disaster emergency declaration but the declaration’s permissible length would be reduced from 90 to 21 days. The sole authority to extend a declaration would lie with the General Assembly; presently, this power rests with the Governor. Upon expiration of the initial declaration, the amendment prohibits the Governor from issuing a new declaration based upon the same or substantially similar facts without the approval of the General Assembly. The Governor would no longer have unilateral authority to manage disasters, but would have to do so consistent with the laws passed by the General Assembly. 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