Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Could a Constitutional Convention be in PA's future?

If there is a Constitutional Convention in Pennsylvania, I want to be there.
Folmer Introduces Constitutional Convention Act

... Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) has introduced a bill (SB1290) to call a constitutional convention. SB1290's language is identical to that of the Citizens' Constitutional Convention Act that has been posted on the PACleanSweep website for over a year and was submitted to the Senate State Government Committee last Spring.

The bill would create a convention with a delegation of regular citizens (not legislators or lobbyists) who would then discuss the issues that Pennsylvanians want to discuss - the size of the legislature, term limits, a part-time legislature, redistricting and other structural changes. Such a convention could also discuss reforms to the executive and judicial branches.

The convention would be prohibited from discussing or altering Article I, the Declaration of Rights. Any other changes to the constitution would require passage by two-thirds majority of the delegates. These two measures would prevent the convention from getting bogged down in partisan issues and would ensure that only the best reforms are created. Delegates to the convention would be selected in non-partisan elections where no party affiliation is noted on the ballot.

Article I Section 2 of the Constitution states: "All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper."

Despite this noble and proper ideal, the Constitution itself specifies no method for the people to actually act on it. SB1290 creates the vehicle to do so. This bill needs the support of all Pennsylvanians!

Please, call your Senator TODAY, and ask why they haven't co-sponsored SB1290 yet. If your Senator refuses to co-sponsor it, ask whether he/she believes in the language contained within Article I Section 2. Call your Representative as well, and ask him/her to sponsor a version of SB1290 in the House of Representatives.

While you're at it, call your legislators' OPPONENTS in the primary election and ask if THEY would support SB1290! If you make this an election issue RIGHT NOW, legislators will be FLOCKING to sign on as co-sponsors!

Three cheers to Senator Folmer for doing the right thing. Three more to Senators Piccola and Wonderling for being first in line to sign on as co-sponsors.

Find & Contact Your Local Legislators

SB1290 Online

Constitutional Convention Q & A

About PACleanSweep

PACleanSweep is a non-partisan effort dedicated to reforming state government in Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit

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