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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 98-1302


Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania

[28 Pa.B. 3926]

   The following proposed amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania were first agreed to by the General Assembly during 1998. Pursuant to Article XI of the Constitution, the Secretary of the Commonwealth has caused the proposed amendments to be published.

   Pursuant to Article XI, if the amendments are agreed to by the General Assembly to be chosen at the November 3, 1998 General Election, the proposed amendments would then be published again and presented to the electors of the Commonwealth for approval at such time and in such manner as the General Assembly shall direct. If approved by a majority of the electors voting on it, an amendment becomes part of the Constitution.

   If an amendment is approved, the boldfaced words will be added to the Constitution and words within brackets will be deleted.

   Anyone who needs help reading this advertisement or who needs the text of the advertisement in an alternative format may call or write the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, Room 303 North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 787-5280.

Secretary of the Commonwealth



   Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, further providing for the selection of the chairman of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission; providing for the effective date of newly reapportioned districts and for the election of Senators in certain circumstances; and further providing for retirement of justices, judges and justices of the peace.

   The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby resolves as follows:

   Section 1.  The following amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania are proposed in accordance with Article XI:

   (1)  That section 17(b), (c) and (e) of Article II be amended to read:

§ 17.  Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

   * * *

   (b)  The commission shall consist of five members: four of whom shall be the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed by each of them, and a chairman selected as hereinafter provided. No later than 60 days following the official reporting of the Federal decennial census as required by Federal law, the four members shall be certified by the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the elections officer of the Commonwealth who under law shall have supervision over elections.

   The four members within 45 days after their certification shall select, by an affirmative vote of three members, the fifth member, who shall serve as chairman of the commission, and shall immediately certify his name to such elections officer. The chairman shall be a citizen of the Commonwealth other than a local, State or Federal official holding an office to which compensation is attached.

   If the four members fail to select the fifth member within the time prescribed, the Supreme Court, by action of a majority of the entire membership of the Supreme Court plus one, within 30 days thereafter shall appoint the chairman as aforesaid and certify his appointment to such elections officer.

   Any vacancy in the commission shall be filled within 15 days in the same manner in which such position was originally filled.

   (c)  No later than 90 days after either the [commission] chairman has been duly certified or the population data for the Commonwealth as determined by the Federal decennial census are available, whichever is later in time, the commission shall file a preliminary reapportionment plan with such elections officer.

   The commission shall have 30 days after filing the preliminary plan to make corrections in the plan.

   Any person aggrieved by the preliminary plan shall have the same 30-day period to file exceptions with the commission in which case the commission shall have 30 days after the date the exceptions were filed to prepare and file with such elections officer a revised reapportionment plan. If no exceptions are filed within 30 days, or if filed and acted upon, the commission's plan shall be final and, unless an appeal is filed under subsection (d), have the force of law for use thereafter in elections to the General Assembly until the next reapportionment as required under this section 17.

   * * *

   (e)  When the Supreme Court has finally decided an appeal or when the last day for filing an appeal has passed with no appeal taken, the reapportionment plan shall have the force of law [and the districts therein provided shall be used] for use thereafter in elections to the General Assembly until the next reapportionment as required under this section 17.

   (2)  That section 17(f), (g) and (h) of Article II be amended and the section be amended by adding a subsection to read:

§ 17.  Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

   * * *

   (f)  Any district which does not include the residence from which a member of the Senate was elected whether or not scheduled for election at the next general election shall elect a Senator at such election. . . .

   [(f)]  (g)  The General Assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds for the compensation and expenses of members and staff appointed by the commission, and other necessary expenses. The members of the commission shall be entitled to such compensation for their services as the General Assembly from time to time shall determine, but no part thereof shall be paid until a preliminary plan is filed. If a preliminary plan is filed but the commission fails to file a revised or final plan within the time prescribed, the commission members shall forfeit all right to compensation not paid.

   [(g)]  (h)  If a preliminary, revised or final reapportionment plan is not filed by the commission within the time prescribed by this section, unless the time be extended by the Supreme Court for cause shown, the Supreme Court shall immediately proceed on its own motion to reapportion the Commonwealth.

   [(h)]  (i)  Any reapportionment plan filed by the commission, or ordered or prepared by the Supreme Court upon the failure of the commission to act, shall be published by the elections officer once in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each senatorial and representative district. The publication shall contain a map of the Commonwealth showing the complete reapportionment of the General Assembly by districts, and a map showing the reapportionment districts in the area normally served by the newspaper in which the publication is made. The publication shall also state the population of the senatorial and representative districts having the smallest and largest population and the percentage variation of such districts from the average population for senatorial and representative districts.

   (3)  That section 16(b) of Article V be amended to read:

§ 16.  Compensation and retirement of justices, judges and justices of the peace.

   * * *

   (b)  Justices, judges and justices of the peace shall be retired [upon attaining] on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 70 years. Former and retired justices, judges and justices of the peace shall receive such compensation as shall be provided by law. Except as provided by law, no salary, retirement benefit or other compensation, present or deferred, shall be paid to any justice, judge or justice of the peace who, under section 18 or under Article VI, is suspended, removed or barred from holding judicial office for conviction of a felony or misconduct in office or conduct which prejudices the proper administration of justice or brings the judicial office into disrepute.

   * * *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-1302. Filed for public inspection August 14, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]

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