GOP plan to amend Pennsylvania’s constitution while Democrats temporarily lack majority fails – By Jeff Singer (Daily KOS) / Jan 26, 2023
The Pennsylvania state House on Tuesday adjourned without voting to place any of the GOP’s proposed constitutional amendments on this May’s primary ballot, and the chamber isn’t set to reconvene until well after Friday’s deadline to act. It’s still possible for these measures, as well as an amendment to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse, to go before voters this November or next year, though Democrats would be in a stronger position to block the conservative proposals as long as they win a trio of special elections for Democratic-leaning seats on Feb. 7.
State law requires both chambers to pass a potential constitutional amendment during two successive sessions of the legislature with an election in between before it can get on the ballot, and the governor does not get a veto. Earlier this month former Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called a special session weeks before his term expired on Jan. 17 to take up an amendment that would give childhood abuse survivors a two-year window to sue over claims that had otherwise expired; this measure was supposed to be on the 2021 ballot, but a clerical error by the Department of State derailed everything and forced the process to start again.
The Republican-controlled state Senate, though, went on to pass a single bill containing this amendment as well as two far more partisan proposals. One would require voter ID, while CNHI says the other would have removed “the governor’s veto from the legislative process to disapprove of executive agency regulations.” This bill did not include another measure that passed in the last session that would have amended the state’s governing document to say, “This constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.”