House acts to give Pennsylvanians voice in emergencies


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to decide for themselves how they wish to governed during times of emergency.

Senate Bill 1166 would amend the constitution to limit an emergency declaration by the governor to 21 days. This could only be extended in whole or in part by a majority vote of the General Assembly.

The legislation would also provide constitutional protections against racial discrimination.

The current law states that emergency declaration can last up to 90 days. However, a recent court ruling blocked the Legislature’s ability to end emergency declarations without the consent of the governor.

Time is of the essence to get these two important issues before the people of Pennsylvania. Amending our state Constitution is not something we should take lightly; however, we believe doing so is necessary. Our communities should decide for themselves how they wish to be governed.

Kerry Benninghoff, Majority Leader (R- Centre/Mifflin)

The amendment now advances to the Senate for consideration. It must pass both chambers of the General Assembly in consecutive sessions before it can be placed on the ballot for voters to decide on.

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