HARRISBURG – Rep. Carl Metzgar (R-Somerset/Bedford) announced today that the House advanced several proposed constitutional amendments to address the balance of power and elections in the Commonwealth.
Metzgar said the proposed amendments address four key issues that Pennsylvanians had been begging to be resolved: voter identification, election audits, limiting the duration of executive orders and disapproving regulations.
“Pennsylvanians have made it abundantly clear that these are the most important issues to them,” Metzgar said. “These measures seek to further restore the balance of power between the Legislature and the executive and also propose necessary changes to restore trust in the election process.
“Ultimately, since we are proposing amendments to the Constitution, the voters will have the final say in whether they are implemented,” he added.
To ensure the integrity of each vote cast, one proposed constitutional amendment would require voters to present identification each time they cast a ballot. A second election-related amendment would establish an auditing process to confirm the accuracy of election results.
Two of the proposed constitutional amendments aim to better restore the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of state government. One would limit executive orders to 21 days unless extended by the General Assembly while the other would allow for legislative disapproval of regulations without endorsement by the governor.
“The Legislature must be able to strike down regulations by a simple majority,” Metzgar said. “It should not take a two-thirds vote to stop something that the majority would never consider from the beginning.”
The final proposed constitutional amendment would allow gubernatorial candidates to select their running mates similar to how presidential candidates select their vice presidential running mates. Currently, the state’s lieutenant governors are elected independently.
In order to implement these proposed constitutional amendments, they will need to be passed in identical form in two consecutive legislative sessions. They would then be placed on the ballot for voters to have the final say.
The bill is pending further vote by the House.
Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
Pennsylvania House of Representatives